Madeira Holidays

Contrasting wonders and sublime scenery

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Make your next trip an island getaway

Venture to the Portuguese island of eternal spring. Explore a volcanic nirvana bursting with dramatic scenery, tropical colours and black sand beaches. Touch down in the cosmopolitan capital, Funchal and get ready to discover the myriad charms of this dazzling destination.

Famed for its trekking trails, find your feet in Madeira’s awe-inspiring landscape of emerald green-cloaked peaks, plummeting valleys and azure oceans. Cradled within a lush natural amphitheatre on Madeira’s sun-soaked south coast, the capital city, Funchal, is a paradise for outdoor activities and watersport wonders. The year-round balmy weather is perfect for sun-seekers to unwind along volcanic sandy shores, while the crystal clear ocean and sparkling resort pools make for the perfect opportunity to cool off. Stroll through eucalyptus-scented mountain forests or gardens overflowing with subtropical flowers while on your Madeira holiday. Swim with dolphins and go whale-watching, or go scuba-diving in the marine reserve. Visit the incredible Sao Vicente Caves, then relax with a round of golf in a serene setting. Book flights to Madeira and get ready to experience the magic of this Portuguese island.

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Madeira holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Madeira holiday

Soak up the best of this diverse destination. Whether you want to bask in the glorious year-round sunshine or venture across extraordinary hiking trails – take a trip to this tiny volcanic archipelago and enjoy every moment.

What are the best things to do in Madeira?

1. Take the Funchal Cable Car up to Monte for awe-inspiring vistas across the bay. Then explore the exquisite Monte Palace Tropical Gardens.

2. Breathe in the fragrance of bougainvillea as you stroll around the stunning Palheiro Gardens. Or spot vibrant-hued parrots while exploring Madeira Botanical Gardens. Soak up the sights and scents of the Farmers’ Market in Funchal’s Old Town. Then admire the architectural splendour of Sé Cathedral and São Lourenço Palace.

3. With their volcanic sands mingled with pebbles, Madeira’s beaches are not famed for their beauty. But excellent bathing spots can still be found – try the Blue Flag-accredited Barreirinha and Praia Formosa. Or let little ones splash in the safety of fantastic pool complexes Lido and Ponta Gorda.

4. Discover Madeira’s wild side with a day trip that takes you south from Funchal to Porto Moniz or follow the coastline up to Santana, home to the famed ‘A’ framed cottages. Or book a tour to Monte for those picture postcard views of Pico Dos Barcelos and Eira do Sorrado.

5. Tuck into succulent espetada (beef kebabs seasoned with garlic and herbs) and sample fresh limpets tossed in butter and lemon. Set your taste buds alight with black scabbard fish drizzled with passion fruit sauce. Complete your meal with traditional queijada (cheesecake) washed down with a glass of chilled Madeiran wine.

Which holiday type in Madeira is right for me?

Those who prefer to soak up sunshine with their sightseeing should  start in the capital. Wander through charismatic Funchal and admire its Portuguese architecture before strolling to the botanical gardens high on the hillside, or hopping on the Cable Car to Monte Palace Madeira.

If you want to venture further afield, hire a car and take in the breathtaking scenery. Experience the monumental mountain pathways, including Pico do Arieiro, the island’s third highest peak. Walk along Cape Ponta de Sao Lourenco Coastal paths on the eastern edge and feel the Atlantic air kiss your skin. If you’re brave enough, stand on the glass of the Cabo Girao Cliff Skywalk and admire the dramatic cliffs.

For outstanding beach holidays in Madeira you'll find a combination of world-class hotels, fine dining, golf, ancient sites and easy access to sandy beaches and small resorts. Take a break along the palm-tree shaded Pestana promenade, stop at a café and try a slice of honey cake before returning to your Madeira hotel to unwind.

Where is the best place to visit in Madeira?

Funchal is gaining a reputation as one of the coolest cities in Europe. Wander the cobbled streets and you'll soon seek its gastronomic delights and the island’s namesake wine. For dramatic coastal views there's nowhere more striking than a stay at Les Suites At The Cliff Bay, with its sleek rooftop pool jutting out to sea from its clifftop perch. Or surround yourself with beautiful botanical gardens at Quinta da Casa Branca, before taking a rejuvenating dip in either of the hotel's two swimming pools.

If you're looking for stretches of golden sand the popular seaside towns, Calheta and Machico, won't disappoint, otherwise you can expect small black volcanic beaches elsewhere. Calheta, on the island’s south-west coast, is an historic old town with a modern marina, providing some of the best water sports on the island including whale- and dolphin-watching. Or stay on the east coast – the pretty fishing town Machico is the perfect place to take some time out and kick back.


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Monsanto is built on, under,in and around giant bouldersand is a dedicated living museum.