With its sunny skies, rich cultural history, striking coastline and lush flowers and delicious fresh produce, Madeira is the perfect place for a self-catering holiday this summer.
A perennial timeshare favourite and one of Europe’s finest islands, here are ten “must-not-miss” attractions on this special island.
1) Monte Palace
With delicate Japanese gardens, lacquered bridges and relaxation areas, Monte Palace is a really special escape from modern day life. Although the actual Palace is closed to the public, the gardens are worth the visit alone – it’s a must for keen gardeners and budding horticulturalists – Madeira is famed for its fruit and flowers which thrive in this particular climate.
2) Explore the Levadas
Once you’ve done all the sightseeing and sun tanning, take an afternoon out and enjoy some long walks along Madeira’s many levadas, set in mountainous rocks as you explore the beautiful countryside and take in the breathtaking views.
3) Visit Funchal
The ancient city of Funchal is Madeira’s capital and has plenty to offer tourists. Explore the city on foot as you take in the stunning cathedral, wander through the Botanical Gardens and watch the world go by at a leisurely pace over your café con leche.
4) Blandy Wine Lodge
No visit to Maderia would be complete without stopping by at Blandy Wine Lodge, an ancient 17th century monastery. Run by the Madeira Wine Company, this is the perfect place to find out all about Madeira’s famous fortified wines and pick up a bottle to take home.
5) Enjoy the Famous Wine at Henriques and Henriques
Wine lovers will enjoy Blandy Wine Lodge but there’s another stop worth taking in – Henriques and Henriques. If the name sounds familiar, this brand is steeped in history, they’re one of Madeira’s top wine producers. Sample some of the island’s best wines and pick up some of the oldest Madeira on offer.
6) Visit Museo Da Quinta Das Cruzes
Set behind the Santa Clara Monastery, this museum gives you the chance to visit exhibitions and learn about the island’s history. Meanwhile, the museum has stunning gardens which give breathtaking views across the city of Funchal.
7) Stop off at Ribeira Brava
This town is the perfect place to pass a lazy afternoon, thanks to its banana gardens, Caribbean vibes and pink church. Enjoying a lively atmosphere, there are plenty of cafes, bars and shops to visit.
8) Meander through Market Square
The central market in the capital of Funchal is a food lover’s paradise. Wander through the stalls to pick up a bargain, purchase wines, meats and handicrafts, or to just soak up the lively atmosphere.
9) Madeira Story Centre
One of Funchal’s newest tourists attractions, the Madeira Story Centre is the perfect place to learn about the island and its rich history. The interactive museum transports visitors back in time, helping them to learn all about the island’s historic events.
10) Ride a Horse at Quinta do Riacho
The adventurous will love the chance to ride a horse along some of Madeira’s most scenic trails. Enjoy a calm and peaceful ride, or gallop across the mountains to get your heart pumping.
Historically, Madeira is one of the most popular timeshare destinations for repeat visits, and a real favourite with more mature British holidaymakers. Enotel is one of the biggest shared ownership and hotel brands on the island, and if you haven’t visited yet and fancy exchanging your week into a Madeira resort, have a look at the resorts available through www.RCI.com and www.Intervalworld.com (Interval International)