In Madeira, Funchal is often referred to as Little Lisbon, because of its historical architecture, narrow, winding streets, and an ocean view from nearly everywhere. And like Lisbon, Funchal has a thriving nomad community with daily events and meetups for everyone's taste.
Workouts, diving, whale watching, boat and rooftop parties, and an array of workshops are just a sample of the many activities Funchal’s nomad community organizes every week. In the old town, you get weekly farmer's markets, a wide selection of restaurants, coworking spaces, and rooftop terraces you can work from. Wandering the cobblestone streets at night, you can listen to live music and dance.
While you’ll find Portuguese wine from the mainland sold all over the island, Madeira's drink specialty is poncha, made from local rum. The most famous poncha places are in the Ribera Brava valley. If you are feeling like healthy snacks, the Old Town has you covered. You can stop by Prima Caju for a lovely brunch and smoothie bowl, or you can get fresh tropical fruits from the market. Some special ones include tamarillos, maracuja bananas, and the fruit of the Monstera Deliciosa plant.
When it gets too hot by the shore, you can take the cable car up to Monte and go work from Greenhouse Coffee Roasters. Surrounded by botanical gardens, healthy food, and probably the best specialty coffee on the island. Another great place for specialty coffee is the Maia Coffee Shop in the town center. The Design Centre Nini Andrade Silva also welcomes digital nomads at their café. It’s a perfect spot for afternoon work, crowned with a spectacular sunset, looking over the ocean. Right next door, you can see one of Madeira’s quirks, the Principality of Pontinha, one of the world’s few micronations that sits on a foreboding old fortress.
Malavika is an India-based writer passionate about travel, wildlife, and the outdoors. Follow her travels @malavikab on Instagram.
Subscribe to receive the latest blog posts to your inbox every week.