The Portuguese island of Madeira offers the best of both worlds with laid back coastal towns and stunning green mountains sitting side by side.  This beautiful island benefits from a year-round summer climate and an attractive, old-world charm, as well as the famous gardens.


The island’s capital has a deep a natural harbour which  attracted early settlers back in the 15th century. The tourist  hotels are situated on the west side of the city, with the Old Town and it's many restaurants in the east. Linking the two is the commercial central area with its imposing  cathedral, historic buildings and varied shops. Whilst in Funchal, let yourself be charmed by the bright colours of the Mercado dos Lavradores, a market where flowers, fruit and the typical island costumes of the stall holders all combine to provide a mosaic that is full of life. You can also take the cable car up to Monte and the hilltop where you can look out over the bay. The Lido area links Funchal with the pebbled Praia Formosa beach at the western end of Funchal. The promenade is lined with palm trees and offers breathtaking views and a selection of restaurants.


One of Madeira’s major resorts, with a wide range of  hotels, Caniço is on the south-east tip of the island and is a short taxi ride to Funchal. The countryside around the town is full of lush vegetation, rugged hills & dramatic coastline.


Looking out over Funchal, Monte has long attracted visitors who climbed up the steep road. Coming down again, they could take the famous toboggan ride, a wooden sledge with drivers who steer it safely the two miles to Funchal. Monte is also famous for its 19th century church, containing the tomb of the last Hapsberg Emperor.


Machico is a tranquil town that has a beach and a good selection of restaurants & boasts the oldest church the 'Capela dos Milagres', and two forts. It is a good starting point for a number of nice ‘levada’ walks. The Levadas are a maze of irrigation channels that distribute large  quantities of water from the wet North and West of the island to the dry South.


Please note the Santa Cruz Town Hall in Madeira has brought in a brand new City Tax which is chargeable to all visits that are accommodated in their municipality. The tax is levied against adults staying at the hotel & is to be paid locally to the hotel. Please ask Reservations for details.


Based on peasant traditions and taking advantage of both the geographical location and the lush climate, Madeiran food is rich and flavourful. Consisting of  warming soups, grilled meats and large fish fresh from the Atlantic, there is something on the menu for all tastes. The island's distance from the mainland has left the local cuisine unique and there is a wealth of bread, cheeses, meat and fish dishes not found elsewhere to try, as well as a variety of cakes and desserts. It is said that Madeirans have something of a sweet tooth and everywhere you visit on the island you will come across local favourites such as the famous honey cake. Madeira's most famous export is it's world-renowned fortified wine and no trip would be complete without sampling a glass.  Try Espetada (cubes of beef smeared in garlic & salt, skewered onto a bay leaf branch and grilled) or Espada com banana frita (black scabbard fish with fried banana).


A shared shuttle service is included in the price, which means you will stop at a number of properties en route to your hotel. Alternatively opt for our shared standard transfer for a slightly more direct route to your accomodation or a private transfer service which will meet you at the airport and take you comfortably and swiftly to you hotel.


Currency: Euro (€)
Language: Portuguese & English
Visas: Not required for EU nationals
Time Zone: GMT
Flying Time: 3½ to 4 hrs
Electricity: 230V 


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