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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers
 
 

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Madeira

Mark and David's verdict:

Madeira is not just winter sun and blue rinses. This lush mountainous sub-tropical island marooned in the Atlantic Ocean enjoys a perfect year-round climate and boasts fine hotels, superb restaurants and picturesque paths - levadas - that hug the fertile valley walls.

Recommended tour operator: Inspired Luxury Escapes

Vidamar MadeiraBotanical Gardens, MadeiraThe Vine MadeiraBelmond Reids Palace

Inspired Luxury Escapes says

There are few destinations that offer year-round sunshine and are less than four hours flying time from the UK. Madeira has most definitely moved on from its former reputation as a winter retreat for the more mature traveller.

  • Easy flights
  • Natural wonders
  • Year-round sun

There’s a huge range of things to do from year-round whale- and dolphin-watching, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing to walking, trekking, horse-riding and golf. Head out from your hotel in the evenings for a superb dinner in one of the many restaurants – the fish and seafood in Madeira are exceptional and very reasonably priced.

We’ve hand-picked the best of Madeira’s luxury hotels in the capital, Funchal, and further afield. Many offer superb spas and all deliver outstanding service – some of the best in Europe.

For contemporary luxury on the seafront, Vidamar is a stylish choice, with a top-notch spa and direct access to the sea. Or check out The Vine, which has funky interiors and some rooms with a Jacuzzi. It ranks as one of Europe’s leading design hotels.

The Royal Savoy is ideally located close to Funchal’s centre, ideal if you want to explore the local area when you’re not luxuriating poolside or in the spa.

For a more traditional feel, oozing character and atmosphere, there’s Quintinha Sao Joao in the heart of Funchal and Quinta da Bela Vista, on the city’s outskirts.

Splash out for the ultimate in pampering at the Belmond Reids Palace, one of Madeira’s most celebrated hotels – ideal for your own celebratory holiday.

If you can’t decide – or want to explore more of Madeira – we offer a hugely popular luxury private tour, with your own English-speaking driver guide. You will visit some of Madeira’s most beautiful regions and attractions with time to relax in your hotels too. We can tailor-make the itinerary to suit you – and there’s no coach load of fellow holidaymakers to wait for. It’s a private tour just for you.

Find out more about our luxury holidays in Madeira and our latest special offers. Also see the best time to visit Madeira.

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