When is the best time to visit Madeira island? In this article I will tell you all about Madeiran weather patterns, tourist seasons and local festivals. I will address each season separately so you can make a well informed decision for your trip to Madeira.

You may also like to check out my main Madeira Travel Guide if you are thinking of travelling to Madeira. 

Colorful boats in the water in Madeira.
The fishing town of Camara de Lobos

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My last visit to Madeira was in summer 2023. I spent a week travelling all around the island and crammed as much into one week as possible. This included visiting all of the main towns, sampling the local cuisine, going on levada walks and meeting the locals. It was a solo trip, but Madeira is also ideal for couples and families. I have also visited Madeira in the spring and winter time too.

The Best Time to Visit Madeira, Portugal

Madeira stands as a rare exception on the global travel map. Unlike many destinations facing seasonal fluctuations due to adverse weather conditions, Madeira remains a delightful haven throughout the year. 

There are only two instances where you should be mindful of your timing: during the summer months of July and August, and at the close of December for a magnificent New Year’s Eve celebration accompanied by a large fireworks display. These periods tend to draw more visitors to the island.

Further reading: Ultimate Madeira Travel Guide.

Spring in Madeira:

April and May bring long, dry, and warm days, making it the perfect time to give your summer wardrobe an early debut. The entire island comes alive in spring, adorned with vibrant blooms, as the annual Flower Festival (Festa da Flor) sweeps across Madeira, infusing it with a colourful extravaganza. Another noteworthy spring event is the Madeira Island Ultra Trail (MIUT), where trail runners from around the globe test their mettle on the island’s tallest peaks.

Summer in Madeira:

Summer ushers in a lively atmosphere, with both domestic and international tourists converging on the island. Expect average high temperatures of 24-25°C, basking in warm sunshine that rarely dips below 17°C, ensuring pleasant evenings. It’s the perfect time to embark on a two-for-one adventure and hop over to the nearby Porto Santo Island (just a short flight or boat ride away) to luxuriate on its golden sandy beaches. Rain is a rare guest during this season, and the island comes alive with a plethora of summer festivals.

Autumn in Madeira:

Autumn on Madeira offers an enticing extension of summer, making it an appealing choice for those looking to prolong the sun-soaked bliss found on continental Portugal. October and November continue to bless the island with warm and sunny days, although the possibility of rain increases slightly. As autumn paints the skies with hues of pink, you can still enjoy a refreshing swim without the chill.

Pico Ruivo at Sunset in Madeira
Pico Ruivo at Sunset

Winter in Madeira:

Think of Madeira’s winter as a sun-kissed autumn. Fancy a swim in December? Madeira is up for the challenge. Winter in Madeira is an unconventional experience – heavy, padded winter coats are a rarity (unless you’re an early bird chasing the sunrise). While a bit of rain and the occasional passing storm may visit, come February, the sun reclaims its dominance. Daytime temperatures hover around 18-20°C, offering a pleasant escape from harsh winter climates. However, be prepared for slightly pricier flights in December due to the New Year’s festivities.

The best time to visit Madeira

So, when is the best time to visit Madeira? The answer is, anytime you fancy. Madeira’s timeless charm and temperate climate ensure that every month is an excellent choice for your Madeira adventure.

Madeira dances to its own rhythm, offering eternal spring and breathtaking landscapes all year round. This Portuguese gem remains a paradise for travellers, regardless of the calendar month you choose to visit. 

If you are interested in visiting Madeira, you may also like to visit the neighbouring Canary Islands.

FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Madeira Island

Q: When is the best time to visit Madeira Island?

A: Madeira Island is a year-round destination, making it perfect for travel any month of the year. However, specific seasons offer unique experiences. I recommend visiting Madeira in Spring, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists.

Q: What is the weather like in Madeira during spring?

A: Madeira weather is usually mild. Spring, in April and May, brings warm, dry days, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer milder temperatures and vibrant floral displays.

Q: How about the summer in Madeira?

A: Summer, from June to August, boasts warm temperatures averaging around 24-25°C, perfect for beach lovers and festival enthusiasts. It will still be cooler in the mountains of course.

Q: What’s the appeal of autumn in Madeira?

A: Autumn, in October and November, offers warm and sunny days, allowing you to extend your summer holiday, though rain chances increase slightly. 

Q: How is winter in Madeira different from the typical winter experience?

A: Madeira’s winter, more akin to a sunny autumn, lets you swim in December. It’s a unique opportunity with minimal rainfall and mild temperatures. Madeira is a great choice for a bit of winter sun. If you are walking or hiking, you may want some light layers as it will be cooler up in the mountains. 

