Cheap flights to Madeira
Madeira was elected the best island tourist destination in Europe by the World Travel Awards (Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013) in a gala awards ceremony that took place in Antalya, Turkey on August 31.
In this category Madeira competed alongside other tourist destinations like the Canary and Balearic islands, Sardinia, Malta and Cyprus. The World Travel Awards take place annually and recognize, award and celebrate excellence in all sectors of the tourism industry worldwide.
The Cristiano Ronaldo Museum
The museum opened on 15 December, where 126 trophies obtained of the international player Cristiano Ronaldo are on display.
Born in Madeira Island, the captain of the Portuguese football squad opened the museum facilities located at Rua Princesa D. Amélia, 10.
The chosen area is on a ground floor of a building close to Madeira Casino. The museum is opened everyday from 9 am to 6 pm and closed Mondays.
“Painted Doors” project in the old town
The historic district of Funchal, commonly known as “Old Town” has been undergoing a process of revitalization thanks to a project organized by Funchal’s City Hall. This public art project intends to stimulate one of the most emblematical areas of downtown Funchal in order to turn it into a more significant and attractive cultural centre and a permanent art gallery, joining several guest artists to work on decorative paintings on about 200 doors along Rua de Santa Maria.
Among the various renowned personalities from the Madeira art scene, who teamed up with this project, stands out the architect Paulo David and the designer Nini Andrade Silva.
Madeira all year around
Madeira is far more than an island; it's a mystic place, of devotion and tranquility. A place to discover Nature as we discover ourselves. Just like us, with our dual essence of body and soul, Madeira is made of contrasts, between the deep ocean and the high mountains, the sun and the snow, the serene blue of the sea and the exuberant colours of the flowers. In the perfect harmony of this contrasting Madeira landscape, is where the much desired balance between body and mind can be found.
Pearl of the Atlantic,’ or the ‘floating garden,’ Madeira travel guides have many ways of describing this Portuguese paradise island in the middle of the Atlantic. And it’s hardly surprising given Madeira’s towering mountains, lush rainforests, terraced hillside plantations and meandering river valleys.
But the island’s appeal isn’t just in its jaw-dropping natural beauty. Believe it or not Madeira has been a tourism hotspot for over one hundred years, and so has a long history of catering for a range of tourists. Whether you’re looking to relax by the pool, do a bit of walking in the hills, or shop for that designer outfit you’ve always wanted, the chances are you’ll be able to do it here. And the best thing about this place is that you can enjoy it at any time of the year, Madeira’s winters are only 4 degrees lower than their summers.
Springtime is lovely in Madeira, the warmer weather allowing flowers to blossom all over the island. So it's little wonder the Madeira Flower Festival happens this month, bringing displays of tropical flowers, floral carpets, parades and music to the main streets of Funchal. From 7 to 13 April, http://festadaflor.visitmadeira.pt.
The sweet smell of roasted chestnuts wafts across the island this month, thanks to the Madeira Chestnut Festival. Happening on 1 and 2 November, visitors can browse food stalls, sampling chestnut based cakes, drinks and snacks. Food aside, it's a great way to catch a glimpse of the local traditions still alive on the island.
Funchal's Madeira Film Experience is a hidden gem that lets you get up to speed on the history of the island via a 30-minute film in comfortable, blissfully cool, air-conditioned surrounds. The cinema, tucked away in a shopping mall is popular with families and anyone who fancies a break from souvenir shopping (Rua Conselheiro Jose Silvestre, Marina Shopping, Funchal, madeirafilmexperience.com).
Film fans rejoice! From 25 April to 1 May the Madeira Film Festival brings a healthy dose of cine culture to the island, with screenings, concerts, talks, and masterclasses taking place at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias and Reid's Palace Hotel. Want your name on the silver screen? Get ready to schmooze at the post-film parties. madeirafilmfestival.com
There's something to suit everyone at the Funchal International Film Festival, happening from 10 to 17 November. Held at the Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre, expect indie films, shorts and blockbusters. For more information visit funchalfilmfest.com.
Nature lovers should book on a boat trip for some brilliant bird- and sealife-spotting opportunities. If you're lucky you'll see migrating whales pass by and dolphins at play, or maybe even glimpse some of the 40 or so rare monk seals that live on the Desertas Islands, south-east of Funchal, of which there are only around 500 left in the world. madeirawindbirds.com