MadeiraCopyright: Anna Lurye/Shutterstock.com
MadeiraWith exceptional natural beauty, a mild climate throughout the year, a friendly population, and a top-quality hotel network, Madeira and Porto Santo, the two inhabited islands of the Madeira archipelago, are the perfect islands for those seeking stress-free holidays. Here you can enjoy your holiday on the beach or at sea, in the mountains, in the countryside or in the city–the perfect spot for a getaway to experience unique moments like nowhere else.
The ArchipelagoLocated 1000km from the European continent and only 700km from the African coast, Madeira Archipelago is composed of Madeira Island, Porto Santo, Desertas, and Selvagens, each featuring exceptional landscapes. Described as a floating garden, Madeira is a luxurious island of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mild subtropical climate, known for its natural therapeutic characteristics, which made Madeira one of the greatest European tourist destinations in the mid-twentieth century. At 57km long and 22 km wide, Madeira was discovered by Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo, and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419. Two-thirds of this autonomous region are part of a nature reserve, the demarcated region intended to preserve the richness and variety of its ecosystems. Here it is possible to visit the largest and most well-preserved area of Laurissilva, a forest aged 20 million years. Nowadays, Laurissilva only exists in Macaronesia (Madeira, Azores, Canary Islands, and Cape Verd). The Madeira Archipelago has a wide variety of activities that can be experienced and explored, making it the perfect getaway spot.
EventsIn addition to the natural attractions and year-round spring weather, there is always plenty to do on the Madeira Islands. Throughout the year, many cultural, entertainment and sporting events are held all over the archipelago, attracting locals and visitors alike.
Do & See
Most activities can be planned in hotels or through specialized agencies that will help you make the most of your journey. These experiences range from outdoor activities to relaxation and wellness experiences. With its spectacular landscapes and rewarding hikes, Madeira will also not disappoint nature lovers.
Madeiran gastronomy has been influenced by all the cultures that passed through the islands over the years. Some typical starters you cannot miss are bolo do caco (sweet potato bread) with garlic butter, grilled limpets and tomato and onion soup. For the main course, try the famous pork marinated in wine and garlic or the legendary beef espetada, a massive grilled skewer. And since you're on an archipelago, make the most of the fresh fish: try the black scabbard fish fillet (peixe-espada), tuna steak with fried maize (atum com milho frito), or grilled wrasse (bodião). Restaurants are surely not what is missing in Madeira as they are abundantly spread all over the city of Funchal and the rest of the island, as well as on Porto Santo. There are restaurants for all tastes, from the most modern and sophisticated eateries with international cuisine to the more regional restaurants and welcoming traditional taverns.
After a long day of sightseeing, you might want to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee or tea. Madeira offers charming small cafes where you can enjoy a pastry or local desserts such as the typical honey cake. There are also some cafes with outdoor seating overlooking the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Bars & Nightlife
Nightlife in Madeira is mainly concentrated in Funchal, with a wide range of bars and nightclubs. During the weekend, the streets are filled with a joyfully contagious nightlife spirit, made possible by the archipelago's ever-pleasant weather. You will not want to miss Madeira's most famous cocktail 'poncha', made from sugar cane alcohol and fruit juice.
Besides its superb weather and food, Madeira is also a fantastic place to do some shopping. From traditional markets, wines and handcrafts to big, modern shopping centres, there certainly won't be a lack of fun and variety when it comes to shopping. Take this chance to bring some Madeiran wine or poncha back home since you will not find a tasty tropical liquor like it anywhere else in the world.