Golfers travelling from England and Wales still won’t have to quarantine upon their return from Madeira after it was announced that the island remains exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel. The far-reaching appeal of Madeira as an outstanding and safe destination for a golf holiday this autumn and winter has been brought into sharp focus with the launch of a series of new online videos.
Discover Madeira, the consumer-facing brand of the Madeira Promotion Bureau, has produced four short films showcasing the suitability of the islands for a stay-and-play golfing break following the Covid-19 pandemic as part of its “Madeira Safe to Discover” campaign.
As well as reassuring players about the Covid safety procedures in place when they touch down in Madeira, the videos – entitled Madeira Safe to Discover, Madeira Safe to Arrive, Madeira Safe to Explore and Madeira Safe to Taste – highlight the many different and varied attractions that are available to experience on a short or extended break.
The islands – which were last year hailed as the ‘world’s best emerging golf destination’ at the World Golf Awards, and as Europe’s ‘leading island destination’ for the fourth successive year, as well as the world’s ‘leading island destination’ for a staggering fifth year running in the 2019 World Travel Awards – have taken every step to ensure the safety of every resident and visitor since the Covid lockdown was lifted.
Discover Madeira has worked tirelessly with the local and Portuguese authorities to make the islands a safe destination for holidaymakers to return to, as well as working closely with SGS, the world leader in certification, to ensure good practices for the prevention and control of Covid-19 and other possible infections. Hotels, restaurants, bars, golf clubs and other tourist activities across the islands have also adopted the “Clean and Safe” stamp, created by VisitPortugal, which distinguishes tourist activities which are compliant with certain hygiene and cleaning requirements. Madeira is home to three magnificent golf courses in total, with Santo da Serra and Palheiro Golf located on the mainland, and Porto Santo Golf located on the nearby island of Porto Santo. The par-72, 6,656-yard (6,086m) course at Palheiro Golf – designed by Robinson – is situated within the magnificent Palheiro Estate, which is more than 200 years old. At nearly 1,640ft above sea level, the location enjoys dramatic views of Madeira’s mountainous skyline and the ocean, as well as – nestling below, just 10 minutes away – the island’s capital, Funchal.
The original course at Santo da Serra, dating from 1937, was redesigned in 1991 by Robert Trent Jones Snr, who created a new and spectacular 27-hole complex. The third and fourth holes of the Machico course are regarded as the signature holes, sitting atop cliffs more than 2,200ft above sea level, providing views of the bay of Machico, where Portuguese navigators first landed in 1419.
The 27-hole, Severiano Ballesteros-designed Porto Santo Golf is a short plane hop or ferry ride away. The par-72, 7,036-yard (6,434m) course, which opened in 2004, comprises two distinct nines. The southern route – a US-style layout – is dotted with lakes, requiring a long and precise game; while the northern route is atop fantastic cliffs, near the stunning beach of the same name.
Located approximately 1,000km from the European mainland – and just 500km from the African continent – Madeira enjoys an amazingly mild climate, ranging from 25°c in the summer to 17°c in the winter, with very mild average temperatures and moderate humidity, making it the perfect year-round destination for a golf break.
The best way to enjoy the archipelago’s golf is with a Madeira Golf Passport – available from most hotels and the golf clubs – which entitles the bearer to five rounds of golf across the two ‘mainland’ tracks: Santo da Serra and Palheiro Golf.