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Tips for a summer in Madeira

Madeira is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe.

The island contains wonderful flora and fauna and its climate is very pleasant all year long. Besides, Madeira offers many hotels, apartments, resorts, villas, and hostels and the island is one of the safest holiday destinations because the island is virtually crime-free. In this text, I want to highlight essential information on what Madeira can offer you during your summer holiday in Madeira.

Madeira its nature is beautiful and that is why I recommend exploring the island its stunning views while doing outdoor activities. The island offers activities like levada and mountain walks, diving, paragliding, fishing, canyoning, and surfing. Also, dolphin and whale watching is one of the possibilities. Levada walks are my favorite island activity. Levadas are water canals which originate from the necessity to transfer mountain water all over the island. Levadas are still used to transport water and they became wonderful walking routes offering you the most stunning views on the island. I highly recommend Levada Caldeirão Verde which shows a great waterfall that is waiting for you at the end of the walk.

Madeira is not only the ideal destination for its mild climate and exuberance of its nature, but also for its gastronomy. The kitchen of Madeira offers a wide variety of regional dishes were simple recipes with fresh ingredients are the secret of the Madeiran cuisine. Especially eating fish is recommended since the sea is the natural extension of Madeira. Fresh fish caught by the fishermen arrives every day at the Funchal and other coastal city markets. Some of the best traditional dishes are fresh tuna, fried mackerel, black scabbard, and limpets. The black scabbardfish, also known as “Espada” is traditionally served with passion fruit, banana or stew.

Limpets are my favorite fish menu, and these are mussels cooked with a garlic butter sauce. The limpets are finished by adding chopped parsley and by pouring over lemon juice. I recommend eating them with a good glass of white wine. Another really good meat dish is called “Espetada”. Espetada is made with beef cubes in a laurel skewer which is grilled on a wood oven.

However, the Madeira island has many more natural activities and culinary quality which will help to make your summer stay an unforgettable expedition. I can talk infinite about gastronomy but for now, I have to cook my own dinner. See you next month!

Short bio of the volunteer:

I am Jan from Rotterdam in the Nederlands and I am part of Madeira Heritage voluntary program. I have a passion for chemistry, history, food and exploring new places. That is why the Madeira Islands and its historical and cultural environment attracts me.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.