Where to stay in Madeira?

Welcome to Madeira, a captivating and stunning island situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes, warm climate, and rich culture, making it a perfect destination for all types of travellers. In this travel guide, we will introduce you to the best activities and attractions in both the northern and southern parts of the island.

Here, you will find:

The most enchanting places to stay, ranging from authentic boutique hotels in Madeira and charming B&Bs to elegant luxury hotels and secluded villas and holiday homes on Madeira.

Cultural highlights of Madeira, including vibrant festivals such as the Flower festival and traditional crafts like embroidery and wickerwork.

Unforgettable activities, such as trekking through the fascinating landscapes, playing golf on picturesque courses, and deep-sea fishing in Madeira's waters.

Discover the diversity of Madeira in our selected accommodations in the north and accommodations in the south of the island:

Our favourite towns, villages and best places to stay in the South of Madeira

Now welcome to the sunny and vibrant south side of Madeira, where adventure, culture, and relaxation come together to create an unforgettable travel experience. This region is known for its beautiful beaches, charming towns, and stunning natural landmarks, making it the perfect destination for travellers of all kinds.

Câmara de Lobos is a picturesque fishing village that is famous for its colorful boats and stunning sea views. Stroll along the waterfront promenade, enjoy a glass of Madeira wine at one of the local bars, and sample some of the delicious seafood dishes that are served in the town's many restaurants.

Cabo Girão is a natural wonder that should not be missed. This towering sea cliff rises over 580 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline. Take a walk along the skywalk, a glass-floored platform that extends out over the cliff, or go paragliding for a truly unforgettable experience.

Calheta is a small cove surrounded by steep cliffs and with imported sand, making it a sandy beach. After a day in the water, enjoy a drink at one of the local beach bars and soak up the stunning views. We offer a cozy rural cottage called Calhao Grande in Calheta.

Jardim do Mar is a charming village that is famous for its picturesque streets and beautiful gardens. Take a stroll through the town's narrow alleys, enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants, or simply relax in the tranquil atmosphere.

Ponta do Pargo is a small village located on the westernmost tip of the island. It is famous for its lighthouse, which offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding sea and countryside. Take a scenic drive along the coastal road, explore the town's traditional architecture, and sample some of the delicious seafood dishes that are served in the local restaurants. We carefully selected Casa de Levada which offers beautiful rural apartments in Ponta do Pargo.

Cascada dos Anjos is a beautiful waterfall located in the heart of the island. This hidden gem is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful and secluded retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a hike through the forest, enjoy a picnic by the waterfall, or simply relax and soak up the natural beauty of the area.

Ponta do Sol is a charming coastal town located on the south coast of Madeira. With its warm climate and picturesque beaches, it is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Take a walk along the promenade, explore the town's historic architecture, and enjoy a drink at one of the many beachside bars and cafes. We found the best boutique hotel with spa in Ponte do Sol.

Funchal is the capital city of Madeira and is known for its historic architecture, cultural attractions, and vibrant nightlife. Take a stroll through the old town, visit the many museums and galleries, or simply relax in one of the city's many parks and gardens. Don't forget to sample some of the local cuisine, including the famous Madeira wine and traditional seafood dishes. You must go to the Mercado dos Lavradores, also known as the Funchal Farmers Market. This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with colorful displays of fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and local crafts. Visitors can also find a variety of traditional Madeiran foods, such as honey cakes, Bolo de Mel (honey cake), and Poncha (a traditional Madeiran alcoholic drink). The market is a great place to experience the local culture and interact with the friendly vendors, who are happy to share their knowledge and recommendations with visitors. Nevertheless, check out this wonderful bed & breakfast called Casa Papagaio near Funchal.

In the heart of the island, you should go to Pico do Areeiro, one of the highest peaks on the island of Madeira, standing at an elevation of 1,818 meters above sea level. It is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers, offering stunning panoramic views of the island's rugged terrain and coastline.

Visitors can reach Pico do Areeiro by car or by hiking up from the nearby town of Pico do Areeiro. The hiking trail is a challenging but rewarding experience, with steep inclines and rocky terrain. However, the effort is well worth it, as the summit offers breathtaking views of the island and its surroundings.

Madeira is definitely a truly unique and beautiful destination that offers something for everyone, from stunning natural landscapes and exciting outdoor activities to charming towns and vibrant cities. So why not plan your next adventure to this beautiful island and discover its many hidden secrets for yourself?

Our favourite towns, villages and best places to stay in the North of Madeira

The north of Madeira is a region of rugged landscapes, misty forests, and dramatic coastline, perfect for adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts. This is the perfect place for travellers who love to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and discover secret spots that most tourists never see. From breath-taking natural landscapes to charming villages and historic landmarks, this part of the island has it all.

Ponta de São Lourenço is a must-visit destination in the north of Madeira. This protected area is home to an impressive landscape of volcanic rock formations, cliffs, and beautiful sea views. Hike along the many trails that crisscross the region and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Santana is a charming village famous for its traditional thatched-roof houses, known as palheiros. Visit the Madeira Theme Park to learn about the region's cultural heritage and history, and sample some of the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants.

Parque das Queimadas is a beautiful park located in the Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the many hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls, streams, and stunning vistas.

Sao Vicente is a picturesque town located on the north coast of Madeira. Visit the volcanic caves, take a dip in the natural swimming pool, and explore the many hiking trails that lead to the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Seixal has a stunning natural scenery, including beautiful black sand beaches, natural swimming pools nearby, and waterfalls. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or explore the nearby mountains and valleys.

Porto Moniz is a beautiful coastal town located on the northwest coast of Madeira. Known for its natural swimming pools, this area is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing by the sea.

Tips for Madeira

Renting a car is highly recommended when visiting Madeira, as it allows you to explore the island's many hidden gems and stunning natural landscapes at your own pace. The roads on the island are well-maintained and offer some of the most scenic drives in Europe, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to see as much of the island as possible.

In addition, driving in Madeira can be a scenic and enjoyable experience, with winding roads that offer stunning views of the coastline and mountains. Renting a car also allows you to stop and explore towns and villages along the way.

With a car, you can easily access any destination allowing you to explore the island's beautiful natural parks, such as Parque Natural da Madeira and Parque das Queimadas.

What to eat and drink in Madeira

Espetadas - Espetadas are a traditional meat dish in Madeira that is made with chunks of beef that are skewered and grilled over an open flame. The meat is marinated in garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves giving it a delicious flavor. The skewers are often served with potatoes, salad, and rice. You can find delicious espetadas in Camara de Lobos.

Scabbard fish - This is a popular fish that is found in the waters surrounding Madeira. The “filetes de peixe espada” have a delicate and flaky texture and are often served with a banana and a garlic and lemon sauce.

Passion fruit pudding - This refreshing dessert is made with passion fruit juice, sugar and cornstarch. “Pudim de Maracuja” has a creamy texture and a tangy flavour that is perfect for hot days.

Poncha - Poncha is a traditional Madeiran drink that is made with sugar, honey, lemon juice, and either aguardente (a type of brandy). It is often served in a small glass and is a great way to warm up on a cold day.

Madeira wine - Madeira wine is a fortified wine that is made from grapes grown on the island. It has a rich and complex flavour and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a dessert wine.