In addition to the famous Azores islands, which attract thousands of tourists every year thanks to their natural beauty, Portugal also has two other equally beautiful islands, which however often remain in the shadows. We are talking about the Madeira Islands, a natural oasis of rare beauty , which promises to give you unique emotions. Let’s find out together in this guide, which will also tell you everything you need to expect in terms of climate and temperatures.
Travel informed: useful information
- Inhabitants : 267.785
- Capital : Funchal
- Languages : Portuguese
- Local currency : euro
- Climate : oceanic, with temperatures between 13 ° and 25 °
- Vaccinations : no vaccinations required
- Entry requirements : identity card
- Distance from Italy : 2,782 km (6-16 hours of flight)
- Travel / health insurance : recommended. With us you get a 10% discount and you have full coverage, 24h medical insurance and unlimited telephone advice. Get
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Where they are
The Madeira Islands are located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, south-west of Portugal, and overlook the coast of Morocco. This archipelago, together with the Azores, the Canaries and Cape Verde, forms Macaronesia.
How to get
- From Milan or Rome : from Milan and Rome Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and TAP Portugal provide flights to Funchal Cristiano Ronaldo airport, which necessarily have a stopover in Lisbon. The flights last from 6 to 16 hours.
Compare flights from Rome or Milan – from € 166.00
- From the main European capitals : from London there are flights to the capital of the archipelago, organized by Tap Portugl, British Airways, easyJet and lasting 13-15 hours. A stopover in Lisbon is foreseen for all flights. The same route and duration applies to the routes departing from Paris (Airfrance, Tap Portugl, British Airways, easyJet). From Frankfurt, on the other hand, Condor has direct flights lasting approximately 4 hours.
Compare flights to Funchal – from € 128.00
When to go
Info on climate and best period
Month Average temperatures (min / max) Precipitation (days / mm) January 13/19 ° 12 days / 105mm
February 13/19 ° 11 days / 85mm
March 13/20 ° 10 days / 65mm
April 13/20 ° 8 days / 40mm
May 15/21 ° 5 days / 20mm
June 17/22 ° 3 days / 12mm
July 18/24 ° 1 day / 3mm
August 19/26 ° 2 days / 3mm
September 19/26 ° 6 days / 35mm
October 18/24 ° 9 days / 75mm
November 16 / 22nd 11 days / 100mm
December 14/20 13 days / 100mm
- Climate : mild throughout the year, which never drops below 13 °. Precisely this has allowed this archipelago to be known as “the islands of eternal spring”.
- Best time: from July to September, when rainfall is less.
- Period to avoid : better not to go in the months from October to April, when the rains are more frequent.
- Advice : sunscreen, raincoat and hiking shoes are essential.
Which island to go
The archipelago is made up of 2 main islands: Madeira (or Madera) and Porto Santo, to which are added 3 other completely uninhabited smaller islands called Desertas and two always uninhabited islands, called Wild Islands .
- Madeira : is the largest island of the archipelago, with an area of 741 sq km. Here is its airport, dedicated to its most famous citizen, the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and the capital Funchal, full of tourist facilities.
- Porto Santo : the island, which is located about 50 km from Madeira, has very little to offer compared to the main island. Here the nature is decidedly more barren, given the almost total absence of buildings for its 5,000 inhabitants.
10 things to see: beaches and places of interest
- Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary : built in the 16th century, and one of the best examples of Lusitanian sacred architecture in the archipelago. Not to be missed, in addition to its bell tower, the ceiling in cedar, ivory and shells, and the Gothic altar.
- Funchal, Zona Velha and Mercado dos Lavoradores : the old area of Funchal, once a fishing district, is now one of the main areas of the city, the center of nightlife and nightlife thanks to the large number of bars, restaurants and clubs. Equally interesting is the farmers market, this means its name, and a marvel of scents and colors, today a real tourist attraction.
