• Madeira, Portugal
    © dinozzaver / 123RF
  • Madeira, Portugal
    © mfron / 123RF
1      
  • Compare your :
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Flight + Hotel
  • Private Rentals
  • Cars
  • Holidays
  • Destination

Discover Madeira, Portugal's Atlantic outcrop

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
The volcanic origins of the archipelago of Madeira make it a true paradise for hikers in search of wild, untamed landscapes.

Travel guide

Madeira's multiple levadas, the island's network of irrigation canals, offer unforgettable walks through tunnels dug into the mountains and along hidden forest paths. Its subtropical climate allows the island to enjoy mild temperatures all year round. Those looking for miles of sandy beaches should head to Porto Santo. The island is still untouched by mass tourism, only a few hotels have set up shop.

Our Editorial team's advice

For lovers of sailing, touring the archipelago is a real treat. Arrival into the bay of Funchal, nicknamed the 'pearl of the ocean' is a magnificent sight. One of the main activities of the archipelago is fishing and game fishing trips out to sea can be arranged from Funchal. This is something you must include on your itinerary if you want to make the most of the sea and spend some quality time with the locals.

Contrary to its reputation, Madeira is not an island simply for lazing around. Its volcanic origins explain the presence of the high mountains and their valleys from which paths follow the irrigation canals known as levadas. To cover any part of the 1,400 miles of treks available make sure you have packed some good walking shoes! The trek leading to the summit of Pico Ruivo requires a lot of physical effort but is instantly rewarded by the stunning view from the top.

pros

  • +Cost of living: as on mainland Portugal, the cost of living is lower than in the UK.
  • +The subtropical climate, which is only a few hours flight away, allows you to enjoy the sun even in the middle of winter.

cons

  • -The luxury hotels, night clubs and glitz take away from the natural beauty of Funchal.
  • -Given the size of the archipelago, it is difficult to avoid noisy tourists and partygoers of all nationalities.

Traditions

The island of Madeira lives to the rhythm of festivals such as the flower festival or carnival and the inhabitants underpin absolutely this joyful atmosphere. For example, if you go up to the top of Funchal, you will find, next to its church, the departure point of a rather amusing escapade: the chance to get back to the bottom of Funchal in an unexpected form of transport - a wicker basket supported by two men!

Food

Although there are many meat dishes, especially in the form of meatballs, Madeira is the ideal place to enjoy all kinds of fish. Specialities include sea food, swordfish and tuna steak and are all accompanied by corn fritters. For dessert, the honey cake bolo de mel is a must. All washed down with a glass of Madeira wine of course!

Ideal Weather Search

Find weekly weather forecasts for Madeira . Different criteria make it possible to predict with precision the best time of year to go to Madeira . A comprehensive weather score, made up of temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds, will allow you to choose the activities best suited to the weather conditions and therefore make the most of your holiday in Madeira .

Reviewed hotels

Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin

Our journalists' reviews for you 89 hotels Portugal . Take a look at our hotels, their facilities or their value-for-money score according to your departure dates so that we can find the best offer to suit you Portugal . Book a hotel Portugal it's never been so simple !

Reviewed Hotels

Souvenirs

Local handicraft is much the same as that of mainland Portugal (such as pottery) but you can pick up some magnificent examples of embroidery and lace and all sorts of wicker objects and furniture. Shops are open from 9:00am until 1:00pm and then again from 3:00pm until 7:00pm during the week and from 9:00am until 1:00pm on Saturday.

What to see

The Pico Ruivo , The summit of Madeira , Portugal
The Pico Ruivo
Paul da Serra Plateau , Mist over the plateau , Portugal
Paul da Serra Plateau
Farmlands , A series of harvests , Portugal
Farmlands
The Valley of Nuns , The village of Curral das Freiras , Portugal
The Valley of Nuns
Ponta de Sao Lourenço , Northern Madeira , Portugal
Ponta de Sao Lourenço
Camara de Lobos , Local colours , Portugal
Camara de Lobos
The natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz , Refreshing swims , Portugal
The natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz
The North Coast , Rocky escapades , Portugal
The North Coast
The Funchal botanic garden. , A countryside full of flowers , Portugal
The Funchal botanic garden.
Vines , Precious bunches , Portugal
Vines
Submarine wildlife , The moray eel , Portugal
Submarine wildlife
The Manuelian and Baroque styles , Religious monuments , Portugal
The Manuelian and Baroque styles
The Azulejos , Portuguese inspiration , Portugal
The Azulejos
Madeira wine , Sweet wine , Portugal
Madeira wine
Embroidery , Portugal
Embroidery
Madeira : Explore

Package holidays in Portugal

Last Minute Deals

  • Hotel Madeira, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    Hotel Madeira, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £378
  • Vila Vicencia, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £381

Holidays

  • Pestana Village Garden Resort, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    Pestana Village Garden Resort, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £308
  • Vila Vicencia, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £323
  • TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens, Funchal: 7 nights half board

    8d/7n
    from only  £329
  • Hotel Madeira, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £336
  • Hotel Pestana Carlton Madeira Premium Ocean Resort, Funchal: 7 nights bed and breakfast

    8d/7n
    from only  £346
All offers "Cheap Holidays"