The Portuguese archipelago of Madeira sits off the northwest coast of Africa, basked in sunshine almost year-round. Known as the Floating Garden, Madeira’s beauty comes from the lush vegetation in its many parks and gardens, and exotic flower blossom that fill the island with colour. Complete with towering cliffs, panoramic sea views and wonderful local cuisine, there are many reasons to visit this mesmerising island.
Porto Santo Island
Northeast of Madeira island, tiny Porto Santo is largely underdeveloped with some stunning golden sand beaches and views to match. The town, Vila Baleira, is classically Portuguese with specialty seafood restaurants and cosy roadside café’s.
Madeira’s capital is a historic town that’s been modernised over time, where you can dance till dawn and soak up the bustling day to day life of locals. Colonial architecture, wine bars, beautiful hotels and scenic views make Funchal a great place to stay or visit.
Camara de Lobos
An extension of the Funchal economy, Camara de Lobos is a larger parish and seaside town in a pretty stunning location. The scenic waterfront is most memorable, speckled with wooden fishing boats, while Praia Formosa pebble beach lies a couple of miles east and is the perfect place ramble and take in the scenery.
Hikes and walks
The beauty of Madeira is the rugged landscape that wraps itself around the island. From rural villages to coastal walks, tropical gardens to mountain hikes, there is so much to immerse yourself in for all ages and abilities. Consider going on a guided hike for something more challenging.
Of course, the renowned Madeira wine originates here and you can visit a vineyard to delve deep into the history of winemaking. If you’d rather just enjoy the final product, you’ll have no problem finding bars and restaurants serving local wine.
Porto Moniz Natural Pools
Northwest of Funchal, the charming little town of Porto Moniz is home to a natural complex of volcanic lava pools. There are two sets: the completely natural pools that overlook the Ilheu Mole island and the western pools that have been converted into a Lido.
A trip to Madeira isn’t complete with capturing these majestic creatures in action, ideal for nature lovers. Catamaran boat trips run often and offer the perfect opportunity to see dolphins and wales, while taking in the beautiful surrounding mountains, Cabo Girão cliffs and villages.
Take respite in Madeira’s Botanical Garden, full of beautiful plants and flowers. Discover succulents, palm trees, agro-industrial, aromatic and medicinal plants, landscaped gardens and much more.