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

  • 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

  • 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.

Inexpensive Chic

  • 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 Booking.com.

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?


Monthly Weather in Madeira

Best Hotels in Madeira

  • Estalagem da Ponta do Sol Ponta do Sol, Madeira 54 rooms from £97

    Great walks  -  Madeira's network of Levadas accessible from here
    Other Activities  -  Whale watching, dolphins and big turtles
    Views  -  Views out to sea from the cliff top.
    Rooms with balcony/terrace  -  Most with spectacular views
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays, Michelin Travel

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

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  • Quinta da Bela Vista Funchal (Madeira) 83 rooms from £113

    Garden  -  A stunning garden with magnificent views.
    Views  -  Overlooking the gardens and the bay.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Air conditioningTennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    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. See More

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  • Quintinha de São João Funchal 42 rooms from £115

    Sights nearby  -  Central Funchal location. Everything is easily accessible on foot.
    Spa  -  Three treatment rooms and a wet area
    Restaurant  -  Specialising in Goan cuisine
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    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. See More

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  • Pestana CR7 Funchal 49 rooms from £117

    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.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    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 hot tub! A great coastal spot. See More

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  • The Vine Funchal 79 rooms from £121

    Local exploring
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel

    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. See More

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  • Quinta da Casa Branca Funchal 41 rooms from £156

    Total relaxation
    Great walks  -  Over 3000km of Levada walks to undertake.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels, Michelin Travel

    Relax and unwind in tranquil and unstuffy surroundings. Architecturally combining contemporary elegance and modern authenticity. Flora and fauna gardens in which to stroll and a Health Club for pampering. See More

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  • Quinta Jardins do Lago Funchal (Sao Pedro) 40 rooms from £174

    Romantic Break  -  With verdant grounds comprising a swimming pool, gardens and spa, this hotel makes a great destination for a romantic break
    Hideaway  -  Set within extensive botanical gardens on the island of Madeira, book this hotel for a relaxing hideaway holiday
    Families  -  With large family suites available, plus a dedicated children's play area, this hotel is great for families
    Great walks  -  Explore the botanical gardens which surround the hotel on a long walk; request a picnic from the hotel to take with you
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This luxury, good value hotel is set in beautiful botanical gardens above Funchal in an oasis of peace and tranquility. Classic interiors complement the heritage property, and all bedrooms offer a private balcony with views onto the lush gardens. Have lunch by the pool and relax - you're on holiday. See More

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  • Casa Velha do Palheiro Funchal 37 rooms from £174

    Sights nearby  -  The hotel borders the world-renowned Palheiro Gardens
    Golf  -  Golf on its doorstep.
    Spa breaks
    Restaurant  -  Award winning gourmet restaurant
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    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. See More

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  • Belmond Reid's Palace Funchal 126 rooms from £317

    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel

    Steeped in history Reid's Palace is ideal for family holidays or a spa break. This cliff-top hotel offers supreme and timeless style and elegance. It has a range of sporting activities, such as tennis, as well as extensive spa treatments, and magnificent swimming pools. See More

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