5 Star Hotels on The Island of Madeira[jtabs]Our Selected Hotels::
Our Selected Luxury Madeira Hotels
We have chosen what we think are the best luxury 5 Star Hotels the Island of Madeira has to offer. Whether you are looking for colonial style grandeur, a great family luxury holiday or a tucked away romantic spa retreat our selection of luxury Hotels has something for everyone.
Location & Map of Madeira
A spectacularly beautiful island, Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located in the north Atlantic Ocean, just under 250 miles north of the Canary Islands.
Volcanic in origin, it measures 36 miles long and 14 miles wide, and rises to a couple of 6,000-ft peaks in the centre.
Woods, vineyards and rich farmland characterise the island which is also pitted with deep valleys and has a beautiful coastline consisting mainly of sheer cliffs.
Hiking levada trails – pico das pedras
Following the path of Levadas, mountains and trails leading to Laurisilva forests which covers 20% of the island’s surface and is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The island has remarkably good hiking courses or trails. These trails are unmistakably an adventure in themselves on a holiday in Madeira.
Usually tourists or visitors found on these trails are family members or friends picnicking on the cliffs and high attitudes.
There are 2 notable golf courses on the main island; The Santa da Serra golf club and Palheiro Golf Course. The Santa da Serra course has hosted to the European PGA tour every year since 1993 following a re-design Robert Trent Jones into a completely new 27 hole course.
Designed in 1993, The Palheiro Golf course is a formidable challenge. The 18 hole par 72 course sits 1,500 feet above the capital Funchal and enjoys stunning views over the bay and across to the Desertas Islands.
Finally there is Porto Santo Golf Club. Take a 20 minute hop in a light aircraft to the Island of Porto Santo and take on Seve Ballesteros’ challenging course.
The whole golf feel on the Islands makes it s popular tourist spot for those who love the sport and were thinking of planning a holiday in Madeira.
Scuba diving & Deep Sea Fishing
Diving is popular with several diving schools in the area so you can take advantage of the crystal clear water and try and spot creatures like Barracudas, Monkfish, Dolphins and Rays.
Out to sea Madeira has some amazing Big Game Fishing grounds as close as only 5 miles away from the harbour with opportunities to catch Marlin and Tuna.
Whale and Dolphin Spotting trips are also popular.
Parque Tematico de Madeira
This theme park of Madeira island is quite popular and presents a good entertainment for families or group of friends. With a pleasing garden, boating lake, playgrounds and major sports for the entire fun element, the park also has reality shows based on science, environment and historical background of the island as well as its traditions, presented virtually
A wine tasting trip is a must of any holiday to Madeira so you can give the famous sweet wine a try and even combine it with a vineyard tour or dinner.
Madeira offers a huge choice of eateries from international cuisine in the main towns and resorts to delicious local dishes the most authentic of which can be found in villages.
Few sandy beaches on the Island of Madeira though, the Island of Porto Santo has some good sandy ones. Porto Santo can be reached from the main Island by a 3 hour ferry or a 20 min flight.
Sightseeing & Museums
Madeira has numerous opportunities for sight seeing and discovering more about this historic island. The Madeira Story Centre, located in the Old Town of Funchal, is a great place to start as you can learn everything about Madeira’s history from its volcanic birth 14 million years ago, to the present day.
Sé is the Cathedral in the heart of Funchal – unassuming in character from the outside, the inside is magnificently constructed and adorned.
Away from the main resorts you can take a cable car ride from Parque Almirante Reis in Old Town Funchal up into the hills to the picturesque village of Monte and take the opportunity to sample some local cuisine.
This area of Madeira Island has scenery of beautiful and most remarkably designed thatches houses shaped triangularly. The whole architecture of these triangular looking houses comes from 16ht century and is based on sole purpose of protecting them, from the abundant rain. The valley with lots of greenery, willow tress, nature rich scenery, fruits and vegetables is something one should not miss when holidaying in Madeira.
Ilhéu da Camara de Lobos
This fishing village has a whole fishing and fishermen feel to it that has been attracting tourist and visitors for years. The village is home to huge number of fishermen and also has picturesque look to it with a popular 15th century chapel and the highest utmost huge sea cliff Cabo Girao.
Museum de Arte Sacra
This marvelous tourist spot is loved by tourist and visitors with interest inartistic collections, beautiful paintings and astounding artifacts. The museum is known for its assortment of Flemish work of art and canvases.
There is also the popular Frederico de Freitas Museum which is an antique lover’s heaven and contains a vast collection of Turkish, Moorish and North African tiles, mugs, trophies and vases whilst there is the whale museum on the east coast of the island which chronicles the rise and fall of the whaling industry.
