For a small island, Madeira has some major claims to fame.
The smallest of three islands off Portugal’s coast holds the record title for the world’s biggest fireworks show.
Madeira is also home to (arguably) the world’s most attractive football player: Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Atlantic island with a Mediterranean climate is a short hour and a half flight from Lisbon, and with a reputation for world-renowned wines and out of this world landscapes, Madeira has plenty to offer the LGBTI traveler.
Since there is none on the island, Toby Hughes recently launched GayMaderia.com as an intimate resource for the LGBTI traveler to enjoy the best Madeira has to offer,
Hughes, who’s lived in Madeira for over eight years with his boyfriend, started a personal website gay tourists would visit to learn about the bars, hotels and restaurants in Madeira.
‘I like to help people as much as I can enjoy Madeira, and hope to see many more gay visitors visit this beautiful island,’ Hughes told Gay Star Travel.
‘For the LGBTI traveler I think Madeira has a lot to offer: Beautiful scenery all over the island, great walks out in the country and forests. Madeira is clean, safe and very friendly.’
While Hughes tells us there’s not much of a gay scene, ‘everywhere you go, you’re made to feel welcome’.
Until you decide what your favorite treasures are in Madeira, Hughes offers his preferred eateries, getaways and gay bars.
Favorite gay bar: There are only two on Madeira so feel I need to mention both: Arquipelagos and Molha o Bico
Favorite any bar: Vintage 23 Rua Santa Maria
Favorite dance floor: Copacabana below the casino
Favorite tourist sight: Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs in the world at 580 meters
Favorite meal: Espetada (beef on skewer)
Favorite getaway: Paul do Mar
Favorite breakfast: Coffee and pastal nata
Favorite park: Santa Catarina Park
Favorite beach: Garajau
Favorite long walk: Funchal to Camara de Lobos
Favorite photo-op: Miradouro Neves
Favorite museum: Museu das Cruzes
Favorite hotel: Oasis Four Views In Caniço de Baixo
Favorite festival: Christmas Market Night
Favorite place for a first date: Forte São Tiago
Favorite store: Madeira Shopping
Favorite food market: Santa Serra on Sundays
Favorite art gallery: Casa das Mudas (Calheta)
Favorite café: Café Teatro
Favorite bike ride: Anywhere in the mountains
Favorite view: Pico Areeiro