Madeira Honeymoon Guide

With year-round sunshine, numerous hiking trails, championship golf courses, fine local cuisine and luxury accommodation, Madeira offers all the ingredients you need for a relaxing or active honeymoon at anytime of the year.


Ponta do Sol, Madeira

Ponta do Sol, Madeira – image courtesy of expedia.com

Introducing Madeira

Consider Madeira for a honeymoon or romantic getaway: This rugged island is famous for its breathtaking vistas of ragged mountain landscapes, lush valleys and crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming, surfing, scuba diving and game fishing.

Pico Areeiro Madeira

What to do and see in Madeira

Head to the popular south coast beach resort of Calheta or the east coast resort of Canico for a choice of luxury hotels, good swimming beaches and informal restaurants serving fresh seafood.

Or remain in the capital, Funchal, with its selection of large seafront lidos – man-made swimming areas often artfully positioned around nature-sculpted rock pools of calm seawater.

A day trip to the nearby island of Porto Santo offers the chance to unwind on the golden sands of Praia do Porto Santo – Madeira’s best beach.

Discover Funchal’s rich heritage in the numerous 15th and 16th century churches, museums and mansions that line the narrow winding alleyways of the city’s historic heart.

Elsewhere, explore Funchal’s attractive tree-lined streets that crisscross lush green hillsides dotted with luxuriant plants, manicured gardens and red-roofed whitewashed villas.

Madeira’s colourful and lush landscape is often referred to as the ‘Floating Garden of the Atlantic’ and an abundance of colourful flora lies everywhere: look out for jacaranda, bougainvillea, poinsettias, cannas, frangipani, birds of paradise, orchids, geraniums, whortleberry, prickly pear and wisteria, among others.

Beyond the capital, explore on foot, by hire car or tour bus the dramatic cliff-encircled coastline and rugged mountainous interior dotted with cultivated terraced slopes of custard apples, avocados, mangoes, oranges, bananas and grape vines.

Here roads cling to the tops of plunging rock-strewn ravines and twist though hairpin bends to volcanic mountain peaks and picturesque mountain villages.

Stroll the cobblestone streets of Santana in the northern highlands and historic Machico on the east coast, where Portuguese explorers landed in 1419.

At Camara De Lobos on the south coast, discover spectacular coastal views from the sea-swept cliffs of Cabo Girao – the world's second highest ocean cliffs (the highest is in Norway), at 580m above sea level. Just inland is Madeira’s famous wine growing region of Estreito.

Madeira offers wonderful hiking opportunities: follow ancient hand-hewn stone trails and old man-made levadas (water courses) through flower-strewn meadows and primeval laurel forests. Hike lush ravines past tumbling waterfalls and along precipitous mountain ledges.

Take the long but scenic three-hour trek to the summit of Pico Ruivo, the highest point on the island at 1860m above sea level. Alternatively, enjoy panoramic views from the easy to reach belvederes of Pico Dos Barcelos on the south coast and Camoe Pequeno on the east coast.

Along the way, look out for bird life such as the Maderia Firecrest, Zino’s petrel and the long toed pigeon.

Go surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing at Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar and Sao Vicente. Hook up a fishing charter from Calheta and Funchal and reel in long tail tuna, blue marlin, barracuda and swordfish.

Scuba dive or snorkel the Reserva Natural do Garajau and Baixa da Cruz to see dolphins, turtles, amberjack, whiting, damselfish, rays, moray ells, wrasse and barracuda, and swim among sea wolves at Desertas.

Whale watching tours allow you to get up close to humpback, beaked, pilot and killer whales during their annual migration past the island in April, May, September and October.

Tee-off from the Clube de Golf at Santo da Serra, a Robert Trent Jones-designed 27-hole golf course set in a spectacular landscape. Alternatively, try the fairways that wind through steep rocky terrain at the 18-hole Clube de Palheiro at São Gonçalo, around 5km north of Funchal.

Read more about sights and attractions in Madeira

Where to stay

Madeira offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all honeymoon budgets, as well as great value pousadas (government-sponsored inns).

Belmond Reid's PalaceBelmond Reid's Palace
Location: Sao Martinho, Funchal, Madeira
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD810 per room
Description: Set on a cliff in 10 acres of subtropical grounds overlooking the Atlantic, this 5-star resort features an oceanfront spa, 3 swimming pools and direct access to oceanic waters. All rooms at Reid's Palace are elegantly furnished and include a balcony and marble bathroom with amenities. A minibar with complimentary drinks and free in-room movies are available to each room. Reid’s Palace Spa features indoor and outdoor therapy suites with a private whirlpool. It offers an indulgent menu of treatments using world-class spa brands. Dry and wet saunas are also on site. Active guests can play a match on the tennis courts, or get energized with cardio equipment at the modern gym. Al fresco dining is offered by the French-inspired Brisa Do Mar, while the Villa Cipriani serves classic Italian dishes. The Dining Room organizes elegant soirees in Edwardian atmosphere. The Reid’s is 2 miles from Praia Formosa Beach and 15 minutes’ walk to Funchal city center with plenty of nightlife. It provides free private parking.

