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Madeira , Portugal is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations. This archipelago consists of two inhabited islands (Madeira and Porto Santo) and two groups of uninhabited rock formations. One’s first impression of Madeira Island is often very soothing, given its varying shades of green set against an azure sea. All of this greenery does mean rain, but most find Madeira’s climate perfect for yachting – it never gets too hot in summer and winters are mild. The Bay of Funchal, protected by high mountain peaks, enjoys sunshine most of the year, except during May and June when an enveloping cloud known as “capacete,” (the helmet) blocks out the sunlight. Further down the west coast at Ponta do Sol and Calheta, the sun shines brighter during these months, but is less protected from the sea winds. Once on the island, you will find a wide range of things to see and do. The Atlantic offers swimming, sailing, fishing, surfing, diving and water skiing. Depending on the time of year, the waters surrounding Madeira are some of the best for whale and dolphin spotting. The beaches of Madeira are clean and beautiful, but most are pebbled so beach mats are recommended. Further inland, you will find historical monuments, picturesque villages, impressive volcanic caves and enchanting gardens. If you choose Madeira as a yachting destination, you will soon see why it is called the “Pearl of the Atlantic.”

Madeira

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