Funchal is the capital of the volcanicPortuguese island of Madeira in mid Atlantic.  A popular stop over for Portuguese seafarers navigating round the globe and bringing back with them exotic plants and flora, which they often left on the island to flourish. Today the all year round temperate climate attracts many tourists, mostly from northern Europe, who find lush vegetation, exotic flora and fauna covering this picturesque island.The city is also a harbour, hosting scores of cruise ships year round,  hub for producers of the famous Madeira Wine,  grown on the hilly slopesaround, wine and of course flower festivals, full of the exotic plants those sailors have brought to the island centuries ago.  When visiting Madeira a visit to the Botanical Gardens is a must and so is a walk along one of the Lavadas criss crossing this lush fertile island.There are virtually no beaches nearby, so the city and its many first class hotels, villas and apartment complexes with pool are where visitors spend most of their time. Great for a laid back relaxing stay of quality with all year round balmy days, Funchal combines being a resort and city successfully.

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SAGA EUROPE & MEDITERRANEAN 2018 /19