According to legend Madeira's second town, Machico, takes its name from a 14th Century English merchant called Robert Machin. Machin and his aristocratic lover Anne d'Arfet eloped and headed to Portugal but were blown off course and shipwrecked on Madeira. The couple died and were buried at the site of town, and the story inspired the first Portuguese explorers to seek out the island. In 1451 Machico became Madeira's first settlement, and was the capital of the island's east until unification with Funchal and the rest of the island.
Today the town is an idyllic destination for Madeira holidays, situated in a beautiful natural bay, surrounded by lush terraced slopes and a nice seafront promenade. Madeira's magnificent climate constant sun and warm Atlantic waters make Machico holidays perfect at anytime of year. The island's airport is just ten minutes drive away so the town is easy to get to, and On The Beach has the best deals on Machico holidays for your convenience. If you're planning a holiday in Madeira, Machico makes an excellent base to explore this island paradise!
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Things to do
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Machico, like the rest of Madeira, enjoys a wonderful sub-tropical climate due to its location and mountainous landscape. The sun shines all year and temperatures range from a low of 16° Celsius in the winter to about 25° Celsius in the summer. Outside the summer you should expect some rainfall, but these showers rarely last very long. It doesn't matter when you want to take your Machico holidays, the sun will be waiting for your arrival.
Machico is set in spectacular surroundings, with lush, terraced banana plantations sloping down to a stunning natural bay. The seafront promenade overlooks a pebble beach; at low tide a strip of sand is revealed which is great for sunbathing and swimming. Across the bay at the other end of town are the mariner and Forte de Sao Joao Baptista, built in 1708 to defend against pirate attacks.
To the east of the town is Pico do Facho, a 320m peak named after the beacon (facho) which was lit here to warn of pirates. From here there are splendid views over the town and out across the Atlantic.
Things To Do on Machico Holidays
The centre of Machico is focused on Largo Dr Antonio Jardim d'Oliviera, a cobbled square whose northern side is dominated by the Igreja Matriz. The church contains some fine Manueline masonry and a painted ceiling. On the other side of the River Machico is the Capela dos Milagres (Chapel of the Miracles), apparently built over the graves of Robert Machin and Anne d'Arfet. Floods destroyed the original 15th Century church, which was replaced by today's structure that dates from 1815.
Near to the church is an old-fashioned area of fishermen's houses and a quiet, shaded square and where you can relax and take in typically laid-back lifestyle. There's no shortage of things to see and do on holidays to Machico.
The last Sunday in August sees the Festa do Santissimo Sacramento (Festival of the Holy Sacrament) in Machico, a carnival style procession through the town ending with an enormous bonfire at the site of the old beacon on Pico do Facho.
When floods destroyed the original church at the Chapel of Miracles a wooden crucifix was washed out to sea but was 'miraculously' found by a passing ship. This miracle is marked by a torchlit procession on October 8th each year, and public holiday the day after.
There's plenty of ways to spend an evening on holidays in Machico, with a choice of cafes and restaurants to enjoy a meal. O Casco serves good food at reasonable prices, while the Bar Azul Central da Cidre is a traditional-style bar. There is one disco in the town, La Barca Discoteca, which stays open late at weekends but retains a chilled and friendly ambience. Make the short journey south to Garajau for a different setting at night.
Book a Machico Holiday now!
Choose to chill out and relax with Machico holidays, set in a beautiful location on the 'garden island'. With great weather round the year a Machico holiday is idyllic at anytime.
On The Beach has amazing deals on holidays, and you can use our live online booking system to combine flights and accommodation for a tailor-made holiday, so book now for a perfect holiday in marvellous Machico!