Madeira: A Guide To The Island

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Madeira may be famous for its fine wines and for being the birthplace of world-class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo but it also has another super-power and that is its reputation for being a stunning holiday destination since the 1960’s. Although Madeira is considered to be part of Portugal and is a Portuguese island by ownership, it is actually closer to North Africa than it is Europe, which makes it all the more unique for those looking for a piece of Europe but in the warmth of the African sea and climate. In recently years Madeira has been attracting a new generation of travellers who know that there is more to this island than simply being an ideal beach destination…

Madeira is actually not just one, but an archipelago made up of 8 islands which are rich in wild and uninhabited planes or lined in golden beaches- all offering incredible wildlife and flora. Madeira’s subtropical climate is perfect for visiting all year round and its landscapes and diversity makes it one of the most stunning destinations found in Europe. This unforgettable island is waiting for you to make some memories that are sure to last a lifetime…

Built By Volcanos

Although there have not been any volcanic eruptions in 6500 years, Volcanos are what has shaped this island and its natural beaches. Madeira has naturally black sand and has had any golden sand you see imported in. If you want white beaches then take the ferry to Madeira’s sister island Porto Santo, which can be found a couple of hours away.

Lots To See

While giant cruise ships do dock on the islands capital of Funchal, the city is big enough to easily absorb any passengers who disembark for a spot of sightseeing. The old town is particularly lovely in the evening and really comes alive, with plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you busy. Those who enjoy nature can take sail on regular whale and dolphin watching tours on the Atlantic.

There’s Adventure Everywhere

The Atlantic swell makes Madeira perfect for surfers- beginners can expect a great start at the beautiful Porto Da Cruz and pros might well prefer the rocky Jardim Do Mar. If you’re more of a land based adventure seeker, then head inland and check out some of the islands’ deserted peaks and ravines that are perfect for climbing, canyoning and off road jeep tours.

Cable Cars

In 2000, cable cars were introduced and now run daily, taking you to the top of Funchal in a few minutes. The cable car takes you from Funchal to Monte and once on the top, you will be able to experience the part of the city that is commonly referred to as ‘The Sintra of Madeira’.

Carros Cestos

For many people, when they think of Madeira, they instantly think of Carros Cestos. These cars made of wicker will bring you from Monte to downtown in record speed and offers a unique experience that can truly every find in Madeira!

If you’re opting to explore the wonders of Madeira this summer, then keep in mind that you will need to either apply for or renew your European Health Insurance Card before you go.