In the Archipelago of Madeira, you can appreciate the landscapes, cuisine and culture, while experiencing times of pure fun and delight through a wide variety of activities that bring you in close contact with nature.
Ideal for holidays with either family or friends, the fantastic selection of hotels in Madeira offer outstanding facilities, with some even boasting beachfront access, swimming pools and outdoor activities for all ages. Thanks to Madeira's relatively small size, you'll find that you don't need to venture far to reach any of attractions, meaning you can fit a lot in during just a few short days.
When to visit
With pleasant average temperatures of 25C in Summer and 18C in winter, the archipelago’s wonderful climate allows you to get out exploring at any time of year. You'll find opportunities to swim in volcanic pools, stretch out across sunny beaches, take a boat trip to see whales or dolphins, hike to waterfalls, experience a mountain bike adventure or go canyoning in the heart of the Laurissilva Forest.
Madeira is home to a toboggan ride in which visitors travel from Monte to Livramento in a traditional wicker basket sledge.
William Shakespeare even mentioned Madeira Wine in his play, Henry IV, in which John Falstaff sold his soul "for a glass of Madeira and a leg of a capon."
Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Funchal
Hike through the Laurissilva Forest
Take a hike around the waterfalls of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Laurissilva Forest, which is home to a unique assortment of plants and animals, including endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon.
Take in Funchal by cable car
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Funchal with a ride in the cable car, looking out over the city’s gardens and magnificent bay.
See local marine life by boat
Take a boat trip out to see dolphins and other marine life – several species can be seen off Madeira throughout the year, including bottlenose dolphins and pilot and sperm whales. Options include catamaran sailings with swimming, speedboat tours and sunset sorties.
Attend a festival
Attend one of the island’s many festivals: The Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival, Carnival, the Colombo Festival and the Wine Festival are some of the most popular events.
If you time your visit for the festive period, the New Year’s Eve fireworks that light up the skies above Funchal are unmissable.
Tuna Steak With Fried Corn
Tuna is generally cut into fillets, seasoned with salt, and marinated in a sauce with vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Served up alongside freshly fried corn, this dish often proves to be a favourite amongst visitors.
Black Scabbard Fish
Found in the Atlantic Ocean at an average depth of 1,000 metres, this delectable fish is generally eaten in the form of a fillet, seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then dipped in egg and flour, before being fried in olive oil, this can then be served with fried banana.
One of Madeira’s best-known dishes, this kebab is made up of small cubes of beef, seasoned with salt, garlic and bay leaf, placed on a skewer and then roasted on a brazier.
Passion Fruit Pudding
For fans of sweet treats, this fruity dessert is sure to delight with its creamy mousse-like texture and zingy passion fruit flavour.
This island delicacy is one of the best ways to savour the flavours of the sea during your time in Madeira. Thanks to the clean, unpolluted waters around the archipelago you’ll enjoy a deliciously fresh taste.
Porto Santa Maria
Porto Santa Maria is located at the water's edge with direct access to the sea front promenade and the well-known "old town" of Funchal. This adult only resort is the ideal place to relax, immerse yourself in a novel and soak up the Madeira sun. Relax on the terrace at Captain’s Bar with a cold, refreshing beverage and enjoy the outstanding and exclusive views over the harbour where the cruise ships dock.
The Cliff Bay
This cliff-side hotel serves up some of the best harbour views in Funchal, located on a promontory on Estrada Monumental, with direct access to the sea. On the top level, there’s a large pool and a chic spa for you to relax and soak up the sun rays, and there’s another pool right by the sea.
Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira
This legendary hotel has, for over a century, been a standard-bearer for excellence and luxury on Madeira and beyond. The resort is located on ten acres of subtropical gardens, boasts enviable access to the sea, and is within walking distance of Funchal’s shops and restaurants. This is the ideal place to be pampered and to let the stress of modern life drift away in a gentle sea breeze.