Madeira is celebrated for its warm climate, and the southwesterly hotspot of Ponta do Sol, which translates as ‘sunny point’, just so happens to be the sunniest part of this Portuguese island. Ponta do Sol holidays offer a tranquil taste of Madeiran life. The pretty village is in an idyllic location, with a small harbour flanked by a rugged coastline and rocky clifftops that jut into the Atlantic Ocean.
Needless to say, the sunsets are spectacular. About 20 kilometres away from the hustle and bustle of Funchal, there’s still plenty to see and do in Ponta do Sol. As with the majority of Madeira, the resort is an oasis for local flora and fauna, so be sure to explore its dramatic cliffs and walk to the nearby banana and sugar plantations and vineyards. From the pebbled beach that’s perfect for sunbathing couples and sun-seeking families, to cultural sights such as the intricate wood carvings at the church of Nossa Senhora da Luz, holidays to Ponta do Sol tick all the boxes.
Walk to a waterfall
Madeira is punctuated by a number of walkable irrigation trails known as ‘levadas’. Try the Levada do Moinho, which starts near the church of the Lombada and takes you to a charming waterfall.
Dive a dramatic wreck
Flippers at the ready: keen divers can visit the wreckage of the Bowbelle, a gravel-dredging boat that once served the Thames, just off the shore of Ponta do Sol.
Soak up the sun
Ponta do Sol receives the most hours of sunshine on Madeira, and the island’s subtropical climate is favourable throughout the year, with warm summers and mild winters.