Luxury Madeira Holidays

The floating garden

Madeira

Before he began his second stint as Prime Minister in 1951, Winston Churchill wanted to escape somewhere 'warm, paintable, comfortable and flowery' and ended up in Madeira. Sixty-odd years later, this semi-tropical speck in the Atlantic, 700 kilometres off the west coast of Africa, still ticks all those boxes. 

The capital, Funchal, is a highlight and features flower-filled gardens and historic churches. Inland, the soaring mountains are criss-crossed with walking trails and hide tiny, traditional villages. Head for the coastline, and you'll find ocean-side lidos and dramatic cliffs plunging into the Atlantic. 

There are plenty of excursions to help you make the most of Madeira. Tour the island's mountainous interior, stopping at Pico do Ariero, the second-highest point, and Santana, famous for its A-shaped thatched cottages. You could also take a trip to the natural bathing pools of Porto Moniz, visit Cabo Girao, one of the world's highest sea cliffs, or head to one of the wine lodges for a tasting of sweet Madeira wine.

Helen Lippe

Start with a day in Funchal, the island’s capital. Walk down the seafront promenade to the Old Town, stopping for a drink at one of the many bars on the way. From there, take the cable car (10€ per person, each way) to Monte, where you can visit the world-renowned Monte Place Gardens

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Destinations in Madeira
Funchal
Funchal is the southerly capital of Madeira. Its city centre of Gothic, Victorian and Modernist architecture climbs up into the hills, where hotels and gardens showcase cinematic Atlantic Ocean views.
Typical Costs
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Bottle of beer
€2-3
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Bus return
€4
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Cup of coffee
€1-1.50
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Glass of wine
€3-5
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Main course
€12-15
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Small souvenir
€6
Flight Information

Flights from the UK to Madeira take approximately 3 hours 45 minutes. 

When to go

Madeira has a pleasant mid-20s average throughout summer, with mild temperatures in the spring and autumn that are ideal for beach-going, sightseeing and golfing. Madeira tends to get most of its rain out of the way in November and December, leading to beautiful springs. 

Visa Information

Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Portugal. 

Tipping

Many hotels and restaurants include a service charge, so check your bill carefully – if it hasn’t been included, you should leave around 10% tip. Taxi drivers, hotel staff and other tourism workers are normally tipped two or three euros and it’s common to tip taxi drivers 10% of the fare.

Introduction to languages

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.

Our pick of the top hotels in Madeira
Every one of our hotels is handpicked and personally visited by our team

The Cliff Bay

Madeira, Funchal

Belmond Reid's Palace

Madeira, Funchal

Pestana Carlton Madeira Hotel

Madeira, Funchal

VIDAMAR Resorts Madeira

Madeira, Funchal

Quinta Da Casa Branca

Madeira, Funchal

Jardins Do Lago

Madeira, Funchal
View all hotels in Madeira
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