Since Madeira was formed in several volcanic phases, the first began about 18 million years ago, the last ended only about 6,450 years ago, the exact location of each crater is no longer discernible. Remains can be seen in many places in the interior of the island. Impressive are the former sluices of the volcanoes, which unlike the surrounding rock have not yet been eroded by the erosion. In some places in the high mountains you can also see striking mountain tops or rocky cliffs.
The rivers of the island usually have a very steep gradient. Numerous waterfalls lead directly to the sea.
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The Pico Ruivo is with 1862 m the highest peak of Madeira and at the same time one of the highest peaks of Portugal. The coast of Madeira is steep and rocky. Cabo Girão, the "Cape of Inversion", is the highest cliff in Europe with a height of 580m. Fajã was the name of the hard-to-reach fertile headlands, which served as arable land as well as the small fertile high plateaus, the Achadas.
Did you know?
Poncha - Legende
Many years ago, according to a Poncha legend, there is supposed to have been a quarrel between a local and a Briton in Câmara de Lobos. A boxing match should decide the matter.
The Briton had prepared himself with a sip of whiskey, the Madeirens had his glass of poncha in the blood. A colossal fist punch made the British go down.
„What a punch, aaaah" he is said to have lamented after his revival, hence the name Poncha