- Experiencing the old and the new. Madeira retains a traditional Portuguese feel but has one foot firmly in the 21st century, with cutting-edge museums, an excellent road system, and some fine modern bars and restaurants.
- Experiencing the levadas. There are around 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of levadas, or drainage canals that allow easy walking access to the island’s jagged mountain peaks and dramatic coastline.
- Celebrating at festivals. With one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Day fireworks displays, a spectacular Carnival, and countless local festivities, there is always reason to celebrate somewhere on the island.
- Enjoying the flora. Madeira’s semi-tropical climate and rich volcanic soil promote an astonishingly verdant array of flowers, plants, and trees, both in the wild and in some beautifully cultivated gardens.
- Taking to the Atlantic. If you aren't tempted to swim in the cool Atlantic waters, head off on a boat for the chance to spot dolphins or whales or for some of the best game fishing anywhere.
FODOR'S GO LIST 2015
The top 25 places we think should be on every traveler's radar this year.More