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Sun holiday on Madeira: discover this Portuguese island

Nowhere in Europe will you find a place quite like the stunning island of Madeira. Lush mountains, rugged cliffs and unforgettable views sometimes make me forget that I'm even in Portugal. I visited Madera’s capital, Funchal, and spent hours roaming around the narrow streets and exploring all the cute little shops. This is where my tour of Madeira revealed that the island of flowers has something else to offer on top of its beautiful nature: unforgettable food. Madeira will satisfy all your culinary needs on top of being a great place for a sun holiday. Roaming around the authentic streets of the city, I imaged how much history these buildings must have seen. After all, they are centuries old!

Small-scale hotels & apartments on Madeira

Madeira has so much to offer; a true source of joy whenever I'm on vacation on the island. I undertake the most extraordinary hikes, visit the cosiest towns and get to meet the sweetest people. This makes Madeira a perfect destination for a holiday with children or a family trip, because my Portuguese holiday home recommendations have plenty of room for everyone. Are you looking for something small and romantic? Consider a unique boutique hotel, authentic apartments or a cosy quinta.

My small-scale recommendations in Portugal are very popular and tend to be fully booked in advance. Do you want to book a holiday on Madeira? Be sure to secure your unique location away from the masses in time! Check out my last minute holidays to Portugal as well. Who knows, you may be walking the paths of Madeira in no time. Be sure to browse my latest discoveries and be the first to experience an unspoiled location.

Fly & Drive on Madeira

Good to know: my flying holidays to Madeira always include a rental car and a place to stay. Madeira is mountainous and may confront you with some challenging drives during your fly & drive holiday. Madeira’s speedways were recently renovated and expanded, which makes it easier to get around. Still, you may encounter plenty of steep or narrow roads in between. Most roads come with guardrails for protection, which will make your descents a bit less challenging.

Tip: All of my flying holidays to the Mediterranean include a rental car of the smallest category. Or you can book a car with a stronger engine to brave the steep roads a bit more comfortably. Simply upgrade your car during the booking process. A surcharge will be applied.

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Eliza's tips

What to do on Madeira?

Madeira, an island to the south west of Portugal , is famous for its flowers and 'levadas'. These hiking trails are good for many hours of strolling during your small-scale holiday on Madeira. A perfect way to explore the island with very suitable temperatures, especially in spring and late summer. Quite a boat ride away from the mainland, the island is a stunning part of Portugal just like Alentejo, northern Portugal, the Algarve and the Costa de Lisboa. I love the breathtaking northern coast with its rugged cliffs and waterfalls, also referred to as ‘bridal veils’ by the locals.

A trip to Madeira isn’t complete until you’ve witnessed the island’s best view at Pico Ruivo. The panoramic views are well worth the 2-kilometre hike to the top. You can see Sao Laurenco in the distance on a clear day. On this mountain top, you’ll literally have your head in the clouds!

Culinary trip to Madeira

Just like any other Portuguese region, Madeira has its own local dishes with absolutely mind-boggling flavours. My culinary experience on Madeira started in the capital, Funchal. A typical Madeiran dish I like to order there is called Espetada: skewers with beef, prepared with bay leaf. Not to be confused with epeda, black swordfish, another popular Madeiran dish. Not necessarily an appealing sight before it is prepared, which makes the magnificent flavour that much more surprising. My favourite is Espada with banana, a unique and delicious combination of fish and tropical fruit. And even better when accompanied with a glass of local wine. Cheers!

The weather: from Madeira with love

Madeiran weather is warm with occasional wet spells. The island has a micro-climate, which means temperatures may rise and drop depending on your specific location. Great altitude differences also contribute to climate variations. For example, it can freeze on the mountaintops which is something that will never happen on the coast. Funchal, the capital, is dryer and sunnier than the rest of the island. The temperature on this spring island is always pleasant. The only time it may rise above 30 degrees is when the African wind occasionally reaches Madeira in summer. On a beach holiday, you'll certainly enjoy taking a dip in the sea or the swimming pool at your quinta.

The average temperature is around 23 degrees in summer and 15 degrees in winter. I do recommend packing an extra sweater for a late summer or winter sun holiday on Madeira. All in all, Madeira is a great place for some active hiking with pleasant temperatures and for some serious relaxing on a sun holiday!