Madeira, the collection of Portuguese islands off the coast of Morocco, is blessed with year-round warm weather, making it a place where flowers bloom continuously. While it might be known for its eternal blooms, springtime in Madeira is the best time for flower lovers because of the Madeira Flower Festival.
A traditional affair lasting three whole weeks, the Flower Festival welcomes the coming of spring with a celebration unlike any other, focusing on renewal, hope and transformation.
Carpets of flowers are lovingly laid on the streets in beautiful patterns, shapes and designs by local artists, while the city’s Avenida Arriaga is where travelers can find local performers dancing, playing music and enjoying the festivities, both in the concert pavilion and out of it.
In Funchal, travelers can explore the Flower Markets, where amazing scents bloom along with the flowers this time of year. From roses to orchids to birds of paradise and more, travelers will have no trouble spotting their favorite blossom among the stalls.
Travelers should also note when the “Wall of Hope” dove release is happening, as it’s a beautiful scene to watch. Children come to decorate the facade of Municipality Square with flowers, each representing a hope and dream for the future before droves of doves are released into the air.
The Flower Allegorical Parade is the main event, in which hundreds of locals arrayed in their most floral of dresses and outfits dance and walk alongside detailed, flower-covered floats.
Besides the incredible cultural activities, Madeira also offers some beautiful natural wonders. The Madeira Orchid, the Violeta de Madeira and several varieties of Laurissilva, or laurel trees, are located only on these islands. Travelers can find gardens throughout the islands, but the Jardim Botânico da Madeira offers over 2,000 different types of plants!
Travelers can also explore the Madeira Natural Park, a biogenetic reserve that includes the laurel forests, which are not to be missed on a trip to Madeira. The Laurissilva forest is a UNESCO-designated site because of its rarity, and its lush, verdant growth gives off an ancient energy that travelers will love to discover.
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