Madeira at a glance
Madeira is a refined and sophisticated holiday destination, with a stunning, varied landscape of dramatic peaks, bustling harbours and some of the highest ocean cliffs in the world. Known as the island of eternal spring, this popular city break destination boasts a wonderful climate and spectacular sights to explore.
Colonised in 1420, the Madeira’s rich soil enabled settlers to grow large crops of sugarcane which led to the introduction of sugar into Europe as well as the construction of an extensive stone waterway used to distribute water from the north to the south of the island. Today these stone aqueducts, known as levadas, provides a remarkable collection of walking paths that trail through mountains and across beautiful countryside, showcasing some of the best of Madeira’s scenery.
The islands rugged coastline is home to a leading Portuguese port in the cosmopolitan capital of Funchal which features an attractive promenade, botanical gardens and historic monuments. The uniquely deep coastal waters around the island are also known for attracting whales close to the islands shore, with popular boat tours running regularly to allow visitors to get even closer to the diverse range of sea life on offer.
Perfect if you’re looking for
- Picturesque setting
- Weekend short break
- Beach front attractions
Madeira operates an urban Funchal service, though the city centre is also easily navigated by foot. There is also an inter-urban service which operates outside of the capital city centre.
Bus fare can be pre-purchased on rechargeable tickets or when boarding the bus.
Dining in Madeira
Madeira’s cuisine is based on traditional faire with some of the best local dishes prepared using simple, time tested techniques that produce flavourful dishes.
The Portuguese island is perhaps best known for its locally produced fortified wine which comes in four major varieties – Malvasia, Bual, Verdelho and Sercial.
Must-try local dishes:
- Bolo do caco – a popular wheat flour bread often served with garlic butter and parsley
- Picado – small pieces of beef seasoned with garlic and served with chips
- Queijadas – a small, lightly sweet cake made with cottage cheese
Get your tailor-made short break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Madeira designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice (not just Saturday to Saturday!)
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Madeira hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 267,785 Languages Portuguese Currency Euro Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
Take a stroll along the seafront promenade from Funchal to Câmara de Lobos - where Winston Churchill used to stay and paint.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Madeira 13 km