Did you know that Sissi, the famous Empress of Austria, fell in love with Madeira and spent some time there? The noble Habsburg family still has close ties to Madeira. Winston Churchill and Stephen Hawking also took Madeira to their hearts and spent some time here. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7) has also contributed greatly to Madeira being the talk of the town over the last 20 years, also because of his museum in Funchal.
But Madeira is also known by the name "Island of Flowers" and the spring traditions associated with it, which culminate in a great festival. Spring in Madeira is "the queen" and is crowned every year after Easter with the Flower Festival. In honour of spring and the abundance of flowers, which is even more intense in Madeira due to the subtropical climate, Funchal is the scene of a magnificent spectacle, the Flower Festival. Thousands of dressed-up children come to the "Praça do Município" to participate in the erection of a wall of flowers - the "Wall of Hope".
The climate, the nature, the leisure opportunities for hikers and water sports enthusiasts, the food, the people and the way of life on Madeira are the main reasons for Germans to visit this island. Germany is the country from which most of Madeira's holidaymakers come, and I don't mean the Germans on the cruise ships. The fastest growing market in Madeira in 2022 was the German market with a growth of +123.3%. The German and UK markets compete for the lead in outbound travel to Madeira, with Germany holding the upper hand last year, yet still behind the French market, which is now a fixture in all parts of Portugal.
Why do so many Germans want to go to Madeira, I ask myself, and the answer is so close. Germans love to hike, and you can do plenty of that in Madeira. Germans love nature and you get that on Madeira at every turn. Germans look for a pleasant climate, not too hot and not too cold: no problem in Madeira, because it's never cooler than 16 degrees and never warmer than 28 degrees all year round. Germans love partying and, if possible, being out in the fresh air, and you can find that everywhere here and every weekend in a different corner of Madeira. Germans love the beach and the water.
In Madeira you will find natural pools galore and also beaches from which you can then glide into the warm waters of the Atlantic. Germans want to travel all year round to alleviate their wanderlust and this is also possible in Madeira all year round as the climate is always consistently warm. Germans also want to observe nature, such as free-living mammals like whales and dolphins, or migratory birds, which are plentiful here. But there's also the food, the culture, the people and all the gardens and flowery landscapes you can visit here that make the German heart rejoice. All this and much more suggests that it is only normal for Germans to enjoy visiting the Portuguese islands. For besides Madeira, there is Porto Santo, the dream island with the kilometre-long beach, which can easily be reached in a day's ferry ride.
by Paulo Lopes - Casaiberia Mediação Imobiliária, Lda
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.