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Port Description

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

How in the world did João Gonçalves, the Portuguese navigator, in 1421 discover the Madeira Island group, located almost 500 miles off the coast of Portugal? The pounding of Atlantic waves over the millennia has created beautiful beaches, natural pools, steep cliffs, and some of the best surfing spots in the region. Sé cathedral rises above Zona Velha (Old Town) in the capital city Funchal, where restaurant-goers enjoy the local espada preta--a tasty dish made from a supremely ugly fish.-and award-winning local wines.