Include Madeira in your Portugal Itinerary

by Chris Tellings
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Madeira in your Portugal itinerary

On first glance at a world map, you may be wondering just how feasible it is to tie a visit to Madeira in with the rest of your holiday to Portugal. We’d like to show you just some of the reasons to include Madeira in your Portugal itinerary.

Situated over 1,000km west of the mainland, the archipelago of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, is in fact far closer to the African coast than it is mainland Europe. However, don’t let this put you off including this stunning natural gem as part of your holiday itinerary when staying in Portugal.

If you’re looking to explore the best of Madeira, what do you need to know before travelling, and how can you ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible? In this post, we explore three things you should know before heading to the archipelago, leaving you to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Photo by Dimitry B on Unsplash

How to Get There

Surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean, accessing this remote group of islands does take a little foresight and planning. When you’re already on the Portuguese mainland, the cheapest and most convenient way to gain access to the archipelago is via air travel. However, Madeira is home to an international airport, meaning you can fly there directly from many of the major European cities, including London. This gives you the flexibility to factor Madeira in at any point of your holiday itinerary. Not only is it possible to start or end your holiday there, but it’s also just as convenient to fly part-way through your Portuguese adventure. From Lisbon, you can expect a flight time of around 1 hour 45 minutes.

How Long to Spend in Madeira

Despite its relatively small size, there are so many attractions packed into the archipelago. The island is known for its dramatic landscapes, mild climate, and vibrant culture. Visitors to Madeira can enjoy hiking through the island’s mountainous terrain, swimming in its clear blue waters, and sampling its delicious wine and cuisine. Cable cars, viewing platforms and panoramic drives will all provide you with unforgettable views of the archipelago, but how long should you spend there to allow you to tick off all the must-see attractions?

While there is no shortage of things to do in Madeira, most visitors find that a week is the perfect amount of time to explore all that the island has to offer. With that being said, visitors who want to spend more time relaxing on the beach or slowly exploring the island’s towns and villages may want to stay for ten days or longer. Ultimately, the decision of how long to spend in Madeira depends on what type of experience you are looking for, and how much time you have to spare.

(Photo by Piotr Musioł on Unsplash)

Where to Stay

With day trips to this part of the world all but out of the question, you’re going to need somewhere to stay for the duration of your Madeira experience. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Depending on the makeup of your travelling party, and your holiday preferences, different parts of the island will suit some visitors better than others.

One of the most popular spots for any type of holiday is Funchal. Situated on the south coast of Madeira Island, Funchal is the capital city of the archipelago, and is the most populous settlement outside of the mainland. Here, you will find a variety of accommodation options, ranging from inexpensive hostels to more boutique hotels. Staying in the capital will give you easy access to the rest of the island and will ensure you’re never short of something to do – even through to the early hours of the morning!

Include Madeira in Your Portugal Itinerary

We hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration to Madeira. and know you’ll enjoy including Madeira in your Portugal itinerary.

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-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Tim Roosjen on

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