Have you heard of Madeira, Portugal? It’s a beautiful archipelago (otherwise known as an island chain) off the coast of the North Atlantic, but near the Canary Islands and Morocco. By way of its unique location, Madeira, along with the Azores, make up the autonomous regions of Portugal. Here are five activities that you can do while you’re there:
Whale/Dolphin Siting Safari
Whales and dolphins are not animals seen daily in the U.S., but it’s quite a spectacle in Madeira. The island’s location makes them frequent visitors, and many species from the super rare Beaked Whale to the Spotted Dolphin call the area a visitation ground or home. Whale and Dolphin spotting can be an exciting or relaxing activity, but most importantly, a creative way to explore the region.
Levada Walking and Hiking
Madeira is composed of mountainous terrain, perfectly suitable for walking. The exciting part is that you have options for this feat, including a sprawling network of trails (known as vereda) or a scenic footpath that parallels a watercourse. Even more promising, the paths are easily accessible, walkable, and a fun way to explore the beautiful Madeiran landscape.
Madeira is a water sports fanatic’s dream – kayaking, canoeing, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing, paragliding, and snorkeling are on the list of activities that you can do while in Madeira. Being an island means you’ll get experienced operators and a rich, aquatic ecosystem to view while you’re having fun in the water.
Listen to Fado
Fado is a musical genre that is a Portuguese staple and has the distinct feature of “mournful” tones and sentimental yet melancholy lyrics. Many of the song lyrics involve the personification of the sea, lives of the impoverished, and existentialist fate, which are then comped by a Portuguese & Classical Guitar. Given the role of Fado in the culture, you’ll find plenty of performances wherever you go (but especially if you indulge in the nightlife scene), and it’s undoubtedly an experience you won’t want to miss.
Wine culture in Portugal is a little different than in the U.S, and consequently, you’ll be exposed to Madeira Wine quite often. Because it’s a fortified wine, the flavor profile is quite strong, and many locations will include tonic water and a fruit peel (lemon or orange), which adds some subtlety. Blandy’s Madeira, a local producer whose family’s winemaking tradition goes back to 1811, hosts tours of the production process that can also be a great attraction.
With these five activities and the many in-betweens, Madeira is a destination that’s a little off the beaten path. Still, it has many activities to keep you occupied, satisfied, and interested in this small Portuguese island. If this has piqued your interest, make sure to schedule a consultation, and we can build the perfect adventure for you!