Seniors Travel to Maderia Island

Oct 8th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors, ready for a real treat?  An adventure?  A paradise nicknamed the “Floating Garden” thanks to its sub-tropical flowers and plants, not to mention soaring mountains and laurel forests, Madeira packs in some pretty amazing scenery. But it’s not just a dream location for an episode of Gardener’s World. For a start it’s got some of the world’s finest resort hotels, chic designer stores and cutesy art and craft emporia. When it comes to showing you a good time, Madeira’s a class act.  

Madeira island is 310 miles from the African coast and 620 miles from the European continent, which is the equivalent of a 1 hour 30 minute flight from Lisbon. It takes around 1hr 30 min to fly from Madeira to any of the Portuguese airports and a little over two hours to get to airports in the centre of Europe. Flights to Porto Santo take 15 minutes. A golden isle, washed by turquoise seas where peace and quiet reign supreme, is all you need for a truly relaxing holiday.

Holidays in Madeira are for those who like splendid scenery, as well as sub-tropical flora and fauna, not to mention a modicum of old colonial charm. Yes, as a holiday destination, Madeira really

is a class act. Known to the Romans as the Purple Islands, it’s been wowing visitors for centuries, many of whom travel to Madeira over and over again.

And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for “ladies of a certain age” who love flowers. There are things to do for everyone, including exciting water sports like diving, sailing and windsurfing. So ladies, grab your windsurfing sails, your surfboard, your swim fins and go for it.  The destination guide says, “With a climate that’s near perfect, scenery that will knock your socks off, top hotels and great shopping, Madeira is the holiday island par excellence.”

From what I read, “The island of Madeira is lapped by the waters of the Gulf Stream with warm comfortable summers and mild winters that make it an enchanting holiday destination all year round.  After a brief experience of the local lifestyle, you might wonder why on earth anyone needs leisure activities on this island. Fast is not a word that comes immediately to mind when considering the pace of island life and stress is a consideration on your halyard not for your doctor. However, the climate on Madeira is perfect for all sorts of outside activities both land based and sea based.”

Perhaps the most astonishing activities on the island are the walks along the ‘levadas’. These water channels that run along the contours of the island transporting water from the north side to the south side and from rivers to the ridges are the ideal way to see the island. The walking is easy, if on occasions a little vertiginous (0h oh…), and the countryside spectacular. For more advanced walkers and climbers there are challenging routes over the interior mountains. 

The safety, the warm welcome from the local people, the pleasures of nature on the beautiful sandy beach and its tranquil waters make Porto Santo first among equals. Porto Santo is one long beach with a bit of an island attached. Along its nine kilometres of soft white sands, you’ll find just a handful of hotels and restaurants, making Porto Santo one of the last ‘undiscovered’ resorts in Europe.  It’s a paradise island that will surprise you.  Indeed, there’s something for everyone, from a serious and challenging golf course to the house where Cristopher Columbus once lived and where some say he planned his first trip accross the ocean; there are sports opportunities and historical sites in abundance.  Hotels and B&B advice can be found on TripAdvisor.com.  The volcanic sands around Porto Santo have long been held to have curative powers for all manner of aches and ills. 

Yes, plenty to see and to enjoy in this little corner of Europe.  Enjoy these videos too.  Strawberry World is proud to present a series of specially commissioned Madeira Videos showing the Island in all its glory, from the colourful Flower Festival to the wonderful Carnival and the world famous Fireworks. From pristine gardens, in bloom all-year-round to the ever-present translucent blue Atlantic Ocean, the Madeira videos show many aspects of the island’s culture, charm and attractions.  Let’s be MADEIRA bound soon.      jeb



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