Top reasons to visit Madeira
Madeira is Portugal’s answer to the Canary Islands, a lush archipelago situated off the northwest coast of Africa. It’s fair to say that Madeira is a little more grown-up than its Spanish neighbours, attracting travellers in search of rural beauty, glorious hiking and stylish hotels. Our holidays to Madeira will give you plenty of time to go at your own pace and explore this beautiful island. You'll get to enjoy gorgeous mountain views, drink delicious local wines and wander amongst bright colours and heady scents of glorious gardens. Here are some top reasons why we think everyone should consider going on Madeira holidays.
Madeira is verdant, volcanic and vertiginous. On Madeira holidays you'll get to marvel at dramatic cliffs and mountains give way to bright carpets of flowers and lush woodland. The volcanic soil and sub-tropical climate mean that the entire island is like a giant botanical garden. Throughout Madeira you will find small manmade waterways called levadas, which run in patterns across the landscape, the banks of which are alive with lilies and other flowers. Levada walking is a very popular activity for travellers. The island has many spectacular spots to enjoy the scenery, none better than Cristo Rei viewpoint in Garajau. Here you’ll be treated to a picturesque view over the ocean, the Natural Reserve of Garajau, Caniço and Funchal Bay. You can also visit during the famous Madeira Flower Festival where you can watch the stunning flower parades and browse shops that are alive with colour.
Food and wine
The majority of Madeiran cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients, often in recipes that have been used for centuries. Bacalhau (codfish) is very popular on the island - as it is elsewhere in Portugal. Black swordfish is another local delicacy - sometimes paired with banana. Beef and chicken are commonly cooked on a skewer with plenty of garlic and salt - delicious!
Portuguese wine is popular all over the world, and fortified Madeira wine has a long history, so it’s no surprise that Madeira is home to lots of vineyards, and going on a wine tour is a great opportunity to witness the production process and sample the spoils.
Visit Funchal and Porto Santo
Funchal, Madeira’s largest city, is laidback, green and attractive. Travellers will find pretty parks and gardens dotted throughout the city, vibrant markets, historic architecture and trendy restaurants. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city on the Madeira Cable Car, which rises to over 500 metres. On foot, you’ll find many tourist attractions in Funchal’s Old Town, close to the waterfront.
Twenty eight miles north of Madeira, travellers will find the quieter twin island of Porto Santo. As well as golden beaches and incredible hiking routes, Porto Santo Island is home to a Christopher Columbus Museum and a golf course designed by Seve Ballesteros. The ferry from Funchal takes a couple of hours, making this a superb destination for a day trip.
Hiking is seriously popular on Madeira and there are routes for those who want to take it easy as well as those with more experience. Follow a spectacular route around the eastern coast of the island in the Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço area where birds, rare plants and great views abound. For a trickier hike, follow the levadas of Serra and Norte up to heights of 1,600m. Other popular outdoor pursuits include mountain biking, dolphin watching and golf - and you could enjoy as much or as little as you like as our holidays in Madeira offer plenty of leisure days.
When to travel
Madeira has a year-round temperature that are warm and pleasnt, so you can consider yourself pretty unlucky if you don’t see some sunshine on your trip. April and May are perfect for strolling as the flowers are just coming into bloom and the temperatures aren't too hot. With Titan you can even celebrate New Year’s Eve in Madeira on our Canary Islands and Funchal Fireworks cruise - the midnight fireworks are truly spectacular.
We have several incredible Madeira holidays to choose from, speak to one of our travel experts today for more information or download our Worldwide brochure.
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.
Ting | About the author
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