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Winter holidays in Madeira

Madeira is the perfect winter sun holiday destination – the weather is fantastic all year round, so the island isn’t any less lively. The main difference you’ll notice is the lack of crowds! Plus, of course, it’s cheaper to visit Madeira in the winter than the summer. Save up to 40% of the summer price by booking your winter holiday.

What’s the weather like in winter?

While it’s not as hot as it is in summer, temperatures still average at 16˚C – much warmer than the UK! January and February are rather wet months, but even when it rains temperatures rarely dip below 10˚C. It won’t feel like winter at all, thanks to all those hours of sunshine you’ll get to enjoy.

Top winter activities in Madeira

If you’re now tempted to avoid the harsh UK winter season and swap it for a much warmer one, then you’ll want to know what there is to do! As we’ve already mentioned, businesses in Madeira don’t tend to close for the winter season, since tourists visit the island all year round. However, there are some activities that are better to do during the cooler months.

Hit the beaches

When the sun is out, make the most of it and take the kids to the beach. They’ll be thankful for the cooler temperatures, as it means they can run around and take part in various sports without getting overheated. The sea is still warm enough to swim in and the long hours of sunshine will give you plenty of opportunity to work on that tan, too.

Many of the beaches in Madeira have a pebbly shoreline, but there are a few sandy ones. We recommend visiting the sand beaches at Caniçal, Machico and Calheta, which are pretty much empty at this time of year. Your little ones will have plenty of space to run around, and you’ll get the pick of the best sunbathing spot.

Take a picnic with you, or sample one of the many beachside restaurants or bars following your swim.

Explore the island on foot

The best way to experience Madeira is to walk it. There are many walking and hiking routes to follow on the island and the cooler weather will make even the hardest treks a lot easier! If you are up for a challenge, you simply must climb Arieiro and Ruivo – two of the highest peaks on Madeira. The views are worth all the sweat and hard work.

Not a fan of heights? Then why not try a levada walk? These are irrigation channels that have been transformed into well-marked walking routes. They’ll take you through the heart of the island and its sub-tropical forests. You’ll pass by mountains and travel into remote villages; they’re a miniature adventure!

Levada walks range in difficulty – for a gentler stroll, try the circular hike along Porta São Lourenço. Take your camera as you’ll want to capture the incredible views of the rocky coves below. Experienced hikers will instead prefer the 11km all-day walk from Ribeiro Frio to Portela. Arguably one of the most picturesque walks on the island, you’ll pass through stunning forest, filled with fascinating flora and fauna, plus waterfall and lagoons. It may be difficult, but you’ll be glad you did it.

Alternatively, you can take some stress off your feet and go mountain biking instead. There are plenty of companies that organise tours, and you don’t need to be an expert in order to take part. Unless you are an experienced rider, we don’t recommend you go mountain biking without a guide or group though, as there are no marked paths especially for riders. You need an expert to show you where the best places to ride are.

Experience Christmas in Funchal

December is a fantastic time to stay in Madeira, as this is when the Christmas lights are turned on. They’re not just ordinary lights either, expect 3D illuminations that will blow both you and the kids away. Despite the lack of snow or even cold weather, the city of Funchal really does feel festive at this time of year. It’s not unusual to see choirs singing in the streets and churches will naturally display nativity scenes.

The nightlife is lively too, with clubs, bars and restaurants open until late. If you’re not travelling with young kids in tow, it’s the perfect opportunity to stay up until the early hours and party away.

Make sure you stick around long enough to enjoy New Year’s Eve; the fireworks are incredible and put the UK’s display to shame!

As you can see, there’s plenty to do in Madeira in the winter, so why not escape from the cold UK this year and head somewhere warmer instead? We bet you won’t regret it!

Winter Holidays at Cabo Girao, Madeira

Our holiday village and resort in Madeira offers a wide range of facilities and accommodation for the winter holiday maker. From multiple swimming pools, the a pool bar and exclusive villa pools through to three tennis courts. The children will be entertained with a kid’s pool, play area and club room. For long stay holidays we have plenty of facilities to cater for you too including a market, health club and easy access to the rest of the Island. Find out more about all the great amenities we have on-site by exploring our resort.

Our holiday homes include a choice between villas and apartments, some with private pools all beautifully decorated with a full compliment of facilities you would expect from 4 star accommodation.Check our great winter availability and book your winter sun holiday in Madeira today.