Madeira is a beautiful island and although it would be a great destination any time of year it is perfect for a winter break. We visited in February and the weather was just right – absolutely fine for tee shirts and summer wear during the day although a cardigan or jacket would be advisable for the evenings.
We stayed just outside Funchal – a nice leisurely walk into Funchal itself although there are regular buses. Our walk took us past the harbour and it was interesting to see the cruise ships close up. Funchal itself has a beautiful cathedral, Parks and squares and a variety of restaurants cafes and interesting little shops. There’s a cable car that takes you up into the mountains to visit the botanical gardens. Well worth a visit – although our a winter break the flowers are not as abundant as they are later in the car. We had an included tour as part of our package – basically one side of the island. This was a full day escorted and with lunch included. It was so good we booked a second – for the other half of the island. This gave us the chance to get a good flavour of the whole island including some fabulous scenery and a visit amongst other things to a banana plantation.
Madeira is a volcanic island and is mountainous. I’d suggest that anyone with more restricted mobility should book carefully and ensure their hotel is easily accessible as soon areas are quite hilly! Over all an excellent holiday.