Holidays to Madeira give you an access-all-areas pass to some of the best scenery in Europe – cue botanical gardens, soaring mountains and rugged, wind-swept beaches.
Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is a historic town best known for its gorgeous gardens and pretty cobbled streets. Outdoor pools, tropical plant life and splendid mountain scenes rule this city, while the evenings open out into a stretch of palate-pleasing eateries and chic cocktail bars.
- Nature lovers –Nicknamed the Floating Garden, Madeira is Portugal’s answer to the Garden of Eden. Fuchsia bougainvillea, scarlet poinsettias and lilac jacaranda trees blanket the landscape, turning entire villages Technicolor. The zig-zagging network of mountain trains – known as levadas – deliver some of the best natural panoramas on the island.
- Wine lovers –Visit one of the island’s wineries to sample the famous Madeira wine.
- Jazz lovers –Come July, jazz fans head for Santa Catarina Park, down by the port in Funchal. Here, you’ll get concerts and masterclasses from fleet-fingered experts. And if you happen to have your jazz flute with you, pop along to one of the workshops or jam sessions.