Christmas in paradise
Off the coast of Africa, in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, lies one of the world's most beautiful islands, a captivating, sun-kissed haven that is home to some of the most vibrant, colourful, flora on Earth, and a perfect choice for a relaxing, enthralling, winter-warming Christmas holiday.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Fly south to Madeira, and upon arrival transfer to your chosen hotel and meet your Tour Manager.
Discover the island capital Funchal on this morning's fascinating included guided tour, which will bring to life this colourful, flower-strewn port-city, as well as its stunning Botanical Gardens, with their spectacular views.
Enjoy Funchal's traditional 'Market Day' at your leisure, which heralds the beginning of what Madeirans call 'the Festivity', when the Farmers Market and the surrounding, pedestrianised streets are brim-full with local handicrafts - including wickerwork and tapestry - and seasonal gifts and trinkets. As daylight fades, the air is filled with the sounds of carol-singers and other musicians, as well as the scents of sweetmeats and roasted nuts.
Day Four (Christmas Eve)
Today brings the opportunity, on an included excursion, to explore the western reaches of the island, Winston Churchill's favourite Camara de Lobos, clifftop Cabo Girao, Porto Moniz, with its rock swimming pools, and the Encumeda Pass, with its spectacular panorama of both sides of the island. After a wonderful day, begin your celebrations at the hotel.
Day Five (Christmas Day)
An optional morning excursion will take in the Pico dos Barcelos overlooking Funchal, and Eira do Serrado , which commands a spectacular view of Curral das Freiras, or Nun's Valley, before heading to delightful Monte to visit the beautiful church. You'll get the chance to take the famous wickerwork 'toboggan' ride down to Livramento - always a highlight of any stay on Madeira. Enjoy a restful and relaxing rest of Christmas Day, where you'll be treated to a special Christmas lunch.
Day Six (Boxing Day)
After a relaxing morning, join us for an optional 'Easy'-rated walk on the pathways alongside part of the island's network of irrigation channels, or levadas, which carry water from the wetter north to the vineyards and farms of the drier south. Enjoy views of the countryside and the seascape as you cover some seven kilometres at a leisurely pace.
Today's final optional excursion offers the opportunity to explore the forested eastern end of the island, where Ribeiro Frio boasts a stunning nature reserve, and where the ancient mountain settlement of Santana still retains many examples of the traditional 'A-frame' thatched cottages.
Return to the airport for your flight home, at the end of a wonderful winter-warming stay.
Hotel Orquidea ★★★
Hotel Vidamar Resort ★★★★
European closing times
Shops in Europe will generally close from early afternoon on Christmas Eve until 27th December. Included tours and excursions have been chosen for their scenic or historic value.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Foreign Office travel advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.