The Nomad Island Fest kicks off every year in December on the sun-soaked island of Madeira, one of Europe’s most popular digital nomad hubs! The Nomad Escape is assuring every year top notch speakers, laid back moments to relax and integrate, and a lot of fun occasions to bond with fellow entrepreneurs. This makes the Nomad Island Fest the best festival for remote workers and digital nomads interested in growing their business.
We asked our good friend Toks Coyle to tell us about her experience during last year’s fest. She has first-hand experience of life on the island and knows just how life-changing a nomad festival like this can be. Read on to learn all you need to know about The Nomad Island Fest 2024.
You’ll soon be inspired to book your spot. Check out the various options on NomadRetreats.co/The_Nomad_Escape to plan your trip!
All You Need to Know about The Island Nomad Feest 2024 – Your Questions Answered!
Have you heard about Island Nomad Fest, the must-visit business festival for remote workers and entrepreneurs in Madeira? If you’re a remote worker or digital nomad, you probably wonder if a trip to Madeira and this festival will be worth it.
That’s why Nomad Retreats has partnered with Toks Coyle to share all you need to know about the festival! Here, she shares the answers to any potential questions you may have.
You’re sure to be in good hands, as she attended last year’s Nomad Island Fest and can’t wait to attend the next one! Let’s dive in…
So Toks, why should Digital Nomads visit Nomad Island Fest?
Nomad Island Fest is perfect if you value in-person connections, especially if you’re a full-time online worker like me. I really appreciate the welcome break from my screens! At Nomad Island Fest I can make real-life connections with like-minded people, shake their hands, and sit down to have real conversations with people in the flesh. You can expand your mind by networking like this with diverse people from all over the world, and we already have at least one thing in common – we all love working remotely! These experiences help you discover different perspectives and learn fresh ideas for work and life.
In addition to all the networking opportunities, there are many workshops and conference talks where you will learn about specific topics around business, digital nomadism, and life. I’m even going to do a talk at the next Nomad Island Fest on how to successfully use virtual assistants! There are also opportunities to let your hair down at the parties and participate in chilled activities with your fellow attendees.
What’s more, if where you usually live is very chilly in December, Madeira is the perfect winter sun destination. It’s not too hot like the Canary Islands or parts of Africa and Asia. But you can still enjoy some lovely mild weather compared to the UK and Northern Europe at this time of year. Plus, flights from the UK and Europe tend to be very affordable at this time of year, making it a no-brainer!
How many digital nomads attend Nomad Island Fest?
Around 100 people attend Nomad Island Fest every year. This means you get to know many like-minded remote workers and solopreneurs and connect with at least a few on a deeper level. This is truly a community – the sort of group where you can easily just say hello to someone new and initiate a friendly conversation.
After the week-long festival, you will hopefully know many people well enough to see who you want to continue networking with afterward. Michelle Maree, the CEO of The Nomad Escape (the company that runs Nomad Island Fest), is super friendly and makes an effort to meet, get to know, and support everyone in their business goals. That alone should tell you the welcoming community you’ll be walking into!
What sort of people will be at Nomad Island Fest?
Mainly location-independent workers, most of whom are entrepreneurs and business owners, or aspire to be. Many are very into travelling, whether on the road full time or just some of the time. Most importantly, people are there mainly to learn new things, develop themselves professionally, and network and form valuable connections with others.
It’s the kind of networking event where people genuinely care and actively want to help each other, not just sell to each other (I’m sure you know the type!). This is not a business event full of suits – people here usually dress casually (except for the parties with a dress code, like 1920s style – please dress up!). It’s much more likely to exchange hugs than business cards. To get the most out of the event, be sure to keep in touch with people you want to stay connected with after the event via social media/email /phone, etc.
How long does Nomad Island Fest last?
It’s only one week, which will fly by – trust me! There will be pockets of time when you can sneak away to do some work in your hotel room, in one of the many common areas of the hotel, or in the free coworking space nearby. Honestly, though, I’d recommend keeping your usual day-to-day work to a minimum if possible. This is because the Nomad Island Fest programme is fairly jam-packed, and you’ll want to make the most of all the amazing networking experiences you’ll encounter here.
And if you’re into New Year’s Resolutions, then Nomad Island Fest comes at a very convenient time in early December to help you inspire some new ideas and skills you can work on in 2024.
