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Paradise in Portugal

Visit The Island of Madeira for Unforgettable Beaches and Lush Scenery

Article by Emily Shea

Photography by Galo Resort

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

Craving a tropical getaway sans crowds? Instead of heading to a destination like the Florida Keys or Cancun, book a trip to Europe's Hawaii — also known as the Portuguese island of Madeira. This lush tropical island is located off the northwest coast of Africa and features breezy beaches, pristine weather conditions, stunning landscapes, Michelin-starred restaurants, unforgettable beaches and one of my favorite resorts. 

Located along the beautiful southeast coast of Madeira and within the Galo Resort, Sentido Galomar is an adults-only hotel that has a unique cliff-edge location, a seawater outdoor pool, a lounge and bar, a spa and an on-site restaurant. It is also within walking distance of the resort's two additional restaurants and the large gym with free weights, vast cardio equipment options, benches and barbells, weight machines and 70 weekly exercise classes – all available for no additional cost. Sentido Galomar also offers active outdoor excursions such as mountain biking, hiking and canyoning through the outdoor company LokoLoko Madeira. After all, Madeira is commonly known as one of the best places in Europe to hike and explore.

If maintaining your wellness routine while traveling is important for you, the resort's state-of-the-art gym is home to more than just your everyday treadmill and generic set of dumbbells. There are over a dozen indoor cycling bikes, ellipticals and treadmills, as well as a weights area with a large selection of dumbbells, kettlebells and weight machines, a CrossFit room, a yoga and meditation room, squash courts, a heated indoor pool and a sauna.

Sentido Galomar's on-site restaurant, Atlantis Restaurant, offers a daily breakfast buffet with options ranging from tropical fruits, a selection of fresh bread and pastries, smoked salmon, egg dishes and more. In the evening, Atlantis Restaurant transforms into an upscale grill that specializes in nutritious seafood and fish dishes.

One of the other dining options located within the resort is Ondamar. Similar to Atlantis Restaurant, it also offers a daily breakfast buffet. Each evening, Ondamar also offers a house buffet. With daily themes and a vast selection of gluten-free, vegetarian and organic food options, the house buffet provides numerous nutritious options and can whet just about anyone's appetite.

If exploring the unique culture of Madeira strikes your interest, Sentido Galomar is steps away from a local bus stop. For less than $5, you can purchase a round-trip ticket to Madeira's capital city of Funchal. Another option is to have the hotel's front desk staff call you a local taxi, which will cost you a bit more. Renting a car in Madeira is also an option, but the roads are extremely steep and windy, making driving quite a challenge if you're not a local. 

Funchal is a cosmopolitan city well known for its natural beauty, cable cars and upscale restaurants. The city overlooks the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and is backdropped by the island's luscious green mountains. The best views of the city can be experienced from the Madeira Cable Car, also known as the Teleférico do Funchal. It starts in Funchal's Old Town and travels over 10,000 feet to Monte, one of the most historical areas of Funchal. 

Funchal is also home to the Funchal Ecological Park. The park offers multiple hiking trails, trails for mountain biking and all-terrain biking, bird-watching experiences, canyoning and more. 

There is no better time to begin planning your vacation than right now. For more information about the island of Madeira and its capital city of Funchal, visit To learn more about Sentido Galomar and the Galo Resort, visit