Portugal has two autonomous regions with their own regional government, one of them Madeira, famously the birthplace of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, (the other, The Azores). Claimed by Portuguese sailors in 1419, the Madeiran islands are situated in the North Atlantic, southwest of Portugal, with a total population, thought to be a little under 290,000.

The capital of Madeira is the port of Funchal, located on the main island's south coast, approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of the Canary Islands. Altogether, somewhere in the region of 1.5 million tourists visit this archipelago famed for Madeira wine and UNESCO-honoured landscapes, a third of them arriving via Funchal’s cruise liner dock. Something worth considering for those of you looking to start a tourism business here.

Trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa use the port as a stop-over point, which is synonymous with the Madeira Free Trade Zone, an economic initiative established in the 1980s, that offers favourable financial incentives.

Certainly a retirement destination favoured for its year-round good weather, and easy-going atmosphere, its temperatures generally range between 15°C and 22°C. Rainfall spikes in the winter, but settlers here can look forward to an average of around 2,500 hours of sunshine per year. 

There are two main and inhabited islands: Porto Santo and Madeira itself. School and healthcare standards are considered above average, with several international and private schools that have good reputations as well as local schools offering free education. Healthcare is similarly well-thought-of and no doubt kept busy and competitive by ex-pats choosing this backdrop for their retirement.

Porto Moniz on Madeira’s northern coast is mainly agricultural, where properties are lower in price, yet scarce in supply if you're looking for a bargain. Porto Santo’s urbanised area is Vila Baleira, where tourism is steadily making more of an impact is increasing property prices to new highs.

Madeirans have notably migrated to the United States, Venezuela and Brazil, with Venezuelans now considered the most significant immigrant population. Brits constitute just over 14%,  Brazilians 12.%, and Germans 7%. Funchal has the highest concentration of foreigners, and inward migration is expected to continue across the island as a whole. Tourism brings 20% of Madeira’s GDP, which is clearly evident at Porto Santo’s nine-kilometre-long beach and tourist hotspot, where visitors are mainly from the EU. Whale and dolphin watching has increased in popularity in recent years as many species can be spotted near the coast.

Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport and Porto Santo Airport, serve the two main islands, with Cristiano Ronaldo Airport offering the most frequent flights to Lisbon and many other connections in Europe. Transport between the islands is by plane or ferry. Funchal also has good public transport.

Foodies will enjoy Madeira’s abundance of fish: including Espada (black scabbard-fish) that is served with banana, Marlin and Tuna, as well as Bacalhau, as you might expect. For meat-eaters, and not to be confused with Espada, is espetada; made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic, salt and bay leaves, then marinated for hours in Madeira wine. Madeira fortified wine can be sweet or dry, dates back to the Age of Exploration (15th to 17th century) and enjoys protected designation of origin (PDO) status.

In the 16th century, Portuguese settlers started building levadas (aqueducts) to serve agriculture in the south, across mountainous terrain and through 40 km (25 miles) of tunnels. With over 2,170 km (1,350 miles) of levadas, a convenient hiking network has been created, some easy and relaxing, others narrow and perilous. The two most popular are the Levada do Caldeirão Verde and the Levada do Caldeirão do Inferno, which are not for the faint-hearted!

Madeira is an attractive destination and one that will need to be ‘shared’ with others who appreciate its many culinary and cultural charms. ‘Island life’ and the influx of visitors that swells the population five-fold will need to be your cup of tea if you’re considering Madeira as a place to settle. And why wouldn’t you, with pretty much everything that’s great about Portugal bound together in around 300 square miles of Gulf Stream and Canary Current-influenced tranquillity?

In terms of the property here, it varies greatly. You will probably need to pay 300,000 to secure a modern 3-bedroom apartment in Funchal, after that the sky is the limit.

For help with EU Legislation regarding all aspects of living and working within the EU, please use the links below.

EU Help in Your Own Language
EU Help and Advice: Doing Business
EU Help and Advice: Life and Travel

Madeira from Facebook

If you are planning a trip to view properties in this District and need help or guidance, get in touch Contact us and we will put you in touch with a property expert that speaks your language.  

For a detailed look at the area topography please click here

If you are planning a trip to view properties in this District and need help or guidance, get in touch Contact us and we will put you in touch with a property expert that speaks your language. 

For more factual information regarding Portugal, we recommend that you join and view our resource partner. 

                        Visit here

This district is sponsored by our Legal Partner, our Foreign Exchange Partner and our Official Food Partner.

If you are looking for qualified mortgage advice we recommend using Portugal Mortgage Brokers our approved Mortgage Partner.


                        Contact Our Partner Lawyers 

                                     Contact Spartan FX        

                              Contact Relish Portugal


Municipalities Wikipedia/Additional Photos

Câmara de Lobos
Ponta do Sol
Porto Moniz
Porto Santo
Ribeira Brava
Santa Cruz
São Vicente
Back to Districts

1 Wanted Properties

Turismo de Portugal

Know more about this wonderful country

Featured Properties

Displaying 18 of 18

Featured Agents

Displaying 18 of 33