An archipelago some 360 miles off the coast of North Africa, the Madeira Islands found in Portugal with an exceptional climate and legendary natural beauty makes it one of the top chosen destinations worldwide. Set in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco, these Islands are four in number and they are; the Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. The Madeira and Porto Santo are the only inhabited islands among the four.
Madeira being the largest of the four, is regarded as the centre of cultural and civic life (and home to Funchal, the capital), while Porto Santo is regarded as the centre of beauty, possessing a beautiful six-mile-long beach that draws sun-loving tourists.
One thing you need to know about Porto Santo is that, this island is a perfect place for a family excursion because there are lots to do, fabulous accommodation and everything is geared for families! And as part of the Madeira Archipelago, Porto Santo is a safe and peaceful Atlantic island where you can enjoy a family holiday.
More so, the availability of water-sports throughout the year is an opportunity for the families to take part in sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing or water skiing or just swim in the clear waters of the ocean and guess what! Dining in Porto Santo is so cool, that’s why it is advisable not to miss out in the steak flambé or a kebab with fried corn at one of the island’s restaurants during a visit to the island. It’s truly delicious!
A visit to the Madeira on the other hand is one that would be filled with lot of adventures, not just because of its size but because this island is a paradise with a flourishing ecosystem. Known as the “Island of flowers”, Madeira has unforgettable sunsets, fantastic scenery and romantic restaurants. It is a perfect place for a romantic getaway where one can wander hand in hand through the Botanic Gardens or the Orchid Gardens, or take a stroll through the parks at Monte or Ribeiro Frio.
For sport lovers, the Island of Madeira is fascinating. With a permanent spring-like climate, this island is a perfect holiday destination for golf lovers and guess what! It is also the hometown of the 2008 FIFA world best player of the year- Christiano Ronaldo.
Now seen as the home of “Ronaldo”, the Madeira no longer has the image of a small rural community but a stunning all year round summer island destination that is in easy reach of most of Europe and is attracting a classier younger crowd who not only like to enjoy a night out but also love the spectacular drives and friendly people that can be found in abundance.
There is more to see in Madeira, and the Levadas (mountain irrigation channels) of the Caldeirão Verde is just one of it. It being an irrigation system for the whole Island makes it a “must see” to visitors. Another unique attraction is the Laurissilva Forest which boasts of trees such as the laurel and the white poplar, and birds such as the kestrel and the long-toed wood pigeon.
And that’s not all, one could also take the opportunity to plunge into the natural swimming pools at Porto Moniz or the Garajau Natural Reserve and hire a sailing boat for a romantic trip off the coast of Madeira.
One advice! Don’t leave this “floating garden” without toasting your journey with a glass of the famous Madeira wine at the Madeira Wine Institute. Why because? “Madeira” is a synonym for the renowned hearty wine, which has been spreading its name and the taste of its home island worldwide.
Madeira’s Nightlife, fine dining, water sports, perfect climate, and spectacular scenery, are a ‘must’ for the modern traveler and indeed an island of beauty, this destination is that one place where adventures and pleasures comes alive.