Madeira: Holiday Paradise in Picturesque Setting

Madeira: Holiday Paradise in Picturesque Setting

Madeira: A holiday paradise nestled in a picturesque setting, offering lush landscapes and enchanting beauty on every corner.

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by Tour Europe

Madeira, often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Atlantic,' is a stunning and vibrant island in Portugal. With its breathtaking landscapes, botanical beauty, and rich cultural heritage, this sun-drenched destination is a haven for British holidaymakers seeking an unforgettable experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything Madeira has to offer, from its picturesque beaches and family-friendly attractions to its charming accommodations and easy accessibility from the UK. 

The Allure of Madeira

The lush and colourful island of Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal located in the Atlantic Ocean. Boasting a year-round spring-like climate, Madeira is home to a diverse array of exotic flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in nature. Two-thirds of the island is a protected area, with the largest Laurisilva forest in the world being a prominent feature. Madeira's captivating beauty has led to it being a continuous winner of the 'World's Leading Island Destination' award.

Things to Do in Madeira

Madeira's spectacular landscapes and mild climate make it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the island's network of levadas (irrigation channels), explore the historic city of Funchal, or roam freely around the island on a guided tour. Boat rides are another excellent way to admire Madeira's picturesque coastline from a unique perspective.

In addition to its natural beauty, Madeira offers a host of cultural attractions and events throughout the year. Popular festivals such as the Carnival, Flower Festival, and Atlantic Festival provide ample opportunities to indulge in traditional gastronomic delights and witness the island's vibrant party atmosphere.

Beaches in Madeira

While most of Madeira's 150-kilometre coastline is comprised of black sand due to its volcanic past, several stunning beaches offer idyllic spots for sunbathing and swimming. Ponta Gorda, Praia da Calheta, and Porto Moniz are just a few of the island's most popular beach destinations. The island of Porto Santo also features a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.

Family-friendly Attractions in Madeira

Madeira is an excellent destination for families, with a variety of attractions and activities suitable for all ages. Aquaparque Waterpark provides hours of fun for kids, while dolphin and whale-watching boat trips offer an unforgettable experience for the entire family. Nature lovers will also enjoy exploring the island's lush mountainous terrain and discovering its numerous cascading waterfalls.

Places to Stay in Madeira

Madeira offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to charming guesthouses to suit every budget and preference. Funchal, the island's bustling capital, is a popular choice for travellers seeking a lively atmosphere and easy access to local attractions. Other options include:

  • The historic town of Machico.
  • The picturesque village of Canico.
  • The serene coastal area of Garajau.


Funchal, the capital city of Madeira, Portugal, is a unique blend of historical charm and modern sophistication. Nestled on the island's south coast, Funchal is celebrated for its stylish tapas eateries and chic rooftop cocktail bars, offering a vibrant culinary scene. The city's charming Old Town is a hub of cultural heritage, where visitors can meander through cobbled alleyways, immersing themselves in the local atmosphere. A standout feature of this area is the Zona Velha (Old Zone), renowned for its street lined with doors that have been transformed into canvases for colourful and imaginative art, reflecting the city's artistic spirit.

Funchal's cuisine is particularly notable for its seafood tavernas that serve up fresh, locally sourced dishes, allowing visitors to indulge in the rich flavours of the Atlantic. The city's history is also a point of interest, with a variety of historical buildings and monuments that offer a glimpse into its past. The blend of traditional architecture with modern amenities makes Funchal a compelling destination for both history enthusiasts and those seeking a contemporary urban experience.

In addition to its urban attractions, Funchal is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The city serves as a gateway to the rest of Madeira, an island known for its lush landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and scenic hiking trails. The botanical gardens in Funchal are a testament to the island's diverse flora, featuring a range of exotic plants and flowers.

Funchal's year-round mild climate makes it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. The city's waterfront provides opportunities for water sports, while nearby mountainous areas offer hiking and mountain biking trails for adventure seekers. The city's marina is a starting point for whale and dolphin watching tours, adding to the array of experiences available to visitors.

With its unique combination of historical charm, artistic flair, culinary delights, and natural beauty, Funchal stands out as a multifaceted destination that caters to a wide range of interests and preferences.


As the oldest settlement on Madeira, Portugal, Machico is a treasure trove of history and authentic Madeiran culture. This picturesque town captivates visitors with its narrow, winding streets and traditional architecture, reminiscent of a bygone era. Exploring Machico is like taking a step back in time, offering insights into the rich history and heritage of Madeira. The town's historical significance is underscored by its role as the landing point of the first explorers who arrived on the island in the 15th century.

Apart from its historical allure, Machico is surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty. The town serves as an ideal base for visitors looking to explore Madeira's lush landscapes, including its verdant mountains, rugged cliffs, and serene valleys. The area around Machico is known for its scenic hiking trails, which provide stunning views of the island's diverse terrain and the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to its natural and historical attractions, Machico also offers a range of local culinary experiences, with traditional Madeiran restaurants and cafes serving up local specialities. The town's small yet vibrant market is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in local life, sampling fresh produce and artisanal goods.


Canico, another gem along Madeira's dramatic coastline, offers a more contemporary experience with its upscale accommodations and modern amenities. This charming town is known for its unique coastline, featuring pebbly and rocky beaches that provide a distinct contrast to the typical sandy beaches found elsewhere. These beaches are not only visually striking but also offer tranquil spots for relaxation and contemplation.

A major attraction near Canico is the Garajau National Marine Park, a haven for marine life and a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts. The park's crystal-clear waters and diverse underwater ecosystems make it one of the best diving spots in Madeira, offering an unforgettable experience for both novice and experienced divers.

Canico's location along the coastline also allows for easy access to other natural attractions in Madeira, including cliffside walking paths and viewpoints that offer breathtaking vistas of the ocean. The town itself, with its blend of traditional and modern elements, provides a peaceful and luxurious retreat for those seeking both relaxation and adventure on this enchanting island.

How to Get to Madeira from the UK

Madeira is easily accessible from the UK, with several airlines offering direct flights from major cities such as London, Manchester, and Birmingham. The journey typically takes around four hours, making it a convenient destination for British holidaymakers searching for a sun-soaked getaway.

Once you arrive in Madeira, a range of transportation options is available for exploring the island. You can rent a car, join an organized tour, or make use of the island's efficient public transportation system. Boat trips to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo are also available for those wishing to experience more of the archipelago's natural beauty.


Madeira's enchanting landscapes, cultural attractions, and unique beaches make it an irresistible destination for British holidaymakers seeking a memorable getaway. From its levadas and historical towns to its family-friendly activities and diverse accommodations, Madeira offers something for everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this Portuguese paradise.

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