Madeira sits surrounded by the Atlantic, west of Morocco and north of the Canaries. It’s part of Portugal, a rocky island outcrop known for its wine and warm, subtropical climate.
There are two dozen take-offs on the island, mainly on the coast although a handful are dotted inland.
Take-offs and handling can be tight, so good groundhandling skills are important.
Arco da Calheta in the south is considered the best site on the island. it’s a private site so there is a five-euro day fee, payable when you are there.
It’s mainly soaring on offer but sometimes pilots do go XC from here. Tandem operations fly here, so if it’s on they will be out. The launch is stress-free and the landing is on the beach below.
Photo: Mario Eder / Nova
Appeared in the 2016 Travel Guide in a collection called European-Winter Getaways. See the others here.