Holidays in Madeira
Natural and botanical beauty are the hallmarks of Madeira, but this sun-drenched island also offers traditional villages, fresh seafood and stunning scenery. The bustling capital, Funchal, is where you will find everything from cable car rides to boat trips around the island. Madeira is affectionately known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’. Hike through the lush, emerald green mountains at the heart of the island or sunbathe on the golden sands of Porto Santo on your holiday to Madeira.
Between May and September when the climate is comfortably warm with little rainfall.
The only airport on the island is Madeira Airport (FNC), around 16km northeast of the city of Funchal.
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Madeira for lush, green scenery, remarkable black sand beaches and quaint little towns with cobbled streets.
The Pestana Bay is spectacularly situated on one of Madeira's only beachfront sites and overlooking Formosa Beach - widely regarded as one of the most beautiful bays on the island of Madeira. In addition the hotel offers unparalleled views of the highest promontory in Europe, the Cabo Girao. Just 5 km from the town of Funchal, this hotel offers a tranquil setting protected by cliffs and direct access to the sea at Formosa Beach where guests can enjoy a beach barbeque (weather conditions permitting).
Funchal Airport is 20 km from the hotel.
Local Tips: The hotel is just a short walk from the new Madeira Forum Shopping Centre which has a large selection of restaurants, shops and cinemas. Other activities in the area include squash, pedal boats, jet skiing, parasailing, wind surfing, and golf at the 18-hole Palheiro Golf Club and the 27-hole Santo da Serra Club.
Please note: For early check-outs the full amount of stay will be charged.
Food, drink and entertainment: Bed and Breakfast accommodation with an option for Half Board. Guests will enjoy the Arlequim Restaurant with a spectacular view over the ocean and offering an a la carte menu, light meals and themed buffets with daily entertainment. The Arlequim Bar has live music every night and a variety of shows create pleasant ambience, and the Pool Bar serves a selection of tropical drinks.
Sports, games and activities: Fresh water swimming pool with separate Jacuzzi and children's pool (local charge for parasols), games room with pool table, Sauna, gym, massage, Turkish Bath, free of charge hotel bus service providing transport to and from Funchal town centre.
Additional: 24-hour reception, Internet service for Hotel guests (against payment), free internet Wi-Fi in the lobby and bar, doctor on-call 24 hours, laundry service, parking free of charge for hotel guests, conference room with a capacity for up to 150 people.
Please note internet & WIFI is available at a local charge. Guests wanting access to the internet can go to reception and request a password.
Special Offer: Children from 2-12 years old receive €10 a day to spend on food and drink in the hotel. Offer valid from July 3rd 2010 until September 30th 2010.
What is included?
The beautiful island of Madeira, Portugal is home to the 5-star Vidamar Resorts Madeira, set in an exclusive cliffside tropical garden location overlooking the bay of Funchal. There are 300 superbly equipped contemporary accommodation units at the Vidamar Resorts Madeira with gorgeous views from the private balcony. You can savour a fine choice of international cuisines from restaurants; a sushi restaurant opens 1 May 2013, as well as a Spanish Tapas restaurant and bar. Both adults and younger guests have plenty to enjoy: 2 swimming pools, Aqua area and Club Spa, Teens Club, Gym tennis, squash and seasonal water sports and more await; while Aquatica Kids World provides clubs for varying age groups with a full complement of supervised activities and interests, with pools and play areas. Book into some serious pampering at the 5-star Vidamar Resorts Madeira at Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal - you just might not want to leave!
Getting to the hotel: 18km from Madeira International Airport.
Local tips: A 5-minute journey from the centre of Funchal on the south coast of Madeira.
Food, drink and entertainment: Ocean Buffet Restaurant with terrace serves breakfast and evening dinner, allocates space for couples and for families, live cooking stations, and various themed evenings with live music and dancing; Sabor A Mar Restaurant, overlooking the ocean, offers fresh seafood dishes for lunch and dinner (summer season); Mamma Mia Restaurant with wooden decking serves Italian menu and open to non-residents; Koi Sushi (open 1 May 2013) offers evening menu; the Flamenco Tapas & Restaurant(open 1 May 2013) where you may enjoy delicious tapas; the Silver Lounge serves Continental breakfast; and the Velvet Piano Bar offers live music on some week days.
Sport, games and activities: 2 outdoor sea water swimming pools, sun terraces with loungers and parasols; tropical garden areas; complete gym Infante de Sagres; an Aqua area comprising an indoor pool with Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath; Vidamar Club Spa includes an indoor Thalasso pool, sauna, Turkish bath, experience showers, massages, facial, body and holistic treatments; tennis court, squash court, table tennis and billiards, seasonal water sports includes: windsurfing, spear fishing, pedal boats and canoeing, diving school with PADI certification, and the Silver Games Lounge with several snooker tables. There is private direct access to the ocean and a large sea platform.
