Sara and John say...
The two islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are said to have a climate of ‘eternal spring’ - a promising sign for those wishing to find reliable warmth, without the excessive heat that can afflict parts of mainland Portugal or Spain in the summer months.
Sitting out in the Atlantic, the sea has a moderating influence on the climate. Never too hot and never too cold. With a refreshing ‘trade wind’ blowing for much of the year, the more exposed northeastern areas tend to catch most cloud and gustier conditions. Southern coves and beaches, however, are more sheltered, boasting the majority of the sunshine.
And in the summer months from June to September, when there is very little rainfall, daytime temperatures at the capital, Funchal, comfortably reach the mid-20s Celsius most days. Occasionally, hotter winds from Africa can send highs into the 30s. Nights are balmy too. So after a day at the beach or watching the whales and dolphins out at sea, it’s a great climate for dining outdoors in the evening.
Of course, Madeira isn’t just a beach destination. The scenery inland is stunning. If you’re walking the ‘Levadas’ or venturing even further up the mountains, be aware that higher elevations are not only cooler, but cloudier too. So take some layers, including a waterproof.
Autumn brings only a slow decline in temperatures; and even in the mid-winter months of December to February, temperatures are nudging 20 degrees most days. However the weather is more changeable; so expect some rainfall at some stage during your visit.
Winter is brief, however. The exotic flora boasted by these welcoming islands in spring is unique. And with sunnier days and rising temperatures, Madeira brings just the fix you need after a long winter back home!