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Living in Madeira… 5 Things You Need to know

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Madeira is a land of marvellous landscapes and living there has never been easier. Nonetheless, there are some factors you will need to consider before making up your mind.

The Madeira archipelago is made up of two habitable islands, both of which are blessed by stunning scenery. For those who are looking for a different lifestyle than the mainland has to offer, Madeira can be appealing, but you need to keep several factors in mind. Which is why I have prepared a list for you.

What you need to know!!!

1. Location

Geography is the first thing to consider if you are thinking of moving to Madeira. Located around 1,000 km from mainland Europe and 500 km from Africa, the archipelago is made up of four groups of islands: Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. Of these, only the two largest, Madeira and Porto Santo, are inhabited. The other two, Desertas and Selvagens, are nature reserves.

Some people dream of being surrounded by the sea, but others could feel isolated, especially when you take into account the sizes of the islands: Madeira is 741 km2, at 57 km by 22 km, and Porto Santo is only 42.48 km2, at 11 km by 6 km. There are regular flights daily from all destinations.

2. Traffic and travelling

If your definition of quality of life means safety, tranquillity, natural beauty and little traffic, then Madeira could be a good option. Far from the bustle of Lisbon and Porto, the island is calm and peaceful. Say goodbye to hours spent in traffic, as work is never too far from home, leaving you with more time for family and the absence of tolls and shorter commutes help keep monthly expenses down as well.

3. Moderate climate, but unstable

The island of Madeira is characterised by an amazingly mild climate, all year round, ranging between 25º Centigrade in the summer, and 17º Centigrade in the winter, and with very moderate humidity. There are also a number of different microclimates, so that in the space of just a few kilometres you can find quite a bit of variety: if you feel like going for a stroll, then you can count on cool temperatures to follow the levadas through the mountains, but if you’d rather go sailing, the sun and warm waters are just begging for a dive. The south of the island is sunnier, and the north is wetter, so you can practically plan your hikes by degrees Centigrade. Porto Santo tends to have drier weather, but it’s never too hot.

4. Shopping and healthcare

Funchal is a cosmopolitan city and with the boom in tourism over the past decades it has become increasingly developed. This is reflected in the shopping scene, with a growing supply of varied products. Gone are the days when shopping on the Island was considered difficult.

In terms of healthcare, residents of Madeira and Porto Santo have a network of 47 health centres at their disposal, that is being restructured, as well as several public hospitals and private clinics and the tendency is towards increasing modernization.

5. Nature tourism

From the levadas – long trails through the mountains and hills – to the unique Laurissilva forest, also for the variety of its species), not to mention the marvelous beaches and the Desertas and Selvagens islands, the Madeira archipelago is a haven for nature tourism. With the weather always on your side, this is great ground for all sorts of sporting and leisure activities, out in the open, any time of year.

Water temperatures range between 19 and 24º C, making for fantastic conditions for snorkeling, diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and fishing, all year round. You can also catch some of the best waves in Europe off the beaches of Jardim do Mar, Fajã da Areia (São Vicente) or Porto da Cruz, or just set out on a boat ride along the coast, from where you can observe dolphins, wales and monk seals that cross the Madeira seas.

If you are into more radical activities, then you can paraglide or hang glide over the island, or discover the mountains by canyoning, climbing up to the higher peaks, going on an four-wheel-drive adventure, getting your adrenaline fix from a jet-ski or enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes from kitesurfing.

If you prefer more peaceful activities, then golf, trekking or hikes are excellent alternatives to get to know the natural characteristics of this evergreen archipelago up close.

Finally, you can discover the impressive mosaic of vegetation on a long hike across one of the many levadas and trails that are nestled into the heart of the laurissilva forest, classified as Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This forest, known for its beauty and diversity, has been considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. It’s richness, importance and specificity earned it, in 1999, its classification as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO… Today it is one of the main attractions of the island.


In Ponta Do Sol, on the coast of Madeira Island, there is a dedicated digital nomad village for remote workers…

So if you’re looking for a change of scenery, and fancy exploring the island in between Zoom meetings, here’s everything you need to know…

Click on the following link to learn more about the digital nomad visa:

Feel free to schedule a call at your convenience on our calendar if you would like to learn more about Madeira, or additionally other Visa processes available such as the Golden Visa / “Passive Income Visa” - otherwise known as the D7 Visa, and be on the path to moving / investing in the Island of Madeira as well as Portuguese Citizenship!!!

Link to schedule call on Calendly

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