For the latest information on COVID-19 travel restrictions please see our Coronavirus FAQs page

Madeira Holidays

Madeira Holidays

Read more about Madeira

A peaceful archipelago filled with beautiful nature, Madeira is the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing yet exciting holiday with lovely weather all year round. Whether you’re an old town wanderer, beach relaxer or a full-on activity buff, Madeira has it all. Delightful cuisine, fantastic festivals and stunning landscapes, discover new experiences on this fascinating but easy-going Portuguese island.

Jump to...

Best beaches in Madeira | Best hotels in Madeira | All Inclusive holidays to Madeira | 2022 holidays to Madeira | Family holidays to Madeira | Luxury Madeira holidays | Nightlife in Madeira | Things to eat in Madeira | Culture in Madeira | Things to do in Madeira | What’s the weather like in Madeira? | Madeira Important information | Reviews |


Best beaches in Madeira

Thought of as one of the best beaches on the main island, Praira da Calheta is a sandy bay located on the south-west coast and is a great Blue Flag beach for families. Praia do Machico is a smaller beach located on the eastern coast, with its golden sands attracting plenty of beachgoers throughout the year. Looking for something a little mor epeaceful? Prainha (Caniçal) is a lovely secluded beach where you can simply soak up the sun and listen to the waves. On the northern coast of the island you'll find Praia do Seixal, a beautiful spot of shore that’s perfect for a relaxing day by the sea. If you’re willing to venture out to explore the island even more, Praia do Porto Santo located on Porto Santo island is an astounding beach with crystal waters and is a perfect place to relax. Plus, the island is easy to reach by ferry from Madeira.

Madeira beach

Best hotels in Madeira

The wonderful island of Madeira is perfect for all holidaymakers and it's huge range of great hotels means that there's a hotel out there just perfect for your next break. So, whether its a five-star all-inclusive your after, or a boutique beachfront beauty, there's a hotel in Madeira with your name on it. One of our favourite family hotlels is the gorgeous Cliff Bay Resort. With ocean views, direct sea access and plenty of activities for all ages, it makes for a fun-filled family escape. Looking for a little luxury? Try the gorgeous five-star Pestana Carlton Madeira with relaxing on-site spa. For a unique stay, head to the Quinta Jardins do Lago. Surrounded by stunning gardens and located just outside Funchal, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring Madeira.

All Inclusive holidays to Madeira

Pretty botanical gardens, golden sweeps of sand and rugged mountainscapes - when it comes to scenery, Madeira has it all. Luckily, there are plenty of hotels that have it all, too. All Inclusive holidays to Madeira mean that you can enjoy everything from lazy pool days and beachfront walks to all-day ice cream and late-night cocktails without a care in the world, because it’s all wrapped up in one neat little package. Whether it’s a fun-filled family holiday that you’re after or an all-out trip with your special someone, you can’t go wrong with an All Inclusive break.

Madeira All Inclusive

2022 holidays to Madeira

Need somewhere sunny to unwind this year? Madeira’s scenic landscapes might just be the perfect place to escape to for some sun, sea and serenity. This Portuguease archipelago is home to delicious Mediterranean cuisine, picturesque villages and blissful beaches - sound inviting? You can start planning your dream break now and book with confidence, because all of our flight-inclusive package holidays are ATOL protected.

Family holidays to Madeira

Beaches for exploring, pools for splashing in and gorgeous botanical gardens for admiring - in Madeira there’s something for everyone. Children’s pools and daytime activities are sure to keep the kids occupied, whilst the soaring mountains and vividly blue waters create the perfect peaceful paradise for some quality downtime. If you’re looking to jet off for a family holiday in the sun, then Madeira won’t disappoint.

Family Madeira

Click here to book your Madeira beach break »

Luxury holidays in Madeira

Holiday in the lap of luxury with your next Madeira break. This tranquil destination is the ideal backdrop for the view from your balcony. From family-run boutiques that are big on character and authentic experiences, to opulent resorts with everything you need at your fingertips, you can’t go wrong when you’re seeking the high life here. Foodies and sommeliers alike will love the upscale food and drink scene in Funchal and elsewhere on the island. To really up the wow factor, why not seek out a hotel with a spa, or even a private hot tub? Get the champagne lifestyle you deserve.

