Photo of Madeira

About Madeira

Spectacular scenery, sunshine and warmth all year round, Madeira cake AND wine, make Madeira an attractive destination. Its varied appeal means it attracts a wide variety of travellers, so it can be difficult to know the best places to stay in Madeira for you.

If you want a fun, sunny winter break and prefer a rock-bottomed sea to a sandy beach, prefer to fly (but not long haul), then Madeira is for you. If you’re travelling with kids (of all ages), want a memorable, activity packed holiday and enjoy messing around in and on the water, then Madeira is for you.

Madeira is also for you if you want want a relaxing spa break with a spectacular, sunny backdrop. Or if you want a walking holiday, to play golf or go big game fishing.

Where to stay

  • Funchal is the capital of the Madeira archipelago, and is the perfect place for families simply due to the mass and variety of things-to-do. Whether you're checking out the gorgeous Gothic cathedral, strolling through the botanic gardens, browsing the weekly farmers market, immersing yourself in art at a local gallery or sitting back with a glass of its famous wine, you'll love it.
  • Ponta do Sol is the place that gets the most sunshine throughout the year. Fronted by a lovely pebbled beach standing in the shadow of a palm-lined promenade, it's full of colourful seafront houses and is the best place to go for watersports and beach activities.

What not to Miss

  • It might not sound like a highlight when compared to the beautiful coastline and spectacular mountains, but Madeira’s levadas, the stone and concrete-lined waterways which distribute water from the wetter north to the drier south keeping Madeira looking so lovely and green all year round, make for fantastic walking trails. Once you’ve walked beside a levada for a bit you’ll have a new respect for the lush pleasures of Madeira’s famous botanical gardens, which are definitely unmissable.
  • As far as that spectacular coastline goes, one of the ‘must-sees’ is Cabo Girão, the world’s highest ocean cliffs, which rise 590 metres out of the sea!
  • If you are up in the mountains you’ll not want to miss the São Vicente Caves, a series of fascinating lava tubes and volcanic caves.
  • After appreciating the pleasures of the land you’ll also want to get out onto, or under the water. Madeira is a fantastic backdrop against which to kayak, sail, surf, snorkel or scuba dive.
  • As far as cultural attractions go, Funchal’s Qunita das Cruzes museum, which was once the home of the captain who discovered Madeira, is aristocratic and fantastic. There’s also a great art museum and the incredible Mercado dos Lavradores, a market just bursting with smells and flavours.

Madeira is frequently referred to as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, but it can be quite busy in actual spring and summer, so it’s a good idea to book into the best places to stay on Madeira as far in advance as you can.

The Best Places to Stay on Madeira

For Funchal

  • The Pencha da Franca is a large, seaside hotel just ten minutes from the centre of Funchal with 109 simple, comfortable rooms overlooking the sea or the hotel’s lovely gardens. As well as two large pools - one heated, one not - and plenty of watersports facilities, there’s also a lively games room.
  • Qunitinha de são João is a wonderful Goan-Portuguese villa in central Funchal with 42 beautiful rooms and an extensive spa. As well as beautiful interiors the hotel has excellent Goan cuisine and serene gardens.

Beach break

  • Pestana CR7 has wonderful sea views and quirky, colourful boutique decor. There’s an infinity pool on the roof and a jacuzzi.

for Families

  • Reid's Palace is one of the best places if you're looking for an easy family holiday. There's plenty to do within the hotel grounds, including multiple pools - one just for kids, an indoor play space and outdoor playground, supervised activities, including tennis lessons and they'll help you organise activities for the whole family to do together. They also have a large selection of rooms and suites.
  • Five stars and family friendly don't always go together, but Quinta de Bela Vista offers it. This grand hilltop mansion also has amazing views and plenty of space.

Spa Break

  • In addition to the pleasures of the island itself, Qunita da Casa Branca offers a wide range of spa and massage treatments, a sauna, yoga, a gym and a big, wonderfully calm garden.

For a relaxing break

  • Summerplace, to the island’s west side in Fajã da Ovelha, is an intimate guesthouse with just five rooms and magnificent sea views. The decor is charming and eclectic and you’re in a great spot for exploring the Madeira valley.
  • The Casa Velha do Palheiro is a beautiful country house hotel with 37 rooms and a great position right next to a golf course. The decor is elegant, the restaurant gourmet, the spa fantastic and the gardens exquisite.
  • Quinta das Vistas is a beautiful, 71 room five-star hotel with stunning sea views and great access to all the sights and tastes of Funchal. There’s a terrace restaurant and a top of the range spa.

Inexpensive Chic

  • The Hotel da Vila's 15 rooms are bright and airy, but basic. What makes this one of the best places to stay in Madeira for good value are the balconies with sea views, reasonably priced food and access to the excellent facilities of its sister hotel up the hill.
  • For inexpensive chic in Funchal try The Vine: it's big, super modern and has excellent spa facilities. And all from as little as €120 per night.

For Ponta do Sol

  • With its sharp angles, clean lines, coloured lights and summer terrace parties complete with named DJs, Estalagem da Ponta do Sol is inexpensive but funky. The infinity pool with views out to sea make it the perfect place to relax by day and party at night.

