The Madeira Archipelago is constituted by the populated islands of Madeira and Porto Santo and by the non-populated Selvagens and Desertas islands.
Having been discovered in 1419 by Portuguese navigators João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, the uninhabited archipelago was immediately attached to the Portuguese Crown and its "peopling" was ordered.
Copying the Portuguese situation in the mainland, Madeiran society was composed by noble landowners and by the colonial farmers that worked the land, thus originating a strong sense of social hierarchy that would be kept very much alive throughout the course of local history.
Madeira Island has been, for a long time, one of the most wanted holiday destinations for our British, German and Spanish friends and it is a well-known fact that many of them come back each year. Our visitors' "faithfulness" can have more than one reason: a mild climate throughout the year; a fabulous looking flora, virtually untouched by progress and civilization in certain areas; the kindness and warmth of its inhabitants and, above all, Madeira is virtually immaculate in what regards criminality, thus being, in this day and age, one of the safest places in all the world, where you can walk carefree at any time.