Just after we launched Gym Nomad in October 2017, we had a connection from Angellist reach out to us in November who connected us with a new accelerator program called Madeira Startup Retreat. They were looking for travel and tourism startups to relocate to Madeira in Portugal for 2 months to go through their brand new accelerator program. In addition to the program, a €4,000 grant was provided to cover the bulk of the costs and off we went. To be completely honest, I had never heard of Madeira. Portugal I was familiar with and being from Australia, football / soccer isn’t really our thing so apologies for not being up to speed on Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, I just googled “Madeira footballer Ricardo” because I had forgotten his name, apparently one of the only people in the world who doesn’t know who he is.
We arrived to Madeira around the 14th January and we’re calling Funchal home until the 17th March. The stereotype that is attached to Madeira is that it’s for the older demographic, which seems to hold true. The Dutch friends I made on the plane were in their 50’s and have been to Madeira a number of times. Over one million tourists visit Madeira each year and the 40+ crowd is common. However, after visiting Madeira and learning of what it has to offer we really thought about why you shouldn’t stop over in Madeira. Simply, you shouldn’t stop over, you should dedicate a long trip here.
There is absolutely no reason people in their 20’s and 30’s shouldn’t also come visit for a decent amount of time to Madeira. With Wellness Tourism booming, Madeira could become a strong contender for visitors. From the island life, seas to swim (albeit with a scarce number of sandy beaches) in and consistently great weather, you can also be in the mountains in a matter of minutes where it might be snowing at the 1862m peak of Madeira and surrounding mountains, or be knocking back a poncha or two in old town. The island is incredibly affordable from a 55c espresso or 75c pastel de nata (so long as you get out of the touristy areas near the concentration of hotels) and most importantly a very close destination to mainland Europe for a health and wellness trip. Hiking through the mountains and the Levada Trails one day or enjoying city facilities for quality yoga, muay thai, kickboxing, Crossfit, running, swimming, martial arts or Krav Maga to name a few. The quality of all these fitness facilities is nothing short of impressive and made brilliant by the people running and taking part at the gyms and studios.
The price of a flight to Asia greatly outweighs the price to fly to Madeira and with the affordability to eat and sleep here with the likes of Airbnb or Travel to Madeira you can see why we say, don’t stop over in Madeira, come for a long visit.
Ahead of our February 2018 launch, Gym Nomad got some air time on the local Portuguese TV channel RTP. Check out the interview around 44 minutes into this episode
As always, Gym Nomad is working on the fully flexible training memberships for visitors to Madeira after our launch in Amsterdam. Checkout the amazing facilities on offer in Madeira here. MMA to meditation, we have you covered. Get you fitness membership in Madeira for your next trip from 1 day to 8 weeks and anything in between.
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