statistics icon

Madeira vs the Azores: Where You Should Charter Next

15 August 2021

Imagine being in the middle of the ocean somewhere far away from a dry land where all the worldly troubles melt away as a fresh breath of ocean breeze touches your face—just like that, cruising on a yacht feels. With all the comfort a super yacht provides, cruising is an exclusive experience. 

No matter where you want to go, you have the freedom to visit any destination on a super yacht. Yet, choosing a destination can be tricky since there are multiple great places. Thus, we want to focus on two of the best ones: the Azores and Madeira. They’re so similar, and both are magnets for tourists. Let’s find out why! 

Both Madeira and the Azores are dazzling volcanic archipelagos. And both boast rich wildlife and culture. With all their similarities, they are pretty different. But no worries, we’ll help you pick up the proper Portuguese getaway for you! 

Location and Traveling Advice

The Azores.
The Azores is the archipelago between Portugal and New York. Located quite far from Lisbon (nearly 1,500 km), this destination can become a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Nevertheless, visiting the Azores is an excellent choice for those who like an active vacation. 

With the two Unesco World Heritage sites, the Azores is the best adventure playground. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of activities for you, including world-class whale & dolphin watching, hiking, canyoning, and so on. 

How to get to the Azores: The quickest way to get to the Azores is to arrive in Lisbon and find a plane that takes you directly to the islands. However, the most pleasant and comfortable way to travel to the Azores is to join a charter cruise. In such a way, you can go there from any corner of the world without caring about building your travelling route and looking for transfers.


Madeira. Though Madeira is closer to North Africa, it’s still a Portuguese territory. This island is famous for being Cristiano Renaldo’s birthplace. But we also know it for its tasty wine and loaf cake. If you want to have a laid-back vacation, travel to Madeira. It’s gaining its reputation as a vacation place for retirees because this is where you chill out most all the time. However, don’t worry that there is nothing to do in Madeira. 

This incredible destination also has lively popular towns, beach resorts with lots of water activities, and hiking paths to the island’s most impressive spots.  

How to get to Madeira: You can take a 90-minutes plane flight from Lisbon to Madeira, or you can also have a romantic cruise on a boat and enjoy the exciting company of like-minders and five-star-hotel comfort. 

Geography and Weather

The Azores. The Azores’ weather is quite unpredictable. Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the island can’t delight its visitors with stable and blistering days. It’s known for its frequent rains. But from June to September, it is high time to come to the Azores because the sunny days appear more often. But winter is the worst. Heavy rains make it almost impossible to enjoy the beauty of the islands. 

Madeira. Compared to the Azores, Madeira has a more pleasant climate. Most of the year, it’s mild with a lot of sunshine. Now we fully understand why Madeira is such a popular year-round destination. But don’t expect that the summer on the island has that burning tropical sun. It is never uncomfortably hot there. Madeira vacation is not that rainy, and not only in summer but in spring and autumn, Madeira looks gorgeous with plenty of flowers blooming and lovely weather. 

Tourist attractions 

The Azores. 

Ponta da Ferraria

One of the unique places in the Azores is Ponta da Ferraria. It is a natural swimming pool with hot water on the western point of Sao Miguel. With a temperature reaching up to 28 C, this place attracts many water enthusiasts to luxuriate in the hot bath. 

Caldeira das Sete Cidades

This lake is one of the most beautiful and photographed places in the Azores. It’s located in an ancient volcanic crater. No wonder it’s one of the seven Portugal’s Natural Wonders. Hiking to the Sete Cidades Lake, you’ll also have an opportunity to observe the fabulous Azores view. 

Portas da Cidade

Sailing to the Azores, it’s a must to go to the Portas da Cidade and see an iconic monument called Ponta Delgado. It’s an 18th-century old gates. This landmark of the Azores’ history looks genuinely unique with its three magnific arches. Going there, have a walk in the city among these old buildings, exploring the streets, and enjoying the picturesque architecture.

Parque Terra Nostra

Parque Terra Nostra is a large botanical garden in Sao Miguel. Make your day by spending it exploring lots of exotic flowers and volcanic pools. Due to the minerals, the water in them is orange. It looks truly fantastic. Besides, you can get in and bathe for a couple of hours there. After you get out, you’ll feel so relaxed and your skin so alive. 


Pico do Arieiro

Another famous Madeira attraction is the mountain Pico do Arieiro. You can easily reach it by car or with a hiking path and get a breathtaking viewpoint on the island. By the way, if you travel to Madeira in winter, Pico do Arieiro is one of the few places where you can spot snowfall.

