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Digital Nomad in Madeira Guide 2024

In this Digital Nomad Guide to Madeira, you'll discover everything you need before embarking on your adventure on the Island of Eternal Spring, from co-working spaces and accommodation to the best activities to do with your time and how to connect with likeminded people.



For the past two years, I have been living on Madeira, and I still call it my adopted home. As someone who has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle for six years, I am well aware of everything you might want to know before considering a move to Madeira.


Why Madeira become popular for Digital Nomads

In 2021 Madeira government started a project called Digital Nomads Madeira Islands, with the main concept being to attract digital nomads to Madeira by providing a unique experience in the form of what is titled the Digital Nomad Village. The concept is to provide living and co-working community for digital nomads on the island. Programs like this one are a great opportunity for people who work remotely, just like us, to explore the island, building their lives in this beautiful place.



In addition to all the support and the engaged community of digital nomads on Madeira, the island is attracting people because of its natural beauty and the outdoor activities it offers.


Is Madeira good for photography? SEE OUR GALLERY FROM MADEIRA




Is Madeira safe?

Yes, Madeira is a very safe place to live. Occasionally, you might see news reports of someone being mugged on the street, but such incidents are never related to tourists. There are places where you need to be more alert, like Camacha, Camara de Lobos, or even Funchal at night, but still, I feel safer in any of these places than in other European cities.


Other than that, you must take care when adventuring outdoors in Madeira. Madeira has incredible mountain trails and is a haven for hikers, but not every trail is suitable for first-timers. Every month, you can hear in the news about people being injured while walking on closed trails or losing their lives due to landslides or other accidents, so you must take this into consideration.




How to get to Madeira

The most convenient way to reach Madeira is undoubtedly by flying to Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport in Santa Cruz (FNC). Despite being an island, Madeira boasts an impressive network of connections with airports worldwide, including direct flights to far away destinations like New York City and Toronto with the Portuguese airline Sata Azores.


The best connections are between Portuguese mainland cities Lisbon and Porto, with over 10 daily flights from Lisbon, for around 50 to 100 Euros for a basic fare with Ryanair or EasyJet.




Best Places to Live on Madeira as a Digital Nomad

Most of the digital nomad hot spots are located along the south coast of Madeira. The digital nomad program is based in Ponta do Sol and offers a free co-working space with fast internet, good accommodation options, and an active community. However, most digital nomads prefer to live in Funchal. The best place to look for your future accommodation are housing groups on Facebook - here you can get the best deals for a long term stay.


So here are the best places to live and work on Madeira as a digital nomad:



Ponta do Sol

The sunny point of Madeira and home to the Digital Nomads Program. When staying in Ponta do Sol, you'll enjoy the small, cozy town right at the beachfront with many attractions, including the Angels Waterfall. Ponta do Sol has its own microclimate, and thanks to its unique location, it enjoys summer-like weather almost every day of the year. As the base for the Digital Nomads Madeira program, Ponta do Sol offers a free co-working space and a strong community of digital nomads who engage together in sports activities, outdoor trips, events, and parties.


Regarding accommodation, Ponta do Sol is rather pricey to live in, and if you aren't planning to sleep in a bunk bed with a few other people in one room, you might pay anywhere from 80 Euros per day (discounts possible with longer stays). However, although staying in these accommodations can be very pleasant, as most of the reviews say, you can find better value for your money if you stay elsewhere.




Funchal

The capital of Madeira and the most exciting city on the island. Here, you'll find most of the digital nomads locating themselves for their stay. The reason for this is what Funchal can offer to its visitors, as there are lots of things here to do and see. You can spend your day walking along the narrow streets of the old town or visit one of the bathing complexes for a day at the beach. In Funchal you'll also find some of the best restaurants and cozy cafes on Madeira.


While living in Funchal, you'll have walking distance to most of the services you need, whereas in other little towns, you might need a car just to go to a supermarket. Funchal also offers more options for accommodation, from hostels to private apartments; you can find anything you need. As the biggest city on Madeira, prices here are also higher than in the smaller towns, as you'll pay anywhere from 700 euros a month for a studio apartment, but the number of options is much greater then in other locations on Madeira.




Funchal has lots of cafes and bakeries, but cafe work isn't something commonly done in Funchal. However, there are some co-working spaces you can visit to do some work, with some worth mentioning being Cowork Funchal and Sangha Cowork, both offering day passes for 15 Euros. If you prefer working in a cafe, I enjoyed LOFT Brunch & Cocktail, but wherever cafe you choose to work in, be ready to get stares, as people aren't used to seeing others working this way, and cafes prefer to have faster rotations of their clients.


