Where to stay in Madeira - Selecting your Madeira holiday resort

Before the year 2002, most of the tourism in Madeira was concentrated in Funchal. Those who wanted to explore the island and watch the many must see places, needed to prepare for several hours of car driving.
Intensive road works and new infrastructure have now changed tourism on Madeira.
In 2006 the Via Rapida reached from Santana in the North, along Machico in the East and along the airport towards Funchal and further to Ribeira Brava in the South of Madeira.
As a result, most parts of Madeira are now within half an hour reach from Funchal.

This leaves more opportunities for selecting your Madeira holiday resort.
Each place has its pros and cons.

Stay in Funchal.

If you stay in Funchal during your entire holiday, then you can be sure of a large selection of hotels.
The most attractive hotels are situated near the Lido in the city part called Sao Martinho.
Youngsters should not expect too much. Funchal is no Ibiza ! The number of dancings is very limited and the nightlife -mostly concentrated in or around the casino- is far from spectacular.
That doesn't mean that Madeira is a holiday destination for older people only. It's just that if you like to go out at night, then you should inform yourself about the opportunities.

Funchal is a large city and many of the new hotels are on a respectable distance from the authentic city center.
Look at the Funchal road map to find the location of your hotel. (Remark: The map opens in a new window)

Why you should select a holiday resort in Funchal

  • You want to enjoy a tropical climate.
  • There is a large selection of (big) hotels.
  • You like the city, shopping streets and wish to have a large selection of restaurants nearby.
  • Funchal is the only place in Madeira that has some night life.
  • You don't intend to make many day tours.
  • Nature is less important to you, or you don't mind to make longer car tours.
  • You don't have or don't want to rent a car.
 Hotel rates and online booking of Funchal hotels (via

Stay in Garajau, Canico, Santa Cruz, Canical or Machico.

Places such as Garajau, Canico de Baixo, Santa Cruz, Canical and Machico are not far from Funchal due to the Via Rapida. All these places are situated at the sea side and have some good hotels that are also suggested by many tour operators.
Exemples are the hotel Dom Pedro Garajau in Garajau, the Galoresort hotels in Canico de Baixo, the Vila Gale resort in Santa Cruz and the hotel Dom Pedro Baia Club in Machico.

Why you should select a holiday resort in Garajau, Canico or Santa Cruz ?

  • You want a tropical climate.
  • You like a peaceful setting and don't want too much noise.
  • You don't need much more than a hotel, a swimming pool and one or two restaurants on walking distance.
    Note that Santa Cruz is the busier village, with a market, shopping streets and many restaurants
  • Funchal is near (Taxi, bus or rented car).
  • Nature is less important to you, or you are prepared for longer car driving.
 Hotel rates and online booking of hotels in Canico (via

Why you should select a holiday resort in Machico or Canical ?

  • You don't mind that the weather can be less good (Clouds and strong winds are no exception here).
  • Funchal is too busy and Canico or Garajau are too quiet.
  • Nature is less important to you, or you are prepared for longer car driving.
  • The sand beach of Sao Lourenco is not far away.
 Hotel rates and online booking of hotels in Machico (via

A holiday resort in the South of Madeira.

The south of Madeira has the better climate of the island. Nice temperatures from 25 to 30 degrees are guaranteed all summer long.
It is the perfect holiday destination for those who absolutely want to enjoy sunshine in a peaceful environment.
Choose one of the hotels at the sea side to find (artificial) sand beaches. You'll find them for exemple in Ponta da Sol, Ribeira Brava or Calheta.
The further away from the coast, the more beautiful quintas where you find luxe, peace and beautiful gardens.

 Hotel rates and online booking of hotels in Calheta (via

A holiday resort in the North of Madeira.

You should know that the weather in the North of Madeira can be less good. Also in summer are rain fall and temperatures of hardly 20 degrees no exception.
But the endemic nature of the laurel forest, the mountains and the coast are very beautiful.
Therefor the Northern and central part of Madeira are the perfect location for those who love wonderful nature and like to make walks.
A rented car is higly recommended when residing is this area.

The number of hotel resorts is limited.
Some nice ones are the luxurious Quinta do Furao in Santana and the new hotel Monte Mar Palace in Ponta Delgada.
From Sao Vicento to Porto Moniz there is a larger number of hotels available.

Another option to stay in the North of Madeira is one of the many holiday homes.
They are designated with Turismo Rural which means as much as tourism on the countryside. Some holiday homes offer to rent the entire house, other will offer to rent a room.
In Arco do Sao Jorge you will also find the holiday resort "Quinta do Arco", a domain with several seperate cottages and also known for its rose gardens.

 Hotel rates and online booking of hotels in Porto Moniz (via
 Hotels in Ponta Delgada
 Hotels in Sao Vicente

Our recommendation : Make a Madeira tour and stay in several resorts.

We recommend to book at least 2 hotels to those who want to see all of Madeira and/or want to make several walks.
Despite the Via Rapida the distances are too big to explore and especially to enjoy the entire island.
On this Web site we suggest a Madeira Island tour and describe the hotels featuring in it. This island tour is the result of several months of preparation and many travels to Madeira.
We hope that our description will help you to plan your next Madeira holiday !

Madeira Hotel directory.

Keep an eye on this Web site; At the moment we are working on a complete hotel directory for Madeira.
Also have a look at the page that describes the different Madeira accommodation types and explains what you should expect from each type of hotel.