Madeira, a Great Active Winter Getaway
I recently attended an event sponsored by Belmond Resorts in Boston and was intrigued by their property on the island of Madeira, Belmond Reid’s Palace. While we book many vacations to Portugal and the Azores, Madeira is still off the radar for most Americans. Closer to North Africa than Europe, (540 miles from Lisbon, but only 360 miles from Morocco), the average temperatures in January are in the high 60s, ideal for active travelers. Perhaps best known for its wine and as the birthplace of soccer legend Christian Ronaldo, the volcanic island is also home to jagged peaks and lush valleys that are laced with hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Summer is the high season, when many cruise ships visit the island, with their thousands of passengers. But head to Madeira now and you have the place to yourself, much like the Azores this time of year.