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Madeira holidays

Who is Madeira suitable for?
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Destination Known alternatively as 'The floating garden' or 'the pearl of the Atlantic', Madeira is a stunning little island off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a volcanic island with a stunning, rugged interior and a fertile soil which sprouts a dense and rich foliage of jacaranda trees, bougainvillea and poinsettias and in full bloom is really a sight to behold. The island's coastline is comprised of soaring cliffs, shaded coves and pebble beach bays. There are a small number of sandy beaches which slope down to the beautiful clear waters of the atlantic.

With a gorgeous climate, Madeira is a fantastic destination throughout the year. It is a great choice for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders, with nature reserves like Ponta de Sao Lourenco offering spectacular volcanic landscapes and magnificent ocean views. There are a number of golf courses around the island and there are excellent facilities for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling and surfing. Madiera also boasts a number of gorgeous colonial towns and villages, foremost amongst which is the island's capital - funchal which has some beautiful Portuguese architecture and grand botanic gardens.
For Singles

When: Madeira is a lovely destination at any point in the year. Whilst the summer is rarely unbearably hot, you might prefer to visit in the spring months when the island is in full bloom after the winter rains.

Where: Funchal is a fascinating city with lots to see and do. There is some magnificent colonial architecture such as the Colegio Church and Se Cathedral as well as the Sao Lourenco Palace. There are also a number of beautiful botanical gardens which are well worth exploring.

Why: Because Funchal is a fascinating and well preserved city of the age of the great Portuguese explorers. The Mercado dos Lavradores is well worth exploring and the beach of Porto Santo is within close proximity.

For Groups

When: Why not head out to Madeira in the middle of summer to catch the weather at its finest, with temperatures pushing 30ºC every day and little chance of rain?

Where: Carico do Baixo is a great destination. The old town centre is a charming little 18th century settlement with a quaint town square and beautiful church and a couple of kilometres away is a great stretch of beach.

Why: Carico do Baixo offers a great culinary scene as well as a number of charming bars and nightlife spots. There are some chic designer hotels and the opportunity for scuba diving as well as a selection of other water sports.

For Couples

When: With gorgeous climates throughout the year, you could head to Madeira for scorching midsummer temperatures or for a much needed spot of winter sun. It is in the spring when the island is at perhaps its most attractive.

Where: Porta do Sol is a gorgeous coastal town with attractive red roofed houses looking out over a vineyard of banana trees and vineyards. There is also a stretch of black volcanic beach here.

Why: Porta do Sol offers some gorgeous boutique and designer accommodation with excellent views and a great culinary scene. Visitors can enjoy relaxing on the beach or can go scuba diving or swimming with bottle nosed dolphins. This is the perfect destination for a romantic holiday.

For Families

When: If the children find high temperatures unendurable, why not head out in the easter holidays when the island is looking its most beautiful, or in the autumn half term when the tropical sunshine is a welcomed relief from the approach of winter?

Where: Santo do Sera is a beautiful little old village in the mountains of the north east of the island. It is a charming place to stay and offers access to the some of the island's most stunning landscapes, ideal for a walking or horse riding holiday. The Santo da Serra Golf Course is just a short distance away.

Why: Because Madeira is a magnificent destination. Its stunning landscapes and beautiful climate will appeal to visitors of all ages and there are a huge number of sporting and recreational activities to enjoy here.

Weather Madeira boasts a very pleasant climate with warm winters and temperate summers with daytime average temperatures of 24ºC. The climate rarely gets above the mid thirties celsius and hardly ever gets below 17ºC throughout the year meaning that it is a pleasant destination at any time. There are a number of contained microclimates within the island though - the Bay of Funchal is known for having the best of the island's sunshine and is well sheltered from the oceanic winds which afflict some parts of the island. Of course, the lush vegetation of the island needs a lot of water and there is the chance of rain throughout the year. The winter months are the island's wettest.
Average monthly Temperature C Average temperature in Madeira
What to expectMadeira is an island of bewitching natural beauty with soaring mountains and plunging canyons, rugged cliffs and long stretches of beach. It has a rich flora of bougainvillea, banana plants, jacaranda trees and - of course - the grape vine from which the famous Madeira wine is produced. There are a number of outdoor pursuits and sporting activities to be enjoyed including golf, horse riding, hiking and mountain biking. You could go scuba diving or snorkelling or even have the chance of swimming with dolphins. Madeira also offers some beautiful little colonial era towns with beautiful Portuguese architecture and attractive boutique hotels.
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