Nightlife in Madeira

Funchal is Madeira’s nightlife hub, with plenty of bars to choose from for a cheeky cocktail or two. Check out the Revelucion Rock bar in the old town for great music and a fantastic atmosphere until late. Also located in Funchal is the Madeira Rum House, a place to relax, sat out on the cobbled street and sample the locally produced rums – the perfect way to end a day in paradise. Over in Calheta, the Pukiki Bar is Madeira’s first tiki bar, with a chilled-out atmosphere, funky tunes and, of course, a wonderful range of cocktails.

Nightlife Madeira

Things to eat in Madeira

Cuisine in Madeira is at once similar to and distinct from the Portuguese mainland. Bolo do caco is a popular flat round bread, usually smothered in garlic butter and parsley and eaten as a starter. Soup lovers should definitely try sopa de tomate e cebola, a tomato and onion soup served with a poached egg on top. Something for parties or groups is picado - small pieces of beef fried in garlic, surrounded by French fries, eaten straight from the pan with wooden picks. Fish is also a staple part of the Madeiran diet, including tuna, codfish and gaiado - the regional delicacy. Peixe Espada is another typical dish on the island, which is the interesting combination of scabbard fish with banana. Those with a sweet tooth will thoroughly enjoy bolo de mel - a delicious honey cake, and queijadas -a type of cheesecake tart.

Culture in Madeira

The Portuguese archipelago may be located off the coast of North Africa, but it still keeps to Portuguese traditions…and they even have some of their own too! To truly indulge in Madeiran culture, try to plan your trip at the time when the Dancing Folklore Festival is on in Santana. There, you can watch the performances, sample the local food and even try the local wine! If you’re a wine connoisseur, then there is also the annual Wine Festival to visit, as Madeiran wine is famous for its unique taste.

Madeira culture

Things to do in Madeira

Ride a Monte sledge

If you’ve ever spoken to someone who’s been to Madeira, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of the Monte Sledge rides. The traditional sledge is made of wicker, resembling a basket, and doesn’t have any wheels but instead is on skis! So how does it make its way down the hill? You’ll be pushed by two ‘drivers’ who will give the sledge the power to slip and slide all the way down the hill at some speed! It’s definitely an experience that you’ll never forget.

Visit a black volcanic beach

The golden sandy beaches of Madeira are absolutely delightful and perfect for days relaxing under the sizzling sunshine. If you want to experience something new, then make sure to visit one of the main island’s black volcanic beaches! Seixal Beach boasts fine black sand meeting crystal waters and is surrounded by dramatic mountain sides covered in lush greenery. Not only is this a fantastic spot for a beautiful beach day, but its unique scenery is perfect for a photograph or two.

Dolphin and whale watching

Whether you’re looking to take the kids on an exciting day out, or you and your loved one want to go on a sea adventure – booking a boat trip to go whale and dolphin watching is the answer! If you’re planning to visit Madeira between April and October you’re in luck, as this is when the most species are present in the surrounding waters. So, set sail and see the species of the seas for a superb day out under the sun!

Go hiking from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Discover the lush, beautiful nature of Madeira and hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo. The 11km trail is one for those who already love to hike and may not be for beginners, but if you’re up for a challenge and love to be surrounded by stunning greenery, this will definitely be the highlight of your trip. Up and down, over and under, prepare for a work out which will not only make you break a sweat, but will lead you to jaw-dropping scenery you’ll be dreaming about forever.

Madeira things to do

Take a look at our guide to Madeira #offthebeach

What's the weather like in Madeira?

Madeira’s climate is pleasant all year round, with averages ranging between 23°C and 16°C, the hottest months are from June to October. May and November have average temperatures of 19°C and the milder months are December to April with averages ranging from 16°C to 18°C.

Month

Average temp.

Sea temp.

