The island of flowers, evergreen island, the garden of the Atlantic or the island of spring. These are the nicknames of the magical Portuguese island of Madeira, which you can easily visit all year round. Bordering Africa, it is the ideal place to relax at any time. Even in winter, temperature range is between 20-22°C, which is why it’s worth travelling here from our colder climates. Madeira has a pleasant climate, beautiful mountain treks, the sea, excellent food, wine, nice people and a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. You also have the opportunity to discover authentic towns, wildlife and beautiful beaches.
From where? With whom? When? Tips + cheap Madeira flights
- From where? From Lisbon, Porto, London, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton), Manchester, United Kingdom, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Dublin, Ireland, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Brussels, Frankfurt, Zurich.
- With whom? TAP Air Portugal, easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, Lufthansa, Jet2, Eurowings
- When? Madeira has pleasant Mediterranean weather all year round, so you can make a trip here at any time. However, if you want to see dolphins and whales swimming close to shore, we recommend travelling here between April and October.
- What’s included? It depends on the airline but surely the return flight , all taxes and mostly 1 piece of hand luggage.
Cheap flights to Madeira
Madeira and cheap accommodation on the island
The costs of living in Madeira are much lower comparing to other bigger Portuguese cities, so you can stay here for a lower price. The average costs of accommodation in Madeira are from €22 in a hostel to €66 in a 3 star hotel. For public transport, you’ll pay around €2.00 per a one-way ticket.
You can stay in Madeira at great prices. Check prices and book a hotel via Pelikan. Check out this handy map for accommodation tips:
What documents I need to enter Madeira?
All you need is a valid ID card or passport to enter Madeira. All entry measures for Covid-19 are cancelled.
Madeira: what to do, see and experience on this beautiful island?
Funchal – the city of the most beautiful gardens and Cristiano Ronaldo
Funchal is the capital of Madeira. The picturesque streets of the old town create a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, the harbour restaurants cook with the “freshest ingredients”, you can smell the surrounding ocean in the air while walking along the promenade. Don’t miss out on the cable car trip to the Monte mountain, which proudly towers over all of Funchal.
You can enjoy stunning views of the city, the bay, the wild Atlantic and the Monte Palace Botanical Garden. While exploring its nooks and crannies, you’ll find out why it’s considered as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, and why is Madeira so called “the island of flowers”
There are other gardens in the city that will blow your mind away in the same way. Madeira Botanical Garden is home to a lot of kinds of parrots, while Palheiro Gardens and Orchid Gardens are full of thousands of orchid species.
On the way back from Monte, we recommend you to try an adrenaline-fuelled ride on the traditional wooden sledges that are as typical to Madeira as gondolas are to Venice. Ernest Hemingway also fell in love with this type of transportation.
Visiting the market is said to be the best way to experience local life. Head to the beautiful Mercado dos Lavradores, where you’ll find fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, as well as plenty of local products, such as leather goods, traditional wicker baskets and other souvenirs. It’s always busiest on Saturdays, when the vendors from nearby towns and villages offer their wares.
Madeira is especially famous for the birthplace of football god Christian Ronaldo. And it’s easy to see that the locals are suitably proud of him. The Real Madrid sports idol has his own statue, a museum dedicated to his career and a luxury hotel.
Hiking along irrigation canals
If you love wildlife, amazing views and active holidays, Madeira is the perfect destination for you. The Lévadas are stone irrigation canals that started to be built in the 16th century and their function was bringing water from the mountains to the dry areas of the island.
They currently become one of the must-see attractions on island. They stretch for more than 2 000 km and there are hiking trails leading along them to Madeira’s most beautiful places. You’ll discover natural gems, such as fountains, lakes, waterfalls, and caves.
Did you know that a mysterious laurel forest once covered almost all of Europe? Due to the climate change, it has only survived on a few islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The Madeira Forest, called Laurisilva is the largest in the world. Trees hundreds of years old, twisted branches, green carpets of moss can make you feel like you’re in another world. It’s true, that you could search far and wide for nature like this, but surely won´t find anything quite like it.
A walk through the clouds
If you love hiking, don’t miss the trek up Pico do Arieiro. Deep chasms, steep cliffs and untamed Madeiran nature. Once you reach the top, you’ll find yourself literally standing above the clouds, with breathtaking views. If this kind of a hike is too much for you, this spot is reachable also by car.
For dolphins and whales
One of Madeira’s most beautiful attractions is undoubtedly its underwater life. If you want to go whale and dolphin watching or swimming with them, you’ve come to the right place – there are plenty of them. In winter, Atlantic water temperatures reach a brisk 20°C, but keep your head up. Even if you’re not the most hardy of individuals and don’t want to miss this experience, you can rent a wetsuit.
Santana – the most photogenic village
If you pass by the village of Santana while exploring the island, make sure to take a short stop here. Visitors are particularly attracted by the several beautiful traditional houses made of natural stones, with thatched roofs.
Laying on the beach prevent diseases
Madeira has many gems, but beautiful and long sandy beaches are not one of them. However, the nearby island of Porto Santo, part of its archipelago, boasts a breathtaking 9km of beach. It’s a real wonder for your health, thanks to the sand contains a variety of minerals. You will be amazed by the surrounding nature and the house of Christopher Columbus.
Wine with a dash of brandy
One of the things that made Madeira famous is definitely wine. Similar to ‘port’ wine, Madeira wine also has addition of brandy. Portuguese explorers refilled their wine supplies here for overseas voyages to America and India, so it was necessary to protect it from spoilage by adding harder spirits. As the wine travelled through different tropical zones, it warmed up differently, which eventually contributed to its unique flavour. Nowadays, of course, it is not transported between the continents by boat, but is specially heated to bring out its delicious flavour.
Madeira and the weather: when to travel?
Madeira boasts pleasant mediterranean weather all year-round, so you can come here at any time. However, if you want to see dolphins and whales swimming close to shore, we recommend you to travel here between April and October. The heaviest rainfall falls between November and February. But it’s not that much rain, what could spoil your holiday.
Zdroj fotografií: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com