With breathtaking UNESCO protected forests, sophisticated regional wines and dramatic landscapes, it’s not hard to see why the stunning island won the award. But where can British tourists find the island paradise?
The Portuguese island of Madeira won the prestigious Best Island award at the celebrated 2021 World Travel Awards.
Located about 1,000km from the European coastline, the stunning island paradise offers tourists beautiful black sand beaches.
This was the seventh time the popular holiday destination has won the award for best island in Europe.
The Secretary for Tourism and Culture of Madeira Eduardo Jesus, said: “This is a remarkable achievement.
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“[The award] should fill all those who work in the tourism in the region with pride, as well as the residents, who see their land being continuously valued internationally and the thousands of visitors who value their holiday destination even more.”
Often described as the ‘pearl of the Atlantic’, Madeira enjoys year-round warm weather and is a fantastic winter sun destination.
A surfers’ paradise, the wild Atlantic shore has clear azure waters and all kinds of waves to catch.
Wildlife fans can take a boat tour to spot dolphins and whales off the coast as well as other exotic marine animals.
The capital city of Funchal offers tourists a choice of many gourmet restaurants serving delicious regional delicacies.
British tourists should sample one of the island’s famous tuna steaks with fried maize or ‘estepada’- beef on a skewer.
For dessert, visitors might be tempted by a Madeira passion fruit pudding, a delicacy grown on the island.
The historical city is also famed as the birthplace of Manchester United star player, Cristiano Ronaldo.
A favourite with families, tourists should also try a ride on Funchal’s wacky ‘carros de cesto’.
‘Carros de cesto’ or toboggans are made from wicker and wood and can hold two to three passengers.
Led and controlled by two drivers wearing straw hats, tourists can take an exhilarating ride careering round the twists and turns of Funchal.
Away from the city, Madeira’s wild volcanic landscapes offer plenty to explore with a hike through the island’s UNESCO protected laurel forests a particular highlight.
The island of eternal spring’s subtropical climate ensures there are always beautiful flora and fauna for visitors to admire.
On social media, tourists have shared stunning photos from their holiday in Madeira, with Instagram user “kodrrip” saying: “Madeira- breathtaking place…and the people there are so welcoming and pleasant.”
British tourists have several options for direct budget flights to Madeira from the UK’s major international airports.
From October 24, double-vaccinated British tourists need to take a lateral flow on or before day two after arrival in the UK.