Maderia Island Warnings and Dangers
Maderia Island is an autonomous Portuguese archipelago made up of four islands. It’s located northwest of Africa and is an ideal vacation spot for travelers around the world. While Maderia offers beautiful views and scenic beaches, travelers to the island must beware of the dangers and warnings before leaving home.
Active travelers love Maderia for it’s winding hiking trails and breathtaking vistas. Maderia is known around the world for its levadas. Levadas are irrigation channels that local farmers have used for generations to bring water to more arid parts of the island. Nowadays, levadas are used as walking trails and hikes. Although they’re widely used and highly recommended for more adventurous tourists, they can be hazardous. Talk to the locals and only walk along the safe, well known trails. Some levadas are in such bad shape that the ground and cliffs around them give way. More than a few people have been seriously injured or killed because they wandered down an area that wasn’t safe. That being said, if you’re smart about it, levadas will give you a glimpse of waterfalls and views of Maderia that you otherwise wouldn’t see.
Fortunately, theft isn’t a major issue on Maderia Island. However, it’s still a tourist destination, so thieves are always close by. As you should on any vacation, keep your personal belongings close and don’t set your bags, cameras, wallets, or purses down in public places. Violent crime isn’t widespread, but locals advise travelers to Maderia to stay on the main roads, especially at night.
Don’t Get Lost
Maderia is unfamiliar to most visitors. Before you visit, purchase a map and study the island. The locals are extremely helpful, and you can set-up a tour guide for a fairly cheap price, but always have a back-up plan. Don’t wander into an area that you don’t know about in advance. If you do get lost, look for a local authority figure or police officer. Many residents don’t speak english, so you may find it difficult to find your way back if you get lost.
Drivers in Maderia can be aggressive. They have their own way of driving, so be prepared. If you rent a car, be informed about where it’s safe to drive, where it isn’t, and use precaution at all times. The roads are well maintained, but can be lined with potholes in areas. Stay away from more remote areas. Some locals won’t wait for you to adjust to the island’s driving conditions, which is especially dangerous in the more mountainous areas. Be safe and take a cab or a bus if you can.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about the warnings and dangers of Madeira Island.