Portugal lures travelers with little-known ‘Amalfi Coast alternative’


From towering volcanoes to crashing waves, Madeira is no exact replica of the picturesque Sorrento Peninsula in Italy. However, the Portuguese Autonomous Region of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean, 978 km south of Portugal and 450 km north of the Canary Islands is become a highly desirable ‘Amalfi Coast alternative’ for a number of travelers.

This demographic? Digital nomads. As CNN Travel reports, Madeira is making a game to join Bali, Berlin and Lisbon as one of the world’s most attractive providers of wifi, coffee and a cheap lifestyle.

“A small archipelago that has been called Europe’s answer to Hawaii could be the next big thing in remote working.”

“With a lot of people leaving big cities right now, we wanted a village in a smaller place where people can bond deeper than in a city,” Gonçalo Hall – a remote work consultant who helps launch a new digital nomadic community, one of the smallest in Madeira. villages – told CNN Travel.

The pilot project opened yesterday, February 1, in the red-roofed village of Ponta do Sol, where it can accommodate up to 100 remote workers in a coworking space and surrounding housing.

The project is a joint effort of the regional government of Madeira, StartupMadeira and Hall.

Hall said 150 seconds he is frustrated that few people know about Madeira.

“I went to Bali. I went to Thailand. I have been to all nomadic digital paradises. But when I visited Madeira I was blown away and immediately saw the potential there. It is simply magnificent. It’s incredible.”

“So far, around 75 digital nomads have pledged to be among the first to start working in the picturesque village of around 8,200 people sandwiched in a green valley on the southwest coast of Madeira, facing a pebble beach, ” CNN Travel reports.

Nomads are from various countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

On top of that, more than 2,000 people from places as far away as South Africa, the United States and Nigeria have also shown interest, Hall said. CNN Travel. After registering their interest on the website, they are then added to a Slack community where they can ask for advice on everything from housing to local Covid-19 restrictions.

A minimum stay of one month is required to give the project a community atmosphere. Most of the candidates, according to Hall, plan to stay for two months.

Francisco Fontes, a Madeiran resident who recently returned to the island when his work in the United States moved away, said CNN Travel Ponta do Sol is similar to the “villages of the Italian Amalfi Coast”.

“It’s very small. When you think of a nomadic village, it really is… A place where you would hang out and meet the other people on the project.

Madeira was recently crowned First island destination in Europe 2020 at the World Travel Awards. Scroll through the vibrant Instagram of “ Madeira ” geolocation gives you a good idea of ​​why: the archipelago offers incredible hikes, surfing, a village atmosphere and all kinds of quirky nooks and crannies.

As for Covid-19, various measures are in place to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

CNN Travel reports: “As with anything related to Covid-19, conditions are constantly changing. On January 29, in response to the dramatically escalating Covid-19 epidemic in the country, Portugal extended its lockdown and closed the land border with Spain. Citizens cannot travel abroad for 15 days. “

“The launch plans are moving forward and that leaves the project organizers waiting to see how things play out: if they build it, will the remote workers come?”

The first signs are positive. But only time (and the number of yoga shops and trendy cafes per capita) will tell.

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