While living in Funchal, you can still join all the community meetups with the digital nomads from Ponta do Sol, as the project organises transportation to all major events from the capital.


Machico

Machico has its own community of digital nomads and expats living on Madeira. This town is also much more affordable than the others mentioned above, but it offers as much as they do or even more. Machico, as one of two places on Madeira, has a sandy beach, which is great for swimming and sunbathing. There's also another beach with consistent waves, perfect for beginner surfers. The town also has lots of shops and cafes, and everything is within walking distance. If you want to get to Funchal to explore the capital, you can just hop on a bus and take a 30-minute ride to the city.


Located on the far east coast, Machico is also a great base for exploring the island, with a few major hiking trails starting nearby. If you do your research, it's possible to find a simple studio apartment in Machico for 500 euros a month.




Our Experience

We based ourselves in Canico, a small town located just outside of Funchal. Canico doesn't have too much to offer, but as people who have stayed on Madeira for a long time and prefer to work from home, we really enjoyed staying in a local area, away from the tourists and busy streets. We rented a separate apartment in a homestay, which made us feel calm knowing that there would always be someone at the house to look out for our things while we explored the island during our countless road trips. Living in a smaller town allowed us to save some money on accommodation, but the same amount (plus more) had to be invested in renting a car. However, since we wanted to travel frequently around Madeira, having a car was essential for us anyway.



Wifi and Internet speed on Madeira

One of the things that makes Madeira a great place for digital nomads is its fast internet connection throughout the entire island. Whether you're working from a bunk bed in a hostel or sipping coffee in a co-working space, the internet on Madeira will be great no matter where you are.


General Costs of Living on Madeira

Even though Madeira is a European island and a major tourist destination, the prices you'll find here are still more affordable than in many other European countries. Food and accommodation are generally more affordable outside of Funchal, but the options also become more limited. The prices on Madeira as you could expect after a tourism destination rise significantly during the summer season.


So here are some prices you might encounter while basing yourself in Funchal in 2024:


Bunk Bed in a dormitory: 50 Euro/day

Studio Apartment Rental: 800 - 900 Euro/month

Bus journey: 2-5 Euro

Co-working space: 15 Euro/day

Portuguese Coffee: 1-3 Euro

Affordable Meal: 10-15 Euro

Grocery Shopping: 50-100 Euro/week



Digital Nomad Community on Madeira

The community of digital nomads on Madeira is very organized and engaged. The digital nomad project is run by two people, Marelin and Luis, who organize weekly meetings, parties, workouts, trips, workshops, and volunteering under the name Madeira Friends (@madeirafriends).


Most of the communication in the community is conducted through Slack or WhatsApp. You can direct message the community leaders on Instagram or join the Facebook group to get invited to the private chats where you can find people to hang out with, join parties and group hikes, or share rides for trips around Madeira.



What do do on Madeira

The top attractions on the island include beautiful viewpoints, black sand beaches, and striking mountains, such as Pico do Arieiro, Fanal Forest, Seixal Beach, and Angels Waterfall, to name a few.


Madeira is still an unknown destination and many people outside Europe have never even heard of it. That's why now it is the best time to travel to Madeira Island before the crowds arrive.



What's the Best time to Visit Madeira

Madeira boasts a subtropical climate, which means it enjoys warm and agreeable weather all year long. However, due to its central mountain range, the weather can vary in different areas. This diversity is actually a significant advantage, as it means you can always find a spot on Madeira Island with pleasant weather for the day. I've personally experienced all the seasons on Madeira, and each one offered a unique and enjoyable experience. There's truly no wrong time to visit Madeira.




How to get around Madeira

While the public transportation on Madeira covers all areas of the island and could take you to most places you want to visit, it might not be very efficient for a traveler here for a short stay. We spent our first half-year on Madeira using only public transportation and occasionally renting a car for 2-3 days. Although we could get around well and travel to new places every week, it was only when we rented a car long-term that we truly experienced all the benefits of living on Madeira. This will be similar for you, if you're planing to stay on Madeira a week or so.


Other Articles about Madeira you'd might like

Madeira is such an amazing place to visit, and we still can't believe we've been able to call it home for the past two years. During our stay, we explored all the best spots on the island and tried all the most exciting activities, many of them more than once! This helped us create these comprehensive guides that will help you plan your own trip to Madeira.












2 comentarios


Invitado
01 abr

Not so affordable like some other Digital Nomad hubs in the world. Better to just visit Madeira for a one week trip rather than living there full time...

Me gusta
Invitado
01 abr
Contestando a

Maybe not as cheap as other places but the level of life, and possibilities which island offers - all worth the price of life there!

P.S. great article! 👍

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