A lot of people look for sun and beaches when traveling with their kids. For us, we were more looking for nice views and new experiences when we recently visited Madeira. The island was great for our purposes, but how was it for traveling with an infant? Here are our thoughts on going to Madeira with an infant.
Madeira With an Infant: Top 3 Reasons Why
So, what is Madeira like when traveling with an infant? Here are our top 3 reasons why you should visit the beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean with your kid/s.
The People and Their Culture
We have been to 10 countries since Little A was born nine months ago. None of the other destinations are able to match Portugal and Madeira when it comes to showing respect for people with kids. There are signs in shops and also at the airport requesting people to let families with infants skip the queues. We have seen this type of requests in other countries, but have never seen the respect to follow these rules as on Madeira. Most locals did let us go ahead and they did it with a smile. Usually after sharing a word (or ten) with the baby, When traveling with an infant there is nothing more welcoming than a smile from the locals. Especially since you know that in most countries you would be considered an annoyance in the queues.
In a café, the staff gave Little A a banana to eat (or play with), while they were talking to and playing with her. People really are considerate as far as babies are concerned.
The Short Distances
Islands are usually friendly destinations when traveling with an infant. The distances never get too big (unless you are visiting Australia). That is also the case with Madeira, nowhere feels too far away from your required comforts. Not to mention that there is so much to explore also when you do not want to spend a lot of time in the car. It’s also easy to get around, there isn’t much traffic and there are plenty of places where you can stop.
The Mild Climate
Many vacation destinations get really hot during peak season. Madeira certainly gets hot as well. It is, however, not generally getting as bad as at other destinations. The Atlantic Oceanis cools down the island. When traveling with an infant it is nice with some sunshine and warmth. It is, however, in our opinion nice when the temperature is not getting too high. It makes it a bit easier to explore and to enjoy the island. We visited Madeira in January and the temperature was pleasant, slightly below 20 degrees C. We saw the sun every day, even though there were strong winds and rain as well.
Madeira With an Infant: Top 3 Reasons NOT to Go
There are of course reasons why your stay on Madeira will not be as easy as you first would have thought. Comforts that some people require might be lacking and there are also other perks that will make your visit harder when traveling with an infant.
Walking – Slopes and Pavements
Unfortunately a majority of all places we have been to are not walking friendly when you are walking around with a pram or a stroller. Madeira is no exception. The island’s geography is making it really difficult to walk around with an infant. There are long steep slopes in almost every town, ensuring that you will spend almost half the day pushing your pram up the hills. There is also a lack of pavements in many places. The few pavements that do exist are narrow and you can only hope that you do not have a meeting pram ahead. So, if you go to Madeira with an infant, be prepared that getting around on foot can be a bit challenging. It is, however, not impossible.
Driving – Serpentine Roads, Steep Climbs and Descents, and Long Tunnels
Is your child prone to car sickness? Our Little A is usually not, at least so we think. On Madeira, we did however twice encounter this issue. There are a lot of serpentine roads, steep long climbs and descents from the hills, and long tunnels. As you see, there are many factors that can cause car sickness. It doesn’t prevent traveling, but it makes it a bit harder. You might want to plan your route for the day to make sure that there are not too many of the extremes. And remember, having a plan B is always a good idea.
Finding Cover from Strong Winds
Madeira is located far out in the Atlantic Ocean. This means that the wind can get strong. When exploring the island with an infant, it is not always easy to take cover. It is usually possible to choose where to go depending on the wind. If it is really windy on the southern coast, there is a possibility of better conditions on the northern coast instead. It just makes it a bit harder, just like with the other two reasons.
In summary, we think that Madeira is a great destination. All in all, it’s quite good for traveling with an infant, even though there are some challenges. The best thing is to be flexible and always have a plan B.