The Digital Nomad Village is a haven for remote workers on the shores of Madeira, offering free workspace for those staying a month or more. Olivia Palamountain reports
Madeira’s Digital Nomad Village is a utopia for remote workers, welcoming up to 100 people at any one time at its base in Ponta do Sol, a short drive from capital, Funchal.
Created in partnership with the Government of Madeira, StartUp Madeira and acclaimed digital nomad Gonçalo Hall, the move to create a haven for remote workers comes following a steep rise in demand accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Digital Nomad Village has bee hailed as Portugal’s “most impressive offering for the remote working community” to date, dedicated to welcoming a growing community of workers who appreciate the flexibility and freedom of the digital nomad lifestyle.The pilot programme, taking place from now until June 30, offers travellers free communal workspace, wifi and exclusive events from 8am to 10pm daily at the John dos Passos Cultural Centre.
Members also have access to a Slack community and a village hosting team that is on hand to foster exchanges between the nomads and locals. (Remote working can be lonely so the social aspect will be compelling.) The catch? Residents must commit to staying for at least a month.
According to Lonely Planet, “Gonçalo and his partners hope to implement a second project in Madeira and similar initiatives in several rural areas of Portugal”.
Crowned “Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2020| in the World Travel Awards for the seventh time, Madeira has had a successful year despite the pandemic, with travellers lured to by its year-round warmth, striking landscapes and easy access from the rest of Europe.A recent rise in boutique hotels, independent boutiques and craft businesses is attracting a younger audience to the archipelago’s shores, inspiring the moniker “The Style Isle”, as coined by The Times in December.
Thanks to investment in art and culture, Ponta do Sol is known as something of an cultural hub, offering the community a vibey lifestyle alongside beautiful beaches, great local restaurants and bars, and scenic hiking trails.The rise of digital nomadism is birthing a new wave of offers and incentives from brands, resorts and destinations worldwide. Pre-pandemic this industry was burgeoning – today, it’s booming, fuelled by a tribe of entrepreneurs and newly redundant and fed-up workers in search of a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Back in October, hospitality group Selina acquired Remote Year, a company specialised in arranging “work from anywhere” programmes abroad, to combine its global portfolio of coworking hotels with a network of thousands of digital nomads.
The partnership offers new pathways for digital nomads and those working remotely during the pandemic to explore new cultures and destinations, all while staying connected to work.
Mauritius has created a renewable, Premium Visa for visitors, meaning to means remote workers can stay on the island for up to a year, the Anantara Veli Maldives is tempting remote workers with an “unlimited stay” package for US$30,000, and Finland is tempting tech workers with a free 90-day relocation package to capital Helsinki.
Ocean Builders – is even converting a cruise ship into floating offices, offering entrepreneurs a one-stop business and pleasure hub moored off the coast of Panama.