Restaurants & Bars
The night life is mainly focused around Funchal and the main resort areas. A huge variety of café-bars, pubs, bars, nightclubs, and discos can be found and whether you want a quiet night with a glass of wine or you want to dance the night away, there is something for everyone.
[jtab/]Laurisilva of Madeira::
The Laurisilva of Madeira
The Laurisilva of Madeira is an outstanding relic of a previously widespread broadleaf evergreen laurel forest type. Spreading across the mountains from the centre of the island towards the Northern shore, the forest covers an area of 15,000 hectares. Today it is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site as being the largest surviving Laurisilva in the world. The 40 million year old primary forest eco system remains largely (possibly up to 90%) intact. Over 150 different kinds of endemic plants including ferns and moss are found inside the thick forest.
Moist tradewinds constantly blow towards the northern part of the island. The wet air forms a large amount of mist which gathers on leaves and mosses. This humid environment has protected laurisilva for a long time.
The forest has a high water holding capacity and purifying system. Colonists began settling the island 600 yards ago and built irrigation channels running through the forest which is still used today. Water stations which control the flow of water into the channels are found across the island. To change the water flow, the station manager plugs holes with a rock wrapped in cloth. This is the traditional way to adjust the water flow and ensure water runs in to all the channels There are nearly 14,000 kilometres of water channels on Madeira Island. Water is also distributed to each field in a traditional way – blocking the channel temporarily at each field ensures crops are irrigated. Water from the forest has been an important source of life for the people of Madeira Island since those colonist days.
The harmonious co-existence of man and the natural forest continues to this day and can be explored via trails that run through the forest.[jtab/] Carnival::
Carnival on Madeira island
Undoubtedly one of the best in Europe, the Carnival in Madeira is a guarantee for endless fun and entertainment!
Traditionally there are two Carnival parades in Madeira, which are very different from each other. The most important one, the allegoric parade, which takes place always on the Saturday of the Carnival weekend, is the more sophisticated one and needs a great deal of commitment and organisation from all the groups and the people involved. Numerous Samba groups with thousands of participants in magnificent and colourful costumes dance to electrifying Samba music through the streets of Funchal, spreading an ambiance evoking the Carnival of Rio.
The second parade, called ‘trapalhão’, traditionally floods the streets of the city centre with thrilling joy on ‘Mardi gras’ (Tuesday ending the Carnival period). In this parade everybody can take part and the – sometimes quite daring – costumes and depicted caricatures are left to the participants’ own imagination.
Both parades have a defined itinerary in the city centre and end at the Municipal Square where more entertainment with live music and costume competitions is provided.
At least one month before the Carnival peak time the best-known and established Carnival groups visit the hotels and entertain the guests with dance and music performances.
Madeira Weather Guide
Most people who actually live on Maderia would say that they enjoy just about the perfect climate. It never gets too hot with a maximum average of around 24C from July to the end of September and a minimum of 17C. Off season, maximum averages drop to around 20C.
The amount of green vegetation confirms that Madeira does get its fair share of rain, however, the island is full of diverse microclimates. The bay of Funchal, protected by the highest peaks, enjoys the best sunshine. Further down the west coast at Ponta do Sol and Calheta, backed by the lower hills of the Paúl da Serra, the sun shines brighter during the summer months, but these areas are less protected from the sea winds.
The prevailing wind is the North Easterly Trade wind that gathers off the Portuguese coast and runs down to the Cape Verde Islands. It brings moisture and large sea swells to the north coast, and often, particularly in the morning, adversely affects the weather on the eastern end of the island between Caniço and Caniçal. However, a westerly wind in these areas can be surprisingly dry and sunny, while the southern and western coasts are duly soaked.
[jtab/] How We Work::
Holiday Booking Process
Here at Mulberry Travel our Independent status allows us to offer totally unbiased advice as we aren’t tied to any one travel product or tour operator. Once briefed, we’ll compare products and providers across the whole market and create a holiday to meet your exact needs.
What we need from you –
We begin by getting to know you so that we can learn more about the style of holiday you are looking for. Our experienced advisors will ask you for your nearest departure airport and whether you have a preferred airline. Next we’ll ask about hotel room style and transfer options. If you wish to visit more than one resort or arrange an excursion, we will work with you to create an itinerary. We want to get everything right for you.
Finally we will ask you for a budget, this is very important and is taken into full consideration when we provide you with our recommendations. It is always our policy to provide you with our best deal which, more than often, comes underneath our customer’s budget.We promise – There is never an obligation to buy and we will never pressure sell, we value our customers and respect that you have a choice. We will always give you our best deal at all times.