For the kids: Aquatica Kids World (Open 1 May 2013): a secure child area comprising play area and splash pool (2 sea water pools for children), catering for age groups: Starfish Crèche (0-3 years - 5 days per week - charge); Dolphins (3-6 years - 6 days per week - free); Sharks (6-11 years); supervised activities, games, creative and cultural activities. Separate children's area in the Aqua area.
Additional: 24 hour Reception Services, housekeeping, 24 hour room service, WiFi internet access (free of charge at reception), wedding and event facilities, parking available and further standard front desk services.
What is included?
The Enotel Lido Madeira boasts a prime location on the southern coast of Madeira with direct access to the marvellous promenade stretching from Lido to Praia Formosa. Set in lush gardens overlooking the seaside and famous for its personalized service, the 5 Star Enotel Lido Madeira boasts luxurious twin rooms and suites offering extreme comfort and modern amenities as well as plenty of onsite leisure and relaxation facilities. Guests to this All Inclusive 5 Star vacation retreat can also enjoy tours around the island and to Porto Santo Island and many nearby activities including Jeep Safaris, Helicopter tours, water sports, horseback riding, and much more.
Getting to the hotel: Funchal Airport is 25 km from the Enotel Lido Madeira. Guests can request low cost, comfortable transfers in a luxurious, small mini bus or with a chauffeur-driven car (no child seats available).
Local Tips: The hotel is perfectly positioned for visits to Funchal's Old Town district, the bustling Marina, beautiful city gardens, Municipal Theatre, city squares adored with outdoor cafes & esplanadas, Shopping Centres, Museums and much more.
Dining: All Inclusive accommodation. Enotel Lido Madeira offers a wide selection of delicious meals, snacks and refreshments, complemented by friendly and efficient service. The Atlantico Restaurant is open for a delightful breakfast and dinners with seafood specialties and sumptuous deserts. Dinner is also offered at "Kai" Japanese Restaurant and "O Bailinho" Madeirense Restaurant and "Vela di Canale" Italian Restaurant (reservations required). Guests can enjoy refreshing drinks and cocktails at the Sports Bar, and the Disco Theatre Moonlight Bar also presenting theme nights and evening shows.
Activities: Vast outdoor swimming pool boasting superb ocean views, a generous number of sun beds and sunshades, splendid indoor pool heated during winter, Billiards, table tennis and darts, animation program with activities from Portuguese language lessons to water aerobics. There is also a fully equipped fitness centre with room for yoga classes, superb Spa with luxurious body and beauty treatments, whirlpool bath, Turkish bath and sauna (SPA with charge).
For the Kid's: Young children will be entertained by activities organized by the Mini Club Enokids for 4 to 12 year olds (open from 10:00 to 18:00), as well as the outdoor splash pool, slide and mini-basketball area.
Additional: 24-hour reception, room service, 24-hour medical service, car rental, laundry service, hairdresser, gift shop and free covered parking, Business Centre with computer, access to the Internet and Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel for a small fee, eight meeting rooms that can accommodate from 30 to 760 people. Honeymoon added value with free bottle of wine in room, flowers and fruit basket.
What is included?
The Island of Madeira, Portugal is home to the 4-star Windsor Hotel, positioned in the heart of Funchal City, convenient for all the attractions and urban facilities and equipped with the essentials for a relaxing city break. The modern Windsor Hotel has 67 recently renovated rooms from which you can enjoy restaurant dining, relaxing terraces and lounges and a poolside bar. The rooftop pool and solarium invite you to refresh the spirits and lose the stress of your normal routine. In between exploring the delights of Funchal City, the facilities and services can meet your comfort and business requirements so that you can take life easy for a while. Book into the 4-star Windsor Hotel in Funchal City and discover the Island of Madeira, Portugal.
Getting to the hotel: 13km from Madeira International Airport.
Local tips: Santa Clara Monastery and Monte Palace tropical garden are only 200m away. There are many restaurants and bars in the surrounding area and city main attractions such as museums, theatre, the main traditional market and the old town.
Food, drink and entertainment: Main restaurant/snack bar offers buffet all-day dining of international and Madeiran dishes; a rooftop poolside bar serves drinks and refreshments and there is a TV lounge.
Sport, games and activities: Rooftop swimming pool, sun terrace and garden areas with sun beds and umbrellas. Only 500m from the beach.
