Madeira Holidays

A wild island in the Atlantic Ocean

Searching for a holiday in the sun that’s a little bit different? Closer to North Africa than mainland Europe, Madeira is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean comprising four beautiful islands, but you’ll most likely be spending your time on Madeira itself, where most of the action takes place.

An autonomous region of Portugal, it’s a place where that country’s culture, and sense of adventure, is very much alive. With a deliciously warm climate year-round, Madeira holidays are a no-brainer for those who want a reliable place to jump in the sea or explore outdoors. Relax on the beach on the small sister island of Porto Santo, admiring surfers from afar – or hire a board and get involved. Despite its small size – it’s just 20 kilometres wide – Madeira’s dramatic and varied volcanic terrain makes for excellent hiking and cycling.

The island is covered in mountain trails, but also has an interior network of canal pathways called ‘levadas’ which will suit families looking for gentler walks. Madeira’s subtropical climate also means that foodies will find a mouth-watering variety of exotic fruit, as well as fresh fish at its charming restaurants. For the best views of the sunset, board the cable car to Monte from Madeira’s capital Funchal. As you watch the sun slip into the ocean from the cliff tops you’ll agree that holidays to Madeira are rather wild and wonderful.

Three tips for a top trip

Ride in a cable car
Not only are Madeira’s cable car lines popular with sightseers, but they are also a fun and easy way to get across the island and scale mountains at speed.
Sip the local tipples
Madeira is typically known for its fortified wine of the same name, but the real hero of drinks here is poncha, a fruity, alcoholic punch.
Toboggan back to town
A two-kilometre downhill ride in a sledge weaved from wicker? Madeira’s famous sledges are an unforgettable and fun way to get from Monte down to Livramento.

Best attractions to see in Madeira

Funchal’s painted doors

Turn down Santa Maria Street in Madeira’s capital and stare in wonder at the 200 rainbow-bright wooden doors, each painted by a different local artist.

Incredible marine life

With around 30 species passing by the island throughout the year, Madeira is one of the best places in the world to spot dolphins and whales, so be sure to join a boat tour.

Cabo Girao Skywalk

At 589 metres high, the glass-floored Cabo Girao Skywalk is dizzying stuff. Peer out over the crashing Atlantic waves and enjoy incredible island vistas as you walk.

Your Madeira questions, answered

Madeira’s romantic scenery has made it traditionally popular with couples and honeymooners, but families and groups of adventure-seekers will love the range of activities on offer, too.

You can’t go far in Madeira without stumbling across some reference to the island’s most famous export, Cristiano Ronaldo. There’s even a statue of the legendary footballer in Funchal.

Madeira’s consistently warm climate makes it a great destination for holidays all year round. Sun worshippers may prefer the months of June to August when rainfall is very low.