Is the fest worth the price?
Totally! In fact, I think it’s relatively low-cost compared with other similar conferences and festivals I’ve come across. It works out to be around €125 a day for the Basic Pass, which is the ticket without accommodation or food. With it, you will have access to several networking parties, social events, business talks and workshops, fitness sessions, and exclusive online networks that will enrich you professionally and personally. And you never know – you might meet your next business partner, client, or collaborator. Alternatively, this could be just the space you need to inspire your next lucrative business idea!
And if you don’t already have a place to stay in Madeira, then purchasing the Premium Pass is worth it for the convenient Nomad Island Fest accommodation package. For about €246 a day, you’ll stay in a luxury cliffside hotel, Estalagem, where many festival activities take place, with others just a few minutes’ walk away. No need to worry about finding transport to travel to and from the festival every day because you’ll be right there – extra time in bed, anyone?
If you’re like me and enjoy your daytime naps, you’ll be so glad you booked the accommodation package! Also included are breakfast and dinner at this hotel, providing the convenience of having most of your meals of the week sorted, plus ample opportunities to network with other festival attendees in the dining room.
So many other attendees stay at the hotel, making networking opportunities much easier and effortless too. There’s a payment plan available if you need to spread the cost. You can stay in a private room, and there’s also the cheaper option to stay in a twin room instead, which also gives you another great opportunity to network with someone amazing!
Is it easy to get there?
Yes, Madeira Island is easily accessible by many regular flights from all over Europe and can be quite affordable, depending on where you’re flying from. Madeira Airport International Cristiano Ronaldo is a nice, small, and efficient airport that is easy to navigate. It takes around 35 minutes to drive to Ponta Do Sol, the coastal village where Nomad Island Fest is held. The Nomad Escape will provide you with the contact details of recommended and reliable airport transfers, or you can get a complimentary shuttle transfer from the hotel if you’re staying there.
I’m an introvert/neurodivergent – will I get overwhelmed?
With your ticket, you’re given a comprehensive guide to the event beforehand, including the full schedule, a recommended packing list, and essentials to know about Madeira so that you will have a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare.
It is a fairly jam-packed programme of events for the week. However, there are a few scheduled times for winding down and doing slower activities, including an organised spa and pamper half-day. And, of course, there’s no obligation to attend every session if you don’t want to. We’re all adults here, and there’s no judgement if you need to miss something for whatever reason!
If you are staying in the event hotel or somewhere else nearby, you can easily sneak off for alone time and a rest in the middle of the day, then come back refreshed for more activities. Also, the area of Ponta Do Sol is a pretty laid-back place, so you could easily go off and chill in a nearby café, sit at the beach, or walk around and explore some of the area. A perfect respite from the festival bubble.
Is there time to check out the rest of Madeira Island while I’m at this festival?
To be honest, if you want to explore more of the island, it’s probably best that you either arrive a day or so before the event or leave a couple of days after if you want to give yourself enough time to explore the rest of the island. As I mentioned earlier, the festival programme has a lot on, so don’t try to squeeze too much in one go!
Ponta Do Sol is lovely, with quite a bit to see, as is the capital city, Funchal. Madeira is also establishing itself as a digital nomad hotspot, dubbing Ponta Do Sol the world’s first nomad village, so you might be curious to stay for an extended time to workation or even live there for a bit. Do your research to see if Madeira and its awesome levada hikes are worth extending your trip for.
I hope this post has helped you understand what to expect at Nomad Island Fest and helped you to make up your mind about whether it’s an event you should add to your calendar. If it ticks all the boxes for you, then I think you should go for it!
If you do come, don’t forget to say hi – the Nomad Retreats guys and I will be there!
We hope these answers helped you clear your mind and pushed you to take your suitcase out of the closet! Check all the booking options for The Nomad Island Fest here NomadRetreats.co/The_Nomad_Escape and start your adventure!
About the author: Toks Coyle is a travel blogger at Toks Travels, where she indulges in her two loves of writing and travel by documenting her trips and experiences of exploring the world, particularly coliving spaces and digital nomad experiences, giving out a few tips along the way.
Toks also runs her own virtual assistant business, Toks.Rocks, where she provides flexible marketing admin support to small businesses and organisations remotely from wherever she and her laptop goes.