Madeira is a whole archipelago, consisting not only of the two large islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, but also of a large number of small uninhabited islands. It is located about 700 km west of the African coast and 1000 km south of Portugal. All tourists note that going here is for a real vacation - “complete relaxation” is available here, surrounded by wonderful nature, beauty, silence and unusually clean air. There are not many beaches on the island, but there are balneological centers near the ocean and special ladders for descending into the water.
One of the main fans of Madeira are lovers of fishing and hunting in the autumn, golf and trekking, windsurfing and diving. Tennis and horseback riding are very popular. Local restaurants offer the world-famous original Madeira and delight with excellent cuisine. And, of course, the famous thalassotherapy salons, for which people come here from all over the world.
The most visited city and the heart of the island is Funchal, where most tourists stay. From the capital, located on the south coast, roads lead to anywhere in Madeira. There are also worldwide car rental companies such as Bookingauto where you can rent a car and visit a maximum of interesting places. For example, Camara di Lobos, which became widely known thanks to W. Churchill, has a memorial sign with the image of the Prime Minister at the easel right on the road. You should definitely visit the resorts of the west coast - Ribeira Brava with a beautiful observation deck, Ponta do Sol, where the ancient Church of Our Lady of Matrizh is located, and the town of Calheta with the best beaches and a lighthouse. Not only Churchill was engaged in drawing in Madeira, but also other artists, in particular, Karl Bryullov painted several portraits and watercolors here.
The resorts of the eastern part are Caniço, where the statue of "Cristo Rei" rises, Caniçal with the Whale Museum, Santa Cruz and Machico. Tourists go to the North to see the triangular houses of the islanders in Santano, admire the highest waterfall in Porto Moniz and swim in the lava pools there. In the center of the island, from the Encumeada pass, you can view the north and south sides at once, as well as visit the Curral das Freiras valley in the crater of an extinct volcano.
If in the south the coast is protected from the wind and the ocean waters are more or less calm, then in the north you can observe the Atlantic in all its glory.
The island of Porto Santo, which is part of the archipelago, is very similar to Madeira, but differs in that it is worth going here for a beach holiday - an excellent sandy beach 9 km long is at the disposal of tourists and local residents. It is just in 2 hours by ferry. There is nothing here but hotels, the small town of Porto Santo and harsh, after the colorful Madeira, nature. It is always quiet and calm here.
However, the small islands of the archipelago are also worth visiting, because there is a national reserve with a wide variety of flora and fauna, where representatives of the endangered species of pinnipeds live - monk seals.
To see all the local beauties, you will need a car, so it makes sense to rent one right at the airport. You can rent it from the local Bookingauto Madeira car hire. You will get the maximum pleasure from car trips around the island.
The road surface is good, there are serpentines, but, according to experts, they are not critical. Taking into account the local terrain, it is better to take a car with a manual transmission - it is better to go uphill and downhill, and less motion sickness. There are no problems with parking - there are paid and free options. In some paid parking lots, you can park for free on Saturdays after 13:00, Sundays and holidays. In order not to be mistaken, it is always worth reading the information on the parking meters.
Why everyone should go to Madeira
Madeira is called the island of eternal spring - the air temperature here almost all year round fluctuates around +18 Celsius. This is not a very good place for a noisy youth holiday - there are no driving parties or world-famous discos here. But those who come here to relax will certainly come back again and again.
One of the main tourist attractions of Madeira is its rich and varied vegetation. The warm climate attracts tourists all year round. There are excellent conditions for a measured rest, for sports, SPA-procedures, walks along local attractions - levadas or mountain biking.
Madeira blooms all year round - orange, blue, purple, yellow carpets cover the fertile land. Madeira is very rich in various botanical gardens and green parks. The most popular on the island are the Orchid Garden and Monte Palace Garden. In addition, Madeira hosts a flower festival. A variety of types and shades delights guests of the holiday.
The ocean is able to give simply unforgettable emotions to every tourist. There are opportunities for full-fledged windsurfing, diving, sailing, and fishing. It is worth taking into account that even in winter the water in the ocean is warmed up to 18-19 degrees. Here you can find sandy and pebble beaches, convenient descents to the water, many berths in order to go on a sea voyage.
Here you can enjoy delicious dishes from completely local products. The basis of local cuisine is, of course, seafood. Please note that there are a lot of fish restaurants in Funchal and in other parts of the island, and the fish and seafood there are always the freshest and therefore extremely tasty. Meat is excellently cooked here, in a variety of forms. Of the local dishes, tourists are recommended to try espetada - pieces of beef grated with salt and garlic, fried on coals.
It is also a paradise for vegetarians, because bananas, cherries, strawberries, peaches, passion fruit and other goodies are grown on the island, harvesting several crops a year. There are also several specialties that are grown only and exclusively in Madeira.
You can't leave the island without trying the famous Madeira. This is a very tasty local wine. Madeira is dry, semi-dry, sweet and semi-sweet, its taste is very dependent on the aging period, as well as on the grape variety from which it was made. The island has huge vineyards and several Madeira factories at once, each of which has its own traditions and history
The captain of the Portuguese national football team, the champion of Europe, the Champions League is the most famous native of Madeira. Here they are very proud of him and emphasize in every possible way that he is from Madeira. In the capital of the island - Funchal, not so long ago a museum was opened that stores his numerous trophies, and even stay at the hotel that bears his name - "Pestana CR7".