Quinta da Casa BrancaQuinta da Casa Branca
Location: Sao Martinho, Funchal, Madeira
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD630 per room
Description: Set within extensive gardens of various subtropical trees and a banana plantation, Quinta da Casa Branca features a boutique hotel and an elegant manor house and offers a heated pool and rooms with garden views. There is a spa room and two restaurants at the property. Free WiFi access, tea and coffee making facilities and a private balcony or terrace overlooking the gardens are available in all accommodations. Each of the private bathrooms is comfortably equipped with a hairdryer, bathrobe and slippers. The Health Club is equipped with a fitness training room, sauna, steam bath, hot tub and a relaxation room. The Phytocéane Spa room offers massages and beauty treatments. An outdoor heated swimming pool and communal relaxation spaces in the gardens are also provided, offering guests peaceful settings to relax or peruse a book. et in the Manor House, “The Dining Room” Restaurant has an al fresco dining terrace and offers fine Mediterranean cuisine, à la carte or table d’hôte. Amongst the gardens, the “Garden Pavilion” Restaurant is set in a modern wooden glass building with a terrace and offers buffet breakfast, lunch and snacks. Quinta da Casa Branca's 24-hour reception staff can arrange private jeep tours around the Island, Levada walks, sailing trips, car and bike rentals and airport private transfers. Madeira Airport is 20 km away from Quinta da Casa Branca and Funchal city centre is 2 km away.

Quinta Jardins do LagoQuinta Jardins do Lago
Location: Funchal, Madeira
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD289 per room
Description: In the hills surrounding Funchal, this 18th-century mansion sits in an extensive botanical gardens with 500 different plant species. All rooms have balconies overlooking the gardens or the Atlantic. Quinta Jardins do Lago's spacious rooms are elegantly furnished and include a sitting area, a marble bathroom and a large balcony. Each room features air conditioning, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. The Beresford restaurant serves a fusion of Madeiran and international cuisine, and has tables both indoors and out on the terrace. There are 2 bars, one of which is a poolside bar surrounded by mango trees and flowers. Quinta Jardins do Lago has a large lagoon-style swimming pool surrounded by sun terraces with lounge chairs. Guests can work out in the gym or spend the afternoon in the sauna, Turkish bath and hot tub. This luxurious boutique hotel is just over 1 mile from the center of Funchal. Free parking is available, and a free shuttle service to and from the center of the city is available upon request.

The Cliff Bay - PortoBay The Cliff Bay - PortoBay
Location: Sao Martinho, Funchal, Madeira
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD289 per room
Description: Situated atop a natural peninsula, The Cliff Bay provides panoramic Atlantic Ocean views and private sea access. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a Michelin-starred restaurant and free Wi-Fi. All guest rooms have twin queen-size beds, an en suite marble bathroom and an LCD cable TV with DVD/CD player. In addition, all rooms feature a veranda with table and chairs, giving views of the hotel's gardens or the Bay of Funchal. Cliff Bay features 3 restaurants, including Il Gallo d'Oro, which serves aromatic Mediterranean and Iberian cuisine. Guests can also relax in any of the on-site cafés and bars. Cliff Bay features top-of-the-range spa and wellness facilities. There is direct, private access to the sea as well as tennis courts, a games room and a library. The hotel is located within a 5-minute drive from the Funchal centre, just 20 minutes’ drive from Madeira Airport. An airport shuttle is available upon request.

Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more hotels in Madeira at TripAdvisor.

Best time to honeymoon in Madeira

The best time to visit Madeira is between May and September when the rainfall is low and temperatures average 25°C (77°F).

Temperatures on Madeira rarely fall below 20°C (68°F); even December has sunny days with a high of 22°C (71°F).

Madeira’s crystalline waters are perfect for diving and snorkelling, with water temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F) in January and 22°C (71°F) in August.

Find more climate info: Madeira Weather Guide

Getting to Madeira

The island of Madeira is located around 850km southwest of Portugal and 565km west of the African coastline.

Madeira receives direct flights daily from London and Lisbon.

Find more information on how to get to Madeira Madeira Map

Latest update Madeira honeymoon: 20 March, 2018

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