With the days getting shorter and colder, and the country seemingly being pelted by storm after storm, you could be forgiven for wanting to get on the next plane out of here in search of some more enjoyable weather.

Luckily, palm trees, lush green mountains and crystal clear waters are only a short flight away.

Located 500km off the coast of North West Africa and 450km north of the Canary Islands, Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal made up of four islands – Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens.

With an average flight time from London of just under four hours, and November temperatures usually reaching 21C, there’s still a chance of grabbing some end-of-year sunshine without trekking halfway across the world.

Famed for its eponymous cake and being the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira is undoubtedly one of the prettiest places on the planet.

READ MORE: The European island with incredible public transport

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Affectionately dubbed the ‘Hawaii of Europe’, the destination has gone viral on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram for its sheer natural beauty.

The islands are so popular and loved that the Madeira hashtag has been shared nearly six million times on Instagram, with one user commenting that it is the “most beautiful, stunning, jaw-dropping place I’ve ever been”.

One of the many positives of the island for prospective British visitors is that Madeira shares a timezone with the UK along with the rest of Portugal.

You can drive around this astonishing island in just a few hours, making it a manageable and versatile destination full of activities for travellers of all interests.

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Whether it be trekking to the summit of Pico do Arieiro for a spectacular sunrise, or enjoying a dip in the Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, Madeira is a nature lover’s dream.

Much like the rest of Portugal, the food and drink in Madeira is heavenly. Poncha is a traditional local alcoholic drink made with aguardiente de cana, honey, sugar, and either orange or lemon juice – perfectly refreshing after exploring this slice of paradise.

Make room for delicious bread Bolo de Caco, the typical Madeiran dish Milho frito (fried cornmeal), and the traditional grilled beef skewers Espetada.

A trip to this enchanting destination wouldn’t be complete without sampling another famous local delicacy, the uniquely made Madeira wine.

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