It’s June, and while we were promised a ‘sizzling summer’ all that has materialised is a lot of rain, wind and grey skies. We haven’t had the chance to show off our new summer dresses and we’re still not convinced that we’ll get the opportunity to this year. Sob.
But before you frantically start Googling the best city getaways to far flung destinations and the most instagrammable Airbnbs in the world, you might want to look a little closer to home. There’s an island on your European doorstop that has been voted the best in the continent, and we’re already packing our bags.
Forget the usual suspects when you think of an island in Europe – Madeira should be top of your travel wishlist.
The Portuguese archipelago, made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the Desertas, was voted Europe’s best island destination at the World Travel Awards (often referred to as the Oscars for tourism), and once you see photos of the blue skies, crystal waters and rugged landscape you’ll understand why.
Madeira, crowned Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2019, beat the likes of Crete, the Balearics, Cyprus, Sardinia and Malta thanks to its natural beauty, scenic hikes and subtropical climate.
Walking trails like Vereda da Ilha and Vereda do Pico Ruivo rival those in Hawaii, and a quick island hop to Porto Santo will take you to some of the most stunning beaches in the region. Grab a drink in Madeira’s capital, Funchal, and head the most instagrammable hotspots like Porto Moniz.
Quinta da Bela Vista Hotel, located south of the island, was also voted Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards.
So what are you waiting for?