Cristiano Ronaldo is Madeira’s most famous son, and despite his supersonic football career, he’s never forgotten his roots. Mind you, given how jaw-droppingly beautiful Madeira is, that’s hardly surprising. Lying southwest of Portugal (it’s officially an autonomous region of Portugal) and above the Canary Islands, this volcanic, subtropical island is ringed with reefs, and carved through with jagged mountains, valleys and ravines draped in lush vegetation.
Madeira is a joy to wander through, dotted with isolated villages, fishing communities and stunning natural features, many connected by water courses you can walk along.
Madeira vacations usually begin in the picturesque capital, Funchal, where you can join a boat cruise out to seek whales and dolphins or dive into the wine and coffee culture, before heading further afield around the dramatic coastline and into the interior. This is an exceptional place for walking, and with superb snorkelling, sea kayaking and biking, families will also find it easy to fall for this island. Read on in our Madeira travel guide.