Madeira was re-discovered by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (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.
In 23 September 1433, the name Ilha da Madeira (English: Madeira Island, or literally island of wood) began to appear in the first documents and maps.
The name given to the islands corresponded to the large dense forests of native Laurissilva trees that populated the island during the settlement.
Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira Wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well for its annual New Years celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognized by the Guinness World Records, in 2006.
The main harbour in Funchal is the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North America.