Q: Is New Year’s Eve a good time to visit Madeira?

A: Absolutely! Madeira’s New Year’s Eve celebration is renowned for its spectacular fireworks display, drawing crowds to the island’s festivities.

Q: Will I find a lot of tourists during the summer months?

A: Yes, summer (July and August) is the busiest time, with both domestic and international tourists flocking to the island. It’s a beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean, so it’s bound to attract tourists like you and me 🙂 

Q: Can I enjoy beach time in Madeira during winter?

A: Yes, you can! Madeira’s mild winter temperatures mean you can still take a dip in the sea, making it a unique winter beach destination.

Further reading: The 20 best towns in Madeira (and where to stay in each one)

Q: Are there any significant events in Madeira during spring?

A: Yes, spring sees the annual Flower Festival (Festa da Flor) and the Madeira Island Ultra Trail (MIUT), offering vibrant festivities and challenging outdoor experiences.

Q: Are flights to Madeira more expensive during the New Year period?

A: Yes, flights tend to be pricier in December due to the allure of Madeira’s New Year celebrations.

Q: Is Porto Santo Island accessible from Madeira?

A: Yes, Porto Santo Island is just a short flight or boat trip away, making it an excellent side trip for beach enthusiasts.

Further reading: 25 Unique & Amazing Things to do on Madeira Island.

Q: Are there any recommendations for visiting during the rainy season?

A: While Madeira’s climate is generally mild, it’s advisable to pack some rain gear if you plan to visit during the rainy season, particularly in autumn. Rainy days are still mild, temperature-wise.

Q: What’s the average temperature during winter in Madeira?

A: During winter, daytime temperatures typically range from 18-20°C, providing a pleasant escape from colder climates.

Q: Can I see the Madeiran flora in full bloom throughout the year?

A: Yes, the island’s diverse flora is on display year-round, but spring showcases an explosion of vibrant blooms during the Flower Festival. The capital city, Funchal, also has some excellent botanical gardens.

Q: Is there a specific time when Madeirans wear heavy winter coats?

A: Madeirans rarely don heavy, padded winter coats. If you do spot them, it’s likely to be during the early morning hours when they’re chasing a stunning sunrise.

Travel advice for Madeira.

For travel advice for Madeira, please see my main Madeira travel guide post. This page contains everything you need to know about Madeira, including things to do, what to see, local cuisine, safety considerations, transportation, best time to visit, cultural etiquette and more.

In the meantime, here are some quick travel tips for Madeira, Portugal:

Practical tips for Madeira.

Health and Safety:

  1. Medical Services: Madeira has quality medical facilities, but travel insurance is crucial to cover any unexpected health issues.
  2. Sun Protection: The sun can be strong in Madeira. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from sunburn.
  3. Terrain Awareness: The island’s terrain can be steep and challenging. Wear appropriate footwear and be cautious when walking in hilly areas.


  1. Driving: If you plan to rent a car in Madeira, note that Madeira’s roads can be narrow and winding. Drive cautiously, and be aware of steep drops in some areas.
  2. Public Transportation: Madeira’s bus system is reliable for getting around. Be sure to check the bus schedules in advance.
  3. Taxis: Taxis are safe and regulated. Ensure the meter is running or agree on a fare before starting the ride.

Money and Communication:

  1. Currency: The currency used in Madeira is the Euro (€).
  2. ATMs: ATMs are widely available, especially in tourist areas. Inform your bank before travelling to ensure your cards work abroad.
  3. Language: Portuguese is the official language of Madeira. While many locals in tourist areas speak English, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can enhance your experience. This Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary is excellent (Amazon link).

Outdoor Activities:

  1. Levada Walks: If you plan to hike the levadas, wear sturdy shoes, carry water, and check the weather forecast. Some walks can be challenging.
  2. Swimming: While there are natural pools and beaches, always follow safety signs and guidelines when swimming in the ocean.
  3. Madeira tourist card: Consider purchasing a Funchal City Card, which provides discounted access to various attractions and unlimited use of public transportation. You can buy these from tourism offices.

Emergency Contacts:

  • Emergency Services: Dial 112 for police, medical, or fire emergencies.

Environmental Considerations:

  1. Responsible Tourism: Respect the island’s natural beauty by not littering and following designated paths.
  2. Conservation: Be cautious around delicate ecosystems, especially in natural parks and reserves.

Further reading: Ultimate Madeira Travel Guide.

Where to stay in Madeira

See my guide to the 20 best towns in Madeira for advice on where to stay in Madeira.

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