We went to visit Madeira in low season and had a great time. That’s why we’d like to share this 9 reasons to visit Madeira during the Fall/Winter.

Boat tours Madeira Portugal
Boat tours in Madeira are a must!

Madeira, along with the Azores, is truly unknown natural gems of Europe. Madeira during the Fall / Winter is the perfect holiday destination.

The Portuguese islands of the Madeira archipelago, an autonomous region of Portugal, comprise 2 habited islands off the northwest coast of Africa that were settled in the 1400s.

Madeira and Porto Santo are known for their warm, subtropical climate. The islands are mostly visited by active travellers who seek outdoor adventures like hiking along old “levadas” (aqueducts) in the mountains or even trail running, playing golf.

dolphin watching in madeira
Dolphin watching in Madeira

It’s also very popular for other ocean activities like sailing, dolphin watching, surfing some waves and even SUP at the Garajau Marine Nature Reserve for example.

Now that we’re enjoying a lovely autumn season, you’ve most likely already enjoyed holidays this year, but why not go again?

swimming with dolphins madeira
Swimming with dolphins in Madeira

The Fall and Winter are great seasons to go on holiday to Madeira, even if it is only for a few days. In this post, we will tell you why we think Madeira is a great holiday destination during this time of the year, based on our own experience.

There are several advantages to travelling to Madeira in Fall/Winter:

Less crowd to touristic attractions

Be impressed by Madeira’s green mountains

During the Fall/Winter there are not many tourists anymore, which is great for travellers who do not like to be among hundreds or thousands of tourists and spend a lot of time in queues for main attractions. If you travel to Madeira during this time of the year, you can expect no queues for touristic attractions and no overbooked tours.

Please bear in mind that regarding tours and activities, we recommend you book in advance. Booking in advance is important to make sure the tour or activity you selected will actually take place as some tours may be less frequent or even closed.

A canyoning adventure can be done all year round

Affordable flights

Landing on Madeira Airport (FNC) is an adventure itself, as the short runway has mountains on one side and ocean on the other. The airport has just one terminal, making it very easy to find your next mean of transportation.

If you’re planning to explore Madeira during the Fall/Winter and want the convenience of easy transportation, consider opting for a rent a car Madeira low cost service. Having a rental car can give you the flexibility to explore the island at your own pace and discover all the fantastic attractions mentioned here.

From the UK, there are several airlines that fly to Madeira: British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. A return flight from the UK from December to March will only cost you 65£ to 74£, while from June to September these fares can double.

From Portugal, flights are a little more expensive in December due to the holidays (about 130€ for a return flight) but drop to less than 50€ from January to March.

New Year’s Eve in Madeira
New Year’s Eve in Madeira

New Year!

Madeira is a very popular destination for New Year’s Eve. The award-winning fireworks of Funchal are worldwide known and became a Guinness World Record in 2007.

Beaches in Madeira
Beaches in Madeira

Less crowded beaches

For nature lovers, this time of the year is the best. The beaches of Madeira and Porto Santo will become even more breathtaking when they’re not full of tourists.

Run in Portugal Madeira
Hiking is a must on Madeira

Green Nature

For the ones who like trekking, hiking or trail running, the fall is great as the trails and sights are more beautiful thanks to the rain which makes nature even greener.

Madeira is known as the island of flowers, so also during Spring it’s highly recommendable to visit the island as most plants will then flower.

Tropical fruit in madeira
Tropical fruit all year round!

The weather

Except for those looking for a beach holiday, autumn and winter in Madeira give the right temperature to wander around Funchal or to discover new places.

Summer can be quite hot, sometimes too hot for certain activities. The only risk is the rain. Especially in January, it can become very rainy.

Surf in Madeira - around freedom - things to do in Madeira
Surf is best off-season!

Great Waves

For surfers, this is the best time to enjoy Portuguese waves. Waves usually are better during this time of the year, all around the island. Another reason why surfing in Madeira is better during these seasons is the crowd.

In summer, in Madeira, you may encounter many tourists who try surfing for the first time and the waves of Madeira will become rather crowded. So, during the fall and winter, enjoy Madeira’s surf with better waves and less crowd!

Whales are usually a bit shyer than dolphins but some come really close by

Outdoor activities

Most of the activities that people seek for at Madeira, like the previously mentioned trekking or surfing, are done outside and these seasons are ideal to practice them. Other popular things to do on Madeira include whale and dolphin watching.

In Madeira, we observe whales and dolphins all year around. May to October is the best season for the observation of these animals, the winter can be more special. In fact, between November and February, the number of cetacean species around the Madeira Archipelago is smaller, but we can find some very special species.

The Short-finned Pilot Whale, Common Bottlenose Dolphin and Short-beaked Common Dolphins are the most sighted species during the winter.

Just don’t think too much! And JUMP!

Coasteering is also very popular in Madeira and can be done all year round. Coasteering in Madeira is a unique way to explore the coastline, by hiking, jumping, climbing and swimming.

The water temperature is very pleasant all year round, ranging between 19°C/66°F during the winter and reaching 24°C/75°F in summer.

Traditional shops in Madeira
Traditional shops in Madeira

Local people tend to be nicer

We noticed this quite clearly. For local people, like waiters, taxi drivers or tour guides low season is less stressful and so they have more time to dedicate to tourists, being friendlier during the low season.

The food in Madeira is incredible

There are many more reasons to visit Madeira. We’re sure you won’t regret it!

In fact, we’re not the only ones who love Madeira. The archipelago has Madeira has won the ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2019‘ at the 25th World Travel Awards. Madeira has won the award for four consecutive years – 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 . And the isle also beat its contemporaries in 2013 and 2014.

We are Madeira fans and have visited the islands a few times now. And will come back!

Madeira holidays
Madeira, we’ll be back!

We’d be happy to help you plan your holidays, so let us now if we can somehow support you in your holiday planning to Madeira or Portugal in general. Enjoy Madeira during the Fall/Winter!

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