In 1419, a storm deviated the explorers João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz da Silva from the coast of Guinea, leading them to discover the Island of Porto Santo. One year later, an envoy of the Portuguese Crown returned to conquer Madeira.
The sub-tropical climate and the exuberant vegetation of Madeira seduced Prince Henry the Navigator, who immediately ordered its colonization, and decreed that the land be cultivated with cereals, sugar cane and vines. In turn, the trees that covered practically the whole territory were used to build higher and more resistant masts for the sailing ships of the Portuguese Navy, and to support the majestic Moorish style houses of continental Portugal.
Divided into three regions and given to three different governors, Madeira quickly became a prosperous island with very lucrative commercial assets. These in turn, attracted countless merchants, among which was Christopher Columbus who married here and had a son prior to leaving to discover the other worlds.
In the XVII century, the marriage of Catherine of Bragança to Charles II of England increased the influence of the English Crown on the Island of Madeira, leading to many British merchants settling here and dedicating themselves to the exportation of Madeira Wine. During the XVIII century, Madeira became the focal point of the most important commercial routes.
The natural scenery and therapeutic qualities of the Island of Madeira made it, from the XVII century onwards, an important holiday destination among the European aristocracy, stars of the silver screen and some famous writers. Today, Madeira continues to be a tourist destination “par excellence”, famous for its amazing landscape, mild year round climate, gastronomy rich in authentic flavors, and for the compassion of its people, who always greet those who arrive with a smile.