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Located 1000km from the European continent and only 700km from the African cost, Madeira Archipelago is composed by Madeira island, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens, being all of them stage of countless and distinctive landscapes. Described as a floating garden, Madeira is a luxurious island of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mild subtropical climate, which is known by its natural therapeutic characteristics, and made Madeira one of the greatest European tourist destinations in the mid-twentieth century. With 57km long and 22 km wide, Madeira was discovered by Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419. Two-thirds of this autonomous region are part of the Natural Park, the demarcated region intended to preserve the richness and variety of its ecosystems. Here it is possible to visit the largest and most well-preserved area of Laurissilva, a forest with 20 million years. Nowadays, Laurissilva only exists in Macaronesia (Madeira, Azores, Canary Islands and Cape Verd). In Madeira, it was classified by UNESCO as human heritage site. Madeira Archipelago has a wide variety of activities that can be experienced and explored, that will enable the relaxation, putting away all the daily life problems and stress. It is the perfect get away spot.
Madeira is full of fun as we are a happy bunch! There is a variety of shows, festivals and exhibitions waiting for you! In addition to the natural attractions and year-round spring weather, there is always plenty to do in the Madeira Islands. Throughout the year, there are cultural, entertainment and sports events all over the island and they not only attract the local population but also make holidays unforgettable. The main events are the traditional Carnival, Flower Festival, Atlantic Festival, Wine Festival, Columbus Festival, New Year celebrations and the more recent Madeira Nature Festival.
Madeira Archipelago has a lot of activities and experiences to try during a visit to the islands. Most of these activities can be planned in hotels or through specialized agencies that will help you to make the most of your journey. This can go from outdoor activities, to relaxation and wellness experiences. You can enjoy a lot of unique moments, because in Madeira you are in a constant contact with nature. For Nature lovers, Madeira is the ideal destination for planning your active vacations. Also, there are different other things you can do, while in Madeira, such as visit cultural centres spread throughout the Island, appreciate the festive events that are part of our calendar, or simply enjoy our simple and nice city life. Here you can find more specific information about thing to do in Madeira Islands.
Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine

Madeira’s matchless soil and climate, the production process and the grape varieties used have made Madeira wine unique. Chosen to celebrate the independence of the United States on 4 July 1776, praised by Shakespeare in his plays and admired by monarchs, princes, generals and explorers, Madeira wine is certainly a treasure. It is appreciated all over the world and has more than five centuries of history. This ‘nectar of the gods’ is one of Madeira’s finest achievements. Just think about the Madeirans’ constructive spirit over the centuries, visible in the hand-tilled vineyards on small plots of land called poios, sometimes clinging to the mountain sides. There are more than 30 Madeira wine grape varieties, though the best are Sercial, Boal, Verdelho and Malvasia. The most well-known dry wine is made from Sercial grapes. This pale, strongly perfumed wine makes an ideal aperitif. Verdelho leads the medium dry wines. It is golden, delicate and quite perfumed and is the best one for drinking with meals. Boal is medium sweet, smooth, velvety, noble and dark gold in colour and goes well with roast meat or dessert. Between meals or with dessert, few can resist a Malvasia, a sweet, red, full-bodied, intensely perfumed wine. Connoisseurs of this ‘art’ should come to Madeira in September to see and participate in the Madeira grape harvest and its festival, a tribute to this age-old product that is recognised worldwide. Savour a glass and drink a toast to life with Madeira wine…

Madeiran gastronomy has been influenced by all the cultures that passed through the islands over hundreds of years and left their mark. Discover the regional flavours beginning with some typical starters: bolo do caco (similar to unleavened bread) with garlic butter, grilled limpets, tomato and onion soup or black scabbard fish roe, are just some of the treats you cannot miss. As a main course try the famous pork marinated in wine and garlic, or the legendary beef espetada, grilled on a skewer made from a laurel stick. And since you’re on an island, make the most of the fresh fish: sample the black scabbard fish fillet (espada), tuna steak with fried maize (atum com milho frito) or grilled wrasse (bodião). From typical restaurants to fine dining, in Madeira you’ll find traditional fare based on the freshest regional products as well as contemporary cuisine that reinvents them, using them in original and sophisticated ways. Restaurants are surely not what is missing in Madeira as they are abundantly spread all over the city of Funchal and the rest of the island. There are restaurants for all tastes, from the most modern and sophisticated eateries with international cuisine to regional restaurants and welcoming, traditional taverns.
After a long day of sightseeing you might feel like sit back and relax with a cup of coffee or tea. Madeira offers charming, small cafés where you can enjoy a pastry or local desserts such as rich honey cake or maze cake. There are also some cafés with outdoor seating where you can watch the world go by and enjoy awesome views in an unique environment.
Nightlife is mainly focused in the capital of Madeira Island, Funchal. Here it is possible to find and enjoy the biggest offer of bars, restaurants and nightlife entertainment of the city. “Zona Velha”, which stand for Funchal Old Town, is one of the main parts of the city with a very well-known street called “Rua de Santa Maria”. Here, the concentration of bars and restaurants brings the city up to live every day, fulfilling the street with enthusiasm and satisfaction, making it an enjoyable place to spend the night. “Zona Velha” is also known by the street art project called “Portas Pintadas” that consists in the decoration of the doors of the buildings in this area, giving it a singular aspect and unique and special touch. There are also another places, near to the main hotel area in Funchal, where it is possible to find a wide range of good restaurants and bars. Besides this, Madeira’s main discos and clubs, are also located in Funchal and are the stage of lots of nightlife enthusiasm and dancing. All of this nightlife animation is surrounded by a nice and secure environment, which is typical from the island.
The best-valued items are those produced locally like wickerwork, embroidery and tapestry. Madeira Wine is also an interesting item to buy, not only for wine lovers, it is one of the most popular buys and, although you can find it for sale in most towns across the island, it is in Funchal that you’ll find the wineries where you can taste before you buy. It is also possible to visit city market, known as Workers’ Market, located in Funchal near to the old town. This market is a picturesque place overflowing with Madeiran atmosphere, sprinkled by an amalgam of scents, fresh fruit, flowers and spices. The fish market is also in this same place. Here you can find all kinds of typical fish and seafood of the Island, such as black scabbard fish, tuna, limpets and wrasse. Perfect to experience all typical aromas and flavors traditional from the island. Other type of shopping, less related to traditional products, can be made in one of the shopping centres in Funchal city. Here you can find clothes and shoes stores, cosmetics, jewelry, electronics and supermarkets, among a wide variety of another products.
Madeira Islands are an unique spot by theirselves, but once in the islands you can visit fantastic places and enjoy incredible journeys that will amaze you. With awesome views and one of a kind places to visit, Madeira and Porto Santo are the perfect getaway spot, that will allow you to have unforgettable experiences.
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