Some 360 miles off the coast of northern Africa you’ll find the archipelago known as Madeira, Portugal. This paradise is fraught with floral and fauna of varying exoticness, and a deep green color splashes the topography. With almost 100 miles of of coastline, Madeira surprisingly has a bit of a beach crunch, considering the jagged cliffs push right up against the ocean in many places. Along the northern coast you’ll find natural swimming pools, seemingly carved into the island by an artist.
For the adventurous, test your mettle by hiking up the highest summit, Pico Ruivo. On the way you’ll encounter waterfalls, thermal pools, and ravines.
Fun fact - the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Madeira as having the largest fireworks celebration in the world. New Year’s is a massive party in this region, try to plan your trip because of, or around, that depending on your idea of fun.
Madeira: Whether you’ve heard of the famous Madeira wine or not, you should make it a point to sample many of the brands on the island. There are more than 30 different grape varieties, why not visit during the Madeira wine festival in September and enjoy them all?
Porto Santo: Flat sand, light blue water, you might as well be in the Caribbean when you’re visiting beautiful Porto Santo. Escape from your stressful life in Porto Santo with rounds of golf, spa treaments, and outdoor activities.
Funchal: Birthplace of soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo located within Madeira. Oh you need more reason than that to visit? Funchal offers historic churches, artwork, and architecture since it is the oldest city on the island.
Staying in a vacation rental on the Madeira Islands is probably your best bet for lodging. That way you can experience the area as a local would, on-the-ground and in the neighborhoods. Escape out your back door and over a sand dune to enjoy a secret beach. Enjoy the privacy and amenities of home while exploring this gorgeous area of the world.