View of the blue sea, rocky mountains in the background, on the right of the picture shoreline stabilisation and a village with white buildings. © Freesurf/
View of the blue sea, rocky mountains in the background, on the right of the picture shoreline stabilisation and a village with white buildings. © Freesurf/

Funchal – A Holiday on the Flower Island of Madeira

Published: 02 May 2024, 15:30

Island of eternal spring, flower island or even the Hawaii of Europe: Madeira has many names that try to describe what the Portuguese island in the Atlantic stands for. First and foremost, it is a paradise with an incredible amount of beauty to discover: picturesque coastal villages, steep cliffs, mystical laurel forests and marvellous natural parks and valleys for hiking along the levadas, the aqueducts typical of the island.

The capital Funchal, which owes its name to the fennel that once grew wild, is an ideal base for exploring the evergreen island from the south coast. From here, almost every point on the island can be reached within an hour’s drive. It’s also worth staying in Funchal itself a little longer. A walk through the old town with its narrow streets, beautiful churches and chapels is highly recommended, as is a a trip on the cable car to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. 

Numbers, data, facts

  • Time difference: + 1 hour
  • Population: 112.000 
  • Official language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

Funchal – The heart of Madeira

Discover the blossoming island

Mountains, sea, mystical laurel forests and waterfalls: Madeira is an island for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. The evergreen laurel forest is the largest of its kind in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many hiking trails run along the levadas. These are narrow aqueducts that are laid out like a network to irrigate the island. The hikes always reveal viewpoints that offer a magnificent view of the island’s abundance of nature, the lush floral splendour and the vastness of the Atlantic. Those travelling to Madeira for a swim will find beautiful beaches in the southeast of the Atlantic island. The small neighbouring island of Porto Santo impresses visitors with a nine-kilometre-long white sandy beach and the best diving spots. The southwest of the island is mainly characterised by a steep coastline and small, romantic villages.

Whether hiking, swimming or active sports such as surfing or diving – you’re sure to make lasting memories however you choose to spend your holiday on the island of flowers. 

Madeira: five interesting facts

Funchal from BER

Five travel tips for ...

1. Go on the famous levada hikes on the north coast  

2. Walk along the south coast with a view of the capital Funchal  

3. Walk through diverse forest areas on the east coast

4. Climb the central mountain range with the Pico Ruivo  

5. Take easy walks to waterfalls on the west coast  

1. Bacalhau – air-dried fish

2. Bolo do Caco – flatbread with garlic and herb butter

3. Sweet, exotic fruits, such as passion fruit and cherimoya (cinnamon apples)

4. Bolo de Mel – a dessert with sugar cane syrup and almonds

5. Poncha and Madeira wine – the island’s most popular drinks

1. Snorkelling in the small, quiet bays

2. Surfing, windsurfing & kitesurfing at spots like Paul do Mar

3. A real canyoning adventure: abseiling into the mountain waterfalls 

4. Canoeing along the coast and into river valleys

5. Dive with sharks and rays at the Madeira Aquarium

Picture source title:
© Freesurf/ 

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