10 TIPS on VISITING MADEIRA in 2022
Planning a vacation to Madeira can be a daunting task. Madeira island is one of the most touristically diverse holiday destinations on the entire planet! There’s endless choices of such uniquenesses, all of the highest quality and like nothing you’ve seen anywhere else. A vacation in Madeira can be a once in a lifetime experience, every single time 😉
So without any further a due, here are our 10 Tips for Visiting Madeira in 2022.
1 Make the most of the Sunrises and Sunsets
A Sunrise mission in Madeira can be a very adventurous thing. From waking up early, to packing a snack, to navigating the local roads and paths, it always feels like you’re moving with purpose and that hope to see one of the most beautiful things you’ll see on the island, the sun rise above the clouds, in the forrest or on one of our many cliff edge viewpoints. There’s a lot of planning, guessing and improvising that may or may not be needed to conduct a successful sunrise mission. You need to know where the sun will be, where the good viewpoints are (according to the season because the sun doesn’t always rise from the same location of course) and how it will take to get there, with room to improvise if needed. An expert can help, so check out our Sunrise Tours for more information.
Sunsets are a lot easier to plan. You can easily see where the good weather is in Madeira during daylight hours and judge where a good sunset will be or if you’re lucky, the best sunset you’ve seen in your life. A sunset in Pico do Areiro is one hell of a thing but you of course get great sunsets from your hotel/airbnb views, the city, the beach, on the road, in the mountains, camping, hiking, etc. Plan for the most adventurous ones or take a tour or make your own way there, Sunsets in Madeira are stunning!
TIP: Check the webcams for where the weather is good (western regions of the island of course)
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2 Get a Free Funchal Walking Tour with Lisa
Funchal is rich in history. Dating back to the 1420’s, get to know the stories of Christopher Columbus, Joao Goncalves Zarco and many other prominent figures in early portuguese colonisation, all the way through to modern way of life in the capital. Lisa is hustler and works hard for herself, her family and Madeira. She’s an inteleectual who loves to research and for any history buff this is a no brainer. Lisa will entertain you for a couple of hours, advise you on anything you’re interested in doing on the island, has many contacts especially in the city and has an infectious personality. Please TIP her well!!
3 Bring the right clothing
Madeira is known as the island of eternal spring, that is however a highly exagurated fact. In the capital city, Funchal, this could be the case all year round but in the cooler months expect to be surprised by how cool it can get if you’re a couple of hundred meters above sea level or if you have a seaside apartment for instance. The wind can get cold, especially in the mountains. Layers and a good backpack are your friends if you’re going adventuring. Bring your hiking boots, you want to have the best grip in the wild, with good soles for the longer paths. Bring your waterproofs in case you get stuck in the rain, first aid kit, water, etc.
TIP: Check out our YouTube video; The do’s and don’ts of HIKING IN MADEIRA;
4 Choose the Correct Transport.
So many ways of navigating Madeira, there really is something for everyone on The World’s Best Island Destination as voted by the World Travel Awards. The island is more diverse than ever, from local busses to rent a cars off’-roaders to VIP “limos” you’ve got it all in Madeira! A couple of tips; if you’re renting a car make sure you actually know how to drive. The best way around in Funchal is by taxi. Local buses can be fun and adventurous as well as long and time consuming. There are budget tours and experiences which will be great, but we all know what BUDGET gets in every country, in every sector. If you planning on spending most of your time hiking, renting a car may not always be cheaper and certainly will be much harder as well. Personally I would only rent a car if I was staying outside of Funchal or somewhere remote. Get driven by locals, you won’t regret it!
PRO TIP: Check out our “How to drive in Madeira” YouTube video for even more info;
5 Consult the official information sources
There’s a lot of information out there. Blogs, vlogs, sites, groups, pages, apps are packed with itinerary ideas, accommodation ideas, tour companies, restaurants etc. When you’re planning your trip, rely on the official resources. Our favourite has to be the Visit Madeira official website. It’s truly well documented, well laid out and will help you navigate your vacation as needed. If a hiking trail or a main street is closed, which happens often, trust what the official sources say. Accidents happen when people are trusting strangers on online forums saying “the path is open” when in fact it is closed for a reason by the authorities, for instance. I have also scene some hiking trails that in some new, modern apps, are actually incorrect about whether the trail is a “one way” or round circuit hike and have seen many tourists walking aimlessly on main roads because they thought their car was just around the corner.
THE VISIT MADEIRA OFFICIAL WEBSITE;
6 Don’t trust the weather predictions
Just as I mentioned earlier regarding the temperature and the wind, you can be almost certain you’ll be surprised with the weather at least once on this beautiful island. Personally I prefer the cooler, cloudier and wetter days because the island comes alive with that weather but thankfully, we have an abundance of heat and sunshine throughout the year. Madeira has many different micro climates and from what I have learned the trade winds coming down the Atlantic is what is responsible for the majority of these micro climates once the wind comes into contact with our mountains. Be prepared for anything unless it’s the middle of August which will be hot always, in all ways.
PRO TIP: Check out our “Weather in Madeira” BLOG for more information on how to use the weather to your advantage;
7 PLEASE TIP
The Portuguese have a no tipping culture. I’ve had fights with my girlfriends about the tips I’ve given at restaurants when I’m feeling generous because saving money is important if you’re earning less. Too many locals are working long hours for less than what they deserve. Tip them 😉
8 Get a Guide
On the flip side, get yourself a guide for at least one day. You cant begin to even negotiate how much value a local will have over your own research, app, driving, eating, etc… Let a local show you all these things, they’re experts! If you’re only taking one tour, get it on one of the first days of your trip. That way you’ll have an expert with you for the day that can direct you to local bars, restaurants, coffees, trails, friends who teach surf lessons, friends in high places lol. You’ll also have more time to change your plan should you decide to have another day out with some fun locals!
TIP: Contact your guides, restaurants, hotels and airbnbs DIRECTLY instead of the official apps we all know in the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
9 Plan your Perfect Vacation
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10 Don’t buy bottled PONCHA
In the supermarkets, airports and souvenir shops there’s bottled poncha. You don’t want this stuff, rather get yourself a bottle of Madeira Wine, Rum, Liquor, Chocolate, etc. For the wannabe home bartenders out there, get yourself a bottle of Aguardente de Cana (white madeiran rum), a “poncha stick” A.K.A CARALINHO take that home with you, wherever home may be, and then add; one cup orange and lemon juice with one cup of madeiran rum into a 2l jar add some honey, whisk with the caralinho and voilá, you have yourself 2 ponchas.
I hope this quick guide gave you some great value and if you’re looking for cool guides in Madeira,
Let’s Hit The Road