Madeira – Pearl of the Atlantic

Madeira lies 300 miles west of Africa and flush between the latitudes of Casablanca and Marrakesh. By rights it ought to be sun-baked and blistering, but instead the pattern of Atlantic trade winds and warm Gulf currents give it a balmy Mediterranean all-year-round climate with average temperatures rarely tipping above the mid-twenties centigrade in the height of summer or below the mid-teens centigrade in winter. It’s beautiful too, an island of cliffs and cloud forests, slopes and ravines, and an impressive profusion of flora and fauna, with some spectacular walking paths, a legacy of the Portuguese who cut and built 1,300 miles of water-carrying levadas through rock and over gorges. This is the perfect holiday destination, and while you can soak up the sun all day if you wish, there’s so much more to this island just waiting to be discovered.

Travel Options

8 Days from just £

Holiday Highlights

  • Return flight to Madeira
  • Airport taxes and luggage allowance (one piece of checked-in hold luggage per person)
  • Airport transfers in Madeira
  • 7 nights all inclusive at the Hotel Raga, Funchal:
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Afternoon tea/coffee and cake
  • Drinks during meals (aperitifs, local beer & wine, soft drinks, spirits)
  • Services of an English-speaking representative

    Optional tour of the West Coast (£42pp)
    Optional excursion to Quintas and Gardens (£52pp)

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Hotel Raga

The Hotel Raga is a smart hotel situated in an elevated position in Funchal’s renowned Lido area, very close to the Lido swimming pool complex, seafront promenade and lively shops, restaurants, cafés and bars. From the hotel it’s a pleasant 2.5km (35-minute) downhill walk into Funchal centre, or alternatively regular buses depart from the bus stop 250m away. Praia da Formosa beach, with its dark volcanic pebbles, is 2km away along the seafront promenade in the opposite direction. The hotel has a small fitness centre and views out to sea from the outdoor swimming pool terrace which has loungers, parasols and a pool bar. Massages are available at extra cost. The hotel restaurant serves a substantial hot and cold buffet breakfast, as well as buffet-style lunch and dinner including drinks free of charge. Complimentary afternoon tea/coffee and cake is served at the pool bar. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and lifts to all floors. The bright guest rooms are en suite with bath, shower and hairdryer, satellite TV, air conditioning, mini-fridge and safe. All rooms have a balcony, and sea view rooms may be requested but are not guaranteed. Please note that the hotel is on a hillside and access on foot is either via a steep driveway from the street above or steps up from the street below.

Upgrade to the Vidamar Resorts Hotel on a half board basis – please call for prices
The Vidamar Resorts Hotel is a chic, upmarket hotel surrounded by lush tropical gardens and situated in Funchal’s Lido area right on the ocean front with far-reaching views out to sea and along the coast. Funchal centre is a 30-minute downhill walk away, or alternatively there is a bus stop less than 100m from the hotel. The hotel has lots of leisure facilities including outdoor and indoor pools, a large sea platform, Kids Club, tennis and squash courts, and a Spa offering a variety of facilities and treatments at extra charge. Buffet-style breakfast and dinner are served in the Ocean Buffet restaurant, or dinner may be taken in one of the hotel’s other themed restaurants (Sushi, Italian, traditional Madeiran) where there are tailored menus with no extra charges, or à la carte options with a 15€pp meal allowance deducted from your bill. Booking is essential for all themed restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout, and there are lifts to all floors. The spacious, contemporary guest rooms overlook the gardens and have a balcony and side sea view. Room facilities include marble bathrooms, air conditioning, plasma TV, tea/coffee making facilities and a safe.

Single Supplements Apply

Monday: Make your way to your chosen airport for the flight to Funchal, where on arrival we will transfer you to your chosen hotel for check in and free time before dinner. Passengers on later flights may be offered a cold platter if your arrival is after normal dinner service.

Tuesday: After breakfast, there will be a welcome meeting in which you will be introduced to the area and given the opportunity to book the optional excursions. The rest of the day is at leisure until dinner.

Wednesday: Optional tour of Madeira’s West Coast (£42pp) Our journey begins along the south coast of the island. From Funchal, we depart towards Quinta Grande, passing through villages with cultivated terraces, then continue to Ribeira Brava. Here there will be a short stop to visit the church before carrying on to Ponta do Sol and Madalena do Mar, where you will visit a banana plantation. After this we head north into the island’s interior and climb up to the Paul da Serra plateau, the only flat area on the island, at 1,400 metres. Here there is a nature reserve listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, with vast laurissilva forests stretching away to the north, often covered by a rainforest-like carpet of mist from the expiration of the foliage. We continue north-eastwards to the northernmost tip of the island and the village of Porto Moniz and its famous natural pools carved into the lava. We then drive along a section of the oldest and most beautiful of the island's roads - the Corniche coastal road - narrow, carved into the rock, with a steep, vertiginous drop over the sea. This magnificent road leads to the village of Sao Vicente, on the north coast. We stop for lunch in Sao Vicente, and there will be a little time to explore the village, then from here we cross the island north to south via the Encumeada Pass (1,007m), from where, in clear weather, you can see two sides of the island at once. We conclude the tour at Cabo Girao, one of the highest cliffs in Europe (610m), where you will have an amazing view over Funchal.

Thursday: Day at leisure.

Friday: Optional excursion to Quintas and Gardens (£52pp) Botanists and horticulturalists alike will love this day out visiting some of the Funchal area’s most prestigious gardens. We go first to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, 70,000 square metres of exotic plants plus a lake with free-ranging peacocks, Icelandic white swans and Tasmanian black swans. Also included is the Monte Palace Museum boasting a display over two floors of African sculptures and a collection of over 1,000 mineral specimens, with over 300 semi-precious and precious gems including rough and cut diamonds. Next, we descend nearer to sea level to visit Quinta do Palheiro Garden, also known as Blandy Garden and much cited in literature as one of the most beautiful in the world. The garden dates from 1801 and is rich in colour and scent, with a magnificent collection of camellias, centennial trees, a rose garden and a myriad of other flowers and climbers. The final stop in our trio is the Quinta Vigia Garden in Funchal, formerly a villa and home to a succession of European and Russian aristocrats, but now the official residence of the President of Madeira. The garden features a variety of indigenous and exotic plants, trees and birds, and affords gorgeous panoramic views over the harbour. We return to the hotel from here.

Saturday: Day at leisure.

Sunday: One final relaxing day in resort.

Monday: After breakfast, at the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home

*Air holiday prices are correct at the time of publication but are subject to fluctuation and availability. Other regional airports may be available and the final price will depend on your chosen airport, airline and flight time. This will be advised at the time of booking.

One piece of checked-in hold luggage PER PERSON is included however; the weight allowance does vary between airlines. Please ask for details.

Hotel transfers may be in shared vehicles. You may also have to await passengers arriving on other flights; for your convenience we will do our utmost to keep the waiting time to a minimum.

Holiday operated by Omega Holidays under ATOL No.6081