Explore Madeira, Portugal: A Single Day Adventure

Madeira, Portugal

1 days

Lagoa das 25 fontes
Traditional house in Santana
North-east coast near Santana
Funchal botanical garden
Quinta Grande marina

About Madeira, Portugal

Experience the enchanting beauty of Madeira, Portugal, a subtropical paradise known for its lush landscapes, vibrant gardens, and stunning coastline. Explore the capital city, Funchal, with its charming streets, historic sites, and bustling farmers' markets. Venture into the Laurisilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a hike or a picnic amidst ancient trees. Savor the local cuisine, particularly the famous Madeira wine and honey cake. Enjoy a thrilling ride on the traditional toboggans from Monte to Funchal. Visit the picturesque fishing villages and indulge in water sports like diving and sailing. Madeira's year-round mild climate makes it a perfect destination for any season. Discover the magic of Madeira, the 'Pearl of the Atlantic'.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Funchal and Monte


Start your day with a visit to the vibrant Mercado dos Lavradores, a local market where you can find a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It's a great place to experience the local culture and taste the exotic fruits of Madeira.


Enjoy a traditional Madeiran lunch. Try the famous 'Espetada' (beef on a skewer) or 'Bolo do Caco' (garlic bread). Don't forget to taste the local Madeira wine.


After lunch, take a cable car ride to Monte. The journey offers stunning views of Funchal and the surrounding area. Once in Monte, visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, a beautiful garden with a wide variety of plants and an amazing view of the city.


For dinner, enjoy fresh seafood, a specialty of the island. Pair your meal with a glass of 'vinho verde' (green wine).


End your day with a stroll along the Funchal Marina. The area is beautifully lit at night and offers a relaxing atmosphere. It's the perfect way to wind down after a day of exploring.

Attractions in Itinerary (4)

Mercado dos Lavradores

Mercado dos Lavradores

This lively farmers' market in Funchal offers a wide range of local produce, from fresh fruits and vegetables to fish, meat, and flowers. It's also a great place to try local delicacies and buy souvenirs.

Food and Drink
Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

This beautiful garden in the hills above Funchal is home to a wide variety of plants, as well as koi ponds, Chinese-style pagodas, and a museum showcasing African and Zimbabwean stone sculptures.

Funchal Marina

Funchal Marina

A bustling marina filled with luxury yachts and fishing boats. It's surrounded by a variety of restaurants and shops.

Cable Car to Monte

Cable Car to Monte

A cable car ride offering panoramic views of the city and the sea, leading to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A popular dish in Madeira, Espetada is a skewer of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, marinated in Madeira wine, then grilled over wood or charcoal.

Bolo do Caco

A traditional Madeiran bread made with sweet potatoes, Bolo do Caco is typically served with garlic butter and is a staple at local meals.



Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink of Madeira, made from aguardente de cana (rum made from sugar cane), honey, sugar, and lemon or orange juice.

Peixe Espada Preto

A unique fish to Madeira, Peixe Espada Preto is a black scabbardfish often served with banana and passion fruit sauce.

Milho Frito

Milho Frito

A popular side dish in Madeira, Milho Frito is deep-fried squares of polenta, often served with Espetada.


Picado is a popular Madeiran dish, typically made with beef or pork, served in a wine and garlic sauce, often accompanied by fries.

Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine is a fortified wine produced in the Madeira Islands, known worldwide for its unique winemaking process and distinctive flavors.



Lapas, or limpets, are a popular seafood dish in Madeira, typically grilled and served with a garlic and butter sauce.

Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata

A famous Portuguese dessert, Pastel de Nata is a creamy egg tart pastry that is also popular in Madeira.

Sandes de Atum

A typical Madeiran sandwich, Sandes de Atum is made with local tuna, often served with a salad.

Broas de Mel

Broas de Mel are traditional Madeiran honey cookies, often enjoyed during Christmas season.


Nikita is a popular Madeiran drink made with beer, ice cream, and pineapple, often enjoyed on hot summer days.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Madeira, Portugal, is generally between April and November. During these months, the weather is warm and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, sightseeing, and beach visits. However, if you're interested in the famous Madeira Flower Festival, you should plan your visit in April or May. For wine enthusiasts, the Madeira Wine Festival takes place in late August to early September. Despite this, Madeira enjoys a mild climate year-round, so it's a great destination any time of the year.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 13


Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day

March 19


St. Joseph's Day (Santarém)

March 29


Good Friday

March 31


Easter Sunday

April 16


Our Lady of Mércoles (Castelo Branco)

April 25


Liberty Day

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 9


Ascension Day (Beja)

May 12


St. Joana's Day (Aveiro)

May 20


Azores Day (Azores)

May 22


Leiria Day (Leiria)

May 23


Portalegre Day (Portalegre)

