12 reasons to visit Madeira
1. Mild and subtropical climate (average air and sea water temperatures between 18 and 24°C)
This wonderful climate allows you to fully enjoy the pleasures of the sea and nature. There will be plenty of opportunities to swim in volcanic pools, stretch out in the sunny beaches, take a boat trip to see whales or dolphins, hike to waterfalls, experience a mountain bike adventure or go canoeing in the heart of the Laurissilva Forest.
2. Short-haul flights from the main European capitals
Madeira Airport, or Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (named after Madeira’s biggest world star), offers regular air connections directly to major the European capitals such as London, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon or Porto. The duration of the flight is short, from 1 hour 30 minutes to Lisbon to approximately 3/4 hours to Paris, London or Berlin. It is prepared to receive any aircraft, meeting the most rigorous international security criteria. Also, landing in Madeira is an incredible experience, of a breath-taking beauty!
3. Spectacular and lush landscapes
Discovering the various corners of the island and its different landscapes is a true adventure. Explore forests, beaches, cities, mountains, gardens, nature reserves… in short, a diversity of incredible environments and at short distances from each other. Add different perspectives of sea, land or air and experiences multiply!
4. Laurissilva Forest - UNESCO Natural Heritage since 1999
Laurissilva is the name given to a type of subtropical humid forest, of prehistoric origin, composed of trees of the Lauraceae family, and present in some areas of Macaronesia, a region that includes the archipelagos of Madeira, Azores, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. It is on Madeira Island where it is most widespread, occupying an area of approximately 20% of the territory. It is also in this forest where waterfalls are found, irrigation channels that transport water from the highest and wettest areas to the driest regions, form-ing a set of incredible trails, highly sought after for the practice of different natural activities, such as hiking, trail running, and mountain biking or canoeing.
5 . Friendly and hospitable people
Thanks to the inhabitants’ joy and simplicity of the places, the atmosphere is friendly. Madeirans have a strong desire to help and master the art of welcoming. Visiting Madeira is like “feeling at home” from the very first minute, through a very characteristic hospitality that differentiates any trip to this destination.
6 . Variety of accommodation - from luxury hotels to rural tourism houses
There is a varied offer of accommodation, as well as the experiences provided by them (luxury hotels, with spa, for families, adults-only farms, ecological and historical). Because the selection is extensive and of high quality, you will be able to choose among the refined charm of traditional hotels, the innovation and authenticity of design hotels, the family welcome of rural tourism estab-lishments, or the charming mansions of Madeira “Quintas da Madeira”.
7. Rich cultural heritage
Madeira has 6 centuries of cultural heritage, which deserves special attention. In addition to being endowed with a rich heritage in relation to its buildings (churches, chapels, monuments and museums), there are several traditions and customs that are maintained today, and that can be experienced in first person, either daily (markets, historical districts and more rural settings), or in traditional events such as festivals and allegorical parades.
8. Excellent wines and local products
The gastronomic offer is diverse, with exotic and refined flavours, simple and generous, reflecting the soul of the Madeirans. The richness of the soils, strengthened by a subtropical climate, offers several local products (fish, meat, vegetables and fruits), although there is easy access to some international and gourmet products.
A meal may include dishes meticulously elaborated in a Michelin-starred restaurant, fresh fish by the sea, a kebab in a wine area, or a sandwich made with bolo de caco on the terrace of a bar in the historic centre of Funchal. Another experience worth a visit is to spend some time in a Madeira wine cellar or a wine-producing farm to taste the famous wine that is born in the mountains and by the sea of these blessed islands.
9. Outdoor activities: sea, mountain and air
Madeira’s climate allows for outdoor activities, almost 365 days a year. There are activities for all kids of tastes, to increase adrenaline or just for relaxing. Walking on the mountain trails (#themostbeautifultrailsintheworld) is one of the possibilities for those seeking a new challenge, in different settings. Canoe-ing is also a radical experience in high demand. You can also enjoy every moment in peace, walking around waterfalls, taking a boat trip, or diving to ob-serve marine life. In the air, paragliding is practiced to experience one of the greatest feelings of freedom.
10. Events throughout the year
Madeira is proud to present various events, literally throughout the year (from January to December), and on the most diverse topics: music, sports, gastronomy, among others. The Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival, Carnival, the Colombo Festival and the Wine Festival are some of the most popular events. They attract thousands of tourists, year after year, in search of joyous experiences, with a contagious energy that culminates on New Year’s Eve, with one of the largest fireworks in the world.
11. Porto Santo, one of the “7 Wonders - Portuguese Beaches”
In 2012, Porto Santo beach won the “7 Wonders – Portuguese Beaches” category in the “Dune Beaches” contest. This 9-kilometre beach has crystal clear waters bathing an extensive and continuous coast of fine golden sands, which are the origin of its name “Ilha Dourada”.
12. Madeira, 7 times the “Best Island Destination in the World”
It is an honour for Madeira to have received in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 the title of “Best Island Destination in the World” at the World Travel Awards™, which is another good reason (among other) why you must visit this wonderful destination.