Madeira Botanical Garden

One of the best Madeira’s attractions is the Botanical Garden. It’s a particular place because the gardens are located just above the city. So, when you come there, you can not only enjoy more than 2.000 mesmerizing plants while strolling around but also have a spectacular view of the city. Here, you’ll also have a chance to see plenty of colorful tropical birds. 

Cabo Girao

Another top attraction with an epic view is Cabo Girao. Being one of the highest ocean cliffs, this place opens a breathtaking panorama on the island to its visitors. If you want to observe Madeira even better, there is a glass skywalk for the bravest. While walking on it, you can see the water below through the glass. 

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

Topicals Gardens is a must-have to visit once you’ve traveled to Madeira. Multiple unusual species of plants and birds can be spotted here. They are impressive on their own, but the Gardens are also known for the collection of cycads that create such a meditative noise. Also, if you like museums, there is one with several floors devoted to a variety of topics: from minerals to African sculpture 

Gastronomic Pleasures in the Azores and Madeira

The Azores. Due to the unique climate and location, the Azores offers a range of ingredients that can’t be found in Europe. For instance, 50% of Portugal’s cheese is made in the Azores. Its excellent coffee, tea, and tropical fruits are something you need to try when you’re visiting the Azores. Also, being washed by the Atlantic waters from all the sides, no surprise, the islands offer a lot of tasty seafood too. 

When it comes to must-try dishes, they are the Cozido de Furnas (an octopus stew cooked by placing a pot underground) and Petiscos (Portuguese tapas). There are many restaurants in São Miguel, the biggest Azores’ island, where you can explore the culinary diversity of the islands. 

Madeira. During your Madeira vacation, eating out is one of the best ways to spend your time and get acquainted with the local community.

Among the clusters of lively bars, restaurants, and traditional eateries, you’ll find some of the best places to visit — Il Gallo d’Oro (with two Michelin stars) and Gavião Novo (the most popular restaurant in Madeira). There you can delight your taste buds with delicious traditional dishes, such as the steak Picado, fresh black scabbard, and circular bread roll.



The Azores.Since the Azores includes nine different islands, picking suitable accommodation can be overwhelming. We recommend you choose the largest island — São Miguel. It has good connections to other islands and the greatest variety of hotels and apartments to rent. 

For instance, Sul Villas & Spa is a lovely place to stay at. Swimming pool, garden, restaurant, and bar on the hotel’s territory will make your vacation even more enjoyable. Also, if you decide to sail to the Azores, you may sleep in comfortable luxury cabins. 

Madeira. Once you’ve come to Funchal, the capital of Madeira, you’d likely want to stay in local hotels or apartments. There are many things to do and see in this city, and if you choose to stay in local hotels, all the fun will be within walking distance from you. 

When looking for a hotel, consider the Savoy Calheta Beach, perfect for families and water enthusiasts. But in case you want something romantic and remote, Dorosil Potsdam dos Vinháticos is an awesome place for you. 

Besides, the sunniest southwest side of the island has hundreds of villas where you can isolate yourself from all the distractions and enjoy the delightful breeze of your vacation. 

So, Which is Better to Charter: the Azores or Madeira?

Honestly? They are both excellent. As similar as different, these two destinations are genuinely alluring. But if you want to have an adventurous and active vacation, then sailing to the Azores is the perfect choice for you. However, if you wish to slow down and have a laid-back vacation, choose Madeira as a charter destination. 

Whatever your choice will be, there is no problem for Ragnar, a luxury super yacht, to get you there with comfort and fun. Besides joining Ragnar, you need no accommodation to rent. Just stay at elite cabins on board. Let’s explore the world’s unique places together!

Explore the Seven Seas in Style

Choose destination

Related articles

For people who love sunny weather, warm turquoise sea, palm-trimmed beaches, and hot days, the Caribbean sounds like a perfect destination for everyone where they would want to spend a fantastic vacation. Tourists from all over the world come here to celebrate life, enjoy the colorful nature, and relish a melting pot of Caribbean cultures. ...
Traveling can be overwhelming, especially when you head off the beaten path right to explore the Arctic. Preparing and even thinking about such a big adventure, in particular, seems to evoke much of a thrill since you don’t know what to expect. To ease your worries, you should pick a proper yacht to travel in...
Ragnar is excited to be one of the two finalists nominated for Ocean Awards Yacht of the Year 2021 as the vessel supporting ocean-saving work and contributing to preserving the marine environment. Equipped with first-class research equipment, Ragnar is committed to supporting international organizations and scientific initiatives by providing accurate data on marine biomes.  About...