Rural Madeira: The Ultimate Lockdown Antidote

18 August 2020

  • Short-haul, 3.5 hour direct flight from London but with scenery akin to far flung, tropical destinations 
  • Hailed as one of the safest places in Europe to travel post Covid-19 – an island in the Atlantic with relatively low transit and visitor numbers and an outstanding response to Covid-19 
  • Sub-tropical with all year-round warmth – an excellent winter sun option  
  • Plethora of rural tourism opportunities  
  • Adventure hotspot with world class activities  
  • Winner of Best Island Destination in Europe (World Travel Awards) six times

Dreaming of a long-haul trip, but don’t want to risk it in these uncertain times? The Madeiran landscape makes you feel as if you have travelled across the globe to the likes of Brazil, New Zealand and Borneo, but it’s a mere 3.5 hour direct flight from London.   

This volcanic Portuguese outpost enjoys year-round warmth and a subtropical climate. With some of the most breath-taking natural beauty and lush landscapes in Europe, it is no surprise that Madeira has been voted Best Island Destination in Europe six times at the World Travel Awards.  

Rural Tourism in Madeira: 

While most travellers base themselves in the charming capital Funchal, there are many hidden gems dotted around the mountainous and rugged terrain that make for a beautiful and memorable escape. 

On the south-west coast around Calheta, Quinta Alegre is a charming property positioned as ‘Madeira’s Hiking Hotel’. There is also Hotel Atrio, a boutique hotel with amazing sea views and Casas da Levada- beautifully restored country houses offering Bed & Breakfast amongst the hills.  

On the striking north coast near Santana sits Quinta do Furao, right on the cliffs amidst vines producing delicious Madeira wine. Also, Quinta de Arco, an elegant B&B with a villa complex, is the ideal destination for hiking.  

Adventure Hotspot: 

Referred to as the new Adventure Capital of Europe, Madeira’s rugged landscapes are attracting increasing numbers of adventurous types drawn to the outstanding quality of activities on offer, from trail-running (event: Ultra Madeirain October) to mountain biking (event: Trans Madeirain September, #QuarantineRevenge), canyoning, hiking and scuba diving.  

For those enjoying a gentler pace, jeep safaris allow you to soak up the scenery without the adrenaline hit.  

Response to Covid-19: 

Madeira and Porto Santo fully re-opened to international travellers on 1st July. To ensure security for both tourists and residents, all people travelling to the islands have to either present a negative test done within 72 hours prior to departure or be tested upon arrival, without any costs - Covid-19 tests on arrival will be paid for by the Madeira Government.  

Madeira Islands are focused on positioning as a Covid-safe destination and are working with SGS, the world leader in certification, to ensure good practice across the destination to minimise risk in the wake of Covid-19. The certification process is available to all companies in the tourism sector.  

Furthermore, Madeira was a pioneer in the whole of Portugal in developing a good practices documentto deal with Covid-19. These measures will provide comfort to those who travel and it is ultimately for the wellbeing of all.  

These three initiatives, to cover testing costs, partner with SGS in certification and develop a good practices document, underpin the destination’s determination to ensure a safe tourism location for all visitors. 

At present Madeira has 111 registered cases of Covid-19 and no deaths. All 13 active cases are confined in designated hotels or at private homes.  



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