May 30


Corpus Christi

June 10


Portugal Day

June 13


St. Anthony's Day (regional holiday)

June 24


St. John's Day (regional holiday)

June 29


St. Peter's Day (Évora)

July 1


Madeira Day (Madeira)

July 4


St. Elizabeth's Day (Coimbra)

August 15


Assumption of Mary

August 20


Our Lady of Sorrows (Viana do Castelo)

August 22


Our Lady of Graces (Bragança)

September 7


Faro Day (Faro)

September 15


Birth of Bocage (Setúbal)

September 21


St. Matthew's Day (Viseu)

October 5


Republic Day

November 1


All Saints' Day

November 27


Foral of Sancho I (Guarda)

December 1


Restoration of Independence

December 8


Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Madeira, especially for those who want the freedom to explore the island at their own pace. There are several car rental companies available at the airport and in the city centre. Remember, driving is on the right side of the road in Portugal.

Madeira's public bus system, known as Horarios do Funchal, services Funchal and its surrounding areas. There are also SAM buses that cover the eastern part of the island and Rodoeste buses for the western part. Buses are reliable and relatively frequent, but routes can be complex and may require transfers.

Taxis are readily available throughout Madeira, especially in Funchal. They are metered, but it's also possible to negotiate a fixed price for longer journeys or tours of the island. Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked by phone, or picked up from taxi ranks.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in Madeira, particularly in Funchal. This can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially if you're traveling in a group. However, availability can be limited in more remote areas of the island.

The cable car in Funchal is a popular way to get up to the Monte area, offering stunning views over the city and the bay. From Monte, you can also take the traditional toboggan ride down to Funchal.

Many of the attractions in Funchal are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore on foot. However, be prepared for steep hills. For hiking enthusiasts, Madeira offers a network of 'levadas' (irrigation channels) with paths alongside, providing access to the island's beautiful and rugged interior.

A ferry service operates between Funchal and the nearby island of Porto Santo. The journey takes about 2.5 hours. This is a great option if you want to explore the beautiful beaches of Porto Santo.

There are numerous tour operators in Madeira offering a variety of tours, from city sightseeing and wine tasting to off-road adventures and whale watching. This can be a convenient way to see the sights, especially if you're short on time or prefer not to drive.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC 0

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone112

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Madeira, Portugal as a first time visitor


Madeira is an archipelago, consisting of the main island of Madeira, the smaller island of Porto Santo, and two groups of uninhabited islands.


The official language is Portuguese, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.


The currency used in Madeira is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have some cash on hand.


Madeira has a subtropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Average temperatures range from 64°F (18°C) in winter to 75°F (24°C) in summer.


Madeira is in the Western European Time Zone (WET, GMT +0; GMT +1 in summer).


The island is known for its unique levada walks. Levadas are irrigation channels or aqueducts specific to Madeira.


Madeira has a rich culinary scene. Try local dishes like 'espada com banana' (black scabbard fish with banana) or 'bolo do caco' (a traditional sweet potato bread).


Madeira wine is a must-try. This fortified wine comes in several varieties, from dry to sweet.


Public transportation is reliable and affordable. Buses are the main form of public transport, but taxis and car rentals are also available.


Madeira is generally safe for tourists, but like anywhere, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions.


The island is mountainous, so pack comfortable shoes if you plan on hiking or walking a lot.


Madeira has a rich tradition of festivals and events, such as the Madeira Wine Festival and the New Year's fireworks. Check the local calendar for events during your visit.


Tipping is customary in Madeira. It's common to leave a 10% tip in restaurants and round up to the nearest Euro for taxi drivers.


Madeira has a unique flora and fauna, with many species that are endemic to the island. Respect the environment during your visit.


The island has a strong tradition of embroidery and wickerwork. These make for great souvenirs.


Madeira has a good healthcare system. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders can access necessary healthcare services for free or at a reduced cost.


The electrical current in Madeira is 230 volts, 50 Hz, and the plugs are Type F (two round pins). If your devices use different plugs, you'll need an adapter.


Tap water is safe to drink in Madeira, but bottled water is widely available if you prefer.


Madeira is not a beach destination. While there are a few pebble and black sand beaches, the island is more known for its mountains and nature.


The dress code is generally casual, but it's respectful to dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

Basic Portuguese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving someone


Por favor

Por fa-vor

Making a request

Thank you



Expressing gratitude




Agreeing with someone




Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me



Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry




Do you speak English?

Fala inglês?

Fala in-glesh?

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Não entendo

Nown en-ten-doo

Expressing confusion

Where is...?

Onde está...?

Onde es-ta?

Asking for directions


Casa de banho

Kaza de ban-yo

Looking for a bathroom




In need of assistance




Looking for food




Looking for water




Ordering a beer




Ordering wine

Check, please

A conta, por favor

A con-ta, por fa-vor

Asking for the bill

How much does it cost?

