For a week in February, Funchal wakes to the sound of brass orchestras, samba and exuberant carnival marches likened to the extravagant festivals of Rio de Janeiro. This lovely itinerary combines time to enjoy the carnival events - including the float parade and the slapstick parade - with organised excursions that offer time to explore the island’s quieter beauty spots, including views over the serene Eira do Serrado, in the middle of Madeira’s mountainous countryside.
7 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
8 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 2-8) 1 lunch (day 5)
VOX portable audio headset system on excursions
Included excursions and visits: 3
Funchal city tour, including Patricio and Gouveia embroidery factory, Botanical Gardens and wine tasting at the Madeira Wine Company
Full-day Island tour including lunch
Excursion to Eira do Serrado and Monte
Plus all these benefits:
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
Free connecting flights from regional airports
Check-in service by Titan staff with porterage
Services of an experienced Titan local representative
Scheduled Monarch Airlines direct flights
Best available coaches with experienced drivers
Hotel porterage (one bag per person)
Airport taxes, security charges and fuel surcharges
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Gatwick Airport and a direct, scheduled Monarch Airlines flight to Madeira. On arrival we transfer to the centrally-located Pestana Casino Park Hotel (5T), with spectacular views from its cliff-top position.
Day 2 Funchal
Funchal is an island that loves carnivals and today, one of the island’s largest parades - the Great Allegorical Carnival Parade - takes place in the capital’s centre. Performances start at 10am, culminating at 9pm when over a thousand revellers in extravagant costumes and a dozen exquisitely decorated floats take to the streets in an extraordinarily creative parade accompanied by the island’s best samba bands. The choreographed dances and lively samba rhythm fills Funchal with contagious enthusiasm.
Day 3 Island tour
Embark on a full day tour of Madeira, passing through Camara de Lobos to view the pretty scenes of Pico da Torre, where a cross stands to commemorate the National Revolution, and Cabo Girão, the world’s second highest sea cliff. We continue to Ribeira Brava, one of the island’s earliest settlements, and through the Encumeada pass, where the road climbs through the island’s central mountain elevation, offering views of both the south and the north coasts on a clear day. Free time in São Vicente allows time to take lunch and explore this popular seaside village, set at the inlet of a beautiful valley. As we make our return, we visit Pousada dos Vinhaticos, a charming pousada in the centre of Madeira, surrounded by a gorgeous, rolling green landscape.
Day 4 Funchal
This morning we take a guided tour of Funchal, with stories about the streets you have explored over the last two days and a look at some undiscovered spots too. We see the stalls of exotic flowers, fresh fish and delectable fruits that fill the market; learn of the creation process of the island’s finest hand-embroidered cloths at the Patricio and Gouveia embroidery factory; enjoy the wonderful colours and perfumes of Madeira Botanical Gardens and taste the delicious local wines at the Madeira Wine Company. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the city further.
Day 5 Funchal
The celebrations continue in Funchal today under a different guise. Your day is free to enjoy the city, and you may enjoy a stroll through beautiful gardens however, around 3pm, prepare for a high-spirited and unchoreographed spectacle - the popular ‘Trapalhão’ Parade (slapstick parade). It is the second largest of the island’s parades and participation is open to everyone, regardless of whether you’re from Funchal or another part of the world. With unlimited creativity, costumes vary from traditional themes to social satire, political satire and ghouls. As this show traditionally marks the conclusion of the Funchal Carnival, the celebrations continue for as long as possible, with awards for the best costumes and music filling the air.
Day 6 Eira do Serrado
This morning we have another excursion planned to highlight Madeira’s dramatic scenery. We travel to Eira do Serrado, a stunning volcanic crater where chestnut trees fill the valley floors and steep mountainsides. On our return journey, we visit Lady of the Mount Church, the most important pilgrimage site in Madeira. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 7 Funchal
Spend your day at leisure, relaxing and exploring, or choose an optional excursion to fill your day.
Day 8 Funchal - London
We transfer to Funchal Airport for a direct, scheduled Monarch Airlines flight to London Gatwick Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.