Hours of sunshine per day

Jan 16 °c 19 °c 5 h
Feb 16 °c 18 °c 5 h
Mar 17 °c 18 °c 6 h
Apr 17 °c 18 °c 7 h
May 19 °c 19 °c 7 h
Jun 21 °c 21 °c 7 h
Jul 22 °c 22 °c 8 h
Aug 23 °c 23 °c 8 h
Sep 23 °c 24 °c 8 h
Oct 21 °c 23 °c 7 h
Nov 19 °c 21 °c 6 h
Dec 18 °c 20 °c 5 h

Click here to book your Madeira beach break

Important Information about travelling to Madeira

How long does it take to fly to Madeira?

The flight is just 3 hours and 45 minutes from the UK.

What’s the time difference between the UK and Madeira?

There is no difference!

What currency do they use in Madeira?

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, so the local currency is the Euro>.

What language do they speak in Madeira?

The official language spoken in Madeira is Portuguese.

What Covid restrictions are currently in place in Madeira?

For more information on entry requirements and restrictions, visit our specific airport measures page where we keep you updated with everything you need to know.

Do I need any vaccinations to visit Madeira?

Please check with your healthcare provider for all up to date vaccination advice before booking your holiday.

Do I need a visa to travel to Madeira?

Please visit our Brexit page for more information on visa requirements.



Customer reviews

At On the Beach, we’ve sent many satisfied customers to Madeira for a bit of sunshine. But don't just take our word for it, read some of their 5-star reviews below.

Nazir Ismail


The booking experience was quiet straight forward and it was very easy. Correspondence and confirmation was also prompt. Will definitely use again.

Alexandra Bizarro


All went well, accurate descriptions, easy service.

Urszula Pietrzyk


I loved it! Hotel room very clean and well equipped, lovely view!

View destination on a map

Top Madeira Hotels

Royal Orchid

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Casino Park

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Enotel Baia

Ponta Do Sol, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Royal Premium Ocean & Spa Resort

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

VIDAMAR Resort Madeira Dine Around - Half Board

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

LTI Pestana Grand Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Dom Pedro Garajau

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Muthu Raga Madeira Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Miramar

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Aparthotel Imperatriz

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Ocean Gardens

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Enotel Lido Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Alto Lido

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Royal Savoy

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Porto Mare

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta Penha de Franca

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Duas Torres

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Carlton Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Bay

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Do Centro Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Golden Residence Hotel Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Melia Madeira Mare

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Calheta Beach Hotel

Calheta, Madeira, Portugal

Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Saccharum Resort & Spa

Calheta, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Village

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Four Views Oasis

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Terrace Mar Suite

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Dorisol Buganvilia

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Estalagem Quintinha Sao Joao

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Madeira Weather

Madeira boasts a beautiful climate with warm sun and mild temperatures throughout the year. Peak time is over New Year, and daytime temperatures during the winter months hover around 20° Celsius. Spring and autumn are pleasantly mild and a little moist, with rainfall feeding the island's rich vegetation.

Summer temperatures climb to around 24° Celsius; the south of the island gets warm and sunny particularly around the capital, Funchal. The 'Leste' is an east wind that blows from the Sahara for a few days each summer, pushing the barometer up to 33° Celsius.

Jan 14ºC
Feb 14ºC
Mar 18ºC
Apr 22ºC
May 25ºC
Jun 27ºC
Jul 28ºC
Aug 28ºC
Sep 25ºC
Oct 23ºC
Nov 19ºC
Dec 16ºC

Landscape

Madeira is sometimes called a 'floating garden', and it is for its stunning natural beauty that many keep coming back on Madeira holidays. The mild semi-tropical climate promotes the island's rich vegetation. Many of the blossoms on display are of plants that were introduced from around the world by settlers, adding to the riotous colours of the Madeira's famous flowers and foliage. The island's ancient laurel forests are unique and as such are now protected by UNESCO.

Prainha is the island's only natural beach with soft black sands, whilst dramatic cliffs formed from volcanic rock dominate much of the rest of the coastline. At 580m the cliffs at Cabo Girao are some of the highest in the world, offering breathtaking views. A statue of Christ stands over the cliffs at Garajau, another great place to enjoy the Atlantic panoramas.