Quanto custa?

Kwan-to kus-ta?

Asking for the price

Good night

Boa noite

Bo-a no-i-te

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Sweater or light jacket

  • Swimsuit

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized toothpaste

  • Toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm

  • Travel-sized first aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash and coins

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and/or car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks

  • Bottled water

  • Travel guidebook for Madeira

  • Map of Madeira

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Notebook and pen

Weather Conditions

Madeira, Portugal, is known for its mild, subtropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, there are some weather-related tips and guidance that can enhance your visit. The island experiences its warmest weather between May and October, with average temperatures ranging from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). This is the best time for beach activities and water sports. However, it's also the busiest tourist season, so be prepared for crowds. From November to April, temperatures slightly drop to an average of 59°F to 68°F (15°C to 20°C). This is the rainy season, especially from November to February, so pack a raincoat or umbrella. Despite the rain, this period is excellent for hiking and exploring the island's lush vegetation and beautiful landscapes. Madeira's mountainous terrain can cause significant temperature variations across the island. The north tends to be cooler and wetter than the south, so pack layers if you plan to explore different areas. The island is also known for its strong winds, especially on the coast. If you're planning on doing any boating or sailing, keep an eye on the weather forecast and sea conditions. Lastly, remember that Madeira is known for its "four seasons in a day" weather. It's not uncommon to experience sun, rain, clouds, and wind all in one day. So, always carry a light jacket or sweater, even if the day starts off warm and sunny. In conclusion, Madeira's weather can be unpredictable, but with the right preparation, it's a fantastic destination any time of the year.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


19° / 13°

January is the coldest month in Madeira, but it's still quite mild with temperatures ranging from 13 to 19°C. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.


19° / 13°

February is similar to January with temperatures between 13 and 19°C. It's the perfect time for indoor activities like wine tasting and exploring local museums.


20° / 14°

In March, temperatures start to rise slightly, ranging from 14 to 20°C. It's a great time for hiking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Madeira.


21° / 15°

April sees temperatures between 15 and 21°C. The island starts to bloom, making it a wonderful time for nature lovers.


22° / 16°

May is pleasantly warm with temperatures ranging from 16 to 22°C. It's an ideal time for outdoor activities like whale watching and diving.


24° / 18°

June marks the beginning of summer with temperatures between 18 and 24°C. It's a great time to enjoy the beaches and outdoor festivals.


26° / 20°

July is one of the hottest months in Madeira with temperatures ranging from 20 to 26°C. It's perfect for sunbathing and swimming in the sea.


27° / 21°

August is the peak of summer with temperatures between 21 and 27°C. It's the busiest time of the year, so book your accommodations in advance.


27° / 21°

September remains quite warm with temperatures ranging from 21 to 27°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer a less crowded time with still great weather.


25° / 19°

October sees temperatures between 19 and 25°C. It's a good time to visit for those who prefer milder weather and fewer tourists.


23° / 17°

In November, temperatures start to drop slightly, ranging from 17 to 23°C. It's a good time for hiking and exploring the island's natural beauty.


21° / 15°

December is a festive time in Madeira with temperatures between 15 and 21°C. It's a great time to experience the island's Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

Did you know?

Did you know that Madeira, Portugal is known as the 'Island of Eternal Spring' due to its mild climate year-round?

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Places near by Madeira, Portugal

Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo Island

Known for its sandy beaches and clear, warm waters. It's a perfect place for relaxation and water sports.

74 km / 46.0 mi
How to get there
Desertas Islands

Desertas Islands

A group of three uninhabited islands, known for its wildlife, particularly the endangered monk seals.

25 km / 15.5 mi
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São Vicente Caves

São Vicente Caves

A series of lava tubes and caves formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.

31 km / 19.3 mi
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Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro

Third highest peak in Madeira, offering stunning panoramic views of the island.

27 km / 16.8 mi
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Levada do Caldeirão Verde

Levada do Caldeirão Verde

A beautiful and adventurous hiking trail through the lush greenery of Madeira.

25 km / 15.5 mi
How to get there
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

A charming town known for its beautiful churches and beachfront promenade.

18 km / 11.2 mi
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Camara de Lobos

Camara de Lobos

A traditional fishing village known for its picturesque bay and Winston Churchill's favorite viewpoint.

9 km / 5.6 mi
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Curral das Freiras

Curral das Freiras

A small village located in a deep valley, also known as the 'Nuns Valley'.

23 km / 14.3 mi
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Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz

Known for its natural volcanic rock pools that are filled by the tide with crystal clear water.

60 km / 37.3 mi
How to get there
Ponta de São Lourenço

Ponta de São Lourenço

The easternmost point of Madeira, offering a beautiful hike with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

37 km / 23.0 mi
How to get there

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