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Madeira + Responsability

Did you know…

The island of Madeira was discovered in 1419 and began to be colonized in the following years. Sugarcane, introduced in the archipelago by the Infante D. Henrique, was one of the first major economic impulses for the region. In the 17th century, wine gained prominence and in the 19th century international tourism became popular. The island was visited mainly by Europeans for health reasons or with an interest in the region’s fauna and flora.

Of volcanic origin, the island of Madeira is about 57 km long and 22 km wide. Its capital is the city of Funchal, located in a natural bay on the south coast. The mountainous terrain of the island offers a great diversity of landscapes from high peaks (Pico Ruivo, the third highest in Portugal, with 1861 meters of altitude) and impressive cliffs, such as Cabo Girão, to deep valleys and the great plateau of Paul da Mountain range.

Cabo Girão1©Carlos Gouvia
Praia da Faja do Cabo Girão001©Nuno Andrade

Healthier Tourism

More than a challenge, it is the path.

Sustainable tourism takes into account the needs of visitors, the sector and communities, as well as their present and future environmental, economic and social impacts. Making proper use of the territory and its natural resources, respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of communities and ensuring that their economic activities are viable in the long term is an unavoidable point these days.

In Madeira, natural beauty is omnipresent. With the exception of urban centers, practically the entire island is a Natural Park… practically the entire island is a “natural spa” to be preserved and enhanced.

The Natural Park is an extensive protected area that covers about 2/3 of the island’s territory, that is, the equivalent of 67% of its surface. This area has high natural values ​​that constitute a relic worldwide and include some species at risk of extinction. An example is the Madeiran Nun (Pterodroma madeira), an inspiring symbol of our logo, one of the most endangered seabirds in the world that occurs exclusively on Madeira Island, with the conservation status “Endangered”. It lives exclusively at sea, only coming ashore during the breeding season, between late March and mid-October, when they can be heard at nightfall when they return to their nests.

In addition to the wealth of biodiversity in the Madeira archipelago, there is a great diversity in terms of geodiversity, which, as a testament to the past, must be known and preserved in the present and transmitted and safeguarded for the future.

It also includes spaces with considerable cultural value, of which we highlight the protected landscape areas and some rural areas, where agricultural activities carried out on terraces have left an imprint on the landscape the effort of centuries of human occupation and where, along with a rich and diversified built heritage, we can find rural knowledge transmitted orally from generation to generation.

With 6 centuries of history, Madeira is the guardian of a rich cultural heritage. The offer is vast and of great quality, from beautiful buildings such as churches and chapels, through the artistic interest of the monuments to the traditional museums and cultural centers, which present heritages from various origins. They are starting points for a journey into the past.

The intangible cultural heritage is equally rich, from festivals and pilgrimages, tales and songs, folklore, arts and know-how, traditional gastronomy, among others.

The preservation and enhancement of the environment and natural heritage and our cultural heritage is no longer an option. Since tourism represents more than a third of Madeira’s wealth and employment, around 37% of the region’s GDP, reconciling Tourism and Respect for the preservation of our heritage is a matter for all of us!

Tourism + Conscious + Healthy + Responsible + Sustainable in favor of the preservation and conservation of the authenticity of the destination, of its environmental, socio-economic and cultural heritage is the way.

Reasons to visit the Pearl of the Atlantic

Mild and subtropical climate: the average temperatures of air and sea water between 18 and 24º C allow you to fully enjoy the pleasures of nature. Swim in volcanic pools, sunbathe on the pebble, black or golden sand beaches, take a boat trip to see whales or swim with dolphins, walk along the levadas or experience a mountain biking or canyoning adventure in the heart of the Laurissilva Forest are some of the options.

Privileged location, close to the biggest European capitals: Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport offers regular air connections directly to the main European capitals. Flight duration is short and ranges from 1h30 minutes to Lisbon to around 3/4 hours to Paris, London or Berlin.

Luxuriant landscapes: discovering the various corners of the island and its different landscapes is a real adventure. Exploring the forest, beaches, mountains, peaks and plateaus, gardens, nature reserves, trails and paths, royal paths and levadas, cliffs, cliffs and “fajãs”… it’s breathtaking.

Laurisilva Forest: A UNESCO Natural Heritage Site since 1999, Laurissilva is the name given to the subtropical humid forest, of prehistoric origin, composed of trees of the lauraceae family and present in some areas of Macaronesia – a region that includes the archipelagos of Madeira, the Azores , the Canaries and Cape Verde. In Madeira, the endemic Laurissilva forest occupies an area of ​​about 20% of the territory.

Levadas: it is in the Laurissilva forest that the Levadas are found, irrigation channels that transport water from the higher and humid areas to the drier regions. Which transports water from the North to the South of the Island.

Welcoming and hospitable people: Madeirans are a friendly and welcoming people, who naturally master the art of hospitality.

Variety of accommodation: there is a varied offer of accommodation. Luxury hotels with history, city and country, with spas, for families, adults-only, eco-friendly, for digital nomads, businesses, congresses and traditional farms. All-inclusive resorts, boutique hotels, lifestyle hotels or more oriented towards gastronomic experiences, leisure and wellness tourism.

Rich cultural heritage: Madeira has 600 years of cultural heritage and, in addition to being endowed with a rich built heritage, there are several traditions and customs, which remain today, and which can still be genuinely lived and experienced.

