Madeira has often been considered one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Its calm, laid-back atmosphere has perhaps left the island chain in the background amongst other destinations. However, recently Madeira has come to the forefront and is now gladly showing off its unique attractions and landscapes. Madeira’s main island boasts dramatic cliffs and a sense of ruggedness, yet Portugal’s island region is diverse, beautiful and enchanting. Whether sightseeing opportunities are up your street or you’re looking to add a bit of adventure to your holiday. Madeira has so much to offer its visitors… here’s why we love Madeira!
Its diverse landscapes
Madeira has a whole range of landscapes to explore and enjoy. Porto Santo Island is one of the smaller islands in the Portuguese archipelago, but it is best-known for its beaches compared to others. Porto Santo Beach is perhaps the best place to walk along Madeira’s sandy shores and soak up the sunshine. On the other hand, head up to the top of the Cabo Girao skywalk (Europe’s highest cliff) where you can get a good look at how varied Madeira actually is. Surrounded by the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, the land’s greenery creates quite a contrast. In fact, Madeira may not have many sandy beaches but, the island chain definitely makes up for that thanks to its tropical backdrop.
Its fantastic weather all year-round
Although Madeira is part of Portugal, it is in fact closer to North Africa. As a result, Madeira’s climate is classed as subtropical, meaning it enjoys lovely mild weather continuously throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, June to September experiences the highest temperatures. Although, the winter months also keep warm. Madeira does have its rainy season between October and March where rainfall can vary across the islands, but overall the Portuguese archipelago boasts a comfortable climate all year round.
Madeira is a perfect destination for those who love to add a dose of action and adventure into their holiday. One of the island’s most popular attractions are hikes along its levadas. These levadas are a system of irrigation channels which direct water from the north of the island to the south. Hiking along the levadas offer visitors the opportunity to discover Madeira up close and personal. As well as giving yourself the challenge of hiking along this terrain, you can simultaneously admire the surrounding beauty of the island. Plus, there are plenty of other activities that add a sense of adventure to Madeira holidays. Including swimming with dolphins, so why not tick that off your bucket list?
Photo credit: livingtours.com
Do you love a glass of wine? Well, you’ll no doubt love Madeira! The island produces its own wine creating a variety that you’ll enjoy. From dry to sweet, there are many to choose from which go down well with the lovely local cuisine. But, you don’t have to wait until dinner time to try out Madeira’s most famous fortified wines. With many wineries and vineyards dotted about the island, enjoy a tour along with a chance to taste various wines.
Madeira is home to a variety of traditions since being colonised by the Portuguese in 1425. Believe it or not, one of them includes racing down Funchal’s winding roads in a wicker toboggan. Although this used to be a rather traditional mode of transport, it has much more recently become more of a tourist attraction, but either way it’s a great way to learn a little about the island’s history whilst adding a dose of adrenaline to your holiday. Madeira also knows how to put on a show, in particular when it comes to its festivals and celebrations, including the Flower Festival, Atlantic Festival and the Wine Festival.
Photo credit: inportobay.com