As the very first settlers arrived on Madeira island, they immediately realized that it wouldn’t be easy to farm here.

The steep orography of the terrain led our farmers to build terraces everywhere in Madeira, the famous and unique “poios” (man-made terraces).

There are thousands of “poios” all over the island, from  sea level to the mountains.

“Poios” are our natural colourful mosaics, a sort of patchwork which is also our identity.

Therefore, needless to say that agriculture is only possible with the construction of these terraces.

The soil is sustained by walls of basalt stones that characteristically mark our landscapes.

Most of the land in Madeira was difficult to reach and work on, it involved very hard manual work, but the Madeireans conquered the soil because it was necessary for their survival.

This is our unique landscape.

Ana Luísa Cardoso (Official Tourist Guide)

Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro