Whether you're new to the digital nomad lifestyle or an experienced digital nomad, there's always excitement in deciding where you want to go next! If you're still choosing your next destination, you should add Madeira Island to your list. From fast, reliable wifi to various activities to do in your off-time, discover all the ins and outs of Madeira Island that make it perfect for digital nomads.
Are you looking for a great place to set up your digital nomad lifestyle? Find out why digital nomads think Madeira Island, Portugal is the perfect spot!
This beautiful Portuguese island has everything you need to make the most of your travels. From the perfect climate and stunning nature to a wide range of outdoor activities and world-class internet, Madeira's an ideal destination for any digital nomad.
How do I know? Well, I'm a digital nomad myself. I moved to Madeira in late 2020 amid the pandemic. My original plan was a short Christmas break. But, two years later and I'm still here!
I've spent many happy hours exploring everything this paradise island offers, and there's certainly a lot.
In this post, I'll give you a first-hand walkthrough of all the great reasons why you should head to Madeira Island for your next digital nomad adventure (and make it your long-term base too).
8 Reasons to Choose Madeira Island
1. Perfect summer weather, even in winter!
If you're a sunseeker, then you'll love life in Madeira. The island is unique in many ways, including its sunny year-round climate.
The warm waters on Madeira's shores provide pleasant swimming conditions all year. I went swimming in the sea on New Year's Day 2022 and didn't come out an icicle! Plus, the mountainous terrain protects the population from overly hot temperatures.
There's a bit more rain during winter and sometimes big storms, but temperatures are still warm. Generally, the summers are fine and dry—a major plus for enjoying everything Madeira has to offer without too much risk of getting rained out!
2. Stunning natural scenery
From lush green banana plantations on the south coast to the haunted misty plateaus of Santo da Serra, Madeira is home to extraordinary natural beauty.
Around the coastline, sheer cliffs plunge into a people-friendly sea with idyllic beaches, which are predominantly black volcanic sand. You'll find these beautiful beaches dotted all around the island's shorelines.
Madeira also has a range of diverse flora and fauna. You can spot soaring ivory eagles, glimpse dolphins leaping among the waves, or snap exotic pictures of plants that look like something from Day of the Triffids. Plus, tiny lizards and cute geckos are scuttling around everywhere.
3. Lots of outdoor activities on offer
Being a digital nomad means spending many hours in front of your laptop screen. Luckily, you can spend much of your life in Madeira outdoors, thanks to the consistently excellent weather. That also makes the island a perfect destination for many exciting outdoor activities.
So when it's time to get away from your laptop, you'll find plenty to do. You could go hiking on the many levadas, take a jeep safari up the winding roads of the mountainside, or explore one of the many volcanic caves.
If you've always wanted to learn surfing, Madeira has excellent waves and several surf schools. Paragliding and kitesurfing are also popular, along with sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and windsurfing.
Glamping is a favorite weekend pursuit for some digital nomads, or you could go ordinary camping if you don't fancy glamming it up.
4. Super fast internet
The presence, or absence, of fast wifi is a dealbreaker for most digital nomads.
You'll be happy to know that Madeira has some of the fastest wifi speeds in Europe, as it's situated on the meeting point of two undersea cables. =
So you can move to Madeira with peace of mind, knowing that all your Zoom calls will be smooth and crystal clear, including the ones with your boss!
5. High levels of safety and security
In Madeira, you won't have to worry about your laptop being stolen or your house getting broken into.
In fact, Madeira is one of the safest destinations in all of Europe. There's almost no crime, and there's certainly no violent crime.
From enhanced security measures in tourist areas to prompt responses from police stationed throughout the island, everyone can feel secure in Madeira – at any time of day or night. Personally, I've got no qualms about walking anywhere in Funchal, even at 3 am.
Moreover, the Madeiran government has been highly proactive about making tourist areas more visible and accessible, with plans to expand police presence island-wide.
Also, here's something to keep in mind: if someone did commit a crime, where would they go to escape justice on an island over 1,000 km from the European mainland, with only one airport… ?
6. Friendly, English-speaking population
People in Madeira are known for promoting a warm and welcoming culture on the island.
The locals are super hospitable – they always greet you with a smile. Usually, they make an effort to converse in English. In Madeira, you'll have no problems with communicating and getting around.
English is taught from the primary school level up, so most Madeirans have at least some level of English language skills, with many being entirely fluent.
Hence, it's always easy to find someone in Madeira who speaks good English - almost like you're in England.
Those working in the island's thriving tourist industry often speak other languages as well, particularly Spanish and German.
But one downside: if you want to learn Portuguese, you may struggle to find opportunities to practice!
7. Growing digital nomad community
Alongside the friendly Madeiran locals, the island has a growing community of digital nomads and remote workers worldwide.
You'll find them mainly in Funchal (the capital), or Ponta do Sol, home of the Digital Nomad Village initiative. Some have entirely given up the nomad lifestyle and now live here permanently, while others are just stopping by to enjoy the island for a few months.
You'll find plenty of like-minded remote workers in tech and related fields, along with a complete program of events, such as yoga classes, fitness training, canyoning, supper clubs, pool parties, meditation circles, crypto conferences, and digital marketing seminars.
There's also a good selection of nomad-friendly cafes and co-working spaces, with new ones popping up regularly.
8. Easy immigration options for long-term stays
With so much great stuff on offer, it's all too easy to fall in love with Madeira and decide to stay for the long-term... I did!
Luckily, Portugal makes it easy for remote workers to get a residence permit. If you already hold an EU/EEA or Swiss passport, then you can stay in Madeira as long as you like without any need for a visa.
But if you're from outside the EU, such as the USA, UK, or Canada, you'll need to apply for a residence visa if you want to stay for more than 90 days. Portugal even offers a specific 'digital nomad visa' designed with remote workers in mind.
If you have income from passive sources, such as a rental property in your home country, you could also try Portugal's passive income (D7) visa. Whatever your situation, you'll find it easy to make Madeira your home.
I can safely rate Madeira as my favorite place in Portugal, plus being a prime destination for digital nomads looking for an immensely awesome quality of life.
Plan Your Stay on Madeira Island!
Now that you have the insight of a real digital nomad who's spent years on this Portuguese island, it's time for you to start planning your own trip to Madeira Island.
As long as you prepare properly, you'll have a wonderful time integrating into the beautiful culture while having reliable tools to ensure you can continue to be a successful digital nomad.
If you're someone who likes to plan to a T, then make sure you put all your plans down in one place. You'll find Pilot, a social trip planner, a handy tool!
Pilot is your brand new trip planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies!
Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!
Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!