The sub-tropical archipelago of Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal and a beautiful retreat for those looking for a truly relaxing experience. Known as the ‘islands of eternal spring’, it enjoys a mild climate all-year round and can be visited throughout the year.
Due to the distance from mainland Portugal, visitors may feel as though they have discovered a truly untouched island of Europe and enjoy a much simpler way of life than can be found on the mainland.
Perfect for driving through urban centres a hatchback is an ideal and fuel efficient choice for Madeira.
Hiking is a popular pastime in Madeira thanks to their nature reserves spanning a great amount of the island. There are wonderful panoramic views of the Atlantic, unusual plant life and incredibly interesting rock formations.
Golf is also popular for many here, with three major golf clubs open for enjoyment. The grounds are world-class, while the surrounding views make it quite the unique experience.
Water sports can be enjoyed on these islands across the coast line, with organised snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing on offer for both beginners and those with a little more experience.
Finally, for those who wish to get truly in touch with nature, there is no greater way to experience the island than on horseback. Travelling across the country with a horse can open up much more than can be seen on foot.
Road conditions in the island vary wildly, meaning some roads are in excellent condition while others will pose a challenge to less experienced drivers.
The roads outside of the main towns can endure very strong winds along with being very steep; drivers should check weather conditions before setting out on a long journey.
Petrol stations are rare throughout the island, so drivers should aim to keep a spare canister of petrol with them at all times when driving outside of towns.
Madeira International Airport is located around 30 minutes from the main town of Funchal; however, airlines may visit a smaller airport based in Porto Santo. There is a boat service offered by the airport that will transport visitors to the main island, which is a short trip.