You're probably here because you're looking for a Portland Holiday in 2013 - well, Portland Holidays have become part of
Thomson Holidays now. In fact,
Portland Holidays has been owned by Thomson for several years, but since 2011 the Portland brand has been stopped, and all holidays
are now sold through Thomson. All's not lost though - it's still worth having a look at Thomson to see what they can offer you in the
way of a good deal.
The bewitching isle of Madeira rises up from the sparkling waves of the Atlantic
Ocean like an emerald jewel. Boasting a balmy, sub-tropical climate, Madeira
is renowned for its stunning scenery, simply overflowing with exotic flora.
Awash with colour throughout the year, Madeira is affectionately called the
'Floating Garden'. Dramatic mountains overlook terracotta-roofed villages and
vineyards heavy with grapes while lush meadows, speckled with fuchsia pink and
bright orange blooms, spill down valleys and volcanic hillsides to a dramatic
coastline lapped by waters of deepest blue.
Food & Wine in Madeira
Madeira is known for its wine production and its range of fortified 'Madeira'
are of particular renown. The wine is 'cooked' in the sun for six months and then
topped up with brandy. Why not enjoy a spot of wine tasting at one of the famous
lodges in Funchal and learn how to tell a 'Malmsey' from a 'Verdelho'? While its
wine is unique, Madeira's cuisine is generally influenced by Portuguese cooking.
There are countless cafes and restaurants whose menus, as you would expect, centre
around fish. For a real taste of the island try the local speciality dish 'peixe espada',
black scabbard fish. This is a delicious, long, thin fish and is particular to
Madeira. 'Espatada', skewered beef, is another favourite and is usually served
with an array of fresh vegetables. You can wash all this down with the local
fire water, 'poncha', before tucking into a Madeiran must, 'bolo de miel', Madeira cake.
Days & Nights in Madeira
While far from being frenetic, Madeira's nightlife is sophisticated and vibrant,
reflecting the island's cosmopolitan atmosphere. Whether you want to dance the
night away or simply enjoy a fruity cocktail, there's plenty to keep you entertained.
Put on your glad rags for a night on the town in Funchal where you'll find a good
number of discerning bars and smart clubs. For a really glamorous night out,
head to the capital's exclusive casino and try your luck at blackjack or roulette.
Alternatively, the old town's winding alleyways brim with traditional bars where
you can sample a taste of local life. Many of the hotels stage live music and
cabarets including folklore nights so there's never a dull moment.
Sights & Sounds in Madeira
Sightseeing: Ideally explored on foot, Madeira is a walker's paradise.
If you're a keen rambler, it's worth checking out the well-organised walking
tours around the ancient irrigation channels known as 'levadas'. Dug into the
mountainsides, they were once used to carry water from high up in the hills to
the fields and villages below. You're sure to be enchanted by the breathtaking
views, crisp mountain air and scenic routes past verdant vineyards, banana
plantations and slopes cloaked with colourful flowers.
Sun & Sand in Madeira
Home to some of the steepest cliffs in the world, Madeira is actually the summit
of an underwater mountain that rises up above the ocean. As such, the island is
not renowned for its sandy shores. However there are some beaches where you can
stretch out beneath the sub-tropical sun. Canical on the east coast plays host to
a small sandy cove while some pebbly beaches can be found in Santa Cruz and Machico.
There's also a public lido in Funchal which has access to the sea for swimming and makes
for a perfect alternative to the beach. Neighbouring Porto Santo is just a short island
hop away if you're looking for fine golden sands with its 9km stretch of beach.
Portland Holidays have 1000's of package holiday resorts around the world. We have provided details
of the most popular locations. However, you can use the search facility at the top of this page to
search for a holiday in any of Portland Holiday's package holiday resorts.
Thomas Cook Holidays have over 100 package holiday resorts around the world. We have provided details of the most popular locations. However, you can use the search facility at the top of this page to search for a holiday in any of Thomas Cook's package holiday resorts.
Thomson Holidays have over 100 package holiday resorts around the world. We have provided details of the most popular locations. However, you can use the search facility at the top of this page to search for a holiday in any of Thomson Holiday's package holiday resorts.