When you think of Portugal — T+L’s 2016 Destination of the Year — you might imagine cozy cafes, cobblestone streets, and history at every turn. But don't forget about Madeira, the Portuguese island that’s well-worth the quick plane ride to get there.
T+L Social Ambassador Sylvia Matzkowiak took a trip to the archipelago, which is actually four islands off the northwest coast of Portugal that’s close to Africa. There you’ll find volcanic landscapes, green fields, looming cliffs, rock-covered beaches, and a tropical climate.
Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is known for its wine production. The volcanic landscape offers a unique environment to grow grapes, yielding dry varieties that are just as delicious as its sweet dessert wine. (Fun fact: Madeira wine was poured during the toast at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and at George Washington’s inauguration, as well, according to Catavino.com.)
If this hasn’t sold you on this tropical destination hidden off the coast of Portugal, just wait. Take some time to check out Matzkowiak’s photos and you'll be convinced.