Teeming with exotic colours
With a kaleidoscope of magical landscapes, Madeira is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Its dramatic vistas and year-round warmth make visitors want to keep coming back again and again.
Soaking up Madeira’s scenery through the country’s unique activities and viewpoints is almost as special as the landscapes themselves. On the coast, Baía d’Abra offers spectacular views over the island’s most easterly peninsula, bathed in glittering orange hues at sunrise. Cabo Girão, a 580m cliff with more breathtaking views of the Atlantic, offers a truly nail-biting experience - visitors can walk out onto a glass platform to reveal the vast expanse below.
Exploring the mountains, valleys and gorges of inland Madeira presents plenty more exotic surroundings to discover. Walking trails alongside narrow traditional canals called ‘levada’ will take you through lush Laurisilva forest, past gushing waterfalls and close to unusual plants and animals. With over 2,000 kilometres of well-marked trails, the opportunities for adventure are boundless. More excellent hiking trails can be found around Pico das Torres and Pico do Arieiro, the island’s second and third highest peaks, which boast astonishing views, an abundance of yellow and purple blooms during spring and snow-capped summits in winter. Whilst in the mountains, a visit to the village of Curral das Freiras allows visitors an insight into its culture, including tasting ‘ginja’, the local cherry liqueur.
Take a dip
Despite being an exotic island destination Madeira is not renowned for its beaches, but instead features plenty of inviting, ocean-fed pools for you to get your fill of saltwater fun. Sites such as Complexo Balnear do Lido in Funchal and the pools in Porto Moniz offer exquisite bathing experiences with plenty of amenities for a relaxing and comfortable day of sunbathing and swimming. If quieter locations more far removed from the influence of tourism are more appealing, try the pools at Seixal, which boast an idyllic setting with a backdrop of lush mountains, and Doca do Cavacas, an intricate series of pools naturally carved into the rock, from which bathers can marvel at dramatic views of looming cliffs and the vast ocean.
The few beaches Madeira does have are special and well worth a visit. The black sand beaches of Seixal are exceptional, while a trip to the smaller, neighboring island of Porto Santo presents a long stretch of dreamy beach with turquoise water, a wild feel and sand that is made from microscopic pieces of coral.
Sampling some of Madeira’s unusual and delicious cuisine is a highlight of any trip to this spectacular island. ‘Bolo do mel’, traditional honey cake, and black scabbardfish with banana and passionfruit are among the most famous and ubiquitous offerings. Tipples to test include ‘poncha’, a tasty local punch made in various strengths with sugar cane rum and fruit juices, fortified wine and Madeiran firewater. If you prefer to take it a bit slower, decadent wine-tasting tours are an enjoyable way to sample Madeira’s local produce.
A stunning adventure
At Azure, we are on hand to help you book your luxury, nature-filled experience in magnificent Madeira. Simply contact our friendly team by phone or live chat to find out more.
where to stay
Belmond Reid’s PalaceFrom...
For over a century, this grand hotel has attracted travellers from far and wide who are drawn by its splendour and spectacular location in some of the most beautiful botanical grounds in Funchal. Previous famous guests at Belmond Reid’s Palace, Madeira, after whom the suites are named, include eccentric playwright George Bernard Shaw and former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Rooms enjoy their own outdoor spaces and are decorated in soothing terracotta, magnolia and ivory tones, with most affording stunning views over the sea.
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We have been using Azure to arrange our holidays for over 12 years. Every year usually twice a year, sometimes more, we rely on the experienced team at Chester to provide expert information on our chosen destinations. Be it a return to our established favorites in Barbados and Dubai or a new and exiting destination chosen from Azures brochure it is always handled in a friendly and competent manner. The small details are not missed such as do we need late check out or early arrival, which can make such a difference after sometimes long hours travelling. For us using Azure takes the uncertainty out of booking holidays.
We have been booking our holidays through Azure for 10 years and we can thoroughly recommend them. The Azure team arrange amazing holidays, well chosen destinations and hotels with a tailored itinerary that runs like clockwork with so many wonderful extras, it really takes the time and stress out of planning. When the weather has disrupted our journeys, their 24 hour service has provided us with 5* rescues! Nothing is too much trouble for Azure staff and the same goes for all the staff we have met on our Azure holidays which really are out of this world. We continue to recommend your company and all your wonderful team and look forward to our next holiday with you.
My first experience with Azure was when they came to my rescue when my family and I were stranded abroad on holiday without accommodation, their professionalism and ability to make things happen at very very short notice was second to none. They were very knowledgeable and were able to utilise their many relationships within the industry to get things resolved for me within an hour. I can't praise them enough for rescuing my family's holiday and making it a truly memorable time. Since then the team always do their best to make my holidays the best they can possibly be based on their own vast travel knowledge and experiences. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and wouldn't use anyone else for luxurious travel.
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