What is the best time of year to travel to Madeira?date_range 3 August, 2023 question_answer Leave your thoughts
Summer arrives with its intense scorching temperatures, and we are faced with a common dilemma at this time of year: Where can we take refuge from the sweltering heat?
Sometimes what we most desire is right in front of our eyes and we just can’t see it. This is certainly true of today’s recommendation: Madeira!
Hidden in the middle of the Atlantic, the so-called “Island of Flowers” or “Island of Eternal Spring” owes its nickname to the warm temperatures that caress it throughout the year, with April to October being the best time to visit.
Would you like to know more about this Portuguese gem? Join us for this colourful journey.
What is life in Madeira like?
Volcanic in origin and with a rocky landscape, Madeira is enveloped by lush nature and gardens of diverse flora, making this place a privileged natural setting. Each spring, the renowned Flower Festival is held, a truly iconic celebration not to be missed. As if that were not enough, typical postcard views of the island show the green laurel forests, known as laurisilva, declared World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Adventure enthusiasts will be able to explore the most hidden corners, as this is a paradise for hikers. One of the most characteristic must-sees of the area are the levadas, irrigation channels that transport water from the north to the south of the island. There are no less than 2,200 kilometres of these unique trails adorning the Madeiran landscape.
Another of Madeira’s must-see spectacles are the pools of Porto Moniz. These amazing natural pools are formed in volcanic rocks, resembling jacuzzis that mimic the ocean itself.
In Madeira, you can transport yourself to another dimension by visiting the “Islas Desertas”, a group of three islets with a desert climate, whose only inhabitants are the various species of birds and mammals that guard them. The most famous guests on these islets are a small colony of monk seals, exceptional tour guides!
Legend has it that what is important is not outside, but inside, and we can confirm this by visiting the Caves of São Vicente. These caves are the product of lava incursions thousands of years ago, which created tunnels and subterranean galleries that will take your breath away.
All this may taste better accompanied by a good local wine, a product with hundreds of years of tradition behind it, as the island has the ideal climate for cultivating more than thirty different varieties of white grapes, including Sercial, Verdelho and Malvasia.
Are you still with us? We have almost finished our tour, but we cannot leave without visiting the jewel in the crown: Funchal.
What to see in Funchal?
Funchal owes its name to funcho, the Portuguese word for fennel, as the sailors who arrived at the place found the area full of this particular plant. The city has a population of about 120,000 people and is the capital of the island.
The Zona Velha, the old quarter, is a good starting point from which to explore. This neighbourhood has characteristic narrow cobbled streets that will transport you to another era. Once this particular tour is over, it would be a sin not to visit the city’s cathedral, Sé Catedral do Funchal. From the sixteenth century and Gothic in style, it has a high architectural and historical value as it is one of the few buildings built by the first Portuguese explorers that have not been altered over the years, making it a relic of the past well worth visiting.
We have already seen Madeira from the land and sea: now we take to the skies. And it would be a shame not to enjoy the incredible views of the city offered by the cable car, which connects the metropolis with Monte. There you can stroll through the botanical garden or visit the tomb of Charles I of Habsburg, the last emperor of Austria, in the church of Nossa Senhora do Monte, the patron saint of the island.
To get back down, we suggest a traditional local method of transport: descending in a wicker cart! This original contraption, driven like a sledge by the carreiros do Monte, was once used to transport food and goods and today it is one of the most exciting experiences you can find in the place.
Football lovers can also enjoy a visit to the museum of the city’s prodigal son: Cristiano Ronaldo. In the CR7 Museum you will find both individual and collective awards won by the Portuguese star, as well as a statue of him performing his characteristic goal celebration.
Where to stay on Madeira?
Once we have chosen our destination and decided on our itinerary, it’s time to decide where we are going to stay during our trip. RIU Hotels & Resorts brings you a humble recommendation: our Riu Madeira!
This four star all inclusive establishment has 327 rooms, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Located in the south of the island, it is close to the capital, just ten kilometres from the airport and, most importantly, overlooks the sea.
Take advantage of these months to explore a dream destination that will enthral you and will not leave you unmoved.