Madeira Travel Information

Madeira Tourist Guide

The busy island of Madeira is an amazing display of natural beauty with its mountainous terrain and breathtaking cliffs along the coastline. The island is situated in the North Atlantic, approximately 535 miles southwest of Portugal. Claimed by the Portuguese in 1418, the island has developed into a major tourist destination. Famous for its Madeira wine, the island is also known for its exciting city, relaxed beaches, exotic fauna and spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks displays.

Funchal, the capital city, full of history and culture, which is located in the southwest area of the island, is a maze of narrow cobbled streets with a wealth of historic Portuguese architecture. There is a museum and art gallery as well as many historic buildings and monuments to see. Many fine restaurants, bars and caf├ęs line the streets to create an amazing atmosphere.

Madeira Tourist Attractions

Be sure to pay a visit to Funchal marina, home to many large boats from all over the globe. Cruise liners are often docked in the deep waters just off shore. The area is alive with people and activity and at night the lights of the city and surrounding areas are dazzling.

Madeira's landscape includes huge towering mountains with picturesque green fauna and spectacular waterfalls. The mountains are crossed with over 200 levadas, which are small water carrying canals. These were built by the first settlers to carry water to the farmlands. A main tourist attraction is the guided walks through the hills to view the levadas and unique fauna and flora. Views from the tops of the mountains are breathtaking.

Around 15 miles away is the second and equally beautiful Madeira island of Porto Santo. Here you will find an incredible four mile beach with sparkling blue waters and magnificent white sands that are said to have therapeutic properties. There is much to enjoy on Porto Santo with an array of activities available including horseback riding, snorkelling, fishing trips as well as golf and peaceful nature walks.

Transport Around Madeira

The Madeira International Airport is located in the main city of Funchal. Fights arrive daily from most major European cities. British Airways flies direct from London four times a week with the flight taking about four hours. Flying in from Portugal's capital, Lisbon, the journey takes around 1 hour, 30 minutes. From the airport, many taxis and shuttle buses are available for the 15-minute journey to town.