During the late 14th century, legend states that an English merchant and his lover Anne of Hereford were shipwrecked in Machico during a raging Atlantic storm. The two died within days of each other and were buried by the other survivors.
They are believed to be buried below the site of what is now known as the Capela dos Milagres (Chapel of the Miracles). In 1420, João Gonçalves Zarco set out to claim Madeira for Portugal, having sighted the island the previous year whilst establishing a settlement in Porto Santo. Having discovered the graves of Robert Machin and his lover Anne, Zarco named the area Machico in Machin's honour.
Machico is now Madeira's second largest city with many restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels that cater for those visitors wishing to escape the very busy atmosphere of Funchal. It is located on the waterfront, and therefore it will not come as a surprise to you that this is where many of the island's tuna fishing fleet is constructed.
The old fortress, which was built in 1706, has now been restored and is home to the town's tourism office.
This area is suitable to anyone looking for a peaceful village atmosphere in a noncommercial area, there is little else of great appeal or interest. Not suitable for a younger market seeking nightlife. There is a small clutch of holiday properties in the area mainly private rental properties.
Machico is at the north end of the Portugese east coast (15 mls NE of Funchal and 3 mls NE of airport). It is set between the massive headlands of the deep Bay of Zarco, facing the ocean with spectacular views of Ponta Sao Lourenco (St Lawrence Point). The town spreads inland along the steep sides of the valley.