Madeira is an adventure paradise that still doesn’t cross a whole lot of traveller’s minds when they’re planning their holidays.
The Portuguese island has a consistently warm temperature year-round and has become known as somewhat of a retirement home for the old, though that’s been changing in recent years for very good reason.
Mountain bikers have begun to add Madeira to their hit-list after the efforts of the Freeride Madeira crew and the impressive network of trails they maintain on the island started garnering attention from top professionals.
Brendan Fairclough calls Madeira one of the best places to ride a mountain bike in the world and the island cemented its status in the minds of many when it hosted a stage of the Enduro World Series for the first time in May 2017.
The beauty of Madeira is in its diversity though. Travelling through the small island is like travelling between continents. The mountain biking and hiking trails will take you through all varieties of forests and greenery and the canyoning in the national parks is some of the best we’ve been through. It’s like a miniature New Zealand – but far more accessible for those in Europe.
Turn your eyes to the coastlines and you’ll find another world of opportunities. ‘Madeira Native Motion’ is run by six-time Portuguese surfing champion Orlando Pereira. Orlando is the perfect guide to anything from a paddleboard tour of the coastlines to a beginner surf lesson to a trip to the big-wave surf the island has to spare.