For the sixth consecutive year, the prestigious World Travel Awards recognize the Portuguese archipelago as the best island destination
Madeira is the
best archipelago in the world
to spend a vacation.
This has been recognized by the jury of experts in tourism worldwide of the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA), recently held in a virtual ceremony.
The group of islands located in the middle of the Atlantic off the northwestern coast of Africa receives the distinguished award for the sixth consecutive year and joins the recognition of
the Best Island Destination in Europe
achieved this month.
Made up of eight islands, of which only the two largest (Madeira and Porto Santo) are inhabited, the Portuguese archipelago boasts not only being a refuge of natural beauty with two-thirds of its surface area protected, but also
dedication and the passion of its people to receive tourists
It is precisely the latter that has won the award: the empathy and local warmth that make those who visit Madeira feel at home.
One of the main tourist attractions of Madeira (in addition to its warm climate throughout the year) is its exuberant and varied vegetation, which combines tropical with Mediterranean characteristics, resulting in a spectacular landscape with all colors , including the deep blue of the Atlantic in the background.
Madeira Island Shutterstock
For lovers of nature and hiking, their island is Madeira.
About 30 km from Funchal, the capital, is the
Madeira Natural Park
, listed as a biogenetic reserve, with unique fauna and flora.
The enclosure encompasses about 2/3 of the island's territory and in it are defined a series of protected areas, land and sea, which include Ponta de São Lourenço, the Natural Reserve of the Desertas Islands, the Natural Reserve of the Islands Selvagens, the Partial Natural Reserve of Garajau, the Natural Reserve of Rocha do Navio and the Network of Marine Protected Areas of Porto Santo.
Hiking, diving, bird and whale watching.
Hiking, diving, bird and whale watching.
.. all this awaits the visitor to this island that also houses the largest area of laurifolian forest in Macaronesia, which UNESCO included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
Countless marked hiking trails run from top to bottom, with wonderful views of the mountains.
For the more daring, the climb to the peaks of Areeiro and Ruivo is recommended.
The protected reserve of Ponta de São Lourenço, a paradise for divers - Shutterstock
The turquoise waters of the Garajau Nature Reserve or the Desertas Islands, refuge of the monk seal, the rarest in the world, are a
paradise for divers,
while the Selvagens Islands, also uninhabited, are considered an ornithological sanctuary.
To visit these reserves, the best thing is to take a boat trip and, if you are lucky, you may be able to see some whales, dolphins, turtles ... (more information, www.visitmadeira.pt).
Those who want to enjoy golden sand beaches should go to Porto Santo, the other inhabited island of the archipelago (in Madeira the coastal area is characterized by cliffs, natural rocky pools and pebble beaches that recall the volcanic origin of the place) .
To get to Porto Santo, you can take a ferry from Funchal or also a small inter-island plane.
One of the most spectacular and popular beaches is
Cabeço da Ponta
, located about 4 km from the center of the Vila Baleira municipality, with numerous hotel complexes.
Its white sands are known for the therapeutic effect.
Cabeço da Ponta beach, on the island of Porto Santo, Shutterstock
Other beaches that you cannot miss are the
, southeast of Porto Santo, with warm waters,
the semi-desert beach of Cotrim
, in the north of the island, with crystal clear waters, or the family-friendly
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