In the latest Global Peace Index, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Portugal ranks on the Top 3 Peaceful Countries in the World. In this index, Portugal ranks above Switzerland, Canada and Switzerland.
International Living ranks Portugal in the Top 10 Best Countries to Retire in the world and Investopedia ranks it 2nd best country to retire in Europe. Unlike Spain, Portugal has never suffered any terrorist attack to date.
|Main Geographical Areas||Crime Rate (‰)|
|Porto City Area||33,1|
|Lisbon City Area||37,9|
|Autonomous Region of the Azores||36,9|
|Autonomous Region of Madeira||24,9|
If you are looking for the city with the best quality of life, and where you can enjoy a cosmopolitan and yet calm island life, then Funchal is the place to be. The Portuguese consumer association has ranked Funchal as the second-best city to live in Portugal.
In fact, Madeira has been receiving international attention since European royalty discovered the wonders of its year-round, spring like climate and the associated health benefits. Empress Sissi of Austria, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, and, later, Sir Winston Churchill stayed for extended periods, bringing this Portuguese island international status and notoriety.
Despite its proximity to Morocco, the island’s nearest continental neighbor, Madeira’s climate is humid (around 75% humidity year-round), thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage-protected, prehistoric Laurissilva Forest, which covers 20% of the island’s 741 square kms. This forest has more than 1,600 kms of irrigation channels accompanied by footpaths that once connected the entire island’s countryside.
With a population of 111,892, Funchal is Madeira’s only major city. Home to almost 42% of the four-island archipelago’s population, it’s the economic, cultural, and political center of the islands. Madeira’s other notable cities—Machico, Câmara de Lobos, Santa Cruz, and Santana—have fewer than 50,000 residents.
Just 55 minutes from Funchal, you can explore the wild coastal north and the town of Porto Moniz. Or, in 40 minutes, you can reach the sunny and peaceful village of Jardim do Mar, which both kisses the vast Atlantic Ocean and is walled by mountains.
Day-to-day life in Madeira is stress-free for locals, expats, and tourists alike, and the cultural offerings are immensely diverse for an island. Museums with Flemish and religious art, churches hosting organ music festivals, monthly symphonic orchestra and chamber music concerts, gastronomical and traditional folk festivals throughout the year, and recurring art exhibitions are just some examples of Madeira’s active cultural scene.
If you tire of the cultural agenda, you can always find peace on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo. A two-hour ferry trip takes you to one of Portugal’s “7 Natural Wonders”—Porto Santo’s 9 kms of healing-sand beach.