The Monte Toboggan ride! Slide down to Funchal on a two-seater wicker sledge at high speed on narrow, winding streets. You’ll be pushed and steered by two men traditionally dressed in white cotton clothes and a straw hat, using their rubber-soled boots as brakes. The ride down lasts about 10 minutes, and you will at times reach speeds over 30mph - great fun!
Flora, Original Traveller
A volcanic outcrop in the Atlantic Ocean, 500 miles southwest of its parent country Portugal, Madeira is an outstandingly beautiful island with a wonderful sub-tropical climate. The year-round warmth provided by Madeira's special micro-climate makes it an ideal holiday destination, with a wide array of activities on offer, from windsurfing to mountain-biking, paragliding and big-game fishing. Madeira is also a renowned destination for walking or hiking. All in all, what was once known as 'God's waiting room' (thanks to the number of visitors of an elderly persuasion) has become somewhere that waits for no man.
Why we think you’ll love it
- The hundreds of miles of levadas or canal paths that criss-cross the island are perfect for walkers, although some may not be so good for vertigo sufferers
From the gallery
Luxury Holidays to Madeira: The Detail
Madeira's mountain slopes are irrigated by a network of small canals known as 'levadas', which criss-cross the island. There are over 1,000 miles of these in total, and they double as superb walkways, taking you through dramatic landscapes and past small villages with their vineyards and terraced fields.
Funchal is the small, largely pedestrianised, capital city. Its unspoiled cobbled streets host hundreds of bars, cafés, and restaurants, plus excellent shopping and plenty of cultural attractions. Its hotel scene has improved dramatically in recent years too; with unashamed luxury on hand, as well as more fashion-conscious design options and peaceful rural quintas available in the countryside around the city too. In short, Madeira offers the full package for those seeking short-haul luxury holidays.