Madeira’s warm summers and mild winters have traditionally attracted the older generation, but things are beginning to change as more and more hotels on this beautiful Atlantic island concentrate on great nieces and nephews as well as great aunts.

With wonderful scenery, superb levada walks, world-class hotels with great facilities and superb cuisine, the only thing Madeira lacks for perfect family holidays is sandy beaches, but at least pebbles can’t get into all those awkward nooks and crannies. Plus it’s clean, the people are incredibly friendly, and it’s virtually crime (and biting and stinging insect) free – and less than 4hrs' flying time from the UK.


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Explore the World with Take the Family

Things to do with kids in Madeira

Take a cable-car trip up to Monte, then come down again in one of the traditional wicker baskets.

Make a heart-thumping trip down one of the slides at the Aquaparque de Santa Cruz.

Enjoy afternoon tea at super-child-friendly Reid’s Palace (see Accommodation) for some old-fashioned British colonial splendour and tradition.

Go for a stunning walk along the island’s levadas – old water channels that follow natural contours.  

Take the kids to the rockpools at Porto Moniz.

Have a day off from the kids (or just a morning or afternoon) to play golf or go blue-marlin fishing.

Have a dip in the seawater lidos at Funchal, where you'll also find Madeira Magic/Kids’ City, with the emphasis on science (there’s a mini-planetarium and a 3-D cinema as well as a 5,000m2 garden with educational and recreational areas).

Wander round any of the island’s stunning gardens – Madeira is known as ‘the floating gardens’. Among the best are the Botanical Gardens, Jardim Orquidea and Boa Vista.

Head for the Madeira Theme Park in Santanta, which focuses on the history and culture of the island and has multimedia shows and rides for children.

CyclingDireccao Regional do Turismo da Madeira



Many packages include dinner, and most good hotels have a children’s menu and/or accommodate special requests for kids – which can help on family holidays with fussier children.

But do venture outside and experience the great local (Portuguese-based) cuisine, especially the superb fresh seafood and grilled meats. And make sure you treat yourself to a glass of Madeira wine.

LandscapeSebastiao da Fonseca


When to go to Madeira

Madeira is a good choice for family holidays year-round, including winter breaks and any of the half terms. Oddly enough, however, some of the best deals are to be had in the height of the summer holidays, when it’s too hot for the oldies yet mild enough for kids. 

Coastal viewDireccao Regional do Turismo da Madeira

Coastal view


Prices for family holidays on Madeira start at around £400pp for a week’s good-quality accommodation, rising to more than £1500 for a week at Reid’s Palace.

Destination stats

Capital city

Flying time3.5hrs All flight times are based on flights from UK London airports, to the capital or nearest destination airport.

Carbon footprint2.15 CO2 Estimated tonnes of CO2 produced for return flights for a family of four.



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TrekkingSebastiao da Fonseca


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