- Location: In the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Morocco
- Attraction Type: Archipelago
- Significance: Referred to as the ‘floating garden of the Atlantic’
- Best Time to visit: By flight
- How to Reach: By road from Lisbon
- Nearest Airport: Madeira Airport
Madeira is all about smiles and colors. From wherever you are on the island, the Atlantic Ocean is visible in its radiant blue hue. The sun, the sky, and the azure blue waves create a virtual paradise to all visitors traveling to this mesmerizing island. Be it summer, winter, spring or autumn, the waters of Gulf Stream makes this heavenly island enjoyable throughout the year. It is difficult to imagine that this tiny Madeira group of islands, despite its size, has so much to offer in the form of landscapes and activities. Amazing volcanic caves, enchanting villages, rugged coastlines, and exquisite natural beaches combine to form the wonder that Madeira is.
On the north coast in Sao Vincent, explore the volcanic caves and the spectacular endemic flora. At the Volcanic Center, you would be wonderstruck by the audiovisual demonstrations of volcanic eruptions and island formations. Funchal, the capital of Madeira existed as a sugar town in the 15th century to evolve into a historical nucleus. 16th-century buildings, Santa Maria, Santa Fe, and Sao Pedro testify to the historical importance of this place. You would be surprised at the number of illustrious churches this island group has. Se Cathedral, Convento de Santa Clara, Capela das Almas Pobres, Igreja de Sao Joao Evangelista and Igreja do Carmo are some of the notable churches.
The one thing that would attract your attention is the exuberance of the local markets. There is hardly anything that is not available in these local markets. Be it flowers, vegetables, eggs, grilled chicken, beverages, clothes, toys, cassettes, or CDs, all are available in these weekly shopping centers.
Activities in Madeira Make a trip to Porto Santo the Golden Island for an exhilarating getaway. Two 9-hole golf circuits and one 9-hole illuminated pitch make this place an enviable destination in case you are an avid golf lover. So extensive are the gardens and parks in Madeira that this archipelago is referred to as the ‘floating garden of the Atlantic’. Explore the Quinta Magnolia, Monte Palace Tropical Garden, Santa Catarina Park, Quinta Palmeira, Quinta Vigia, and Garden of Indigenous Plants of Sao Vicente for their exotic blooms and charming plants.
Visit the Madeira Story Center for getting first-hand information on the islands’ formation, development, and human settlement. It is a fascinating experience. Throughout Madeira, there are about 30 beaches where you could indulge in water sports or just laze around. Lido, Ponta Gonda, Calhau da Lapa, Calheta, Porto Moniz, and Machico are among the renowned beaches. The Lido Promenade overlooking the Atlantic Ocean offers an invigorating escapade from the monotony of everyday schedule.
Hotels and Restaurant in Madeira
Madeira in Portugal takes care of your staying needs irrespective of preferences and budget. From luxury 5 star hotels to self-catering hostels, Madeira has a wide choice of accommodation. Among the 5 star hotels you might select from Tivoli Madeira, Hotel Classic Savoy, Royal Savoy Hotel Madeira, Quintas das Vistas Palace Gardens Hotel, and Melia Madeira Mare Hotel. For a 3 star rated hotel you could choose from Dorisol Florasol Hotel, Inn & Art Apartment Falesia, Dom Pedro Garajau Hotel, Dorisol Mimosa Hotel, and Dorisol Estrelicia Hotel. Each of these hotels has elaborate dining facilities to cater to your culinary demands.