Madeira Portugal Guide

Madeira is a destination of varied and astonishing natural beauty that will enthrall all visitors. The island is a breath-taking mixture of massive mountains, jagged cliffs, lush forests and pretty flower gardens. The people of the towns are welcoming and generous reflecting the hospitable nature of the Portuguese. Madeira offers a very different style of holiday with a vast array of varied activities and sights while offering tremendous value for money. Madeira is a great destination for a holiday, so let us at Madeira-Portugal-Guide show to you this wonderful destination.

Getting Started With Madeira Portugal

Extended Introduction to Madeira

Madeira is a territory of Portugal but it is significantly closer to mainland Africa (800km) than to Lisbon (1,200km) and the Canary Islands are less than 400km to the south. Madeira is known as the ‘island of the eternal spring’ due to its weather, which is amazing all through the year.

The expected temperature extremes of the southern location are tempered by the Atlantic Ocean, while the mountains and moisture-laden winds ensure rains fall and keep the island lush and green. The actual temperature of Madeira hardly alters during the year and this makes Madeira an almost year round holiday destination.

Madeira mountains

The stunning views from the mountains of Madeira

Why Madeira and What to See?

Most visitors to Madeira are based within the capital, Funchal, where over half of the island population live. Funchal is a pretty and welcoming city that overlooks the main harbour with it’s never end flow of cruise liners. The capital is a charming mix of classic Portuguese white washed houses and small churches inters-paced by carefully maintained gardens and parks.

Madeira mountains

The fishing boats of Camara de Lobos

From Funchal there is easy access to the entire island and all of the sights can be reached via organised day trips. More intrepid visitors can also easily travel around Madeira. The island is perfectly designed to enjoy a touring holiday, because each region is completely different from others.

The interior is formed of massive extinct volcanoes and steep values that have been carved out by the constant flow of water through the black basalt rocks. Pico Ruivo is the highest point of Madeira at 1,850m while close by the third highest peak, Pico do Arieiro, which is connected by tarmac road to Funchal. In the past, the deep and inaccessible valleys of the island provided protection and safety to the early population of Madeira during the numerous pirate raids.

Porto Santo Ferry in Funchal

Porto Santo Ferry in Funchal

Cutting through the interior are the water canals and channels that directed the flow of water from the lush northern side to the fertile eastern side of Madeira. These complex waterways crisscrossed the entire island and today provide visitors with wonderful walking and hiking routes.

The coastline of Madeira is a jagged mixture of massive cliffs. The ones outside the town of Câmara de Lobos are one of the highest in Europe and as a tourist feature have constructed a skywalk way out over the 500m drop. The cliffs, currents and winter storms have Curral das Freiras bereft Madeira of any natural sandy beaches but there are two purpose built beaches on the island. The remote town of Porto Moniz on the very north western edge is famed for its lava pools that are filled by the high tide and are located in a dramatic setting. Madeira makes for a fantastic holiday destination and has so much to offer visitors.

The best guide to Madeira