Madeira Holidays 2022/2023

With its endless landscape of lush green valleys, craggy peaks and black sand coastlines, it's no wonder Madeira is known as the 'Floating Garden'. It really is a feast for the eyes, and you can enjoy it all while sampling Madeira wine – a speciality that originated on the island.

Madeira Holiday Deals 2022/2023

The Floating Garden

Madeira might be a little pinprick in the Atlantic Ocean, but this island has much to offer when it comes to Portugal holidays. It’s part of a Portuguese archipelago that’s not far from the Canary Islands and Africa – and you can feel it in the weather, which is almost constantly warm.

This tiny island is renowned for its landscape, which is paved with greenery sloping down valleys and up steep peaks, home to waterfalls, caves and a diverse range of flora and fauna. It isn’t exactly a hotspot for beaches, though you’ll find a few manmade shores and pebbly coasts that are sure to do the trick.

Currency: Euro

Language: Portuguese

Time Difference: GMT - None

Population: Approx 250,000

Religion: Roman Catholic


Santa Cruz

The small town of Santa Cruz lies on the southeast coast of Madeira. Retaining the relaxed feel of its fishing roots it has plenty of activities along its coastline as well as picturesque views. It offers a lido and waterpark for some splashy fun and a rich history to explore on your holidays to Portugal.


If you're considering holidays to Madeira, then a trip to Calheta comes highly recommended. This small village boasts two sandy beaches and a surprising number of local attractions. Everyone's bound to have a great time on holidays to Calheta, whether checking out modern art is your thing, or whether it's sipping on local rum or hiking the trails that surround the town.


Nestled in the north of Madeira is the traditional town of Santana. With captivating hiking trails on one side and the glinting allure of the Atlantic on the other, Santana is the best of both worlds where guests can indulge in refreshing afternoon dips or long, enchanting walks through untouched nature on their Santana holiday. Oozing with rustic charm, this town is a picturesque step back from the hustle and bustle of central Madeira and offers guests a peaceful taste of coastal life.

Ponta Do Sol

With more hours of sunshine than anywhere else on Madeira, a holiday to Ponta do Sol gives you sun, surf and bags of style. Just 40 minutes from Madeira airport is this 500-year-old village, nestled among banana and sugar plantations, in a steep ravine. At the bottom sits a small port and harbour. A smattering of boutique hotels and stylish restaurants mingle with terracotta-roofed houses climbing up the hillside, giving the place an exclusive, chic feel. The best Madeira has to offer is right on your doorstep here, from the mountainous volcanic terrain to show-stopping black beaches accessible by boat.


The capital of Madeira is nestled on the island's south coast, and is a lively and picturesque place to enjoy your holiday. It has a top dining and bar scene, a marina and pebbled beach plus you can take the cable car up to Monte for stunning vistas.

Canico De Baixo

Impressive scenery is a given during holidays to Madeira, and the south eastern region of Canico de Baixo is set within some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. It's a relaxing destination, mainly based around the water, with spas, lidos and watersports opportunities.


Stumbling distance from the black volcanic sands of Madeira's largest sand beach, and within easy reach of saltwater swimming pools and natural parks, Canical sits in prime location for a host of holiday activities. Enjoy stunning coastal vistas or take a trip to the whaling museum during your stay.

Outdoor paradise

The island of Madeira is cloaked in breath-taking natural landscapes that beg for exploration. There are massive mountaintops to be scaled, valleys to hike through and waterfalls to wade past. Within the Madeira Natural Park, there’s even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the Laurisilva of Madeira, a vast forest of laurel trees – a type of vegetation that’s now concentrated in only a few areas around the world.

There are group tours you can join that’ll provide transportation to and from these gorgeous parks, plus off-roading and quad-bike adventures. And for those that like the greenery without the sweat, Madeira has a handful of botanic gardens too, such as the one in Funchal that can be reached by cable car.

Madeira specialities

If you haven’t yet heard of Madeira wine, prepare yourself. It’s a Portuguese wine that originated in the Madeira Islands, and ranges in taste from dry to sweet. What makes this wine different is it’s heated continuously for months before being left to sit. Famous around the world, Madeira wine is especially prevalent in its home island, and is readily available to drink.

Another of Madeira’s top sips is poncha, a sweet fruit drink made with aguardente de cana, a sugar cane alcohol. Add to the mixture some honey, sugar and lemon, and you’ve got yourself a strong and refreshing drink to enjoy on a warm Madeira evening.

A handful of beaches

On the whole, Madeira is a volcanic island clad in black basalt rocks. There aren’t any natural sandy beaches, but in an effort to compete with its Mediterranean counterparts sand has been imported from Africa, which has been used to make a few sandy beaches to entice holidaymakers booking Madeira All Inclusiveholidays.

Praia Formosa is a black, pebbly beach that’s reachable from Funchal and is lined with a small selection of restaurants. Perhaps the best manmade beach is the Praia da Calheta, which is up on the southwestern side of the island. It’s a Blue Flag award-winner curved bay whose sands were imported from Morocco.

A taste of Portugal

Because Madeira is an island, it’s treated to a tantalising array of fresh fish like tuna, marlin and wahoo. Portugal’s national dish is salted cod, but you’ll find a much wider array of seafood here, mixed up in stews or heated on the grill.

Another popular plate is a hearty meat dish called espetada, which is beer rubbed in garlic, salt and bay leaf, then marinated in Madeira wine. On top of this, there are restaurants across the island serving British eats, Indian cuisine and other Mediterranean flavours to choose from.

Dancing till sunrise

During the week, nights out on holidays to Madeira will be largely low key, but things are sure to heat up come Friday and Saturday. The majority of Madeira’s nightlife scene takes place in Funchal, the island’s capital. That’s where you’ll find nightclubs along the waterfront, as well as tucked inside busy casinos. It’s these spots that keep the party going until well after sunrise. For those in search of a quieter evening, there are plenty of easy-going bars to choose from in Funchal as well as in all-round quieter resorts like CanicalCanico De Baixo and Santa Cruz.