The rare beauty of Madeira Island, a subtropical island situated in the North Atlantic ocean 700 kilometers off the coast of Morocco is part of an autonomous archipelago of Portugal. This tip of a dormant shield volcano exists as an exquisite, mountainous island radiating above crystal clear waters. Madeira holds perfect temperate conditions for a wide variety of outdoor activities from the sea to its vertiginous mountains. Known as the "Hawaii of Europe '', Madeira has temperate weather conditions compared to the rest of Europe with mild and subtropical temps, and water temperatures fluctuating between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius, a dream for any surfer.
I consider myself lucky to have been born in this island paradise, where I train as a waterman, and made my first passes at surfing and stand up paddling.
The beaches and rocky shores along Madeira’s coastline form tasty waves ranging between 0.5 meters to giant waves of over 10 meters tall. The west and northwest regions on the island are home to several of the world’s most renowned surf breaks which can range from intermediate to professional levels. Madeira has no outer reefs to slow bigger swells before landing on our beaches so should surfers beware these powerful breaks. Some spots include Faja da Areia, Ribeira da Janela, Contreiras, Ponta do Pargo, Jardim do Mar, Ponta Pequena and Paul do Mar. To find out more detail about Madeira's surf zones, check out: www.madeiraoceantrails.com
On the east and northeast areas of the island resides a different atmosphere with beautiful, sand bottom beach breaks that allow for more forgiving surfing conditions at Porto da Cruz and Machico. Both of these locations are wonderful places to explore the surf and spend the day upon the boardwalks and dining in the local restaurants.
Madeira is known to island travelers for its huge cliffs, and mountain trails with spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean’s cobalt blue waters. The beauty and drama of the landscape is surpassed only by the ever-present ocean available for a wide range of watersports activities. For waterlovers who enjoy a bit more serious aquatic adventure, Madeira offers optimal conditions for experiencing memorable stand up paddle excursions, from flat water paddling in calm waters to wind swept downwind excursions along the incredible coastline in view of giant waterfalls (in season), coastal towns and mountain cliffs that drop directly into the sea.
In addition to surfing and stand up paddling, Madeira also offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as our renowned levadas or hiking trails, the beauty of underwater snorkeling or scuba diving, extreme mountain biking for the truly adventurous and so much more. This is one island adventure that you don’t want to miss! Come to Madeira. You will want to return again and again.
For more information, visit the Madeira Promotion Bureau to help you with your travel needs.