For an Apartment or Villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner

Travel Information

  • Just east of Funchal at Santa Cruz, Madeira Airport is the island’s only one. There are direct flights from London and other major European capitals, but if you can’t find a suitable option you might want to fly to Lisbon and change for the 90 minute TAP flight, which is quite inexpensive and runs twice a day. If you’re going to Funchal from the airport you can catch a bus, everywhere else you’re better off with a hotel transfer, taxi or hire car.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we strongly advise if you want to see the island - we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Madeira has hot dry summers and mild, damp winters, with most of the rain between October and March. Temperatures are highly dependent on the winds coming across the island, with warm winds coming from North Africa bringing average summer temperatures of around 30°C and cooler winds from Europe keeping things in the mid-20s. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but autumn and late spring are lovely too.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Madeira

  • Penha da Franca Funchal (Madeira) 109 rooms from £52

    A large seaside hotel with simple and comfortable bedrooms overlooking the garden or out to sea. Two large swimming pools and a lively games room provide entertainment for all on site. Local restaurants nearby and water sports on offer at the beach.

    Swimming Pool  -  Two outdoor salt water pools - one is heated
    Sights nearby  -  10 mins walk from the centre of Funcha;
    Fishing  -  Can be organised through the hotel
    Diving  -  Diving Centre nearby
    Check Availability
  • Estalagem da Ponta do Sol Ponta do Sol, Madeira 54 rooms from £54

    Minimalist beach chic on a cliff top with fabulous views, excellent spa and restaurant. All white rooms with private balconies, trendy open-air bar, infinity pool, and access to the hotel's yacht. Ideal for an active summer holiday with all the luxury indulgence to go with it.

    Other Activities  -  Summer parties on the terrace with international DJs.
    Views  -  Views out to see from the cliff top.
    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability
  • Hotel da Vila Ponta do Sol, Madeira 15 rooms from £71

    A bright and breezy seaside hotel. Cheap-chic is the order of the day. Airy rooms with balconies and sea views. Excellent food and access to its sister hotel's excellent facilities just up the hill. Ideal for those on a budget.

    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Diving  -  Good diving nearby.
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check Availability
  • Summerplace Fajã da Ovelha, Madeira 5 rooms from £78

    This intimate guesthouse set on a cliff top with magnificent sea views is the perfect place to unwind. Beautifully decorated rooms with views and eclectic living areas with furnishings from around the world. A great escape for couples and a base from which to explore the Madeiran valley.

    Total relaxation  -  Mountain air and magnificent scenes of the Madeira countryside.
    Intimate  -  Not for those seeking anonymity, a very sociable guesthouse.
    Country Escape  -  Set on a cliff top with views out to sea.
    Views  -  Over the Madeira valley and out to see.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check Availability
  • The Vine Funchal 79 rooms from £104

    This is a super modern spa hotel with slick minimalist interiors, lengthy wine list, and panoramic views of Funchal. A sophisticated spa break for those who want to be pampered to the max in a city environment.

    Spa breaks
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability
  • Quinta da Bela Vista Funchal (Madeira) 83 rooms from £113

    A stunning five star hotel set in beautiful gardens overlooking the sea. Restaurants, bars, billiards, a swimming pool, and seamless rooms with private balconies. Unrivalled views that match the splendour of its interiors: a hilltop countryside mansion for those wanting lofty luxury.

    Garden  -  A stunning garden with magnificent views.
    Views  -  Overlooking the gardens and the bay.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check Availability
  • Quintinha de São João Funchal 42 rooms from £115

    A wonderful Goan-Portugese villa in central Funchal with an extensive spa. Delightful old world charm throughout the interiors, excellent cuisine with Goan roots, serene gardens. A relaxed spot close to the beach. Great for families.

    Sights nearby  -  Central Funchal location. Everything is easily accessible on foot.
    Spa  -  Three treatment rooms and a wet area
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check Availability
  • Pestana CR7 Funchal 49 rooms from £117

    Located in the heart of Funchal on Madeira's coast, Pestana CR7 was born out of partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Pestana Hotels. Quirky and colourful boutique rooms boasting splendid sea views. Be sure to visit the rooftop infinity pool or relax in the jacuzzi! A great coastal spot.

    Beach Life  -  Spend your days lounging by the sea or sipping on cocktails as you watch the cruise ships roll in
    Local exploring  -  Madeira's top sights are just a short distance from Pestana CR7
    Great walks  -  Wander around Madeira Botanical Garden or Monte Palace Tropical Garden
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check Availability
  • Quinta das Vistas Funchal 71 rooms from £139

    Beautiful Five Star hotel with stunning views out to sea. Stylish bedrooms and suites with private balconies, creamy furnishings, and all the mod cons. Excellent restaurant and terrace, top of the range spa, and swimming pools. Perfect for a lazy summer holiday in the sun.

    Walking distance restaurants
    Spa breaks
    Romantic Break
    Beach Life
    Check Availability
  • Quinta da Casa Branca Funchal 41 rooms from £156

    This hotel is definitely a place in which to relax and unwind in its tranquil surroundings. Architecturally it combines contemporary elegance and modern authenticity. Flora and fauna gardens in which to stroll and a Health Club for pampering.

    Total relaxation
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability
  • Casa Velha do Palheiro Funchal 37 rooms from £174

    A beautiful country house hotel and spa in Funchal next to the golf course. Understated, elegant rooms and suites in pastels with soft fabrics. Excellent gourmet restaurant, exquisite gardens, fantastic spa. A sophisticated hotel for avid golfers and those who like all things nice.

    Sights nearby  -  The hotel borders the world-renowned Palheiro Gardens
    Golf  -  Golf on its doorstep.
    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check Availability
  • Reid's Palace Funchal 128 rooms from £221

    Reid's palace is ideal for family holidays or a spa break. It has a range of sporting activities, such as tennis, as well as extensive spa treatments, and magnificent swimming pools.

    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability