Madeira with children, Portugal

Recreation in Madeira, Portugal – sights created by nature

Rest on the island of Madeira photo

About 950 km southwest of Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean lies the Portuguese island of Madeira . More precisely, it is the entire Madeira archipelago, which consists of the island of Madeira, the island of Porto Santo, and a ridge of uninhabited smaller islands Ilhas Desertas, scattered in a limited area of the ocean. Geographically Madeira is slightly closer to Morocco than Portugal, 737 kilometers west of the Moroccan coast.

If translated from Portuguese, the name of the island will mean “forest, tree”, which, in fact, corresponds to reality. Subtropical trees and flowers, palm trees – all this grow on the island. Popular in Europe, the resort of Madeira is known since the nineteenth century (then the two resorts on the sea were loved – Madeira and the French Riviera). Members of royal houses, writers and politicians loved and enjoy vacationing on the island.

When to go on vacation in Madeira

Rest on the island of Madeira New Year photo

Madeira is a popular vacation destination that attracts holidaymakers from all over Europe and the tourist season does not stop all year round. Madeira is known as “the island of eternal spring” as its climate is surprisingly constant and extremes such as high temperatures are not common. Mean winter temperatures are around 16 degrees Celsius, and 27 degrees Celsius in the summer months. The optimum months for a holiday on the island is considered the period from May to September. Late autumn, early spring or winter is probably the best time to holiday in Europe. On the continent, it’s cold and wet, but on the island, the sun, the ocean and the palm trees. The island is a popular destination for New Year’s Eve, when the best fireworks masters gather and Funchal is decorated with illuminations. Grandiose banquets are arranged by Madeira’s hotels.

Madeira’s natural environment

Beaches in the usual sense in Madeira is absent, because the island itself is of volcanic origin, and its shores are stony. For bathing in the ocean, special platforms are made. Porto Santo with its jet planes and ferries is about 50 kms away from Madeira where a nice sandy beach spreads out over 6 kms of shore. This island was the last resting place of Columbus, because the daughter of the local governor was his wife.

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Rest in Madeira island, the nature photo

Although the island has relatively few beaches, it is considered a true paradise for walking and hiking. There are also a number of natural attractions, such as the Laurel forests, the lava cave in São Vincente, the botanical garden in Funchal and the Levada irrigation channel.

There are also natural pools of water in which to bathe comfortably.

Whether to go to such a distance with a child – a question everyone can decide for himself. But if you want a “delicious” clean air, soaked in ocean spray, silence, organic fish on the menu, the rest of Madeira will please you in full.

Accommodation

Surrounded by a perpetual ocean, the island helps you relax and disconnect from all the hustle and bustle of the world. Most hotels and pensions are located in Funchal. Founded centuries ago, Funchal is the capital of the island, hotels and stores, ancient palaces and squares are all to be found in the city. You will not find a lot of rowdy partying in Madeira but that doesn’t mean that it is an island for the old, moneyed people.

In addition to the four and five-star hotels, the island welcomes tourists to various private apartments with different levels of comfort, pensions, as well as private houses in the countryside. By the way, some apartments are located in the former manor houses.

The satellite towns of Garajao, Machico and Caniça are not ignored by travelers. Once on the island, you fall in love with its simplicity and beauty.

Hotels, restaurants and the port are located in the southern part of the island, and everything is given to civilization, and here travelers can feel part of the restless life. Covered by forests and wild plants, the northern part is waiting for vacationers to admire the pristine nature.

Sightseeing in Madeira – What to see

Gardens of Funchal Madeira photo

For those who appreciate the beauty of nature, we suggest visiting the gardens of Funchal, which consist of a botanical garden, a fabulous and most exotic garden of the tropics with the Palau de Monte Parrot nursery. It has a very large collection of exotic plants. But be prepared to climb a large number of steps. A great place to take your kids is Madeira Magic Theme Park, part of which is the “Living Science Center”. Address: Funchal, Rua Ponta da Cruz, 25. Also, the Porto Moniz Marine Aquarium in the former Forte São João Batista is worth visiting with children. In the old part of Funchal there is a cable car, an unusual opportunity to see the city from a bird’s eye view. In the municipality of Santa Cruz there is an Aquapark, open from March to November. Its website is http://aquaparque-stcruz.webnode.pt/

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Madeira Mountains photo

However, Madeira’s main attractions are created by nature. For those who like to be active, the island offers hiking trails through the delightful beauty. The Peak of Aireiro – Peak Ruivo, 8 km long, runs through the mountains, above the clouds and offers breathtaking scenery. Rabasal Waterfall and Rishko Waterfall. 25 springs, this route is 6 km long through irrigation canals to the waterfalls hidden in the gorges. Santo da Serra Portela is a short, easy to follow route that allows you to enjoy the cleanest air and see a beautiful panorama of the northern coast. The unique place Lauri Selva is provided by a pre-glacial forest. Tourists come only on excursions, as this world lives without human presence. Handrails made of ropes stretched along all the tourist paths. And there is also the Valley of the Nuns, Cape Lorenzo, Cabo Giraudo Cliff, Balcones Levada… List the places where Madeira is worth taking stunning photos for a long time…

How to get to Madeira

The only possibility to get here by regular flights is offered by TAP or SATA airlines from Lisbon, which also has to be reached if you decide to vacation in Madeira. The flight will take you about an hour and a half. In the tourist season from different European countries fly charters. From Russia in the high season to Madeira some airlines may introduce direct flights once or twice a week (at least Transaero did). But whether there will be similar flights in the upcoming season – you should always find out closer to the planned trip to Madeira.

There are also many cruise ships visiting the island. There are also ferries from the Port of Portimão (Faro region, journey time 22 hours). You can buy tickets on the Naviera Armas website.

Mobility

For unrestricted mobility in Madeira, do not forget your driver’s license at home and rent a car here. Various rental companies operate in Funchal as well as at the airport. If you don’t drive, most towns and main sights in Madeira are easily accessible by bus. And to the natural beauty of Madeira is still better to take organized excursions.

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