Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Atlantic”, Madeira is a subtropical Portuguese archipelago that lies off the north-west coast of Africa. It features two inhabited islands - Madeira and Porto Santo - which are famed for their rugged natural landscapes and wild beaches.
Marvel at the red-hued volcanic cliffs that dominate the Ponta de São Lourenço, which offers spectacular panoramas across the Atlantic Ocean from its hiking trails. On the south coast of Madeira is the Cabo Girão Skywalk, a glass-floored platform that overhangs the cliffs for vertigo-inducing views.
You can discover Porto Santo’s maritime history at the Christopher Columbus House Museum, which occupies the explorer's former home in the capital of Vila Baleira. Stretching to the south-west is Porto Santo Beach (one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal) while sweeping vistas are on offer from the summit trails of Pico de Ana Ferreira.
Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport near Funchal is the main aviation gateway to Madeira, with regular flights connecting from here to Porto Santo Island. Ferries travel from Portimão and Las Palmas to Funchal and cruise to Porto Santo. Buses travel around the islands while having your own vehicle gives you greater freedom to explore.