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 these fascinating but easy-going Portuguese islands.

Beaches
Thought 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. Paira do Machico is a smaller beach located on the eastern coast, with its golden sands attracting plenty of beachgoers throughout the year. If you’re willing to venture out to explore the islands 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.

Food & Drink
Although considered a part of Portugal, the cuisine in Madeira is slightly different to the 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, cool right? Something for parties or groups is picado, small pieces of beef fried in garlic and surrounded by French fries and eaten straight from the pan with wooden picks. Fish is also a staple part of the Maderian diet, including tuna, codfish and gaiado - the regional delicacy. Those with a sweet tooth will thoroughly enjoy bolo de mel, a delicious honey cake and queijadas, a type of cheesecake tart.

Culture
Discovered in the 15th century by explorers from Portugal, Madeira is filled with Portuguese charm but has its unique traits that make it such a special place. From the Monte wicker sled rides to the folklore dances, Madeira thrives off its individuality. Festivals on the island aren’t sparse, with wine, flower and nature festivals taking place each year in addition to the wonderful carnival that takes place throughout February.

Nightlife
Heading into Funchal, there are plenty of bars to choose from for night time tipples, including the Revelucion Rock Bar in the old town, serving classic cocktails, open late and (as you can tell by the name) playing a fantastic choice of music. 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, a perfect way to end the day. Over in Calheta, the Pukiki Bar is Madeira’s first tiki bar, with a chilled-out atmosphere, tiki tunes and of course a wonderful range of cocktails.

Important Information
Flight Time: 4hr
Time Difference: GMT
Currency: Euro
Official Language: Portuguese

Check out more great Madeira hotels

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Top Madeira Hotels

Pestana Royal Premium Ocean & Spa Resort

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Carlton Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Village

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Casino Park

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Dom Pedro Madeira (ex Baia Club)

Machico, Madeira, Portugal

Royal Orchid

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Vidamar Resort Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Orquidea

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana Bay

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Baia Azul

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta Mirabela

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

LTI Pestana Grand Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Dom Pedro Garajau

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta Bela Sao Tiago

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta das Vistas Palace Gardens

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Muthu Raga Madeira Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Santa Catarina

Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

Terrace Mar Suite

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Ocean Gardens

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Reid's Palace

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden

Canico, Madeira, Portugal

Dorisol Buganvilia

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Porto Mare

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Cheerfulway Bravamar

Ribeira Brava, Madeira, Portugal

The Cliff Bay Resort

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Madeira Regency Club

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Hotel Apartamentos Baia Brava

Guala, Madeira, Portugal

Pestana CR7 Funchal

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Savoy Saccharum Resort & Spa

Calheta, Madeira, Portugal

Madeira Weather

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.
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

Paragliding
An activity in itself, paragliding is an exciting way to discover Madeira. Glide through the air and feel the wind through your hair whilst taking in the spectacular views that the island has to offer. A volcanic island filled with high peaks and lush greenery, make sure to admire the beautiful landscapes from a birds eye view with an exhilarating paragliding adventure.

Whale watching and swimming with dolphins
Set sail into the Altlantic Ocean for the journey of a lifetime. Get up close and personal with Madeira’s sea life and go whale watching or swim with the dolphins. With a possibility of seeing up to six different species of dolphins and six species of whales, not only will you be left amazed, but you will come out bursting with knowledge of these majestic creatures. Whichever you choose to take part in, you will experience the beautiful mammals in their natural habitat, which is something to remember forever.

Cabo Girão Skywalk
Experience the Cabo Girao cliffs in the best way possible by visiting the skywalk, a viewing platform at the cliff’s edge where you can take in the wonderful panoramic scenery. If you dare, the skywalk is the glass-floored part of the cliff’s edge proving just how high up you really are. To make the experience even more exciting, there is also a cable car that rides down the side of the cliff to the lush, green Fajas de Cabo Girao terraced fields.

Monte Toboggan Ride
Treat yourself to a piece of Madeiran tradition by jumping on a wicker toboggan from Monte to Funchal. Dating back to the 19th Century, the rides were used as a mode of transport into the city, but even after cars, the sledging is still a common occurrence each week and is popular with the tourists. So, if you want to glide down the streets in a basket, with two men steering and using their rubber soles as brakes, make sure to catch a thrill by taking part in this exciting activity.

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