By: Susan M. Keenan

Port in fishing village Camara de Lobos on south coast of Madeira island.

The island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal, is a beautiful spot to live or visit. Offering lots of water sports and warm sands, this island has become a popular tourist destination.

Brimming with beaches in the midst of a clear blue ocean, Madeira is a gorgeous archipelago that offers an exciting spot for
a getaway for the weekend or a full week’s vacation. Lots of water sports are available for those individuals who love the water including sailing, jet skiing, parasailing, and jet skiing. Funchal Marina is an excellent spot to stop by for the rentals
needed to enjoy these sports.

While the coastline of Madeira offers an opportunity to tread warm, sandy shores, a cruise that takes one out to the sea along the coast of the island is an exciting day’s adventure. While on the cruise, visitors can fish, sunbathe, and even swim. Plus, there’s a chance to spot dolphins or whales for an exciting photographic opportunity.

Although the sea is calm on many days, the opportunity for surfing is one that beckons to more adventurous individuals. Surfing is one of the newest activities on the island, so it’s a great time to get in on the fun. The coastline along Paul do Mar, Ponta Pequena, and Jardim do Mar offers great conditions for riding the waves. All of these locations are conveniently
located near each other.

The island features lush, semi-tropical foliage and several botanical gardens. Volcanic peaks add to the beauty of Madeira
as they rise up almost 2 meters into the sky, dropping back sharply into the ocean. The port of Funchal is the main town on
the island. From this location, visitors can travel to other popular spots along the coastline.

Hiking among the irrigation canal levada in laurel forest.

Accommodations and Swimming Pools

Hotel accommodations provide a varied assortment of options, offering something for every kind of taste from budget to expensive to cosmopolitan to rural to historical and more. For those guests who enjoy a touch of history with their vacations, the Quinta das Vinhas offers a nice place to stay among gorgeous vineyards. Other options include the Avenue Park apartments, the Quinta Freitas, and the Casa do Papagaio.

Although most of the hotels on the island feature swimming pools, other spots are available for swimming as well. In fact, no one should leave Madeira without at least visiting the natural swimming pools at Porto Moniz. These pools have been carefully carved right out of the rock. Plus, the salt water swimming pool complex of Lido is quite popular among visitors.

Hiker on PR1 Pico do Arieiro – Pico Ruivo trail Stairway to Heaven Madeira Portugal


Madeira’s climate is so warm and mild that it draws tourists and locals to it in the hundreds. The summers here are warm and comfortable- perfect weather for outdoor activities. Plus, the winters are pleasantly mild, also offering a reason behind this island’s popularity. As the warm waters of the Gulf Stream help to give Madeira its lovely weather, the sea temperature is not much warmer than the temperature of the air. The month of March provides the coolest waters as well as the coolest temperatures.

As with most geographic locations, the weather is variable from any given day to another with moderate rainfall occurring throughout the year.

The harbour at Madeira isalnd.