Portugal & Madeira
Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches: the Portugal experience can be many things. History, great food and idyllic scenery are just the beginning…
Witness thunderous waves crash against spectacular caves at the ‘Mouth of Hell’, savour seafood for the soul and look out for dolphins at the marina. Unrivalled golf, exhilarating surf and whitewashed walls stand out against turquoise seas on the Algarve’s coast which offers water parks, swimming with dolphins and glorious beaches. Algarve, one of the popular resorts to stay, with Albufeira’s lively cobbled street old town and Vilamoura for golf lovers.
Madeira holidays are perfect for those wanting to escape the stresses of everyday life. Enjoying an excellent year round climate, stunning scenery and superb quality hotels. The people are friendly and there are few places where you would enjoy better or more courteous service.
Madeira’s cosmopolitan capital, Funchal sits high on a hillside on the island’s south coast, and orbits around a shimmering bay of warm waters and cultural heritage. Funchal has a real mix of old and new; modern boutiques, chic cafés and stylish seafood restaurants can be found around the marina area, whilst amidst the old town’s cobbled streets you’ll find colonial buildings and authentic tavernas where you can sample the local ‘espada’. There are art galleries to peruse, a covered market and a 15th-Century cathedral. Take a dip at the lido, then sample the famous local dessert wine at one of Funchal’s bars.
Visit the Madeira Botanical Gardens, famed for the vast range of 2500 exotic plant species originating from the world over, including birds of paradise, dragon trees, sugar cane and medicinal plants. The colonial mansion gardens also plays host to the Loiro Park, where you can see tropical birds including cockatoos and parakeets. Take the 15-minute cable car from Funchal to the small village of Monte for fantastic views of the Atlantic. If you have time to spare at the top, wander around the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, while the more adventurous can take a toboggan ride back down to Funchal! In the Santa Catarina Park you can see the statue of Christopher Columbus and enjoy views over the bay of Funchal.