Howdy! Today we bring you one of Europe’s most beautiful travel locations-Madeira Island. The Madeira Islands are a part of Portugal. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean about 350 miles from Morocco. The islands offer you a mild subtropical climate all year. Average temperatures hover in the high 50’s throughout the day, with gorgeous sunshine and very little rain.
Let’s discover what makes Madeira Island so special!
There are two airports you can flight into; Madeira and Port Santo. Visitors are able to take a direct flight from New York to Madeira. Your average flight time is approximately 6 hours from New York.
Once you have arrived, getting around is easy! Of course you can always rent a car and be in complete control, but for those looking for a more relaxing option taxis and public transportation are safe and reliable.
Their bus system covers different parts of the island and is operated by 4 different companies-Horarios de Funchal, SAM, Rodoeste and EACL (Empresa de Autocarros do Conico). It is easy to get confused, as some buses have identical bus numbers, so it is highly recommended you arrive early to ensure you find your proper bus. And they always leave right on time!
Where to Stay
There is a plethora of options for you to find your most perfect stay. Madeira offers hotels, apartments, resorts, hostels and villas.
Most of your options are located in Funchal, the capital city. However, there are options for those who prefer to stay outside the hustle and bustle of the city.
Hotel Melia Madeira Mare is a gorgeous ocean front, 5-star property. This hotel offers a spa, pools and a library, providing you with a resort like feel. They have 5 restaurants and bars onside, providing you with a variety of options to dine from without having to leave the hotel.
16 miles from Funchal you will find Escarpa-The Madeira Hideaway. This resort features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and a garden in Ponta do Sol. Some rooms come with a kitchenette and minibar. Guests can enjoy a continental or full English breakfast as well. The hotel offers paid airport shuttle service from Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport-26 miles away.
If you are looking for the perfect family getaway, check out Villa Reis Sao Goncalo. This 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa is 9 miles from the International Airport and 3.4 miles from Marina do Funchal. Guests can enjoy a short 1.5 mile walk to the beach. The villa is self-catered and has a garden and grill facilities. It is also pet friendly for anyone looking to travel with their fur babies!
Things to Do
There is something for everyone in Madeira. Nature lovers will enjoy the variety of gardens and parks you can check out. At the Indigenous Plants of Sao Vicente guests will discover their incredible garden dedicated to the indigenous floral species of the land. There are about 50 different species within the gardens. This garden was created in 1989 and aims to preserve the Madeiran species.
If you love the water, you will enjoy some of the best beaches and pools Madeira has to offer. You won’t find golden sunny beaches in Madeira because it is home to black volcanic sand. The beaches are beautiful yet very coarse so be sure to bring your beach mat! If you are looking for the golden beaches you can day tip to Calheta or Machico where the sand has been imported. Porto Santo is crown jewel with 9 kilometers of beach.
History buffs are in for a real treat with the variety of museums you can explore. The Madeira Story Centre takes visitors back in time on a virtual journey. Guests will relive in chronological order the archipelago’s greatest historic events. You can also enjoy the panoramic terrace complete with telescopes, a cafe and souvenir shop.
The Sacred Art Museum showcases religious sculptures from the 16th-18th century, as well as sacred jewelry from the 17th and 18th century.
Where to Eat
Madeira is home to hundreds of places to eat, ranging from big chains to mom and pops and everything in between. The restaurant awarded the 2021 Best Restaurant Award is The Ritz Madeira. You will find this grand cafe located in one of Funchal’s emblematic buildings. Located on Avenida Arriaga, next to where the cruise ships disembark. You can enjoy fresh baked cakes, homemade gelato, and local fish. It is an absolute must!
Ready, set….Travel! Contact your Travel Guru today for price points on your Madeira Island adventure as well as other things to see and do. Oh and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure-we got those too!