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Over the winter, ever-sunny skies cast Madeira in a beautiful light. The warm climate has made the island an evergreen paradise of botanical gardens, laurel forests and fresh produce too. It’s also a place with unmistakable atmosphere, something you’ll discover as you explore natural wonders, grand old towns and rural villages.

Casa das Mudas Art Centre


Casa This place sits in an award-winning modern structure comprising a gallery, auditorium and event spaces. Inside, you’ll find a collection of contemporary Portuguese art dating back to the 1960s, including works by artists such as Joaquim Rodrigo, Manuel Baptista and Jorge Martins.

Madeira Film Experience


Madeira Film Experience Are you a holiday history buff? You'll love this documentary film telling the story of Madiera in centuries past. Shown at a charming little cinema in Funchal, the film offers a whistle-stop guide (it lasts just 30 minutes) to the island's history. The perfect inspiration for island exploring.

Valley of the Nuns


valley of the nuns The narrow road leading down to the Valley of the Nuns is an experience in itself. Expect tight bends and impressive mountain views. The road weaves through eucalyptus woods and a 2-kilometre long tunnel, dropping from a height of 1,000 metres.

Cabo Girão


Gabo Girao As long as you have a head for heights you’ll love Gabo Girão. It’s the tallest sea cliff in Madeira... some say, the world. It rises, almost vertically, out of the sea to a height of 580 metres, offering fabulous views towards Funchal. The brave can venture onto a glass viewing platform that takes them right over the edge.

New Year’s Eve

New Years Eve See in the New Year with a fireworks display so impressive it held a Guinness World Record. The skies above Funchal are a kaleidoscope of soaring colour as fireworks are set off simultaneously at 50 sites across the city on December 31. On the ground, find fabulous food and live gigs.

Funchal Marathon

Funchal marathon On 29th January 2017, all sorts of runners hit the streets of Funchal to take on this celebrated annual event. The capital city’s warren of historic streets, palatial buildings and pretty piazzas make for a scenic route and an unbeatable atmosphere.

Carnival

Carnival Vibrant costumes, party music and a whole lot of fun - it's time for Madeira Carnival. The streets of Funchal give way to one huge street party every February for a week of brass bands, float parades and blingy headwear and dresses. Get your dancing shoes on… and go with the flow.

Walking

walking Trek past the waterfalls, vineyards and fruit orchards that crisscross the mountains. Choose from a variety of walks among the levadas. Suitable for all abilities, these walks let you discover the natural beauty of Madeira. Levada means 'mini-canal' and the best way to explore these stunning waterways is on foot. Near Calheta you’ll find Levada Nova. This trail, which is around five or six miles, follows one through hills, forests, villages and fields. Along Levada do Castelejo, you’ll see a variety of plants and wildlife. Once at the top, you'll enjoy stunning views of the ocean and nearby fishing village of Porto da Cruz.

Golf

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Palheiro Golf is a par 72 championship golf course boasts 18 holes and is set 500 meters above sea level, giving golfers breathtaking panoramics over Funchal Bay. This technical course has been designed to complement its surroundings, offering abrupt ridges, deep bunkers and fast undulating greens. Meanwhile, Santo da Serra Golf is the home of the Madeira Islands Open. At 1,000 feet above sea level, you can enjoy excellent views of the ocean as you play. On site you’ll find a clubhouse and high-quality restaurant, as well as changing rooms and shower facilities.

Eating and drinking

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Make like the locals with a plate of hearty, rustic food in the charming Old Town of Funchal. Think locally caught swordfish, smoky chorizo stew or marinated lamb chargrilled over hot coals. Authentic Madeiran restaurant are all about food that's fresh, flavoursome and fairly cheap - locals have great banter too. For traditional afternoon tea served on a clifftop terrace overlooking the Atlantic - Belmond Reid’s Palace is a must-visit. Relax in a rattan chair, sip from a china cup and gaze out to sea. The dress code is dapper so make like a film star.

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