Some travelers go to Hawaii, while others go to the “Hawaii of Europe”. Either way, you’re destined to make lifelong memories in paradise.
While these two destinations have completely different cultures (and passport requirements), the European “Hawaii” is more of an adventure and well worth the journey.
As so many travelers are ready to embrace sunshine, sand, and crystal blue waters, there are few places on the planet more eye-popping than one of Portugal’s most treasured islands.
Since Madeira is breaking tourism records, “hidden gem” would be an overstep at this point in describing this trendy paradise.
No matter what you call Madeira, wintertime equals winter sun for travelers in need of a dreamy vacation.
Paradise In Every Which Way
Paradise is more than just a word in Jimmy Buffet songs; there are real-life places that don’t take 5 connecting flights to reach a remote island you’ve never even heard of.
Located south of mainland Portugal’s phenomenal cultural cities, Madeira is an easy-to-reach island paradise with incredible beaches and majestic mountains.
Yes, there are direct flights from the U.S. via Azores Airlines, making connectivity all the more appealing for an adventure to one of Europe’s most pristine destinations.
Madeira is a draw year-round, but the weather is splendid in winter, too, with average temperatures hovering in the high 60s throughout January and February.
Visitors to Madeira can enjoy the ocean breeze through its seemingly endless peaks and valleys reminiscent of Hawaii.
Although, you may want to brush up on Portuguese rather than Lion King songs.
Made For Exploring
While some of us want to handle life’s stresses by booking a vacation and doing absolutely nothing but lounge around, Madeira will draw you in to explore its wonders and charming towns.
Pack your hiking shoes along with your swimwear, and you will be all set. The island’s walking trails are a must, each with different levels of difficulty.
Known as levadas and veredas – these two different options will take you zigging and zagging through lush greenery, scenic coastal paths and mountain springs.
It sure beats shoveling your driveway back home, doesn’t it?
Fun In Funchal
Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, but it does have a capital. Vacationers can put the ‘fun’ in ‘Funchal’ by spending time in this picturesque town.
Travelers don’t have to venture off to Lisbon or Porto to get a sense of the country’s famous architecture; Funchal does it justice without having to step foot on the mainland.
The sights are amazing in and around town, such as the gorgeous Funchal Cathedral. For the best views, ride on the tramways to the top where you may not want to come back down.
But, when you’re inevitably back on the ground, you can head out for a night on the town with buzzing bars and laid-back wine cellars – one of many reasons digital nomads love to call Madeira home.
Oftentimes, the most beautiful places come with a premium price tag. That’s not the case for Madeira, which is a key reason why this island has gained so much attention recently.
How many paradisal locations can you stay in a 4-star hotel under $100? Not many, right? Then add Madeira to the exclusive list of budget stays at luxury accommodations.
And not just luxury accommodations – we’re talking beachfront stays overlooking otherworldly blue waters.
Some even offer all-inclusive packages, such as Hotel Riu and Calheta Beach, but these will cost a tad bit more.
Resorts aren’t limited to one area either; they are wrapped around the island from Funchal to Seixal.
It’s not just hotels where you get the best bang for your buck. The cost of living in Portugal is generally affordable across the board with Madeira following closely behind the rest of the country.
Wining and dining won’t break the bank and neither will public transportation. If digital nomads can afford this magical place for long-term stays, you can certainly handle a winter vacation.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.