Flights to Madeira
Known for its sweet Madeira Wine and year round good weather, the archipelago of Madeira sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal and North Africa. Madeira is an Autonomous Region of Portugal so the official language is Portuguese.
The main airport for flights to Madeira is the Madeira Airport (airport code: FNC), which is frequently referred to as the Funchal Airport. When travelling from Johannesburg, flights to Madeira have 2 connections. Lufthansa stops in Munich and Lisbon, but British Airways goes through London and Lisbon instead. If you travel with Swiss Air, you’ll be transferring in Zurich as well as in Lisbon. Most flights to Madeira are just over 20 hours long, including layover times.
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The Tourist Attractions of Madeira:
Madeira’s been a popular tourist destination for many years and is even now becoming more popular, thanks in most part to its year-round warm climate. The archipelago consists of the main islands of Madeira, and Porto Santo, plus the unpopulated Desertas, and Savage Islands, and while there are attractions on all islands for tourists to enjoy, Porto Santo is perhaps the most developed in terms of tourism infrastructure.
As well as fantastic beaches and some stunning scenery, Madeira has many other attractions to enjoy too. Funchal is the capital and largest city of Madeira and there’s plenty here to see including beautiful gardens, markets, palaces, shops and more.
Madeira Botanical Gardens includes over 2000 different plants and with its hillside location this is a really popular spot. You can stroll around admiring the many plants while taking in some fabulous views too.
Along similar lines is the Gardens of Palheiro. These are based around a historical manor, which although the manor cannot be visited, the gardens can be enjoyed by all. There are numerous gardens to take in including a Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Ladies Garden, and French Garden, as well as a Tea House to sit in, pondering over a cup of tea!
Madeira Cathedral is another attraction in Funchal and it was built between 1493 and 1517, while another religious building is the 15th century Santa Clara Convent.
Porto Santo Island
Just about the whole of Madeira‘s Porto Santo island has been dedicated to tourism and the island’s 9 kilometres (5.6 mile) long beach is one of its hot spots. Overall Porto Santo is quite small but it’s got everything a tourist will need on a sun-seeking holiday: the beaches, hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, and some other attractions including a museum, and the home of Christopher Columbus.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
While Madeira is great for visiting at any time of the year, a popular time is around New Year. The display put on in Madeira has been entered into the Guinness Book of Records as being the largest in the world so you’re in for a real treat here!
When Should You Visit?:
The subtropical Mediterranean climate gives Madeira warm weather throughout the year. It never really gets too hot here – average highs in the summer months (May to September) are between 21 and 25.7C, and this is the driest time of year so a good time to visit. Winters are warm though quite a bit wetter. January and February are the coolest months when the average high is 19C.