Anyone been to Madeira? Thoughts please…

  • This topic has 23 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by  tomaso.
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  • Anyone been to Madeira? Thoughts please…
  • We’re thinking of it for a summer holiday as it seems to offer a bit more than the average beach holiday and costs no more.

    I don’t know much about the island other than what a quick google throws up.


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    Nice island, fantastic riding. Check out Freeride Madeira. And there is enough for the Mrs to do while you’re shredding.

    Premier Icon tthew

    Apparently they have an excellent lightbulb* collection at the Museum of Electricity. This is according to my dad, who’s favorite days out list includes the Pencil museum at Keswick. 😆

    Fill yer electrical boots!

    *Yes, I know the correct term is lamps, but that didn’t look right when I typed it.

    Yes, just got back.
    There is no flat bit. Anywhere. They even extended the runway on giant stilts.

    The weather is great, the food is good. The island isn’t massive but takes ages to get around as the roads are very higgilty piggilty.

    The landscapes are great. You can go for walks along old irrigation canals called Levadas. Seeing some of the island away from Funchal is a good idea. We stayed in a little house on a nature reserve right up in the north, but were mostly just relaxing – reading etc.

    No beaches though.

    Here are a fews pics I took


    No beaches though.

    Ok, it’s not sandy but it fits my definition of beach

    Premier Icon bentleywood

    Try lokoloko for guided riding too. I rode with them a couple of years ago and they were good, their Pico do Arieiro route was great. It’s a lovely island and the riding is amazing.

    I’ve been a couple of times, it’s great. +1 for freeride Madeira.


    To add some balance to the discussion, we went a few years back. Pretty boring island. Lots of old people. Really bad food.

    Can imagine it would be a good place to take the road bike if you like climbing though…


    Astonishingly good riding. Really varied terrain. Freeride Madeira were great.

    I suspect the rest of the island is what you make of it. Mostly old people and shops, or ok beaches and great surf depending on where you go. We had good food most of the time.

    Premier Icon frankconway

    Get the ferry to Porto Santo.


    Great riding and hugely varied. It’s like being in Jurassic park… Freeride Madeira were great… hotels are used to dealing with the cruise ship crowd so are generally of a high standard. Funchal is interesting enough too… we went back to following year as we really enjoyed it.


    The cake’s good

    If you want some beach time, split your stay between Madeira and Porto Santo. I organise tailor-made holidays to Madeira and the Azores – just call if you’d like a chat, the number’s on the website:

    Premier Icon senor j

    I went as a child – loved it. I distinctly remember Funchal food and flower markets and a crazy toboggan ride from the top of a big hill.
    The scenery ,particularly the mountains above the cloud level stand out in my hazy memory bank. The runway wasn’t extended when I went. The landing & take off was exciting.

    Looks like That Jesus fella was visiting when Yourguitarhero visited.


    The cake’s good

    Costs more than the other cakes though :mrgreen:


    +1 for Freeride Madeira

    I went in November 2016 and the it was excellent! My only negative, which is not really FM’s problem, was that on 1 of the 3 days I had there was 2 XC guys who were not comfortable on the rental bikes(they were used to 100mm HT and hired Spesh Enduro’s) and not very confident when it got techy. I took my Mega and was hoping for the full on DH stuff I’d read about online……….lucky enough I got it for the other 2 days 😀

    Funchal was quiet that time of year but still loads of places to eat and drink. Would highly recommend Mozarts in town, food was beautiful and the waiter topped your glass back up quicker than, well lets just say TOO QUICK lol

    Thanks for all the replies!

    It would be a family holiday, so no bikes involved.

    And parkedtiger – your stuff looks flippin great, but I feel it may be out of my price range (I’m looking at Jet2 holidays!). 2k ish for 3 of us in Aug Bank holiday week (2 adults, 1x 15yr old).

    Thanks for all the replies!

    It would be a family holiday, so no bikes involved.

    And parkedtiger – your stuff looks flippin great, but I feel it may be out of my price range (I’m looking at Jet2 holidays!). 2k ish for 3 of us in Aug Bank holiday week (2 adults, 1x 15yr old).

    No worries – if you do end up booking a trip and just want a chat about things to do, places to see etc, feel free to get in touch; (my email’s in my profile or call the office number on the website).

    Premier Icon tomaso

    My family went at Easter last year and it was great. We went to lidos as the beaches are volcanic or cliff like, up mountains and river scrambling, went to botanical gardens, jumped in the sea lots and ate very well.
    The beer is limited, but the plonk is much better.
    Funchal felt like a city and not just a tourist resort.


    It’s basically Wales without the rain & sheep

    Many, many old people

    Many, many ways to spend money for little or nothing in return

    Would not recommend it for a family holiday

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Loads of sheep, or ships as the locals call them, bit confusing.

    ‘We have loads of ships up on the mountain…’

    Everything closes early, even the bars are empty about 10ish.

    Local specialities are kebabs and battered fish!

    Walking is amazing, great little path up to Monte from just outside Funchal, then follow the Levada east to this place, Hortensia tea rooms.

    You need a head for hights and a headtorch for some of the tunnels.

    Loads of gardens if you’re into that kind of thing.

    Love the place personally.

    We’re thinking of going at Easter. Anyone know how the prices of eating and drinking compare to the Canaries? Is car hire essential?

    Premier Icon tomaso

    I thought it was quite affordable for eating out and bars.

    We hired a car as we were staying in a villa way up the top of the hill above Funchal. Although it is not a big place a car makes getting about far easier.

    These were taken last Easter

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