Where is the best area to stay in Madeira?

Madeira is a sub-tropical island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean and has a warm and comfortable climate - perfect for beach lounging and a more relaxed holiday. If you desire a more active holiday, the island offers a variety of sports ranging from extreme mountain biking to gentle country walks through the beautiful countryside.


When visiting Madeira do not miss the chance to stay in its capital, Funchal.  The island lies in the middle of the ocean, but its capital has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Most of the museums, shops and cafes are located in the heart of the city and we recommend a city tour to explore its colourful history.


Machico is a good place for families to stay as it has a sandy beach and a cosy atmosphere. Just 30 minutes from the airport, it is easily reached and is a lovely tranquil village. For a more relaxed beach holiday, away from families, Ponta Do Sol, has a large pebble beach and crystal clear water.


For more extreme sports, head to Calheta where there is scuba diving on a shipwreck, or, for a more daring alternative, why not try paragliding? Calheta is also great for families as it has a protected beach with golden sand, which is popular with many locals during the summer.


For a really tropical island, you can stay in Porto Santo with its miles of golden sand and beautiful turquoise waters. Porto Santo, is the neighbouring island to Madeira. It has a beautiful 18-hole golf course and a golf range that are both open all year round.


Porto Moniz, one of the most north-western parts of the island, is the place to stay if you want a more active holiday. There are many “levadas” ( irrigation channels) that can be followed and these range from easy to difficult walks. If you prefer to remain in the village, it has cafes and restaurants- and the most famous natural pools on the island.

Hotel   Avg price
INATEL Porto Santo
Porto Santo
42€ - 50$
Tamar Place
Jardim do Mar
48€ - 57$
Hotel   Avg price
Aqua Natura Madeira
Porto Moniz
72€ - 86$
Hotel Quinta Do Furao
91€ - 108$
Galo Resort Hotel Galomar
101€ - 120$
Hotel   Avg price
Quinta Jardins do Lago
251€ - 299$


If you are interested in where to stay in Madeira, you may also be interested in where to stay in Lisbon and where to stay in Porto.

Best places to stay in Madeira



FunchalFunchal, the capital of Madeira, is shaped like an amphitheatre and is surrounded by suburbs. Monte sits high above the city with its beautiful church. You can take a thrilling “basket ride” back down into Funchal. It is a city that is perfect to explore on foot. There many narrow roads and alleyways, with small cafes and bakeries, just waiting to be discovered by the traveller who likes to wander. It is almost impossible to get lost in the city, as all the roads lead downhill to the main avenue, called Avenida do Mar. This avenue is the focus for such celebrations as the Flower Festival and the Wine Festival. It is also well known for its wonderful Christmas Decorations and is definitely the place to go to feel the character of the city.


When in Funchal, you mustn't miss a visit to the Mercado Dos Lavradores ( Farmers'Market) filled with fish, fruit and wonderful smells! The building itself is interesting with large tiled panels. Whilst you are wandering through the city, why not take the opportunity to visit the museum dedicated to footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7)  where all his trophies are displayed?


For food, there is no better place than the Old Town called Zona Velha, which is known for its painted doors which are the work of local artists. There are also plenty of good restaurants. Why not try the scabbard fish with banana?



Accommodation in Funchal





MachicoMachico was originally one of the main capitals of the island. This is when the first explorers divided the island, to be ruled separately, by two captains. It is a small town but has all the amenities. It is not as well explored as the capital. The town is perfect for sun lovers who want to enjoy a nice quiet day on the beach. There are three man-made sandy beaches available on the island. It is the perfect place for a quiet getaway - with not too many other tourists.  Although the town has been modernised, it has maintained its original small-town charm. There are many historical elements in the area to explore.


Although Machico doesn’t have as many restaurants as the capital, there are several serving perfect seafood dishes. You can venture out further into the mountains, where you will find restaurants serving the perfect “espetada” (beef on a skewer)



Accommodation in Machico




Porto Moniz

Porto-MonizPorto Moniz is one of the oldest villages on the island, and although the centre has developed into a new vibrant area, the village has still kept its small village charm. Originally it was a fishing village, with traces of its history revealed in the island's only aquarium and museum. It is the most visited village on the north coast during the summer. This is because of its natural lava rock pools. The pools are located right next to the ocean.


From Porto Moniz, there are many “veredas” and “levadas” (irrigation channels) to be explored. It is the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to spend a few hours exploring the mountains and valleys of the north side of the island. It is a must to climb at least one peak during a visit - simply for the breathtaking views from the top.



Accommodation in Porto Moniz




Porto Santo

Porto-SantoPorto Santo is one of the other islands in the Madeira archipelago. It is the preferred holiday spot for many Portuguese, simply because of its nine kilometres of golden sand.  Many believe it has medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is a perfect place to stretch out on the beach and simply relax. However, if you want to be more active, a windsurfing course is a great idea, or maybe even going for a deep-sea dive with the island's only scuba diving centre. If you want to do a little exploring, the main town, Vila Baleira, is where you will find the island's only supermarket, post office and most of the restaurants and bars.


On the island of Porto Santo, if you are not a beach person, there is also a golf course, which is right next to one of the island's highest peak - Anna Ferreira. To reach the island you can take a direct flight there,  a 'short hop' flight from Madeira - or do what the locals do and take the three hour ferry crossing.



Accommodation in Porto Santo





CalhetaCalheta is a small village built in a valley, that spills out along a narrow peninsula on the southern side of the island. It is a great place to spend a day on the two man-made beaches. Although not a large village, parking is always available and it is not a long walk to the beach. It is a village made for the perfect family beach holiday.


Should you wish to be more of a daredevil, there is a paragliding centre in Calheta that will take you to the nearest mountains. For a complete adrenaline rush (and if the winds are in your favour) you can fly out over the ocean.


For those who are a little more experienced, and want to explore the mysteries of the underwater world, the Calheta Dive Centre offers the chance to dive on a shipwreck that lies on the seabed, at a depth of  32 metres.



Accommodation in Calheta




Ponta Do Sol

Ponta-Do-SolPonta Do Sol is a hidden treasure on the island. It is tucked away in a narrow valley and surrounded by black lava rock. It is the place to go and spend the day on its large pebble beach, as it is protected from the breeze by the rocks and a man-made port. Its name means “Sun Point” and it is the village with the highest number of sunny days in the year. From this little village,  numerous “levadas" and “veredas” ”(irrigation channels) can be followed through amazing countryside. It is also possible to walk the original pathway that the original settlers created to link the villages.


In the evening, after a long day of walking, it is the perfect place to relax and watch the sun set, The small restaurant Restaurante Sol Poente sits on the rocks and has a small balcony that reaches out over the sea. From there you get the best view of all as the sun sinks over the horizon.



Accommodation in Ponta do Sol