A relative unknown to many tourists, magical Madeira is actually one of the best travel destinations on the planet. A tiny gem of an island set dramatically in the annual subtropical Atlantic sunshine, it’s a place bursting with life, colour and adventure.
Rising dramatically out of the ocean in a shroud of boiling clouds and steam, the volcanic Portuguese island offers incredibly dramatic scenery and plunging sea cliffs, black sand beaches and rushing waterfalls in lush forest, and an interior that attracts hikers from all over the world.
For those who prefer the slower pace of life, Madeira still provides experiences from wine tasting in one of the many picturesque vineyards, strolling through impossibly idyllic villages and botanical gardens, to lying on an empty stretch of beach under the clear blue skies.
However, Madeira’s main attraction lies in its secret heart of plunging canyons and rugged mountains, all of which hide winding trails that make for some of the best exploring in Europe – and indeed the world.