Madeira - Portugal’s beautiful and affordable island

Europe’s elite have been drawn to Madeira for centuries thanks to its beautiful year-round weather, spectacular landscapes, and warm waters. The archipelago of Madeira offers a fantastic location for those looking to buy property abroad, whether as an investment, holiday home or retirement property.

The subtropical Madeira Islands comprise two inhabited islands, Madeira Island, Porto Santo, and a few smaller uninhabited islands. Madeira is located approximately 900 km southwest of Portugal and about 600 km off the coast of North Africa. Sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Atlantic, Madeira is Europe’s most visited island destination.

There are quite a lot of expats living in Madeira. However, you will still be able to live amongst the local community because there are no gated communities and only a small number of large apartment blocks.

Key Facts

Sub-tropical climate – all year round, Madeira enjoys a pleasant climate which is neither too hot nor too cold. Temperatures rarely fall below 20 C.

Natural beauty – UNESCO Worldwide Heritage laws protect much of the island’s beautiful parkland and forests.

Things to do – thanks to its beautiful climate, you’ll find a wide variety of sports and leisure activities. Also, there is plenty of entertainment available throughout the year.

Infrastructure – Madeira has reasonably good infrastructure. Although, services such as healthcare are not quite as good as in mainland Portugal

Quality of life – Residents of Madeira enjoys a laid-back and high-quality lifestyle.

Hospitality – The culture is very European, and the locals are welcoming. Most speak English, while locals also speak other languages such as German and French. Crime rates are extremely low.

Cost of living – Like mainland Portugal the cost of living is lower than in many European countries such as the UK. The cost of food, travel and maintaining a home is very affordable. Only items which have to be imported are more expensive.

Property Prices – Due to a limited number of properties on the market, demand is high, and prices are rising. However, there are properties for sale to suit every lifestyle. You can find a one-bedroomed apartment for €100,000 or less or spend more than 1 million Euros on a luxury Villa.

Top Areas To Live in Madeira

São Martinho

Blessed with the island’s natural beauty, it is no wonder the area is a popular tourist destination. Closer to the sea, you will find a promenade adorned with flowers and a wide range of bars and restaurants. The capital, Funchal, is easily accessed from the area.
The area has enjoyed an increase in modern developments. You can now find a contemporary apartment with a stylish complex for €160,000.

Ponta do Sol

The banana industry dominates Ponta do Sol village. However, it is part of the Natura 2000 network; this area is perfect for nature lovers. You’ll discover spectacular walks along cliffs and the island’s only plateau
Properties here are traditional houses with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs. A detached home with a garden can be found for around €180,000


Calheta is in fact a group of seven villages – Atouguia, Doutor, Salão, Brasil, Laranjeiras, Estrela and Vila. Calheta is a great place to experience Portuguese culture truly. And if a beach is a high priority, then head for Calheta. The area has an artificial sandy beach shielded from the ocean waves. You’ll find a great selection of properties from modern developments to traditional houses.


The capital of Madeira and home to the international airport, Funchal is a great location for those looking for a more urban lifestyle. Funchal offers a great variety of shops, bars, restaurants, and other attractions. Funchal is the most expensive part of the island to live in, but it is still very affordable. You can find beautiful apartments starting from 160,000

Porto Santo

Porto Santo is famous for its beautiful long sandy beaches. While it enjoys the same amenities as the main island of Maderia, property prices in Porto Santo are less expensive. A situation which will change, there are already several apartment developments, but it is still possible to discover a renovation project.

What next?

Voted the third best island in Europe, Madeira is a great location to live a life most people dream about. The team at Overseas Property Forum can help you realise your dream move to Madeira. Tell us about your overseas property plans. Tell us about your overseas property plans?

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