Holiday rentals in Madeira
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Your guide to Madeira
All About Madeira
The Madeira archipelago is part of Portugal, yet it’s over 1,000 kilometres from the European mainland and just half that distance from the African coast. Most of its population lives on two main islands — Madeira and Porto Santo — while Sevagens and Desertas remain uninhabited. Known for astounding scenery, abundant green vegetation, and diverse native wildlife, the islands draw people seeking adventure as much as those in search of tranquillity.
Hikers head to Madeira to wend their way up mountain passes, under waterfalls, and through blueberry patches. Water-lovers take a two-hour ferry from Madeira to Porto Santo’s seven kilometres of sand beaches for a refreshing dip or some sea kayaking. Funchal, Madeira’s capital city, is home to the tile-adorned Mercado dos Lavradores — whose immaculate displays of fresh fruit draw the eye — and geometric displays of bright blooms at the Madeira Botanical Garden.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Madeira
Madeira enjoys fairly consistent weather year-round, with nearly 250 days of sunshine each year — with the exception of June, which can be cloudy. Villas in Madeira are very popular in the peak months of July and August, and you’ll need plenty of sun protection if you’re exploring at this time of year. Many cruise ships stop by during summer, delivering a steady stream of visitors and maintaining a lively buzz. As August turns to September, the islands’ wine festival celebrates the grape harvest with traditional music, tastings, and open-air performances. Visit in April or May for the weeks-long Madeira Flower Festival, which traditionally takes place four weeks after Easter and is a joyous, colourful celebration of Madeiran culture and wildlife. Traditional Madeira cottages with cosy thatched roofs are also a charming choice for the Christmas holidays.
Top things to do in Madeira
Madeira’s wines are world-famous, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the island’s verdant vineyards and wineries. From wine walking routes around Funchal to commercially operated tours of the island, epicureans will enjoy sampling the fruits of the island’s fertile soil.
Funchal-Monte Cable Car
The cable car that shuttles you between Funchal Monte Cable Car may only be a 20-minute journey, but it offers panoramic views of the lush island. Once you’ve ascended to the peaceful suburb of Monte, you can explore the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, and then, if you’re up for an equally memorable trip back to the capital, you can descend in a wicker toboggan, whizzing down winding roads at speeds of up to 30 mph.
Pico do Ariero to Pico Ruivo
Not for the faint-hearted, this is a challenging 11-kilometre hike on the third-highest peak in Madeira. A thousand metres of incline take you along narrow pathways, up and down tricky staircases, and through dark tunnels. The four-hour round trip rewards brave adventurers with astounding views and a well-deserved sense of achievement.