- Jardim Botanico and Louro Parque: 3 km from Funchal stands the Jardim Botanico, a park of inestimable beauty, which contains the largest collection of exotic plants in the world. We are talking about 80,000 square meters of green of medicinal plants, palm trees and cactaceae plants. In the same area you will also find the Louro Parque, a park dedicated to the local avian fauna: parrots and canaries are just two of the many species of birds that you will find here.
- Sea Front, Panoramic Garden, Cavacas Dock and Formosa Beach: In contrast to the unspoiled nature of the hinterland, Frente Mar, Funchal’s seafront, is a real exception. The particularity of this area is in fact given by the number of hotels that follow one another, interspersed with bars, restaurants and everything that can make the stay in these islands more pleasant for tourists. In addition to the beach, there is also the viewpoint of the Jardim Panoramico, an oasis of peace and greenery in a particularly modern area. Also part of the promenade is Doca do Cavacaz, a group of natural pools of volcanic origin, located just before reaching Praia Formosa, the largest public beach in Madeira, actually made up of 4 different beaches: Praia Nova, Praia Formosa , Praia Dos Namorados and Praia do Areero
- Curral das Freiras and Santana : the town of Curral das Freiras is located a few kilometers from the capital. Set in the volcanic valley of the island, 300 meters high, and rich in chestnut trees, a fundamental source of livelihood for the community. Equally characteristic is the village of Santana, with its 8,000 inhabitants. Located in the north-eastern area of Madeira, famous for its houses dating back to the 15th century, made of stone, with a particular triangular shape, with thatched roofs and bright colors.
- Porto Santo beach and Praia le Laje : on the island of the same name you will find a very long beach, which extends for over 7 km and connects the port to Punta da Calheta. If the beach of Porto Santo is famous for its very light sand, there is Praia de Laje, also known as Jamaica, characteristic for its color: the sand and pebbles that form it are in fact black. .
- Porto Moniz pools: Among the many natural pools in Madeira, the Porto Moniz pools are absolutely worth mentioning. Always of volcanic origin, these natural pools can be reached through paths which also enjoy a beautiful panorama.
- Seixal, Chao da Ribeira and Veu de Novia : chosen to be part of the UNESCO heritage, this area of the Laurissilva ffresta seems like a paradise on earth. In addition to dense vegetation, here you will also find streams of clear water, where trout live, and many species of birds. Also in the Seixal area you will find the Veu de Novia viewpoint, located next to the natural waterfall of the same name.
- Funchal Sacred Art Museum : this museum contains the greatest examples of sacred art on the islands, with particular attention to Flemish and Renaissance works
- CR7 Museum : dedicated to its most famous citizen, the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the CR7 Museum aims to tell the private and working history of the bomber, complete with trophies and prizes.
What to do in the Madeira Islands: excursions and tours
How much does a holiday in Madeira cost
Prices, offers and advice
Madeira is quite cheap, especially when it comes to food. If the costs for a hotel stay are around € 70.00 on average, for a daily expense you shouldn’t spend more than € 25.00.
It must be said that a lot also depends on the area in which you decide to stay: the promenade of Funchal for example, full of hotels and tourist facilities, and a very expensive area, and therefore not recommended for those who want to keep their expenses under control. As for transport and activities, you have a wide choice: in Funchal, for example, there is a cable car that allows you to reach the areas of Monte and the Jardim Botanico, or you can opt for buses and taxis, with a fare of € 2.70 respectively. and € 3.70 per ride.
One of the best ways to visit the Madeira Islands is however to rely on a tour, especially if you are a beginner with a vagueness of this kind. Of the many routes available, very few also concern the transfer from Funchal airport, but rather focus on tours dedicated to whale watching or exploration of the hinterland, with a cost of € 16.00 upwards.
Instead, you can find different solutions that combine flights to get to the Madeira Islands and overnight stays, at very low prices, ranging from € 431.00 upwards, updated in February, a period in which costs are lower than in the period. summer.
- Where to sleep: Hotels and b & b from € 22.00 per room – look at the offers
- Low cost flights: starting from € 166.00 – look at the offers
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