Holidays in Madeira are famous for walking and hiking, brilliant ways to take in the scenery. For those with a head for heights the path between Lorano and Michano snakes along the cliff tops of the north coast. The island's interior offers endless opportunities for trekking through rugged valleys, wild mountains and along the sides of the irrigation canals that pass through some of the best countryside.

At the centre of the island is Pico Ruivo, Madeira's highest peak at 1862m. It is possible to hike to the top, and it is also accessible by car, and once there you will often find yourself looking down onto clouds. On clear days the views across the island and out to sea are simply astounding.

Things To Do on Madeira Holidays

Madeira holidays boast a wealth of attractions from breathtaking scenery, historic towns and beautiful wildlife. Funchal is the island's historic capital and the only town of significant size, with many museums, shops, restaurants, botanical gardens and a cathedral among the sights to visit. To sample some of the Madeira's world famous wines head to Old Blandy's Wine Lodge in the town, the oldest lodge on the island. There's much more to keep you occupied in the Funchal, and it's a great base for Madeira holidays since from here most places are easy to reach. To the east of Funchal is the town of Canico with its impressive Baroque church and central square.

Monte is a hilltop town in the island's northeast with verdant gardens, a sacred church and astonishing views. Here you can ride in a wicker basket down the traditional Monte Toboggan ride. In the southeast, amongst banana plantations, is the historic town of Machico, which was the first place on the island to be colonised. There are many tranquil, unspoilt villages to explore on your holidays to Madeira such as the picturesque fishing community of Camara de Lobos, which was a favourite haunt of Winston Churchill.

Culture

Madeira has a busy cultural calendar with events and festivals throughout the year; some have become tourist attractions in their own right. There are many religious celebrations, mainly saints' days, which normally end in song and dance. Funchal Carnival takes place in February or March each year and has developed into one of Europe's biggest. Festivities cover an entire weekend with the highlight being the Rio-style parade on Saturday night. Also in Funchal, in April or May, is the Festa da Flor, a three-day flower festival that sees the town awash with beautiful blossoms.

The Madeira Wine Festival marks the grape harvest with events across the island including bare-foot wine treading and, of course, many delicious wines to sample. New Year celebrations in Funchal have gained a reputation as some of the best in the world, with an enormous firework display on the stroke of midnight, accompanied by a glass of fine champagne.

Nightlife

Madeira's nightlife is tranquil and sedate; while there are some clubs most people on Madeira holidays are happy to spend an evening in one of the many fine restaurants, cafes and bars. Funchal has plenty of good places to eat and drink including the hip Cafe do Museu, and the Apolo restaurant that has an excellent seafood menu.

The town of Canico has a choice of great restaurants such as the Atlantis that also serves amazing fish dishes. In almost every village you can find a bar a cafe where you can relax the laid-back atmosphere that characterises a holiday in Madeira.

Book a Madeira Holiday now!

A holiday in Madeira is a holiday in paradise, a green gem of an island with colourful vegetation, stunning mountains, beautiful climate and tranquil atmosphere. On the Beach has the best deals on Madeira holidays, and for convenience you can use our live online booking system to find flights and accommodation, so your stay will be customised to your requirements. All the island's beauty is waiting for you, so book now for a perfect holiday in Madeira.

Madeira Resorts

Canico

Canico

On Madeira's sunny and prosperous south coast, 10km east of the capital Funchal is the affluent town of Canico. Before the island's unification the to…

Read more on Canico Travel Guide

Funchal

Funchal

Funchal is Madeira's capital, a fascinating town set in a stunning natural harbour with views out across the Atlantic. It's an idyllic destination, pe…

Read more on Funchal Travel Guide

Garajau

Garajau

Garajau is a picturesque village and resort on Madeira's sunny southeastern coast. The warm Atlantic waters off the coast include a marine reserve, an…

Read more on Garajau Travel Guide

Machico

Machico

According to legend Madeira's second town, Machico, takes its name from a 14th Century English merchant called Robert Machin. Machin and his aristocra…

Read more on Machico Travel Guide