Trip reference number: 103757
Trip Operator: Wexas Travel
Famous for its welcoming locals, natural beauty and mild climate, Madeira is a perfect year-round destination, just three and a half hours from London. The wonderful local flora means it's often referred to as the Atlantic's 'Floating Garden', with great forests carpeting cragged peaks and spilling down to wild coastlines and more than 600 miles of walking trails – many following the island's levadas or aqueducts. This self-drive itinerary takes in the best of the island and can easily be combined with a stay in Funchal if you wish, perhaps at the elegant Reid's Palace hotel.
Days 1-2: Quinta do Furão
Depart for Funchal, collect your hire car and drive across the island to Quinta do Furão, a charming hotel on the clifftop near Santana. All rooms come with sea views and the hotel boasts a number of traditional quirky elements, including two wine presses, while Jacuzzi, pool and sauna soaks offer more contemporary relaxation. You'll also have time to explore; colourful thatched houses form pretty villages and sweeping vineyards dot green hills. It's all marked by levada aqueducts. Dating back to the 16th century, they make for spectacular walks among the region's bright verdure.
Stay: Quinta do Furão (Superior)
Days 3-5: Quinta Splendida
Make your way to the far east of the island and Quinta Splendida, where rooms and suites are set in beautiful botanical gardens that host over 1,000 species of plants. It all spills down onto the shimmering Atlantic – a view best taken in from the freshwater pool or the sun terraces of the 19th-century manor house. Relax further with superlative dining and a range of excellent spa treatments. Despite its secluded, green-fringed position, you'll also be within touching distance of Funchal. Here, 300-year-old manors remember the life of Madeiran aristocracy, art collections beautify bishop's palaces and narrow streets weave through historic fishermen's cottages and merchants' houses. Closer to base, the indulgent seafood restaurants of coastal Caniçal are just 100m away.
Stay: Quinta Splendida (Superior)
Days 6-7: The Cliff Bay Hotel
Head west Funchal to the beautiful Cliff Bay. Perched high upon a peninsula, this elegant hideaway enjoys enchanting views of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel is cloaked in the greenery of perfectly manicured gardens. Peppered with swaying palms and fuchsia-coloured splashes of bougainvillea, the curving pathways take you by the cliff edge for uninterrupted vistas.
Stay: The Cliff Bay Hotel, Funchal (Deluxe)
Day 8: Departure
Drop your car back at Funchal's airport to make your flight home.
Validity: All year round
Low season based on September departures
High Season based on August departures
*other UK departures available – please enquire for details
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
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