The Madeira Islands offer favorable conditions for culinary tourism, wine tasting tours, golf tourism and recreation. They are ideal for those seeking exciting forest eco routes, and are an amazing place to go with friends or just to enjoy the beautiful nature alone. The deep blue waters around the islands offer excellent surfing and diving opportunities. Here you will find unforgettable, vibrant and colorful festivals, but also calm and idyllic places for people who seek out solitude. Although it is only a step away from Europe, and it offers a variety of great entertainment, the archipelago is still a little-known tourist destination.
Madeira is a small archipelago. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 430 kilometers north of the Canary Islands and approximately 640 km west of Morocco.
It occupies a total area of 801 square kilometers, and consists of one large island (Madeira) and several smaller islands (Porto Santo, Desertas Islands and other small rocky islets). The archipelago is an autonomous region within the borders of Portugal.
The islands of Madeira are inhabited already almost 6 centuries, and the majority of the population consists of immigrants from Portugal and North Africa.
Today the archipelago of Madeira is home to about 270,000 people, but they are very unevenly distributed. Madeira is the most populous island, followed by the island of Porto Santo, although it is discovered earlier, and the Desertas Islands are completely uninhabited.
The archipelago is also home to an increasing number of foreigners moving here because of the mild climate.
Many elderly people from Germany, Britain and Scandinavia choose to spend here their golden years after retirement, since the islands are a place which offers a lot of tranquility.
The archipelago of Madeira is famous for its natural beauty and great diversity of landscapes. The islands differ significantly from one another.
For example, the large island of Madeira is famous for its high mountains, picturesque landscapes and ancient rainforests, while the island of Porto Santo is well known for its dry and sunny weather, scarce vegetation and golden sandy beaches.
The Desertas Islands, harsh, rocky and isolated, are quite different from all the other islands. They represent an almost completely devoid of vegetation brown and barren desert of rocks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The archipelago of Madeira is actually the peak of a large volcano that rose from the ocean floor about 20 million years ago.
The last volcanic eruption happened relatively recently, about “only” 6500 years ago. If you are planning to visit the island during your next holiday, you will find that the traces of its volcanic past are everywhere.
The archipelago of Madeira is blessed with very mild subtropical climate with a strong oceanic influence.
Since it is located not far north of the Canary Islands, you will find that the climate of Madeira is strikingly similar to that of the Canaries, but with the difference that each month is about 3°C cooler.
Temperatures on the islands range between 18°C in winter to about 25 – 27°C in summer. However, the different islands and different altitudes experience different types of climate.
For example, Madeira normally enjoys higher winter temperatures in comparison with Porto Santo. The Desertas Islands are dry, while the north coast of Madeira is very humid and rainy.
Sometimes in July and August are possible southeast winds and short periods with temperatures up to 35 – 40°C.