Destinations Europe

Highlights Of Madeira Portugal


Madeira is a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic. An autonomous region of Portugal it is known for its rugged landscape, volcanic earth, warm subtropical climate, high cliffs, pebble beaches and delicious Madeira wine.

Here are my highlights of Madeira Portugal for a first time visitor.

Funchal, the capital of Madeira

Funchal, the capital of Madeira

Funchal is the capital of Madeira, its name coming from the abundance of fennel on the island. It’s situated in a naturally picturesque bay and is surrounded by steep mountain slopes, and with churches, palaces, mansions, museums, and gardens to explore, it is a city full of character and history. It is also small enough to explore on foot, so is a great base for your stay on the island.

There is so much to see and do in Funchal, from exploring the Farmer’s market, with an abundance of flowers, fresh fruit and fish, to strolling around Jardim Botanico, the botanical garden. When you want to see this beautiful city from above, take a cable car on a 15-minute flight over the city and for a novel way to return to your destination point take the Monte Toboggan.



Calheta is a small resort on the Southwest coast of Madeira with the islands only golden sandy beach. It has a beautiful little marina and an array of nice restaurants and bars in which you can have a meal or drink and watch the sun go down. You can take a dolphin or whale watching tour from its harbour for an amazing experience and visit the old sugar cane factory and museum for an interesting detour.

Faja da Ovelha
Fajã da Ovelha

Fajã da Ovelha

Faja da Ovelha, is a little village also on the Southwest coast of the island, with the settlement originally forming around a small chapel. It’s peace and tranquillity suits those looking for a relaxing holiday and it is popular with walkers and hikers due to its situation on the top of the mountain area. If you stay here you will have fantastic views and the little village is easily accessible by car, with Prazeres a beautiful town only a ten-minute drive away.

Ponta do Sol
Ponta do Sol

Ponta do Sol

One of the sunniest towns on the island, Ponta do Sol is only a 30-minute drive from the capital Funchal. The attraction of this small town is the colourful little houses, the attractive beachfront location and the glorious sunsets. A handful of cute little restaurants and bars adorn the seafront and a ten-minute drive away is Calheta with its sandy beach.

Where To Stay

There are a number of accommodation options in Madeira from hostels, and small hotels to five-star resorts.
Villa Madeira
For an alternative option, consider a luxury Madeira villa. If you choose a reputable company to book your villa you will get all your needs taken care of including a welcome pack, free wi-fi and maid service. Villas are fabulous as you have the privacy you don’t really get in a hotel, and the space to chill out and relax whilst still being able to share meals and conversations together with your family or group of friends. Many also have a private pool to keep the kids and adults happy too.

Tell me, have you ever thought of Madeira as a holiday destination? Do you like the idea of staying in a holiday villa?

* PR collaboration. Faja da Ovelha and Ponto do Sol image credit Flickr CC

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  • Bilyana | OwlOverTheWorld
    March 4, 2017 at 9:10 am

    O course, I have thought of Madeira as a holiday destination. The villa looks like a really nice place to stay in, it seems that you can get a relaxing time there either. Awesome photos also btw.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      There’s nothing better than relaxing by your own private pool.

  • Anne
    March 4, 2017 at 9:33 am

    It looks really pretty. Got to confess it is not somewhere that has ever appealed but perhaps it’s refl cation of the stage of life I’m in that now it is looking very appealing. Very prettt

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 4, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      We were talked into Madeira by the Portuguese staff of our local restaurant. They kept saying how beautiful it was and they are young and old.

  • danik
    March 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Another post to tease me about Maderia. I really want to go here as its so close but always land up going somewhere else. Now its time to make the effort to get to Maderia. Loving the photos 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 4, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      It was somewhere we kept overlooking, it has an understated beauty.

  • Raghav-TickerEatsTheWorld
    March 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Ive known of Maderia through the wine, but wasn’t aware that it was such a scenic place to visit. Portugal is high on my visit lists and being an admirer of wine Porto and Maderia will hopefully be fun to visit. As for staying at a holiday villa… That’s a huge YES!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      The wine is always a good way to get to know a place.! Yes the islands are very scenic and dramatic.

  • Megan Jerrard
    March 6, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Madeira looks absolutely beautiful – I actually had no idea that there were autonomous regions within Portugal’s rule. Thanks for the introduction to the different towns across the island – would love to visit and explore!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 6, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Learnt some of this from the Portuguese owners of a local restaurant, they are all from Madeira. They were also the ones saying you must visit.

  • Rhonda Albom
    March 6, 2017 at 1:28 am

    This is an absolutely beautiful island that I knew nothing about before today. Being able to explore it on foot, sounds ideal. It’s my favourite way to discover new areas.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

      It as some renowned walking routes and a wonderful climate.

  • Nisha
    March 6, 2017 at 4:36 am

    These small islands are so beautiful looking. I dont know why , but I somehow always thought Madeira was part of Spain.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 6, 2017 at 7:45 am

      Easy mistake as they off the coast of Africa like the Canary Islands which are Spanish.

  • Jenna
    March 6, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Madeira looks amazing–we haven’t been to Portugal yet, but I’m dying to go! The coastline in that first photo looks so gorgeous! I would love to visit all of these spots, but especially Ponta do Sol–sounds like such a cute area!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 6, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      There are so many interesting places to visit it’s really hard to see as many as you can, Madeira was somewhere we had overlooked for years but are glad we have found it.

  • Christina Pfeiffer
    March 6, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Madeira looks amazing! It looks like the kind of place I would like to go and live for a few months. Funchal looks like it’s reasonably large and a happening place.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      We also need to explore it more. The walking trails are worth exploring further and the Laurissilva forest too.

  • Anneklien Meanne
    March 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    The Calheta sounds a great place to visit Sandy beach and the marina. A lovely place to relax and unwind.

  • Agness of Fit Travelling
    March 7, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    The beauty of Portugal cannot be described, it must be experienced. There are so many places to visit there and Madeira is a must-see, Mr and Mrs W.

  • Veronika Tomanova
    March 7, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Wow Madeira looks amazing! Thanks for recommending some of the lesser known resorts, it is always hard to pick one place to stay from hundreds on the hotels!