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Madeira Islands

From Openwaterpedia
Promotional poster for the Reportagem Madeira Island International Swim Marathon
Mayra Santos swimming during the 42 km Madeira Island Ultra Swim in Portugal

Madeira Islands is a Portuguese archipelago located in the north Atlantic Ocean, west and slightly south of Portugal. Its total population was estimated in 2011 at 267,785. It is located in the north Atlantic Ocean, just under 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Since 1976, the archipelago has been one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores, located to the northwest). It includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. It is an outermost region of the European Union.

Discovery

Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery, which extended from 1415 to 1542.

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