Get ready because I am about to share with you a beautiful island that makes a fun and unique digital nomad destination. And there’s a good chance that you’ve already seen this island popping up all over your Instagram this year…
Today we’re going to discover why the beautiful island of Madeira, Portugal is the best digital nomad destination in Europe.
Madeira is often referred to as the “Hawaii of Europe” and for good reason. It’s a relatively small island with gorgeous beaches, unique hikes and its very own local beverage called Poncha.
I first visited Madeira 2 years ago when I needed an escape from London. My criteria was somewhere that I could get to within a day and it needed to have beaches and hiking. At the time, Madeira had just opened its doors to vaccinated travelers. So, within days I had the flights booked.
Once there, I spent weeks exploring the best of the island, calling a different coast home each week. And now, I’m going to share with you why Madeira is the perfect island for digital nomads.
If you’re ready to start planning your trip, read my Madeira itinerary guide here. (I’ve put together 7, 10 and 14 day itineraries for you!)
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Madeira, to start planning your stay as a digital nomad – I’m even going to share an incredible coworking/coliving space so keep reading!
Quick Facts about Madeira
- Madeira’s capital is Funchal
- The airport code is FNC
- Madeira is a Portuguese Island, which means it is part of the Schengen (that means 90 days for all my American readers!)
- Madeira has a sister island called Porto Santo, which can be reached by boat or flight
- The language spoken in Madeira is Portuguese, though English is very widely spoken
- Fish is widely eaten and it’s not the easiest place to eat a purely plant-based diet
- Driving is a MUST! You’ll want a car to explore the island but keep in mind that the roads are steep, so make sure you are prepared for that!
- The local currency is the Euro
- You can drink tap water
- Tipping isn’t expected though it’s nice to leave 10% for exceptional service
How to get to Madeira
The easiest way to get to Madeira is by flying – it is an island after all. You’ll likely be booking a flight to Funchal, and there are direct flights from London or lots of options with layovers in Lisbon!
Madeira is only an hour and a half flight from Lisbon, or it’s about 4 hours direct from London. So if you’re coming from America, look at flights that layover in Lisbon or London and then fly directly to Madeira from there.
Once you’re in Madeira I highly recommend booking a car, especially if you want to explore lots of different areas on the island – there are some public transport options but having a car will give you the freedom to truly explore.
We were able to pick up our rental car directly from the airport and hit the road.
The best time to visit Madeira
I explored Madeira in May and June. It was definitely busy in the popular areas but not nearly as bad as I thought – and as soon as you headed out on a hike you could have the mountain to yourself.
Summer is the high season and most popular time to visit Madeira – think June until the end of September. During this time, the average temperature is around 77 °F or 25 °C.
During the winter months Madeira tends to be rainier, with heavy downpours over long periods of drizzle and the average temperature is around 65 °F or 18 °C.
Personally, it was really lovely in May so I would recommend visiting Madeira in April/May or September/October to avoid the majority of the summer crowds.
Cost of living in Madeira
How much is living as a digital nomad in Madeira going to set you back? I explored Madeira in 2021 so prices might have increased since my stay, but I found Madeira to be affordable, especially compared to other European destinations.
Monthly Budget in Madeira
You can definitely spend a lot of money in Madeira if you want to, there’s beautiful 5 star hotels, spas and fancy restaurants that you can eat at. But if you’re a budget girlie (like me) you’ll be looking at spending around $60 a day (including your car rental and accommodation)
🏨 Hotel room: $932 a month
🏠 Coliving accommodation: $690 a month (private room)
🚗 Car rental: $35 a day or $900 a month
🍛 Lunch / Dinner: $7 – $10
🍺 Beer: $4
☕️ Coffee: $2.50
🚊 Uber/Lyft: $4-5 a trip
So let’s say if you were going to stay in a coliving style accommodation, you’d probably be spending around $690 a month and if you only wanted to rent a car for the weekends or occasional adventures it’ll be $35 a day – but that can be split between yourself and friends you’re living with!
Coliving /Coworking in Madeira
Coliving spaces have been popping up around the world as an incredible option to find affordable housing and make friends while you’re living in a city as a digital nomad. They typically cater to travelers like us, with fast wifi and lots of working spaces.
If you’ve ever stayed at an Airbnb that ‘claimed’ to have fast wifi and then absolutely did not deliver… you’ll be grateful to have a home where that’s a requirement!
Right now, the best coworking/coliving space in Madeira is Nomadico.
Nomadico are currently accepting bookings for October this year, and they’re a coliving home with 11 bedrooms, views of the ocean and beautiful balconies. They’re located in Jardim do Mar (Garden of the Sea) which is also home to two of my favorite restaurants that we ate at many times during our stay! (Find them in my Madeira Guide)
They have dedicated work spaces and 5G fibre optic internet – it’s honestly a dream come true for digital nomads.
They have private rooms from around $700 a month and shared rooms from around $400 a month – and you’ll only be sharing with one other person for that price… What are you waiting for? Let’s all co-live together in Madeira this fall!
What do you think? Is Madeira the best digital nomad destination? Keep planning your trip and make sure to check out my ultimate guide to Madeira to find the best restaurants, beaches, hikes and so, so much more.
Digital Nomad Insurance
Before taking off on your next digital nomad adventure, make sure that you’re prepared for the worst.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I used to travel without insurance… and when stuff went wrong – I would end up paying a lot of money out of pocket for items stolen, routine doctor’s visits and so much more.
Learn from my mistakes and make sure that you’re covered wherever you go! SafetyWing offers digital nomad insurance – I’ve used them for several years now (and will continue to use them anytime I leave the US). They have great prices, good coverage, and really helpful customer service!
SafetyWing has also just launched a brand new Coworking/Coliving Collective! You can get exclusive perks, discounts and find friends around the world with SafetyWing.
Recommended next reads
- Pros and Cons of a Digital Nomad Lifestyle
- The 3 Best and Worst Places I’ve Lived as a Digital Nomad
- Ultimate Guide to Spending 3 Weeks in Madeira
- 19 Countries with Digital Nomad Visas
*** This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you love something I’ve recommended and you decide to purchase – I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate income is one of the small ways I’m able to keep this blog running! Thank you for your endless support. (I never recommend something that I have not used and LOVED myself)