Madeira Island

Travel Guide
Ponta do Sol showing rugged coastline and a coastal town

Visit this dream-like island, home to green jungle, quaint villages, haunting volcanic rock formations and misty mountains.

Madeira Island has stunning natural landscapes and hot temperatures all year-round. Get on the hiking trails that run alongside the man-made irrigation channels. Enjoy unforgettable views over clear blue waters and cliffs covered in green vegetation. Spot brightly coloured and sweetly scented flowers in the spring. Chill out on sandy beaches, try out thrilling water sports or delve into the island’s enthralling cultural heritage.

Take in Madeira’s idyllic natural scenery with a levada walk: the levadas are a series of mini-canals developed by early settlers to distribute water around the island. Explore a network of more than 870 miles (1,400 kilometres) of irrigation canals and follow them to waterfalls and lagoons, as well as valleys, mountain ranges and laurel forests.

Brave the glass-floored skywalk at Cabo Girão, one of the highest ocean cliffs in the world. Standing 1,902 feet (580 meters) above the water, you can spot Funchal, the island’s largest city, and Câmara de Lobos from this dramatic location.

Visit the gorgeous village of Santana, known for its multicoloured A-framed cottages, called palheiros. These charming thatched-roof residences are unique to the island and well worth a visit.

See the ornate geometric patterns decorating the roof of Funchal's cathedral, Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Constructed in the 16th century, this Moorish-influenced cathedral also features beautiful Baroque altars, gilded choir stalls and intricate tiling.

Don’t miss the views over Funchal from Jardim Botanico, a beautiful botanical garden. Walk along the well-labelled paths and admire collections of cacti and anthuriums. Look for the overlapping roots of an ancient heather tree, which is said to be more than 10 million years old.

Calheta Beach may be man-made, but its golden sands and clear waters are nonetheless scenic. Canoe, windsurf, swim or stop for some fresh seafood at one of the restaurants found along the beach. Be sure to sample the region’s unique white rum called aguardente.

Madeira Island is located about 350 miles (563.3 kilometres) from Morocco. Regular flights leave daily from Lisbon.

Portugal is a great location for a bit of sun, sea and sand. If you like beach holidays in Algarve then you're sure to love our cheap beach holidays to the Algarve or our Albufeira beach holidays. Book with Expedia and find out why.

Madeira Island Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Madeira Island

Saccharum - Resort & Spa - Savoy Signature
Saccharum - Resort & Spa - Savoy Signature
5 out of 5
Rua Serra de Água, 1, Calheta
The price is £67 per night from 30 Jan to 31 Jan
Located by the sea, this family-friendly hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ponta Do Sol Beach, Beachside Square, and Church of Our Lady of Light. Laurisilva of ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (531 reviews)
"Very new modern clean. Stuff were extremely friendly and professional"

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2021

Saccharum - Resort & Spa - Savoy Signature
Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World | Savoy Signature
Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World | Savoy Signature
5 out of 5
Avenida do Infante, 25, Funchal
The price is £138 per night from 14 Feb to 15 Feb
Located in Se, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madeira Casino and Funchal Marina. CR7 Museum and Madeira Botanical Garden are also within 3 miles ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (89 reviews)
"Liked the location, the view, the grounds, the generally very friendly and helpful staff and the high quality of all the materials and finishes in the hotel. Lovely room on 12th floor but so much wasted space with insufficient storage."

Reviewed on 8 Jan 2022

Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World | Savoy Signature
The Cliff Bay
The Cliff Bay
5 out of 5
Estrada Monumental 147, Funchal
The price is £123 per night from 30 Jan to 31 Jan
This family-friendly Funchal hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Complexo Balnear do Lido and Barreiros Stadium. CR7 Museum and Funchal ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (676 reviews)
"Excellent hotel, immaculate service, great amenities and the hotel really does do 5* star exceptionally well. They were very family friendly and half board dinners were great."

Reviewed on 5 Dec 2021

The Cliff Bay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
4 out of 5
Rua do Gorgulho, 17, Funchal
The price is £82 per night from 24 Jan to 25 Jan
This family-friendly Funchal aparthotel is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of Complexo Balnear do Lido, Barreiros Stadium and Madeira Casino. CR7 Museum ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (210 reviews)
"A great location to enjoy ocean sounds and swimming, the center of Lido with all it's restaurants and for us a great view of the harbor and fireworks on NYE."

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2022

Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
Hotel Duas Torres
Hotel Duas Torres
4 out of 5
Estrada Monumental 239, Funchal
Located in São Martinho, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Complexo Balnear do Lido and within 3 miles (5 km) of CR7 Museum and Funchal Marina. Formosa ...
4/5 Very Good! (59 reviews)
"Good location. Nice ocean view from the balcony."

Reviewed on 2 Jul 2021

Hotel Duas Torres
A spacious one bedroom apartment with gym, infinity pool, sea views, WiFi
A spacious one bedroom apartment with gym, infinity pool, sea views, WiFi
Vila Formosa, 2F Block 5, Estrada Monumental nº 27, Funchal, Madeira Region
Located in São Martinho, this apartment building is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Formosa Beach and within 3 miles (5 km) of CR7 Museum and Funchal Marina. Complexo Balnear ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (29 reviews)
Cousy appartment for seniortravellers. Good situation for many directions to walks. Check in fine.
"Exelent. We shall come again."

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2021

A spacious one bedroom apartment with gym, infinity pool, sea views, WiFi
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Madeira Island

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