Madeira is like a giant botanical garden, with plants from all over the world. Eucalyptus and acacias from Australia, bright red poinsettias from Mexico and those brought here from the South Seas by Captain Cook. The island is ablaze with colour, particularly in the 'blossom months' of spring and autumn. Freesias, jacarandas, jasmine, begonias, antirrhinums, magnolia and camellias all grow here. Among Madeira's 100 species of birds, Cabrera's blackbird, the Canarian kestrel, and the Madeiran firecrest, may be seen on the walks.
The exotic island of Madeira (the 'floating garden') is a paradise of flowers, birds and trees, and with its mild winters and gentle summers, it's wonderful for walking. There are towering mountains, romantic gorges, and hanging valleys. Innumerable levadas (little canals painstakingly dug over the centuries to catch the island's rainfall) provide pathways into the interior.