Madeira Hotels and Apartments
Madeira Island is part of a small group of Portuguese Islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, most famous for its Madeira Wine. The island is situated southwest of Portugal with its capital Funchal on the south coast. Around a million tourists flock to explore the beauty of Madeira each year and enjoy the mild climate. The island is located northwest of the Canary Islands, just a short distance from many major European cities.
Fun in Funchal
Madeira’s capital, Funchal is a very pleasant city, and is Europe’s cleanest capital. Facing the deep blue waters of the Atlantic with a mountainous setting, there are things to do here that will cater to all tastes. From colourful gardens to quaint and narrow cobbled streets, old meets new with modern shopping centres, cosmopolitan bars and stylish restaurants.
Boat trips around the island and dolphin and whale watching are popular activities all year round and are not to be missed. Cruise along the crystal-clear seas and enjoy breathtaking views of dolphins and whales living near the coast. Pay a little extra to jump into the sea and swim alongside the dolphins - a once in a lifetime experience!
See Funchal from above and travel into the sky on a cable car to Monte and enjoy an all-round view of the ancient churches, colonial buildings and vibrant flowers of the city below.
For the history buffs, visit the cathedral of Funchal, and admire the elegant architecture and paintings or take a trip to the Museum of Natural History.
A nature lover’s heaven
Madeira is laced with magnificent scenery and stunning natural beauty, resulting in plenty of protected reserves dotted around the island. The spectacular landscape and emerald green vegetation attracts many tourists throughout the year.
Take a walk along the nature trails through the rare flora and fauna of Laurissilva forest at Madeira Natural Park where all nature is protected, and be greeted with stunning mountain views.
Journey to Garajau Nature Reserve, Portugal’s first marine nature reserve, made to protect this very special area of Madeira. Or visit the Madeira Flower Festival in Funchal, held in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom. This is a fascinating event, with special performances, a parade and a float weaving through the streets showing off a rainbow of gorgeous flowers filling the air with their floral fragrance.
Hike to Pico Ruivo
Dare to climb Pico Ruivo, the highest peak in Madeira, perfect for walkers and climbers, but not for the faint hearted! The peak stands at 1862m above sea level and the most challenging leg of the climb is from Pico do Arieiro the third highest peak, accessible by car. On the way up you will encounter amazing views of the mountains and the neighbouring island of Porto Santo. Once at the top, the remarkable views over the entire island are second to none.
Madeira wining and dining
Food and drink plays an important part in Madeiran culture and being surrounded by the great Atlantic sea definitely brings its advantages to the island. Fresh fish and seafood are always plentiful on the menus in Madeiran restaurants. You will find a huge variety of restaurants in different locations, and most restaurants in urban locations offer Portuguese and international cuisine as well as some regional specialities. In the north you are more likely to find traditional Madeiran dishes with produce from local areas.
Top off your meal with a Madeira favourite - a large glass of Madeira Wine, usually drunk as an aperitif or during dessert. If wine is not your thing, try a ‘Poncha’, a cocktail of honey, sugar and lemon juice, which locals believe to be the cure of a cough or common cold.
· Currency – EUR
· Time Zone – GMT
· Travel Time – Madeira Airport (FNC) – 3 hours 50 minutes (London)