Located off Africa’s west coast close to the Canary Islands, Madeira is a popular year-round destination for a relaxing sun holiday. Affectionately nicknamed the “floating garden” or the “Pearl of the Atlantic”, Madeira is astonishingly beautiful, its rolling hills dotted with lush green forests and deep river valleys. Madeira is actually most famous for its countryside, and mostly attracts hikers and those who love the outdoors.
Madeira’s a peaceful island, but there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy on your holiday. Manmade Calheta Beach offers a variety of watersports, and for golf fans, there are several courses with beautiful sea views. A unique attraction in Madeira is the intersecting network of levadas which cover the island, small channels that collect water but also serve as guidelines for walkers on hiking trails.
As a province of Portugal, Madeiran cuisine has a lot of very distinct Portuguese and Mediterranean influences. Mealtimes are very much a family event and a lot of dishes are prepared with sharing in mind; traditional picada, a dish of small pieces of grilled beef together with garlic, red peppers and potatoes or french fries, was designed to be shared by families eating from one large plate.