Madeira will just amaze you with its natural beauty, the towering mountains and tropical forests, and also with the welcoming and hospitable culture, reflecting the laid-back nature of the Portuguese.
Arriving in Madeira
If you plan to sail to Madeira, there are several options to find a berth, however, we recommend Marina do Funchal, where you can find top amenities and services.
If you want to charter a yacht in Madeira, then Madeira Airport should be the best choice to reach the island. There are lots of flights all year round from all major cities in Europe, and from the airport you can easily find transfer to all major locations on the island.
Madeira Island, Portugalcapetanos.com
Weather in Madeira
Due to its mild subtropical climate, you can sale in Madeira all year round. The winter season lasts from November to February, when it rains more and the temperatures are slightly below 20 °С (68 °F). Sailing season starts in March and temperatures are usually between 21 °С to 26 °С (70 °F to 79° F).
Due to the Gulf Stream influence, the island has a slightly milder climate and during summer months the wind usually blows from N-E and can reach speeds up to 25 knots.
A good practice is that before planning a sailing itinerary in Madeira, you should consult the charts, weather forecast and wind conditions and plan it according to your sailing skills and expectorations.
Sailing close to Funchal, Madeira Islandcapetanos.com
Explore Madeira Island
Here are some top things to do and places to visit while sailing in Madeira.
- Swimm in the Coastal Rock Pools
- Ride the streets on a toboggan
- Walk on the Europe’s highest cliff skywalk – Cabo Girao
- Taste the amazing Madeira wine
- Dive with the dolphins, monk seals and turtles
1. Take a dip in the Natural Swimming Pools
One of the must visit places in Madeira is the village of Porto Moniz, on the north west part of the island, where you can take a swim in the natural swimming pools formed by volcanic lava. Even though they are natural pools, filled by the ocean with crystal clear water, the place is well maintained, offering plenty of services like: changing cabins, restrooms, lockers, snack bar, etc.
If you are lucky enough, in some days you can take spectacular photos of the waves splashing the volcanic rocks surrounding the natural pools. Other days, when the weather is calm, the pools are just reflecting the sky, offering equally amazing views.
Natural swimming pools in Porto Moniz, Madeiracapetanos.com
2. Ride the streets on a toboggan
While sailing to Funchal, you should dedicate your time to explore the amazing city and try the fun ride on the "toboggan", the traditional method of transport dating to 1890. The locals found this easy and fun way of traveling down the steep, winding roads to the capital and is a must try experience.
You can take the cable car up to Monte, which is just a 15 minutes journey and enjoy the incredible views over Funchal Bay and the ocean, while waiting your turn for the toboggan. The ride costs 35 EUR per person and you can book your ride in advance.
Toboggan ride in Funchal, Madeiracapetanos.com
3. Walk on the Europe’s highest cliff skywalk - Cabo Girao
While sailing around the coast of Madeira you will be stunned by the breath-taking coastline, but heading to Cabo Girao, be prepared for another incredible experience, the best viewpoint on the highest skywalk in Europe.
The glass platform is 580 metres above sea level and it is free to visit. If you are afraid of hights, you can relax at the on-site café to calm your nerves.
As you look down, you’ll notice that the narrow strip of land between the cliffs and the ocean has been divided into small farms built on terraces, with an excellent irrigation network provided by the extensive levada system. From the platform you can also admire the town of Camara de Lobos up to Funchal City.
Cabo Girao panoramic view, Madeiracapetanos.com
4. Taste the amazing Madeira wine
The fertile soil and the warm climate make Madeira one of the best spots for producing wine, and the locals are producing some of the world’s best fortified wine for more than 500 years. This being said, you should visit some of the wineries or even book a wine tour to taste the incredible local wine.
A good starting point is Blandy’s Wine Lodge, which is producing wine for more than 200 years, 1811 to be more precise. The wine is aged in special, warm conditions for years, and they can offer one century old wines.
Madeira wine, Madeiracapetanos.com
5. Dive with the dolphins, monk seals and turtles
If you love marine life, Madeira is one of Europe’s best diving places. If in other parts of Europe the water temperature during summer parts reaches 18 °C (65 °F), in Madeira you will get comfortable temperatures up to 24 °C (75 °F), making this place ideal for marine exploration, from exotic colours fish to eels and octopuses.
If you dive close to Savage Islands, there are big chances to spot and dive close to monk seals, dolphins and turtles.
If you’re not an experienced diver and want to try it, there are great opportunities to learn how to dive here. There are diving centres offering courses, diving expeditions for all levels.
Diving in Madeira, Portugalcapetanos.com
With pure-natural beauty, mild climate, friendly locals and top-quality hotels, Madeira is the perfect location for both sailors and travellers who love exploring new places. Being so diverse, you can enjoy a perfect vacation at the beach, in the mountains, countryside or city. That’s what makes Madeira the perfect spot for a sailing adventure all year round.