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Europe’s Best Island Has Been Crowned & You Probably Haven’t Heard Of It

Europe’s Best Island Has Been Crowned & You Probably Haven’t Heard Of It

The World Travel Awards have just announced their 2016 winners, and their pick for ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination’ may surprise you.

Santorini, Sardinia and Ibiza eat your hearts out; this year’s winner of the prestigious travel award is Madeira, a small island that boasts Portugal’s warmest year-round sub-tropical climate.

While it used to be known for its wine, Madeira seems to be the perfect place to take just about anyone. With great surf, incredible mountain trails for cyclists and hikers alike, fantastic bars, and stunning beaches, there’s not a person in this world who couldn’t get a kick out of this temperate paradise.

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While it’s now a popular holiday destination with over a million people visiting the island annually  – which, for reference, is still less than half the number than have visited Santorini – Madeira is still relatively relaxed with many travellers skipping it in favour of some of Europe’s better known destinations.

Located 1,000 kilometres from mainland Europe, the main island of Madeira is home to a large nature reserve on the Garajau coastline which is home to one of Europe’s first underwater nature reserves. Avid scuba suit wearers agree it’s among the best diving in the world thanks to the preservation efforts and untouched coral. Once you add in the green, rugged volcanic landscape and the beautiful beaches and rockpools, you’ll be claiming it as Europe’s best island as well.

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