The island of Madeira is a reference point for all nature lovers. Madeira is full of lush green forests, including the Laurisilva forest ( UNESCO – world heritage), deep blue ocean views from most parts of the island with dramatic sea cliffs and a range of mountains and valleys. Among the many tourist spots, the west coast of the island stands out for its great diversity and is also the most popular for all visitors to the island. There a quite a few viewpoints that one can visit, varying from unique landscapes, green valleys, mountains, sea cliffs, waterfalls and traditional fishing villages, that reinforce the island’s natural beauty.
From all the high notoriety of places to discover on the west coast of Madeira a few of them is a must. First on the list is Cabo Girão, designated as the second-highest sea cliff in Europe and with a height of 589 meters, is currently one of the most visited tourist spots on the island. Second, Ribeira Brava translates as ‘the angry river’. In rainy seasons, the river had an extremely strong and powerful current, that often wreaked havoc over the entire eight kilometres of the route. Next, is the picturesque village of Ponta do Sol, considered one of the hottest areas of the island due to the number of hours of sun that it gets. From a more traditional point of view, the west coast of the island passes through Estreito da Calheta which represents an extremely agricultural area full of vineyards and banana plantations. In addition, this route passes by the most famous beaches of Seixal and Porto Moniz. Seixal beach stands out for being a black sand beach and Porto Moniz beach for being located on a unique rocky coast and is well known for its natural pools. Finally, the area of São Vicente, with the famous caves composed of an underground lava channel created by an eruption that occurred about 890 thousand years ago. They were the first volcanic caves to be opened to the public in Portugal and can be visited by following an underground footpath more than 1,000 meters long.
In short, we consider that this tour is undoubtedly aimed at people who like to escape the crowds, as well as those who wish to have a deeper contact with nature. The climate of the island provides a mysterious and tropical experience, and it is constantly changing according to the different parts of the island, and this is most evident on the west tour.
This highly recommended tour can be seen by organized Minibus tours or if you would like to discover the true nature with a sense of adventure, of the west coast, then the best way to see it is by a Jeep tour.
The best time to visit Madeira is ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. Madeira has a tropical climate with mildly hot, dry summers and moderate, rainy winters. In the summer, temperatures normally range between 25°C to 30°C, making Madeira vacations the perfect choice if you enjoy relaxing by the pool or the beach.
Climate variations occur as a result of the islands mountainous landscapes, which means that there are distinct weather patterns in different parts of the island. The southern and western parts of the island have adequate protection from winds coming from the northeast, but the northern and eastern parts receive less protection and tend to be slightly colder and wetter.
Most of the year, the humidity ranges from 67% to 72%, which is mild and pleasant for the most part of the year. On a lot of days, you get warm winds coming in from North Africa creating pleasant weather for visitors to the island. As a result, the average temperature seldom dips below the mid-20s, making it an excellent vacation location at any time of year.
If you’re searching for some winter sun, you won’t have any problem finding it in Madeira, since the island has plenty of it. The daily temperatures may reach 22°C in the southern parts of the island. These parts of the island are known as the “banana line,” where the climate is ideal for producing, bananas, between the months of December to February. On a lovely, bright winter day you can gaze up at the mountains from Funchal, and may be able to see snow covering the mountaintops. The first touristic event of the year is the Carnival which is normally held in the last week of February until the first week of March.
The main carnival event is on a Saturday night, where thousands of visitors and residents flock to Funchal’s center for the colourful and bright float procession. Over a thousand participants dressed in eye-catching costumes, as well as a dozen elaborately painted floats, take part. The parade begins with music: the vibrant enthusiasm and rhythm of the costumed dance groups are contagious. They parade joyfully to the sound of selected songs that were choreographed and rehearsed over the year, beaming with delight in front of the public.
The spring season in Madeira may very well be the most pleasant time to visit. During the months of March, April, and May, and particularly towards the conclusion of the season, you can expect shorts and T-shirt weather, however, there is the possibility of heavy rain at times. Walking through the forests in the spring, you will see the vibrant colours of the leaves and wildflowers. You’ll also see a lot of colour in Funchal during the Flower Festival, which takes place in May and attracts a lot of attention since the streets are filled with parades and floats decorated with fragrant blossoms.
Whale and dolphin viewing is most enjoyable during the summer months. During June to August, temperatures may reach as high as 33°C, thanks to the leste (the leste is a dry, scorching breeze blowing westward from the Sahara), but normally range in the pleasant higher ’20s. In June and July, the island is frequently shrouded in clouds in the early morning hours, which progressively evaporates throughout the day.
In Madeira, the fall months of September, October, and November tend to be a lot calmer, but the weather is still great and the sea is warm enough to go swimming comfortably. The amount of rain is beginning to increase, although temperatures are remaining steady. You can anticipate temperatures to hover around 24°C, which is ideal for strolling due to the abundance of shade available.
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