July 1st marks a special date for the residents of Madeira – it’s the date on which the island was granted political autonomy from the Portuguese mainland back in 1976. To commemorate this historic day, Madeira residents enjoy a national holiday with celebrations across the island that will form an unforgettable part of your cheap holiday to Madeira with Jet2holidays.
There will be many official ceremonies taking place across Madeira, particularly in the capital of Funchal, but to celebrate Madeira like a local simply head to the beach or park with a picnic and watch the day’s events unfold.
Fireworks, Folklore and Food
You may be fortunate enough to see one of Madeira’s folklore groups dance the Bailinho, dressed in traditional costume, or perhaps even some fireworks to light up the island’s coastline.
Food and drink is also an important part of Madeira Day, providing a great opportunity to sample plenty of the island’s best-loved dishes. Meat lovers should try an ‘espetada’, a bay leaf stick skewered with chunks of beef rubbed with garlic and salt, perhaps accompanied with ‘milho frito’ – cubes of deep-fried cornmeal.
Don’t forget to wash all that food down with plenty of Madeira wine, or some ‘poncha’, a sweet, lemony alcoholic drink beloved by locals that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Above all, be prepared for a late night on your cheap holiday to Madeira, as the locals will be glad to show you how to party!