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- The island of Madeira is surrounded by the waters of the gulf stream and enjoys warm, dry summers and mild winters that make it an ideal, year-round holiday destination.
- Relaxed pace of life
- High quality hotels with great facilities, many of which are welcoming to children
- If you're in search of more active pursuits, the island's perfect climate lends itself to all sorts of outside activities, both landbased and seabased. Walking along the levadas (water channels that run along the contours of the island) is easy (take a back pack for babies and toddlers) and enables you to appreciate the often spectacular landscape.
- Golfers are also well catered for and there are also great opportunities for tennis, squash
- The best of the deep sea fishing is from June through to September, when you can net the Blue Marlin and Blue Fin Tuna that roam the island. Check in with your hotel on the boat excursions that are available that will take you down the coast past Cabo Girão, the highest cliff in Europe. You might also encounter dolphins, turtles and whales
- Water babies (and their offspring) should head for the coast and try the lidos in Funchal, with their excellent salt water pools and access to the sea. Children will love the rock pools at Porto Moniz.
- Botanists will love Jardim Orquidea and the Botanical gardens, and some of the other gardens open to the public at the Quintas of Monte, Palheiro Ferreiro, Palmeira, and Boa Vista.
- Despite being a sub-tropical island, Madeira has virtually no pests and is free of dangerous insects and bugs. There are no snakes and no pesky mosquitos!
- Madeira has very little crime and the worst that is likely to happen to you is sunburn or a hangover.
Things to think about:
- Noise in the towns! It seems that Madeira is unaware of the term 'noise pollution'. Whilst the majority of Europe is investing in noise reduction, many Madeirans relish the fact that their motorbikes and cars sound loud. Only a problem in towns though
- Pedestrians need to take care in towns such as Funchal where car drivers pay little regard to people on foot
- Some of the hotels can be quite formal with evening dinner requirements ie dress code etc.
Vaccinations: No mandatory vaccinations required
Best time to visit: Very much a year-round destination
Flight time: 4hrs from UK
Time difference: GMT