Madeira, an island located off the west coast of Morocco, holds host to stunning scenery, dramatic coastlines, quaint mountain villages and exquisite gardens. The island is well known for its excellent green spaces and exotic landscapes, whilst the cosmopolitan and vibrant town of Funchal combines historic splendour and breathtaking natural beauty with a warm, modern atmosphere. Madeira is a unique destination, offering a full range of activities and watersports for all ages, while those looking for a relaxing break can enjoy the range of natural parks to explore at your own pace. With a subtropical climate, the island’s weather is pleasant all year round, with hot summers and mild winters, making a Madeira villa the perfect option for your holiday.
Take a tropical island landscape, add a generous heap of attractions and bake in perennial sunshine and you’ve got a wonderful recipe for an alfresco holiday experience at any time of year. Our villas in Madeira scatter the southern coast - the sun trap of the island.
Madeira has an immense range of activities and facilities available for a packed holiday itinerary, the most popular being a number of watersports on offer. Some of these include scuba diving, surfing, sailing, water skiing, whale and dolphin spotting and many more. The island is great for trekking and walking enthusiasts – the levadas (water irrigation channels) make up a 500 mile network of spectacular routes to amble, which you can explore on a guided walk. Other popular activities include mountain biking, golf, fishing, plus a theme park and aqua park, which are open to visitors in the summer months.
Madeira has a wide range of restaurants abundantly spread all over the capital city and the rest of the island. There are a huge variety of restaurants offering local and international cuisine, and as with most island nations, fish is one of the most popular dishes, along with espetada - succulent pieces of beef on a skewer cooked over coals. Madeira cake is renowned all over the world, so it is no surprise that the island and its locals love their cakes and pastries. Nearly every café and restaurant has a selection of pastries and cakes to suit everyone. Why not also try the island’s Madeira wine…
Madeira is a shopper’s heaven with a great choice of outlets, ranging from shopping malls to miniature boutiques and local markets (fish & fruit/vegetable/flowers). The capital of the island, Funchal, is home to the largest shopping mall, Madeira Shopping, whilst in the tourist area of the town centre you will find several other malls including Dolce Vita and Maderia Forum. Most villages and towns have regular weekly markets where traditional Madeiran goods and handcrafts can be purchased. Leather goods, including shoes, rugs, Madeiran embroidery and Madeira wine can also be found all over the island.
With amazing views, outstanding landscapes and historic buildings and monuments, Madeira bursts with unique history and culture. Whether you are on the lookout or not, you will come across some amazing historic parts of the island. Visit the capital resort and wander down its white-washed streets and through beautiful gardens, and see the fifteenth and sixteenth century buildings that still stand today. Madeira has a range of museums situated in a number of resorts, detailing every inch of the islands history and culture.
Madeira Holidays - Points of Interest
Visit the Volcanic Centre & Caves of Sao Vicente
Explore one of the many Natural Reserves on the island, from the seashore to the highest mountain peaks
Jump aboard one of the daily cruises along Madeira’s beautiful south coast or try one of the catamarans and enjoy whale & dolphin watching
Take a helicopter flight and experience a spectacular bird’s eye view of the island.
Experience a ride on one of the island’s cable cars and elevators to find remote areas and exceptionally beautiful views
Take a day out and visit the Madeira theme park, offering many activities, covering an area of 17 acres
From Funchal, take a day trip to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, in just two hours by ferry
Visit some of the beautiful gardens, in particular the Botanical Gardens, Palheiro Gardens and Monte Palace Gardens
Visit the natural rock pools on the north of the island in Porto Moniz
Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is a natural amphitheatre edged with mountains. Its streets are paved with black and white mosaics and lined with jacaranda trees. A truly aromatic city of scents and colours.
Calheta is a beautiful coastal resort, featuring Madeira’s only golden sandy beach where you will find a choice of very nice bars and restaurants, as well as a beautiful marina ideal for an evening stroll.
Near Funchal, Garajau is a small resort situated along the southern cliffs with spectacular ocean views - perfect for those looking for the activities of the capital but some peace and quiet by the sea.
If you're having trouble finding the ideal villa, we're here to help. You'll need somewhere that really feels like your home from home. Where everything is taken care of, so your only worries are which beach or sun lounger you’ll choose today. We've put together some of our top picks, so the villa of your dreams could be just a few clicks away.
James Recommends - Madeira villas
Need some inspiration to help choose your perfect villa? Looking for a pool with a view, a villa in the centre of the action, or a property that sleeps a large group? James can recommend villas to suit you. Browse through our villas that have that specific something you're looking for.
Let's face it, when it comes to reviews you want to hear from straight from the holidaymaker's mouth! They're the ones who've been there, done that and swam in their own private pool. That's why we use independent review service Reevoo – giving you the good and the bad from genuine James Villas' customers. Honesty is the best policy after all…
Madeira reviews verified by reevoo
Sights / Places to go
Scores 8.9 out of 10based on 100 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
9 out of 10
Beautiful Island, very very pretty, roads are narrow but very effective at getting around the island. Stunning views and great all year round weather. People very friendly.
Smaller local shops can be expensive food wise, but same in most other countries. Might be worth the trip to a bigger supermarket if going self catering.
Confirmed stay: 10 May 2019 Published on: 11 May 2019 10 out of 10
Reading Family (the eldest child is at school)
The stunning scenery.
Do not go to Funchal when the cruise ships are in!! Its very very busy.
Confirmed stay: 27 April 2019 Published on: 28 April 2019 10 out of 10
Southam Family (the eldest child is at school)
Touring around the island was great, enjoyed toboggan ride in Funchal and recommend H2O for dolphin and whale watching.
You need to be a confident driver to use the mountain and village roads, steep and winding makes driving challenging.
Confirmed stay: 22 April 2019 Published on: 27 April 2019 9 out of 10
Road noise and dogs barking!
Confirmed stay: 18 March 2019 Published on: 19 March 2019 9 out of 10
Hedon, Nr Hull
The levada walking was excellent - stunning scenery.
Unfortunately landslides at Calheta affected local businesses and someone was tragically killed whilst we were there.
Confirmed stay: 18 February 2019 Published on: 21 February 2019 9 out of 10
The beauty of the island and the welcoming people.
Confirmed stay: 03 December 2018 Published on: 04 December 2018 10 out of 10
Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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