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Mix Columbo Hotel

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Dramatic volcanic landscapes, with steep cliffs dropping into the sea and a coastline that stretches for miles await you on holidays in Madeira. One of the most beautiful islands in Europe, Madeira boasts a spectacular coastline, sandy coves, scenic botanical gardens and clifftop villages. The year-round balmy climate provides ample opportunities for outdoor fun and winter sun – soak up the rays on the golden sands of Ribeira Brava or head to the black sand beach in Prainha – or enjoy the island's pretty pebbled stretches.

You can also hike up ocean cliffs, explore lush forests, go snorkelling or shop at farmers’ markets on your Madeira holidays. The nightlife has a lot to offer, including lively bars and casinos. The welcoming resorts provide great food, wine and culture – perfect for a laid-back holiday.

Madeira’s bays and beaches

Madeira has two artificial beaches made with golden imported sand, including the family friendly Blue Flag Praia da Calheta to the west, with a tranquil lagoon that’s framed by wide, golden sands, and the smaller Praira de Machico to the east. Stretch out on the black sands of Prainha near São Lourenço, Madeira’s only natural beach, where ochre cliffs make for an impressive backdrop. There’s also the picture-perfect Camara de Lobos; Porto Moniz, where volcanic lava has made way for saltwater pools; the pebble beach of Reis Magos, where the crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkelling, and many more!

Enjoy nightlife in Funchal

There are several bars and pubs in Funchal where you can sip a drink, or sway to live music like Moynihans or FX bar near the harbour. If you want to dance all night, head to any of the discos near the city centre. Check out the clubs O Molhe or The Pier, located within the harbour. Drop in at the casino to try your luck, and definitely don’t miss out on folklore evenings at Madeira’s taverns, where you get to hear some traditional Fado music.

Explore the outdoors

Discover waterfalls, valleys and tropical forests as you hike through Madeira’s rugged coastline. Make a daytrip or spend a weekend at the gorgeous beach of Porto Santo, stretching 9 km along the eastern side, accessible by a short flight or a two-hour ferry ride. Spend your evenings at the beachfront cafés and bars. You can also view the island of Porto Santo if you hike up Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third highest peak. If you’re feeling adventurous, try skywalking along Cabo Girao, one of the world’s highest ocean cliffs.

Browse markets in Madeira

Wake up your senses with the colours and smells at Madeira’s farmers’ market Mercado do Lavradores in Funchal, with lanes leading to a fish market and stalls selling fruits, vegetables and  clothes. Stop by villages such as Santo da Serra and Ponta Delgada on a weekend to experience open-air markets, where you can pick up handcrafted souvenirs and gourmet food. And if you’re on the island, you have to have a glass of Madeira wine. Better still, try wine tasting at any cellar.

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Teletext travel expert says

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Something for everyone from summer playgrounds of golden sands to peaceful relaxation in the pine-fringed calas of the east coast.

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