Madeira’s history dates back to the 1400s when the island was discovered by Portuguese sailor Prince Henry the Navigator and his crew. Farmers were the first to settle into the newly discovered land and today the population is around 265,000 people. The island is about 250 miles north of the Canary Islands and its forests are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized Madeira’s annual New Year’s fireworks show as the largest in the world. In addition to this celebration, travelers come to the island for the wine, landscapes, and relatively warm temperatures year-round. Madeira’s main harbor in the capital of Funchal is an important stopping point for cruise ships between Europe, the Caribbean, and North America.
Madeira is known internationally for its own variety of dry wine. With 9 different wineries to visit during your stay in Madeira, you will be able to learn about what makes Madeira’s wines so popular and taste them for yourself!
For an exciting view of the capital city of Funchal, take the cable car to the top of the Botanical Garden or the Monte Palace. If you’re looking for more of a workout with a view, try climbing the Pico de Arieiro mountain top. Your climb will take you high above the clouds, so much so that you might feel like you’re walking on them. Take a break from your climb at the mountain top restaurant and enjoy some Poncha, an alcoholic drink unique to Madeira made from Aguardente, honey, sugar, and lemon. This refreshing drink can be found all over the island, so if you don’t have one at the mountain top, there are plenty of other opportunities.
Many tour companies provide different day trip options for travelers. Since Madeira is an island, your options will most likely be to various parts of the island itself. The most popular day trip tour in Madeira is a loop around the north and southwest parts of the island. This particular trip takes visitors to a famous fishing village, Camara de Lobos, then to Cabo Girao, the highest sea cliff in Europe, and a handful of other notable places on the island. Day trips generally include lunch and some even have walking/hiking portions, giving tourists the opportunity to explore the island by foot.
Fly into the Madeira Airport and take a 15-minute taxi or bus ride into the capital city of Funchal. Many airlines fly into Madeira, so choose a flight that works with your schedule. You can also take a ferry from Portugal or Porto Santo Island, but trips are more limited than are flights.
You can choose to take the local buses in Madeira to many places, including the Botanical Gardens. Most routes operate via Funchal and you can get to a good deal of places, but not all, on the bus. The Monte sledges, or wicker toboggans, are a popular and iconic form of transportation from the top of Pico de Arieiro to the bottom. Men will push your toboggan down the windy paths that lead from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Get ready for an exhilarating ride!
Over 4,000 vacation rentals are offered on Madeira island through Tripping.com. If you’re searching for a place that’s secluded and quiet, then choose a rental in Santana. Or, you can choose a rental located right in the heart on Funchal within walking distance to all the shops and restaurants the capital has to offer.
The Promenade in Funchal provides visitors plenty of dining and shopping options. In addition, the Doco do Cavacas, a natural swimming pool, is located a convenient walking distance from Funchal. A great place to experience the local food selection is the Workers’ Market, Mercado dos Lavradores. Whatever you do, make sure you try some of Madeira’s sweeter “small bananas”, which the islanders take much pride in producing.
Looking for a vacation rental in Madeira? Tripping.com has 5372 vacation rental homes available in Madeira. You'll find 64 studios, 2567 1-bedroom, 1293 2-bedroom and 1448 rentals with 3 or more bedrooms ranging from $25 a night. For extra convenience, many of these vacation homes can be booked directly online.
The average price of a nightly rental in Madeira is $103 while the average price of a weekly rental is $713. For those looking for more than a short term rental such as corporate rentals, extended stays or long term rentals, the average monthly price of a Madeira home is $25.
Wondering if you can bring your dog or cat along with you? There are 402 pet-friendly vacation rentals available in Madeira. In addition to accommodating pets, Madeira rentals offer a variety of amenities. In particular, 3955 rentals have Internet and WiFi, 4050 have TV and/or cable and 1877 have a pool or hot tub.Search properties from 11 vacation rental sites in Madeira where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. There are 1764 HomeAway rentals, 1696 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 810 Booking.com vacation rentals.