Are you wondering what is the best time of the year to visit Madeira? Well the good news, is that Madeira is an all year round destination. However, to avoid rainy days some months are better than the others…
Located in the heart of the Atlantic, the island of Madeira has a subtropical climate. Temperatures are mild all year round.
In the middle of winter, temperatures hover around 20 degrees and rarely drop below 15 degrees. In Summer don’t expect unbearable heat like in some parts of Europe, as the temperatures rarely exceeds 25 degrees.
The island can easily be visited all year round, but the best time to travel to Madeira is from April to August to avoid rainy days and enjoy mostly blue skies during your trip.
However, if you planned to go to Madeira during other months of the year, no worries, you will still enjoy a lot of sunshine. Let’s look at it in more details in the break down below:
WHEN TO VISIT MADEIRA? WINTER TO SKIP THE CROWD AND ENJOY SOME WARMER DAYS COMPARED TO THE REST OF EUROPE!
Temperatures fluctuate on average between 15°C at night and 20°C during the day in winter in Madeira. The weather can change quickly, with the rain.
It rains most between October and February and it can be quite windy. So be careful and watch the weather forecast carefully if you want to hike in the mountains or go on excursions.
As for us, we visited Madeira during a month in February. We had wonderful days, and could even spend a few days sunbathing at the beach. There were a few days with lots of shower, especially in the north, but at least the temperature was so much better than the rest of Europe during that time.
WHEN TO GO TO MADEIRA? IN SPRING TO SEE THE ISLAND FULL OF COLOURFUL FLOWERS
Spring is certainly one of the most pleasant seasons to visit Madeira. During this period, the temperatures vary respectively from 17 to 20°C. You may observe a light cloud cover during the mornings in June: a phenomenon called the “capacete” by locals. But this disappears as the day progresses. Rain showers are rare between May and August. Indeed, the rainy season ends in April
Spring is ideal for going on a hike and discovering the stunning landscapes that the island has to offer. Also note that the flower festival, the most famous festival in the archipelago, is in May. The island is covered with colourful flowers everywhere. It’s magical!
WHEN TO GO TO MADEIRA? IN SUMMER FOR THE WARMEST DAYS AND BLUE SKY
On average, temperatures hover between 20°C with a maximum of 25-26°C during the day in summer.
However, summer is the busiest period to visit Madeira as it attracts lots of tourists. Therefore if you like to have peace when visiting Madeira’s main sights or when going on a hike, choose Spring or Autumn to visit the island.
WHEN TO VISIT MADEIRA? IN AUTUMN TO ENJOY THE ISLAND BY YOURSELF
Although there is more rain during this season, it is a great time to visit Madeira, as there won’t be as many tourists as in summer and temperature are still reasonably warm reaching 24°C on average during the day. The water temperature is still mild which is great for swimming too.
IS IT WINDY IN MADEIRA?
The quick answer is: YES! It can get very windy in Madeira. It is in fact, not uncommon to have flights cancelled due to strong wind. Indeed the flights are not able to land at the airport in Madeira. This is exactly what happened to us. The day we were supposed to leave, the wind was so strong that for 2 days no flights could land or take off!
Well, we didn’t really mind, as we were on a sabbatical anyway, with plenty of time ahead of us. Thankfully we were able to fly out 2 days later.
The predominant wind in Madeira is the North-East wind during summer. From October to March, it is more of a westerly wind: it is the Azores anticyclone, which brings rains to the island.
Overall, the wind is stronger in the north of the island. The mountains culminating at more than 1400 meters of altitude block the gusts and the clouds. Therefore they protect the south from rains, humidity and wind in general.
WHAT IS THE WATER TEMPERATURE IN MADEIRA?
The ocean temperature fluctuates between 18 and 23°C all year round. The coldest months being December to April. You can therefore swim all year round in Madeira if you are not chilly.
If you want to enjoy time at the beach in Madeira, then head to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo with its super large 7 km long beach!
ARE THERE ANY FESTIVALS IN MADEIRA?
There are many festivities in Madeira throughout the year. We listed the main ones below:
NEW YEAR’S EVEN! ONE OF THE BIGGEST FIREWORKS IN THE WORLD!
New Year’s Eve in Madeira? Funchal is where you want to be! The incredible fireworks is considered one of the most spectacular in the world and even entered the Guinness Book of World Records. The New Year being in high season in Madeira, it is necessary to prepare everything in advance. The harbor is full of cruise ships.
CARNIVAL, ONE OF THE MAIN EVENTS IN MADEIRA
The carnival is held 40 days before Easter. A traditional parade and one of the major events in Madeira, where people from all over the world come to see the extremely well organized Samba troupes that fill the streets of Funchal with music and dancing. There are two carnival parades, the largest taking place on Saturday evening, the Allegoric Parade (Cortejo Alegórico) with lively and colorful costumes. The last parade, on Tuesday, the Humorous Parade (o Trapalhão), renowned for its humor and social satyrism, is the funniest parade and the one everyone is waiting for.
THE FLOWER FESTIVAL, A MUST SEE IN MADEIRA!
The Flower Festival in spring is one of the most colorful traditional events held in Madeira and it takes place every spring. Many activities and parties take place around Funchal, starting with a carpet of flowers on the sidewalks, concerts and folk groups dancing in the open air. There are also many flower shows. During the big main parade many diverse groups line up and dance through the streets of Funchal, in their beautiful embroidered Madeiran costumes full of colors, floats are decorated and filled with a wide variety of Madeiran flowers.
RECAP FOR THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MADEIRA
With a small variation in temperature according to the seasons, Madeira is an all year round place to visit. There are many things to do in Madeira in any season. Surfing enthusiasts, can practice in all seasons, enjoying great waves. Hikers can venture in the many trails in Madeira to see the countless waterfalls. If you want to go for a swim you can also do so at any months of the year.
However, to avoid rainy days choose summer to visit Madeira. If you want to skip the crowd and still enjoy optimal conditions, then choose Spring or Autumn for your visit of Madeira.
We wrote many posts to help you plan your trip in Madeira, check it out below:
MADEIRA, 30 best things to see: here
FULL HIKING GUIDE FOR PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO: here
DISCOVER FUNCHAL: here
16 BEST THINGS TO SEE IN CÂMARA DE LOBOS: here
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PORTO MONIZ IN MADEIRA: here
MONTE PALACE TROPICAL GARDEN IN MADEIRA: here
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN SEIXAL: here
HIKING LEVADA CALDEIRAO VERDE: here
BEST WAY TO VISIT CABO GIRÃO: here
3 BEST AREAS TO STAY IN MADEIRA: here
WHY IS MADEIRA WORTH VISITING? TOP 10 RESONS: here