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Madeira

On the hunt for an island getaway that offers more than just a nice beach? Call off the search, Madeira is the place for you! This exquisite gem of the North Atlantic Ocean is rich in wildlife, flora, local culture and Instagram-worthy spots. There’s so much to see and do in this tropical paradise, you won’t know what to do first.
 
An ideal destination for sun worshippers, there’s a mild climate all year around, with even the ‘winter’ boasting averages higher than some of our summer months! Better yet, this means that sea temperatures rarely dip below a balmy 17 degrees so water babies can swim to their heart’s content.
 
The warm currents aren’t just good for swimmers though. If you fancy yourself to be as good as The Duke on a board, then you are going to want to wetsuit-up for Madeira. An increasingly popular spot to catch some great waves, the western coast of the island is home to pro spots like Jardim do Mar and Ponta do Pargo as well as beginner swells in Ponta Pequena and Paul do Mar.
 
If you want to do some cultural exploration then you should head to the south of the island where the majority of shops, hotels and eateries can be found. The capital, Funchal, is a vibrant little city built from an old pirate settlement that’s warm and welcoming, providing activities from dawn ‘til dusk and beyond. While you’re here, you have to make a stop at the two Michelin-starred Il Gallo d'Oro where you’ll be treated to some of the best Portuguese cuisine around.
 
Hikers and nature enthusiasts looking for an active adventure will also find Madeira an incredibly enticing location for all their outdoor pursuits as the northern parts of the island offer breath-taking stretches of wild coastline as well as volcanic peaks and jungle-like stretches of forest.

WINGED BOOTS WISDOM

 
As an island with a tropical climate, we highly recommend downloading a regional weather app to stay one step ahead of the sudden changes in conditions and plan your activities accordingly.


 
Get in touch with our team of travel experts to start planning your trip

Good to know

  • Capital: Funchal
  • Flying time to destination:
    4-hours from London
  • Instagram Opportunity: Caldeirão Verde (Green Cauldron) waterfall
  • Packing Essential: Beach Mat

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 16°c   Feb: 16°c   Mar: 17°c  
Apr: 17°c   May: 19°c   Jun: 21°c  
Jul: 22°c   Aug: 23°c   Sep: 23°c  
Oct: 21°c   Nov: 19°c   Dec: 18°c  

Location

Madeira In A Nutshell

Soak Up The Culture
 
  •  With an intriguing history in both geographical and man-made terms, this island is action-packed with cultural activities that are far better than your standard field-trip to a local museum.
     
  •  Your first stop has to be an underground trek through the São Vicente Caves. Part exhibition centre, part subterranean experience, you’ll be led through torch-lit tunnels made by streams of molten lava with a knowledgeable guide showing you the way before reappearing above ground to examine the artefacts. To make this a truly unforgettable day we recommend that you combine this with a stopover at Moniz where you can complete the circle of volcanic-themed experiences with a swim in the lava pools
     
  •  For a day of family-fun, Ribeiro Frio (Cold River) park, the pride of the Madeira island, is a haven of natural exploration set in a valley on the island’s north side. Surrounded by mountains, you could well believe you were on a trek into the Amazon as you start your woodland adventures here. Nature trails are an ideal way to explore the area with waterfalls, natural pools, caves and carved stone stairways appearing around each corner. And if you’d prefer to take it all in without walking about, there is an excellent trout farm where you can indulge in a lazy day of fishing alongside a fantastic view
     
  •  A unique Monte custom sprung from the days when townsfolk carried fruit and vegetables across the hilly island for market days, Carros de Cestos is now a traditional cultural experience for tourists visiting the area. Hop into a small wicker cart that looks almost like a sleigh and hold on tight as your Carreiros (driver) pushes your vehicle in an adrenaline-pumping ride. Sliding so fast it’s almost over before you blink, you’ll whizz down the lanes of the city’s steepest hill from top to bottom – and maybe get your photo taken on the way!
     
  •  While adventure may not be the first word that springs to mind when picturing the idyllic and easy-going Madeira, you’d be wrong if you thought the island had nothing in the way of action-filled activities for its more daring visitors.
     
  •  For a thrilling and bumpy ride into Madeira’s more remote regions, what could be better than an adventurous Jeep Safari tour? Taking you right into the heart of the region’s dense forests, a team of professionals will give you a taste for authentic Madeira with secret spots, intriguing anecdotes and answers to satisfy even the most inquisitive passengers. Private tours can be organised to last anywhere between two hours or a whole day depending on your schedule.
     
  •  If you can’t wait to get out on the ocean and re-enact the island’s seafaring history, then a three-hour trip on the Santa Maria de Colombo is the adventure activity for you! Created as an exact replica of Christopher Colombo’s infamous discovery vessel, this ship takes you on a tour around Madeira’s coast, letting you take in the stunning cliffs and the paradise bay of Faja dos Padres. On board, you can sample some of the traditional ‘cakes’ that explorers survived on for months at a time (not for the squeamish). You might even be lucky enough to spot some dolphins on your voyage and if this fails, there’s always the ship’s parrot to comfort you with a lovely photo at the end of the cruise.
     
  •  An adventure that will take you sky high, the Funchal Cable Car is an absolute must-do for any visitor to this beautiful isle. Relatively recent to the list of attractions here, there are 41 cabins in total that will whisk you from Funchal to Monte (and probably back again). The views are simply spectacular from every angle, whether you’re looking out over the ocean or the island and the summit of your expedition, called The Sintra of Madeira, is the most breath-taking pinnacle of it all.
     
  •  A pleasant mix of pebble, black sand and gold sand beaches are on offer for your leisurely enjoyment on the stunning island of Madeira. Although not a beach destination first and foremost, the recent importation of golden sand to a number of its beaches has ensured there are a few traditional spots where you can soak up the sun.
     
  • If you don’t care much for sand and prefer a good swim then Doca do Cavacas should be your first stop. Even if you do enjoy some grit between your toes, you should visit this spot at least once during your stay. Consisting of stunning tidal pools that offer direct ocean access, the water here is crystal-clear and the area provides sun lounger access as well as nearby bar so you can really make a day of it.
     
  •  A picturesque island paradise, Calheta is a perfect man-made beach with every facility you can imagine plus miles of gleaming white shores (imported from Morocco) to stretch out on. Watersport lovers will go mad for the activities on offer, including canoeing, windsurfing, catamaran rental and more.
     
  • For the perfect beach-day, why not hitch a boat ride over to the little sibling of the Madeira Archipelago, Porto Santo? This island is home to a five-mile beach of soft golden sand that’s a haven for sun bathing and laid-back water activities. An absolute paradise, the sandy stretch is kissed by shimmering, blue-tinted waves of crystalline water, while palm trees cast a cooling shade over the loungers. You’ll never want to leave.


     
Our range of Madeira packages are tailored to you,
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