Excellent wines and local products: the gastronomic offer is varied, with exotic and refined flavors, simple and generous, a reflection of the soul of the Madeirans. You can choose between dishes prepared in a Michelin-starred restaurant, fresh fish, limpets and snails by the sea, a homemade picnic at one of the many forest viewpoints, a skewer on a bay leaf with fried corn in a winery area or a meat sandwich from the vineyards. -garlic in the market. The variety of fruits in the region is immense, with an emphasis on custard apple, guava, banana, papaya, cherry and avocado pears. Many of the most characteristic flavors of the archipelago have been made for hundreds of years, taking advantage of raw materials that are abundant in the region, such as fennel candies or poncha, and end up being also testimonies of the history, culture and traditions of the Madeirans. . A journey to regional flavors, local products and cultural memories of the land.

International awards:

Madeira is one of the most awarded tourist destinations in Europe by the World Travel Awards, which since 2013 have not distinguished it only once in the category of Best Island Destination in Europe. The same awards also elect Madeira as the Best Island Destination in the World since 2015. Until 2021, the archipelago has already won 14 distinctions in the European Best Destinations. These include first prize in the safest destination to travel category in 2021. The awards won by Madeira in recent years mostly recognize the quality of infrastructure and services associated with tourism, but there are also some more specific distinctions, such as the 2020 UNESCO award for the Porto Santo Biosphere Reserve, or recognition in 2019 as the world’s best emerging golf destination.

What to see and do?

More sophisticated or simple, sensorial, immersive and sustainable proposals that awaken the senses, connect with the whole and preserve the environmental, socio-economic and cultural heritage. Unique and diversified proposals that allow you to “taste” the island in an authentic and responsible way. Be, for a few days, a local! Proposals full of adrenaline, others slow and traditional, more modern and original, or more cultural and scientific, there are many options.

Discover the city of Funchal on foot: stroll through Praça do Município, where you can visit the Paços do Concelho and Colégio dos Jesuítas. Visit the Cathedral (16th century) and explore the old part of the city, a place par excellence for nightlife, where you will also find the painted doors, the Capela do Corpo Santo and its square, the colorful Mercado dos Lavradores or the Palácio de São Lawrence. Stroll along Avenida do Mar, walk along the city pier and the marina to Praça CR7.

Multicolored gardens: the Botanical Garden has more than three thousand varieties of plants from different parts of the world, with emphasis on endemic species. It is also worth visiting the Municipal Garden, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, the Quinta do Palheiro or Quinta Palmeira Gardens.

Breathtaking views: Cabo Girão is the highest in Europe, with 580 meters that form a viewpoint with a suspended glass platform, for the most courageous. The Balcões Viewpoint, where it is possible to observe the highest peaks of the island, the Eira do Serrado Viewpoint, overlooking the immense valley of Curral das Freiras.

Unique beaches: the natural pools of Porto Moniz and Seixal are incredible. For those who want to spread their towel on the sand, there are options such as Praia da Calheta, Prainha, Machico or Seixal. Pebble beaches are an adventure.

Playing Golf: golf has a tradition in Madeira and is part of international competition circuits. In Madeira there are two courses, Palheiro Golf and Santo da Serra Golf Club, with 18 and 27 holes. In Porto Santo, there is an 18-hole course, designed by player Severiano Ballesteros.

Outdoor activities: The climate allows for outdoor activities, practically all year round. There are activities for all tastes, radical, moderate and relaxing. At sea, in the air and on land. Diving, swimming with dolphins, surfing, sport fishing, sunset on a yacht, paragliding, hiking on beautiful recommended routes, incredible paths and levadas, canyoning, trail circuits, mountain biking, off road jeep tours, viewpoints routes, pic nics in the forest or on the cliff, watching the sunrise on the peaks accompanied by fabulous homemade breakfasts, team building and team bonding in the forest, group coaching in nature, yoga and meditation in the fanal surrounded by centenarians Tis, getting off the basket cart , discover the island’s fajãs, among other multiple possibilities.

Events and festivities: Madeira is always celebrating and presents different events throughout the year with a wide range of themes; pyrotechnics, musicals, sports, gastronomy, among others. The Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival, Carnival, the Nature Festival, the Columbus Festival and the Wine Festival are some of the most popular events that culminate in the Christmas festivities and the New Year’s Eve, with one of the biggest fireworks in the world.

Museums: the offer of museums in Madeira is extensive and varied. In these spaces you can get to know almost all aspects of the culture and traditions of the region. From sugar cane farms to wine production, passing through whaling, everything is documented. There are museums dedicated to ethnography, sacred art or contemporary art, the natural history of the region and photography. You can also find spaces dedicated to more specific and contemporary themes, such as the 3D Fun Art Museum. The CR7 Museum is another option. The island where Cristiano Ronaldo was born was the place chosen by the player to share the successes of his football career. Trophies, fan mail and interactive experiences await fans of the Portuguese player in Funchal, who keeps his five golden balls and trophies there.

Fauna and flora: we can find an extremely rich fauna. In Laurissilva, the avifauna shows a high rate of endemism. The wood pigeon, the bis-bis, the chaffinch, the blackbird, the papinho, the lavender, the manta and the kestrel, the shearwater and the black soul, among others, stand out. In the flora of Madeira, the Laurissilva Forest deserves special attention. This is an endemic formation of Macaronesia, the only UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in Portugal. Laurissilva is characterized by large trees, mostly belonging to the Lauraceae family such as tilde, laurel, mahogany and barbusano.

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