Madeira Archipelago, 1,000 km off the coast of Portugal, consists of two inhabited islands, Madeira Island and Porto Santo, and two groups of uninhabited rock formations. Having been an important coaling station for cross Atlantic ships, Madeira quickly became a holiday paradise retreat for those on cruise ships. Madeira Island has become one of the world’s favourite island paradises, where visitors can sit back and relax in the tranquillity and charm of a Madeira holiday villa.
The capital, Funchal, is a charming city which climbs the rocky hills from the harbour. The sights and sounds of Funchal are all accessible on foot from any self catering Madeira apartment. There are many sights to see in Funchal, but much of your time here will be spent in a café or restaurant sampling the cakes and fine sweet wines of Madeira.
The famous port of Calheta is best known for its yachts, although in my mind it should be known for its stunning natural beauty. A sailing holiday to Madeira would hugely benefit from a Madeira holiday rental in Calheta.
Santa Cruz is a magnificent destination for a Madeira holiday rental. Set in one of the most rural parts of Madeira Island, it has a variety of magnificent secluded beaches to enjoy.
On arriving at your Madeira villa, you will notice that the pace of life is not blistering! A Madeira holiday does however have the advantage of a magnificent climate and blissful surroundings, so there are many leisure activities to be enjoyed if you can tear yourself away from the Madeira beaches. Madeira is such a small island, it is hard to imagine just how much there is to see and do on a family holiday to Madeira, but one trip will certainly not be enough! Fine beaches, picturesque villages, huge volcanic caves, awe-inspiring views, fine wines, magnificent walking and superb deep sae fishing are all regular features on a Madeira holiday.
Walking in Madeira along the waterways or ‘levadas’ provides a remarkable experience. The countryside is spectacular, and the walking is not to strenuous. Public facilities for tennis, squash and many sports are available at Quinta Magnolia.
The deep sea fishing in Madeira is second to none. From June until September the best fishermen in the world arrive looking for blue marlin and blue fin tuna. Most fishing trips will take you past Cabo Girao, the highest cliffs in Europe.
Golf in Madeira is great. There are two main courses, but be warned, playing a round of golf in Madeira will test your fitness! Weekends in Madeira however should be spent sampling a local festa. Local music, food and dancing at these festas occur every weekend throughout the summer.
A family holiday can also take advantage of Madeira Theme Park, Santa CruzAqua Park and the Island tours on offer. Whale watching, surfing, scuba diving and balloon rides are also available, so there is certainly no shortage of entertainment from a Madeira holiday villa!
Madeira has a magnificent climate. Summers are warm, but not scorching, with average temperatures of around 24°C, peaking around 33°C. Winters can be wet, but temperatures only drop 4°C from summer temperatures, so a holiday to Madeira is perfect for a summer break or if you are searching for a villa bathed in winter sun.
Madeira Airport (FNC) on the eastern side of the Island, is about half an hour from Funchal. There are many cheap flights to Madeira from the UK, some direct, others may have to change on the Portuguese mainland. For cheap flights to Madeira, try looking at seasonal deals or offers from British Airways.