If you are looking for paradise, Madeira is it! This Portuguese island located off the northwest coast of Africa features a landscape very much akin to Hawaii—volcanic, green, rugged, filled with floral, fauna and breathtaking waterfalls—and a subtropical climate that’s practically perfect 365 days a year, thanks to its yearly total of over 2,400 hours of sunshine. Known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic,” Madeira is THE location to head to in Portugal for privacy and romance.
The place to headquarter your honeymoon is in the capital city of Funchal, and it’s the incredible Savoy Palace, a sprawling 352-room that is lush and luxe at every turn. Opened in late 2019, the hotel features a luxe, old-world interior style, with all rooms boasting incredible ocean or garden views. There are eight restos on property as well as six pools (there are two infinity pools on the hotel rooftop!) and is home to the largest (33,000 square feet) and most state-of–the-art spa in Portugal. Inspired by Madeira’s Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the spa has 11 treatment rooms, a halo therapy room, sensory showers and a Turkish Hammam. It’s positively decadent!
How To Get There: Fly direct to Lisbon then hop on a connecting flight for the one hour trip to Madeira.
When To Go: The wonderful thing about Madeira is that it’s practically perfect all year ’round! The very, very best time to visit is said to be between May and August, when temperatures are steady in the mid to high ’20s and rainy days are next to nil.
What To Do: Madeira is an island, but you don’t go to here for the beach scene. The landscape is rocky and romantic—it’s situated in the middle of the Atlantic, 400 kilometres north of Tenerife. Madeira has an incredibly unique landscape as its the top of a shield volcano, which rises 6,000 metres from the bottom of the ocean (1865 metres of which is above sea level).
Fun Fact: The island is of course home to Madeira wine! There are four main styles of the tipple and sampling them all is of course essential when visiting the island.