Has anyone visited the island of Madeira? I'd be interested to hear your personal impressions and experiences.
I spent one week there, several years ago, on a hiking packe tour with a group from Norway.
It was wonderful! Early spring (I think it was in March) - the mimosa trees were blossoming, everything was so green! We stayed in different locations and were driven to hiking start-points each days. Often the hikes went along the high levadas (the water channels etched into the mountain side) but we were also on the high plateau where bilberry (blueberry) plants were like trees! And bathed in the COLD Atlantic from rockpools on the northwest coast...
The people were very kind andy friendly. I speak Spanish, and found that people - especially in the country - would stop, and listen, and do their best to communicate back in simple Portuguese. And they were forever my pockets with food!
If you get the chance to go there - DO! (Mind you, my ex-parents-in-law went there once in January, and nearly froze to death)
I haven't been myself, but my one friend has been. He says it is extraordinary beautiful.