Natural parks on Portuguese Islands : Madeira & Azores
Madeira Island is home to the expansive and captivating Madeira Natural Park, which spans two-thirds of the island and extends into the ocean. With its unique and exceptional features, this natural park has gained recognition not only on a national level but also worldwide. A journey through the park takes visitors on a delightful coastal walk, a gradual ascent up slopes, a traverse through picturesque agricultural fields adorned with characteristic haystacks and poios, a venture into dense forests, and an ascent to the majestic mountains. Along this diverse path, one can witness a multitude of natural and human-influenced ecosystems. Among these ecosystems, certain areas stand out for their extraordinary biological value, such as the renowned Laurissilva of Madeira, the Maciço Montanhoso, and Ponta de São Lourenço.
Within the broader archipelago of Madeira, several meticulously preserved areas deserve mention. The Natural Reserves of the Selvagens and Desertas islands, along with the Garajau, Rocha do Navio, and Ponta de São Lourenço, all boast well-preserved environments that inspire awe and admiration.
In the Azores, each of the nine islands is graced with its own Natural Park, encompassing a multitude of reserves and protected areas where landscapes remain untouched in their purest form. Exploring the Azores offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in nature's pristine state, marveling at the exotic vegetation and encountering lakes that once crowned active volcanoes. The volcanic origins of the archipelago, coupled with a climate that experiences all four seasons in a single day, create the perfect conditions for nature to flourish naturally, abundantly, and vibrantly.