Discover Madeira: Islands, Awards, And Global Connections

The Madeira Islands, situated within one of Portugal’s regions, are an essential destination for any cruiser. These lush islands are nestled in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, just over 300 miles from the Canary Islands. Visitors to this archipelago can anticipate encountering stunning mountain vistas, breathtaking green landscapes, captivating ocean panoramas, and delectable cuisine influenced by Mediterranean flavors and Madeira’s traditional dishes. If you’d like to learn more about the Madeira Islands and why you should add this destination to your bucket list, keep reading. 

Voted Europe’s Best Cruise Destination In 2022

In stiff competition with stunning port destinations like Monte Carlo, London, Kotor, Athens, Dubrovnik, Barcelona, Nice, Rome, and Oslo, Madeira proudly claimed the title of champion at the 2022 World Cruise Awards. As reported by the Portugal News, the 2022-2023 season witnessed an impressive 104% increase in passenger arrivals at Madeira’s ports. Madeira is nominated for Europe’s Best Cruise Destination at the World Cruise Awards again this year. The voting for this season is now open and will conclude on September 15, 2023. To cast your vote, click on this link to register to vote. 


From September 6-8, 2023, APRAM and the Ports of Madeira will participate in the Seatrade Convention held in Hamburg, Germany. This convention gathers exhibitors from across the globe that can visit Madeira’s Ports in Cruise Portugal and Cruise Atlantic Stands. Attendees can look forward to engaging with industry experts representing renowned brands like AIDA, Tui Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and others while discussing the allure of Madeira Ports as a destination. 

The Madeira and Porto Santo Islands rank among the world’s most idyllic destinations. Every cruiser should consider seeking an itinerary that includes these ports stops. With its inviting climate and renowned wine, Madeira offers an ideal retreat for visitors seeking relaxation amidst natural beauty and luxury. If you have visited this beautiful destination, consider casting your vote for Europe’s Best Cruise Destination by September 15, 2023. To learn more about Madeira, visit this link

Must-See Spots On The Islands 

Porto Moniz

To truly immerse yourself in the culture and unspoiled beauty of Madeira, we recommend a visit to Porto Moniz, situated in the northmost part of the island. Porto Moniz is renowned for its historic parishes, natural pools carved into volcanic rock, and the rich biodiversity of the Laurissilva Forest. In this charming destination, you’ll find numerous local restaurants offering opportunities to savor authentic Madeiran cuisine, often featuring locally caught fish. 

Cabo Girão

On the southern coast of the island, in Câmara de Lobos, adrenaline enthusiasts can discover Cabo Girão, Europe’s highest sea cliff and the second highest sea cliff in the world. Only 25 minutes from Funchal, this attraction is easily accessible for cruisers. Brave souls can ascend 580 meters to a glass platform, affording breathtaking views of Câmara de Lobos and the entire Madeira archipelago. For the truly daring, Cabo Girão also presents opportunities for base jumping and paragliding! Make sure to carry a few Euros, as there is a 2.00€ entrance fee during the peak tourism months. 

Nossa Senhora da Conceição Chapel 

Madeira is famous for its profound religious heritage, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts. Built in 1420, the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Chapel (Chapel of Our Lady of Conception) stands proudly in the Camara de Lobos, close to the bay. We highly recommend a visit to this chapel to appreciate its exquisite Neoclassical exterior architecture. The chapel’s interior boasts a baroque style, featuring an intricately gilded altar and a collection of paintings by the famed artist Nicolau Ferreira. In 1993, this chapel was officially designated as a site of cultural significance by the Regional Governor of Madeira. 

Machico Bay

Located on the eastern coast of Madeira, at Machico Bay, visitors can indulge in a variety of activities, including swimming, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along one of the island’s oldest and most enchanting coves. The backdrop of this cove, with its picturesque mountain vistas, makes it one of the world’s most extraordinary beaches. This bay holds historical importance, as it was the arrival point of Portuguese explorers João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira on Madeira Island. Machico Bay is a destination that should not be missed by any visitors to Madeira. 

Porto Santo

No trip to Madeira, is complete without visiting Porto Santo beaches. It takes nearly three hours to reach Porto Santo by ferry from Madeira Island and is a must for those who love spending the day on secluded beaches. More than five miles long, and with golden sand along the island’s Southern Cost. Porto Santo is the perfect place to catch some rays while watching the turquoise waves roll in!

But in Porto Santo you can also visit fabulous lookout points, like Miradouro das Flores or Miradouro da Portela.

Madeiran Food And Wine 

Blandy’s Madeira 

Blandy’s Madeira is a distinctive, family-owned wine lodge situated in the heart of Funchal on the island’s southern coast. The Blandy family holds the distinction of being the sole family running a wine company among the pioneering founders of the wine trade in 1811. Guests can look forward to tasting wines ranging from 5-years-old to those aged for 50 years. The fertile and nutrient-rich volcanic soil of Madeira makes it the ideal location for crafting exquisite, high-quality fine wines. If you ever find yourself in Funchal, be sure to pay a visit to Blandy’s Madeira. For more information about this wine lodge, be sure to check out their website. 

William Restaurant

If you’re a food enthusiast seeking an evening of exquisite dining, William Restaurant is the perfect choice. Situated within the splendid Reid’s Palace Hotel, this Michelin-starred establishment serves a delicious array of dishes made with the freshest Madeiran produce. Guests can savor Portugese-inspired specialties such as lobster, prawns, and Seical trout, all while enjoying some of the most breathtaking views of the Funchal coastline. For more information about the William Restaurant, please visit their website. 

By Danielle Morris