Madeira

Madeira

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About Madeira

The former is the center of cultural and civic life (and home to Funchal, the capital), while the latter has a beautiful six-mile-long beach that draws sun-loving tourists. Though the islands were probably discovered much earlier, 15th-century Portuguese explorers were the first to put them firmly on the map.

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There are dozens of Madeira hotels to choose from. For first time visitors to the island we recommend that you choose a Madeira hotel in the Funchal area. The numerous Madeira hotels in Funchal, are really affordable and suite everyone’s pockets.

Madeira Island and especially its capital Funchal have transformed in recent years, not only with its more modern infrastructure and hotels but also with its diversities. Male tourists should be warned that Madeira now has all the modern chains of shops you would find in any high street and also many more of the classic boutique style shops it was once known for, so don’t think you will get away without a “trip around the shops” or a purchase or two!

Many large commercial centres have opened their doors within the past few years bringing with them not only the major clothing brands but also electronics and even fast food restaurants. You will also find that many of the large chains are cheaper here in Madeira than at home.

These commercial centres are all open late, normally 10.00 - 22.00 but most open until midnight at the weekend making shopping an easy activity day or night.

Thanks to its fertile soil and abundant fish, Madeira's traditional dishes are very healthy. Fish dishes, like scabbard fillet, tuna steak and escabeche tuna, and meat dishes like the traditional brochette and marinated meat, accompanied by the traditional fried corn and tasty Bolo do Caco bread, are a must for visitors to the island.

In Madeira and Porto Santo there are restaurants for all tastes, from the most modern and sophisticated eateries with international cuisine to regional restaurants and welcoming, traditional taverns.

Madeira Carnival

February/March

Samba troupes, parades and pounding rhythms take over the streets of Funchal each spring during carnival. The Saturday procession is a riot of colourful costumes, while Tuesday’s "fun parade" is ripe with satire.

Flower Festival

April/May

The heady scents of azaleas, bougainvillea, agapanthus and mimosa flood Funchal during this kaleidoscopic festival. Floral carpets spring up on the pavements, flower-smothered floats parade the streets, while concerts, folkloric music and dance troupes add to the fun.

Volta a Madeira Classic Rally

June

Classic cars roar around the rollercoaster dips, rock-cut tunnels and hillside hairpin turns of Madeira every summer during this four-day rally event. It kicks off in spectacular style along Avenida Arriaga in Funchal’s historic centre.

Madeira Wine Festival

August-September

The grape harvest goes hand in hand with this celebration of Madeira’s famous fortified wines. The harvest and procession takes place in Estreito de Camara de Lobos, while central Funchal overflows with wine tastings, food stalls, music and wine-related exhibitions.

New Year’s Eve

31 December

“Oohs” and “ahhs” mingle with bangs, whizzes and crackles from all sides of Funchal Bay at New Year. The bay is a spectacular natural forum for fireworks, and the city takes full advantage, laying on one of the world’s biggest annual pyrotechnic extravaganzas.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Portugese
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:4 hours
Airport code:FNC
Holiday type:Beach / Discovery / Lakes & Mountains / Sightseeing / Summer Sun

12 month weather (°C)

 
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Madeira map

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