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Most beautiful Portugal holiday destinations for 2024

by Staff

The island of Madeira boasts beautiful natural surroundings, from staggering mountains to idyllic coastlines. On the same latitude as Morocco, the island has a sub-tropical climate and rich volcanic soil. Its unique ecosystem means that it is one of the only places in the world where banana trees grow next to vineyards. Little wonder, then, that it’s often referred to as the ‘floating garden of the Atlantic’.

The lifestyle on the island centres around nature, adventure and outdoor activities, which suits Madeira’s warm and mild climate. You can expect sun and clear skies all year round: well-known as a popular summer destination, Madeira is equally as enticing in the winter months, with something to offer every traveller.

Looking for an active Portugal holiday destination? You won’t be disappointed, with rugged mountains lending themselves perfectly to biking routes, golf courses with stunning panoramic views and walking trails, such as a hike through the beautiful Laurissilva forest.

You can also discover the region’s many ‘Levadas’, small irrigation canals which weave in and around the mountains of Madeira. Plus, a visit to this island would not be complete without a trip to the warm waters, dive sites and long sandy beaches of Porto Santo.

Where to stay: Madeira is famed for its wellness attributes due to its mineral-rich volcanic soil, clean, clear waters and unique ecosystem – so there is no better place to enjoy a well-deserved break at one of the island’s many spa resorts, such as The Cliff Bay. The recently refurbished five-star hotel has direct access to the sea, epic views over the bay of Funchal, a two Michelin star restaurant and beautiful gardens to explore.

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Alternatively, you can explore Madeira on Good Housekeeping‘s exclusive eight-day tour of the island during the wonderful Flower Festival every May. The itinerary also includes visits to the Funchal Botanical Gardens and the Quinta do Arco Rose Garden, a vineyard tour with wine tasting, and a stay in a five-star hotel just outside of Funchal, where you can kick back in the bar, sauna, gym or one of the hotel’s two swimming pools after a busy day exploring. You can book ahead now to secure your spot for 2025.

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