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madeira-paradiseThe island of Madeira in the Atlantic some 320 miles west of Morocco was first discovered, uninhabited, by Portuguese explorers in 1418. It has been a part of Portugal ever since. In the 1600s it became renowned for its Madeira wine, with English wine makers settling there and exporting it to England and the American colonies. The English consul Charles Murray built a beautiful estate, “Quinta do Prazer”, Pleasure Estate, high above the capital of Funchal, which by the late 1800s was converted into the Monte Palace hotel.

100 years later, Portuguese entrepreneurs developed the property into one of the most spectacular tropical gardens in the world, with lakes, waterfalls, and exotic tropical plants turning it into a fantasy wonderland. You can spend hours wandering around relaxing and luxuriating in this peaceful paradise.  It’s just one of the magically beautiful places and truly relaxing, energizing experiences we have on Madeira and the Azores early this summer.  Join your fellow TTPers on our Atlantic Paradises exploration to enjoy them – lots more photos in the link.  Life goes by so quickly, Carpe diem!  (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #243 photo ©Jack Wheeler)