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Holidays in Madeira – Travel Guide of Madeira Island

Located in the Atlantic Ocean around 425 miles off the coast of Morocco, the archipelago of Madeira is made up of four islands, being Madeira and Porto Santo the only two islands inhabited and Madeira island the largest and the most visited of these four islands.

Often called The Pearl of the Atlantic or The Island of Eternal Spring, Madeira enjoys a subtropical climate and generally the weather is warm and sunny all year round, with the high summer months averaging 25° and the winter low reaching only 17°. 

This unique and mild climate is a haven for outstanding natural beauty filled with unique fauna and flora, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Laurel Forest and the ancient water channels, best known as levadas, where you can enjoy the most amazing hiking trails.

The island is also known for its cultural and historical significance and a great diversity of museums and galleries in its capital city, Funchal. It is also famed for the world-class wine and gastronomy scene.

Holidays in Madeira - WHERE TO STAY

Madeira has a wide range of hotels and resorts to suit all type of travelers, from budget to the most luxurious of travelers. If you absolutely love outstanding views right outside of your window, Dom Pedro Madeira and Dom Pedro Garajau are certainly two of the best hotels to provide them. 

Dom Pedro Madeira

With a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean and access to the seafront promenade and the beach of Machico, Dom Pedro Madeira is a 4-star hotel with a privileged seafront position, perfect for a family holiday in Madeira island. Situated on the east coast of the island, in the beautiful bay of Machico, with fantastic views of the sea, Desertas Islands and Ponta de São Lourenço. Surrounded by subtropical gardens, at Dom Pedro Madeira you find a natural environment to experience the serenity and well-being of a well-deserved vacation.

Dom Pedro Garajau

Instead if you fancy some self-catering accommodation, Dom Pedro Garajau is the best choice. Located in Garajau, on the south coast of the island of Madeira, Dom Pedro Garajau is a 3-star hotel-apartment, situated in a quiet and peaceful area between Funchal and Caniço. Comprising rooms and apartments with kitchenette and balcony overlooking the ocean, Dom Pedro Garajau has also to offer some exotic gardens and all the comforts for your perfect holidays in Madeira.

Dom Pedro Hotels in Madeira host a variety of facilities and amenities and both our hotels have panoramic ocean views and its restaurants provide a taste of Madeira’s best food.

Holidays in Madeira - WHERE TO GO

We cannot stretch enough how Madeira is beautiful and unique, but Madeira is also home to a collection of great cities and towns which will no doubt make your stay worthwhile. With exceptional sights and surroundings to discover, Madeira has plenty of options when it comes to exploring the island.

Funchal – Madeira’s biggest city and capital, Funchal, has a lot to offer and you will find plenty of things to see and to do in Funchal.

Despite its small size and a population of just over 100,000 inhabitants, Funchal offers a range of authentic architecture to witness, historic sites, museums, botanical gardens, and traditional restaurants to try. Some of the city’s most known attractions are away above sea level and best reached by cable car. That is part of the fun, too. 

Funchal’s old town is fairly flat and easy to navigate on foot. Make sure to not miss the wicker toboggans comprising two seats each and for that reason ideal to share.

Câmara de Lobos – With its quaint harbour full of colourful fishing boats and lined with seafood restaurants, Câmara de Lobos is a must-see while in Madeira. It was this small town that inspired Sir Winston Churchill to paint its beautiful landscapes and some of his paintings may be viewed today in his former home in Kent.

But Câmara de Lobos is much more that its lovely landscapes. It is also famous for having the best poncha, a ubiquitous drink from Madeira island. The original version (make sure to ask for regional) is made from a sugar cane spirit, honey, sugar, lemon rind and either lemon juice or a mixture of orange and lemon.

Porto Moniz – Porto Moniz is a charming little town best known for its unique seawater lava pools, which allow the cool, fresh water to enter every tide and offer warm and safe waters for bathing and paddling. Make sure to feel the waves at Porto Moniz natural swimming pools.

Ponta do Sol – Home to rocky beaches and great views. You can enjoy good views of the coast by walking along the small promontory to the left of the beach.

Machico – Machico is the perfect starting point for those looking for adventurous hiking trails. Laze on one of the best beaches in Madeira in Machico, with its sandy golden sand.

Ribeiro Frio – This beautiful village is part of the Ribeiro Frio Forest Park where you can find several Laurissilva forest species. At Ribeiro Frio you can also find the starting point for several hiking trails and levada walks.

Holidays in Madeira - WHAT TO DO

Madeira is extremely diverse and has to offer a variety of outstanding landscapes, hiking trails, levadas walks and ocean dips. Whether you are looking for some adventure, relaxing activities or some family time in nature, Madeira does not disappoint and has it all.

Hike the island’s trails and levadas - With a wide variety of hiking trails for all levels and physical condition, Madeira is considered a true paradise for hikers. Make sure to choose a hiking suitable for your level and navigate through Madeira’s characteristic irrigation channels and get amazed by the beautiful scenery along the hike.

Book a whale and dolphin watching tour – With an abundance of marine species, Madeira is perhaps one of the best places to spot some whales and dolphins. The boat trip takes about 2 hours and the chances of you encountering one of these amazing creatures is very high.

Enjoy a cable car ride – Some of the most beautiful views of Madeira island are from above and nothing beats the views you get from a cable car. There are different cable car rides spread across the island and all equally beautiful and worthwhile with its blue skies, the silence and the mesmerizing views.

Enjoy a wicker toboggans sled ride – This is probably the most tourist attraction in Madeira. Dating back to the early 19th century when they were used as a way to travel from Monte to Funchal by locals. Steered by Carreiros, two men use their boots as brakes on a ride of up to 30 km per hour, and each toboggan has two seats so you can share the ride and enjoy the thrilling and unforgettable moment.

Smell the flowers and try some of the most exotic fruits at Mercado dos Lavradores – For a truly traditional experience head to Funchal Farmer’s Market and enjoy the explosion of smells, tastes and colours. Most likely you will get approached by a stallholder offering you some samples of the most exotic fruits, including fruits such as banana passion fruit, apple passion fruit and banana pineapple.

Madeira island has all the above and much more to offer on your next holiday. Adding to that, and in case you still have doubts whether Madeira is the right holidays destination for you, Madeira is leading the top 10 of safest destinations to visit post-lockdown in 2021 by the European Best Destinations.

With a lush nature that unites mountains, dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, hiking trails, natural pools and cultural and gastronomy diversity, Madeira is the perfect destination for your next holidays.

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