Take In One Of A Kind Natural Landscapes At This Stunning Atlantic Island

If you want to be shaken out of your usual, monotonous scenery, then heading to an island is the perfect way to do so. Secluded from the mainland, islands are famous for their distinct and diverse ecosystems. Extraordinary geological formations like cliffs, caves, and volcanoes are common to island landscapes. Frequently featuring a medley of different terrains, from lush rainforests to sandy beaches, the climate and soil on an island can foster the growth of unique flora and fauna found nowhere else.

For an island vacation that will relax and refresh you with awe-inspiring views, head to Madeira Island. Madeira is the largest island of the Madeira archipelago belonging to Portugal. This stunning travel destination sits in the Atlantic Ocean about 620 miles from the Portuguese coast and 430 miles from Morocco. Between its serene beaches, lush forests, and dramatic mountain peaks, the terrain on Madeira Island is a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.

Why Madeira Island is so special

Around 5 million years ago, a volcano erupted from the Atlantic ocean floor. As molten lava and ash hardened, they formed what would become the island of Madeira. With each passing millennium, the island transformed from barren, volcanic rock to the flourishing, green island that visitors flock to today. In 1419, Portuguese explorers discovered the island gem and began inhibiting its beautiful topography.

Madeira Island stretches 459 square miles of enchanting semi-tropical terrain. Along its parameters, you'll find approximately 90 miles of beachy shores. Simultaneously, parts of the island reach 6,000 feet above sea level. For this reason, you'll find that the island has distinct micro-climates that vary throughout the land.

Around 20% of Madeira Island is home to the Laurissilva Forest. Containing high volumes of endemic fauna and flora, preserved ancient trees, and an abundance of niche ecosystems, this chunk of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

What to see while on Madeira Island

Visiting Madeira Island might feel a bit like a whirlwind. With so much to see and try, it's practically impossible to do it all during a brief stay. Nonetheless, there are some stand-out essential attractions you have to add to your itinerary. For starters, taking a dip at the natural pools in Porto Moniz is a must. Formed by natural volcanic rock, this swimming area is renowned for its pristine, turquoise waters and unparalleled views.

For amazing hiking adventures, take a trip to Pico Ruivo where you'll see the third-tallest mountain peak in Portugal and the highest on the island. With unbelievably vast views overlooking the Ribeira Seca Valley, trekking up this mountain will be unforgettable. 

Beyond the coast, you'll also discover that the island's waters are brimming with a thriving marine ecosystem. Reserve a guided scuba diving or snorkeling tour to catch a glimpse of the island's dolphins or whale species.