The incredible landscape of Madeira is perfect for a last minute holiday
You’ll be exploring Madeira’s hidden waterfalls and caves and walking through its lush forests and botanical gardens in no time as direct flights from the UK get you there in less than four hours.
Funchal is this island’s capital. Not only is it home to numerous restaurants, bars and cafes, it’s also where you can grab a cable car ride past banana plantations, fruit trees and vineyards. Of course, if you’re a nature lover you can’t miss checking out the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Laurisilva of Madeira, one of the largest laurel forests in the world.
For something kids can enjoy, head to the small town of Santa Cruz. Here, you’ll find a public lido facility as well as the waterpark, Aquaparque. Canico de Baixo is also big on water activities and is home to two scuba diving schools where you can swim through a WWII shipwreck. From here you can visit the majestic statue of Christ the King, which stands 15 metres high and has a stunning view toward the ocean.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday to Madeira
Madeira is blessed with a beautiful subtropical climate, meaning there’s no bad time to visit. The best time to snatch up a last minute deal to Madeira, though, is no earlier than eight weeks in advance. So if you’re looking to go in the summer, we recommended starting to search in April and May. Of course because of Madeira’s year-round sunshine, you might want to visit in the low seasons of September and October, when prices are cheaper and beaches quieter.
Other popular holidays in Portugal
If you’re really excited about booking a last minute deal but are still unsure about where you’d like to go, take a look at some similar destinations to whet your travelling appetite, like the beautiful Algarve or stunning Porto Santo. But if you’re still set on a holiday to Madeira, you can take a look at our travel guide for some great tips and travel advice. In the mean time, below are some of our top last minute hotels for you to peruse.
If you're looking for ease and comfort, the 5* Pestana Grand Premium Ocean Resort is for you. There's no need to hire a car for this trip as this hotel offers complimentary shuttle service into the centre of Funchal. Its setting is ideal – built upon a cliff top location with epic views of the Atlantic Ocean, you can watch the sun rise over the cliffs from your hotel room balcony. The hotel itself has plenty to keep you occupied, including an outdoor and indoor pool and a trio of speciality a la carte restaurants.
This modern hotel is situated only a five-minute walk from the Atlantic ocean and marine harbour, and is right in the centre of the small and idyllic Portuguese town of Santa Cruz. You can enjoy your day strolling to the water or doing a bit of souvenir shopping in the local boutiques. If you're eager to check out the capital of Funchal, this hotel offers free shuttle bus rides daily. Or you can stay in and get pampered at the spa's whirlpool, Turkish bath and massage table.
Looking out your window in the morning, you'll be greeted by the beautiful views of the ocean. This harbour front hotel is ideal for any Cristiano Ronaldo super fans as not only is it located in the striker's home city, but its also inspired by him. The colour scheme of the hotel is based on Portugal's deep red kit and you'll find framed Ronaldo shirts and paintings of him displayed throughout this modern hotel. If football's not your thing there's also plenty to keep you occupied including a beautiful rooftop infinity pool and restaurants and bars only a five-minute walk away. You can also keep in touch with friends and family back home via their free internet access.
Surrounded by vast botanical gardens and a gorgeous sea view setting, this peaceful hotel checks all the boxes. Focusing on rest and relaxation, the Quinta Splendida is here to pamper you. You can enjoy spending your days in the largest spa in Madeira, with facials and massages or a day swimming in their outdoor pool located in the middle of their botanical gardens. The traditional centre of Canico is only a five-minute walk away so there's no need to hire a car on this holiday.