Additional: 24 hour Reception Services, housekeeping, multilingual staff, currency exchange, payable WiFi internet throughout, laundry & dry cleaning service, fax & copy service, meeting & banqueting facilities, a business centre, a small showroom/conference room, car hire, luggage storage, safe boxes, wheelchair access, 2 lifts and free onsite parking is possible.
What is included?
Madeira’s largest city, Funchal is located on the south coast of the island. For a taste of Madeiran life, take a wander through its narrow streets. Sample authentic Madeiran dishes like sopa de tomate e cebola, a tomato and onion soup topped with a poached egg, in one of its many traditional restaurants. Quaint little art galleries, museums and markets can be found throughout the city. Just 6km east from Funchal is the quiet seaside village of Caniço de Baixo. An oasis of calm, the idyllic resort is perched upon a hill overlooking the sea. Take a stroll along the cliffs and admire the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For unforgettable views of Madeira’s rich landscape, visit the tiny village of Curral das Freiras or the dramatic cliff face at Cabo Girão. Explore Funchal’s Gothic Sé Cathedral and travel by cable car up to the charming little village of Monte, which offers dazzling views over Funchal Bay. Take advantage of Madeira’s crystal clear waters and go scuba-diving in Garajau National Marine Park. For fun in the sun, take the kids to Aquaparque waterpark or the picturesque black sand beach at Praia de Laje.
Food in Madeira is rustic and hearty, with its roots in traditional peasant cooking. Meat lovers will enjoy tucking into a plate of espetada - mouth-watering chunks of beef marinated in garlic, salt and bay leaves and then cooked on a skewer over a hot grill. Fish is fresh and plentiful across the island, with tuna and cod playing a big part in the local diet. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to try bolo de mel, a dark, sticky honey cake which dates back to the 15th century. A trip to Madeira isn’t complete without a glass of the local tipple, the famous Madeira wine.
Calhau da Lapa
If you’re looking for things to do in Madeira, why not try a day at the beach? Madeira beaches are known for their warm, clear blue waters and rich, black sand. Visit the tranquil beach at Calhau da Lapa or take in the rugged natural beauty of Porto Moniz which is dotted with giant black lava rocks. One of the best places to visit near Madeira is the island of Porto Santo, with its long stretches of soft, golden sand and azure blue water. Porto Santo was once the home of Christopher Columbus and is popular for its peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
Two-thirds of Madeira is classed as a nature reserve, so you’re never far from lush green scenery or a dramatic landscape. Some of the most awe-inspiring attractions in Madeira can be found in the mountains. One of the most beautiful places in Madeira is Cabo Girão, the second highest cliff face in the world, which offers dazzling views. Venture off the beaten track to see Curral das Freiras (‘Nuns’ Valley’), a tiny village hidden between two mountains at the centre of the island. For something more explosive, visit the volcanic caves of São Vicente and learn about the volcanic eruption that gave birth to Madeira 400,000 years ago.
A full day discovering the towering cliffs, beautiful views and tumbling waterfalls on the dramatic west coast.
Sample unlimited local food and wine. Enjoy a fado singer and watch dancers in traditional dress.
Explore the golden sandy beach at Porto Santo.
Language: The language spoken in Madeira is Portuguese.
Currency: The currency used in Madeira is Euro (€).
Local time: Madeira has the same time as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: The only airport on the island is Madeira Airport (FNC), around 16km northeast of the city of Funchal.
Flight time from UK: 3.5-4 hours
Tourist Information: Further Madeira tourist information can be found here.
Visa & Health:Before you travel, click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Madeira.
Temperature: Averaging in the mid-teens (°C).
Best time to visit Madeira: Between May and September when the climate is comfortably warm with little rainfall.
Madeira weather is pleasantly mild during the summer. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the weather in Madeira stays warm throughout the year, with an average temperature of 17 °C during the winter. Remember to bring a brolly though; Madeira’s sub-tropical climate means that rain is likely.
By taxi: With a number of ranks dotted around Funchal, taxis are an easy and convenient way of getting around the island. They’re easy to identify too; look out for the yellow cabs with blue stripes down the side.
By bus: Madeira has reliable and cheap buses that serve the whole island.
By hire car: If you fancy being adventurous, hire a car and explore the mountainous terrain outside of the city
Samba dancing: March is the month of Madeira’s Carnival, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Expect lots of samba dancing, glittering costumes and a riotous party atmosphere!
Flower power: Taking place two weeks after Easter, Madeira’s Flower Festival is one of the most popular annual events on the island. See Funchal come alive with colour as floats decorated with beautiful blooms travel through the city’s streets.
For culture lovers: The Atlantic Festival is a cultural celebration that takes place every June. Classical music concerts pop up across Funchal with a spectacular fireworks display every week.