Madeira: Sea, Sun and UV rays

Madeira: Sea, Sun and UV rays

Madeira Climate

Madeira is famous for its sub tropical climate. Hence, sun exposure and strong UV rays on Madeira are not a joke. Many visitors to the islands (Madeira and Porto Santo) suffer from painful sunburns on the first days of their vacation. As a result it can make the rest of their stay very unpleasant. Thus, protection and common sense are important!

Machico Madeira subtropical weather Portugal Webcams weather forecast

Sun exposure and UV rays

Although the sun plays an important role in providing light, energy and life, it can be extremely dangerous due to its UV rays.  While close to the water, there is often a cooler breeze which prevents overheating but helps you forget the nocive impact of the sun’s rays.  Beware because even when clouds cover the sun and even when it rains, the direct sunlight is just as strong. This is why it is important to protect yourself and your loved ones, even on a cloudy day!


With these simple protective measures, you can enjoy spending time in the sun while keeping your skin safe from the dangerous UV rays.

Cover Up

Covering your skin is the best option if you want to keep your skin healthy and safe.  So yes, even during hot days, wear lightweight and breathable clothes preferably made from natural materials such as cotton or linen for example.  In addition for people with sensitive skin, a whole new range of technical clothes with integrated SPF (sun protection factor) can be found really easily in sport or adventure stores.  

Apply Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is extremely important if you do not want to cover up. Please bear in mind that several types of sunscreen exist.  Why?  Because most commercial sunscreens are toxic for the Ocean Eco Systems (and for you as well).  So, when using sunscreen, focus on brands which rely less on chemicals and which are tested good for you and for the surrounding fauna and flora.  Here is a list of harmful ingredients both for your and for the ocean.

Wear a Hat

A hat can be a perfect way to add extra shade and protect you head and face.  The scalp is often overlooked but it does burn easily.  Usually, one notices the damage only once it is too late. 

Limit Exposure Hours and Time

Normally, do stay in the sun for max 15 to 30 minutes at a time.  For instance, if your skin starts to tingle, it is high time to seek shade or go inside.  Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.  Certainly children are most vulnerable.  Furthermore, do avoid sun exposure around midday. UV rays are strongest between 11am and 4pm (source)

Stay in a Shady or Covered Area

Staying in the shade or in covered area is the best way to protect the skin.  Take an UPF50+ (Ultraviolet protection factor) beach umbrella when you go for a swim, a picnic or to the beach

Watch for the UV index

This important information can help you plan the time you spend outdoors.  Hence, do be extra careful when the UV index shows levels above moderate / low. The UV Index for Madeira is right HERE

UV index Madeira Island and Porto Santo Portugal
Hence, Madeira is the perfect holiday destination.

Right this way, if you want to see Madeira’s weather forecast in the various municipalities.

Ocean Retreat