Legend has it that two lovers – Robert Machim and Anna d’Arfet – who were fleeing England during the reign of King Edward III were driven off-course during a violent storm. Shipwrecked on the island of Maderia, little is known of what became of them. However, if 21st century Madeira is anything to go by, there are worse places for a pair of lovers to be marooned. The island is simply beautiful, with more than its fair share of stunning landscapes, gorgeous flowers and lush flora. Located between the coasts of Portugal and Africa, it enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate for much of the year.
If this has convinced you that a holiday in Madeira with your loved one – perhaps as a honeymoon destination – is an attractive possibility, have a butchers at these deals. Still not convinced this is an island worth getting marooned on? You will be by the end of this article.
Madeira’s geography has a lot to do with its attraction. The island is simply stunning to look at, with rocky crags and mossy ridges giving way to picturesque towns and flawless beaches. But location plays a part in aspects way beyond climate and aesthetics. Madeira enjoys an abundance of fish all year round, making it a haven for foodies who like their bluefin tuna, white marlin and spearfish. These are often served with banana in a dish that owes its heritage to the Portuguese mainland where bananas are immensely popular.
The island also owes its love of coffee and beer to Portugal – make sure you try a pint of Coral which is produced locally. But when it comes to alcoholic beverages, Madeira’s own fortified wines are king. Noted for its unique winemaking process – which involves heating the vintage and allowing some oxidation to occur – the industry has even been granted Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Union.
Quite apart from enjoying the island’s laid-back atmosphere with a beverage in one hand and a plate of amazing food in the other, Madeira is chock full of wonderful things to do with your partner or newly-wed. Casual walkers and hikers can enjoy the many twisting paths that take you into the mountains for total isolation. Or why not try out a new sport together? The island has a thriving surfing culture and offers some incredible waves for those who already have a little experience.
If all of that sounds a bit tiring, nothing says ‘romance’ like taking a boat out together and watching for bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales. These monsters of the deep are particularly wondrous to behold and seeing one can make for a super-special moment that you’ll remember all your life.
The Long and Short of it
To sum up, a honeymoon in Madeira is a sure-fire way to get your marriage off to a good start. Thanks to a strong tourism industry, you’ll find more than enough in the way of luxury hotels and fancy restaurants to splash out on, while enjoying the unique aspects this stunning island.