Nestled in the heart of the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Africa, Madeira is a captivating blend of majestic mountains, lush slopes, rich culture, and endless visual mojo. Almost nothing is flat, which has created a transportation challenge that resulted in Madeira becoming an engineering MARVEL. The Island is known as Swiss Cheese by the number of “holes” in its volcanic rocks. There are more than 150 unique individual tunnels that cut the mountain – a staggering number to think about. Getting around the island is a breeze where once it was trecherous to just get eggs at the market.
Many more tunnels are levadas which are aqueducts used for agricultural irrigation. They gather the water of mountain streams and also, during rainy periods, they transport even larger amounts of water across the island.
We stayed in 3 locations – Reid’s Palance (dreamy), Saccharum (hedonist design resort) and the Savoy Palace (stunning architecture and amenities) – and all were unique and well recommended – especially the personal touch and lost-in-time vibe of the Reid’s palace. You must experience tea time at 3pm and cocktail hour on the patio overlooking the resort and coastline. You can rent a car and cover the island over for a week or more.
The Reid’s Palace also made you feel like you were inside Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel with the striking pink color palette and old-world architecture.
Here are the Instagram tags for those who can help you plan your trip:
Here are some of the restaurants we visited and recommend: Atlantic, Forad’Oras, Socalco (reserve a table overlooking the town below)
Madeira is a rich little universe of rough mountains & lush slopes slapped by Atlantic breakers off the coast of Africa -FORBES
Hiking along ancient levadas, you’ll find yourself immersed in waterfall paradise. 🌿🚶♂️However, hiking Pico do Arieiro was truly mind-blowing with dramatic mountain scenery of the interior of Madeira. You are literally hiking above the clouds for the majority of the walk. This is a serious hike with a 4-7 hour time investment – but very worth it for the adventure seeker/athlete. From tropical greenery to dramatic cliffs, this island is a jaw-dropping offering of breathtaking views of the Atlantic that will leave you speechless.
Here is an excellent and robust FORBES article outlining many more details about Madeira Island to help plan your trip: FORBES Article
Now, for the visual essay, enjoy! Also – watch the Instagram reel on this page below with an incredible soundtrack by Hei$t, “Hey Love” – and please leave me a comment below on Instagram link, thanks!
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