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Madeira is a Portuguese territory known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic. It is located 500 km off the coast of Africa and 400 km north of the Canary Islands. Madeira is a beautiful island of jagged cliffs, volcanic mountains, lush green forests and unique flora and fauna. This sub-tropical island has a warm climate all year round.
From walking to mountain biking, to hiking and canyoning as well as water sports, Madeira has it all. You can explore the charming capital, Funchal, or other historic towns, relax on a beach or enjoy the natural sea lava pools of Porto Moniz. Madeira is also famous for whale watching. Make sure to visit the sister island of Porto Santo on your trip to Madeira.
You can fly direct to Madeira from Dublin with Ryanair or via a Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal.
To learn more about things to do in Maderia, the best time to go and local info see here.
While Madeira is not renowned for its nightlife, there are various bars in Funchal where you can enjoy live music. There are also a number of nightclubs in the centre of Funchal, as well as in the nearby 5 star hotels and in in the harbour area.
Madeira and its sister island of Porto Santo have almost 1000 restaurants in total that cater for all tastes from modern, international cuisine to regional and traditional restaurants.
Madeira is great for families. Visit Madeira’s Aquapark or take a boat trip and go whale watching. Feel the adrenaline rush on a toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal or enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
Calheta beach is the best sandy beach on Madeira and is a blue flag beach with great facilities. The sister island of Porto Santo has a beautiful sandy beach and can be reached by ferry.
Madeira has shopping centres with high street brands as well as boutique-style shops. These centres are all open late, normally 09.00 to 23.00 and until midnight at the weekend.
The Carnival in Madeira takes place in February and is not to be missed! Thousands of participants dance through the streets of Funchal wearing magnificent and colourful costumes.
Madeira has a sub-tropical climate with sunshine all year round so it’s perfect to visit in both winter and summer. The average summer temperature ranges from 22 to 26 degrees centigrade with average winter temperatures of 18 degrees centigrade.
The Euro is used in Madeira
Madeira shares the same time zone as Ireland
Funchal and the surrounding area can be explored on foot. From Funchal, you can get a cable car to Monte which offers fabulous views of the surrounding coastline.
Hiring a car is not advised as the roads can be narrow and dangerous with steep cliffs in some areas. You can explore the island on a coach tour or alternatively there are many public bus routes that cover the island. You could also hire a taxi for a day tour of the island.