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Madeira Holidays

Madeira’s lush slopes and sunny charm has attracted tourists for many years. You’ll fall in love with the island’s Portuguese heritage, stunning volcanic landscape and world-famous wine grown in centuries-old vineyards.

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Latest Madeira Offers

Holiday Image Funchal, Portugal
44% Saving
  • Date:15 Dec 2014
  • For:7 Nights
  • Board:Bed and Breakfast
  • From:London Gatwick
From £261pp
Holiday Image Funchal, Portugal
31% Saving
  • Date:03 Nov 2014
  • For:7 Nights
  • Board:Bed and Breakfast
  • From:London Gatwick
From £274pp

Portuguese Island Paradise

Facts about Madeira
  • Capital: Funchal
  • Currency: Euro
  • Population: 250,000
  • Main Language: Portuguese
  • Main Religion: Catholicism
  • International Dialling Code: (351) 291 for Funchal
  • Time Difference: GMT – None
  • Flight time from the UK: Approx 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Dishes to try: Espetada (beef and garlic based)
  • Drinks to try: Madeira fortified wine

The island of Madeira, colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, is located 500km west of Morocco and just north of Tenerife. Its mountainous slopes are covered with vineyards, orchards and flowers which have been cultivated on these terraced volcanic hillsides for centuries, all surrounded by the deep azure sea. The island boasts a Mediterranean climate and an average annual temperature of 20 degrees so you’re sure to have a comfortable holiday to Madeira any time of year.

An impressive cathedral lies at the heart of the Madeira's capital Funchal, which sits on a wide valley leading down to the sea and features winding cobbled streets, interesting museums and tropical gardens. Funchal is the best place to experience Madeira’s nightlife, with a selection of buzzing bars and clubs in the downtown area.

Madeira’s magnificent panoramic views show off the island's abundant greenery, which would look more at home in Hawaii than Europe. Ancient subtropical rainforests nestle in the northern slopes, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and miles of unforgettable trails run along these mountain ridges. A few of these peaks reach 1800m and the island features one of Europe’s highest cliffs. Once you get back to sea level there are also water-sports facilities along the sun-drenched coast.

Things to Do in Madeira

The capital Funchal was founded five centuries ago and boasts an 18th century town hall and historic churches, as well as modern markets and shops. The atmosphere here is one of sunny relaxation, with cafes, coffee shops and restaurants serving delectable seafood dishes straight from Funchal’s harbour. With so many major museums and art galleries within such a compact area, as well as the botanical gardens, there is something to keep everyone entertained. Stick around when the sun goes down and the city comes to life with bustling bars and a casino.

You can catch a bus or cable car from Funchal to get a taste of the sights further afield. These include Monte village, a garden lover’s paradise a few miles to the north, and Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs in Europe. The magnificent lush countryside is a popular place with ramblers and offers a variety of interesting excursions, including jeep expeditions and walks for all levels of experience.

Although Madeira has no beaches of its own, a day trip by ferry to the even smaller sister island of Porto Santo offers a 5 mile stretch of soft golden sand and quaint cobbled streets in the main town of Vila Baleira, where you can sit and enjoy a glass of fortified Madeira wine.

Did you know? Madeira has been producing ‘laranjada’, a carbonated orange drink since 1872, making it 14 years older than Coca Cola.

Madeira Holidays

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