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Madeira, is an island normally associated with a slightly more sedate pace of life. But did you know there is a thriving, action packed adrenaline fuelled side to the island?  Just 4 hrs from the UK and off the coast of Africa this small warm volcanic island has a number of high adrenaline activities from canyoning, where you abseil down waterfalls and jump into deep pools, to Enduro and downhill mountain biking. In addition to cycling and canyoning you can walk the lavadas, old endless system of inter linking irrigation channels, some quite gentle and others precariously dug into steep cliffs which are best negotiated with an experienced guide. Then you can swim with dolphins in deep blue oceans filled with marine life, surf Atlantic rollers, paraglide and hang-glide above the cliffs, stand up paddleboard and go coast-steering.

Add a full range of large resort hotels and the more traditional Quintas or farmhouses, excellent and well priced food and drink (most of it based on the sugar cane and bananas grown on the island) and you have all the necessary ingredients for a fantastic long weekend with friends.

At a glance

  • Just a 4 hour flight to Funchal and an average temperature of 20°C
  • Walking the lavadas; a network of irrigation channels criss-crossing the island and bringing water from the north to the south
  • Fantastic local food including bolo do caco, a garlic butter and parsley bread, and a full range of fresh fish most served with locally grown bananas
  • Port Santo, an island 3 hrs away by ferry and the best golden sand beaches with crystal clear seas
  • A fantastic range of adrenaline sports including mountain biking (enduro, cross country and downhill), canyoning, surfing, paddleboarding and coast-steering
  • Diverse range of accommodation ranging from contemporary 5 star resorts to the more traditional farmhouses and quintas

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