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21st April, 2021

Madeira festivals

It’s not often you find a destination which has culture, age-old traditions and incredible scenery. Madeira has all this and so much more. It is an island archipelago of enormous charm. A place where you can take long walks in the mountains, enjoy the thrill of a toboggan ride, try delicious cuisine, stay at a quality hotel and also experience some of the world’s most prestigious festivals.

Experience the biggest fireworks extravaganza in the world

New Year's Eve fireworks in Madeira

The New Year’s firework display on Madeira is thought to be the biggest and the best in the world. Take a festive holiday on this beautiful archipelago and you can celebrate in style. The best place to see the display is perhaps in Funchal where the festivities are focused, but smaller, equally impressive, displays also take place throughout Madeira. If you do happen to be in Funchal, the naturally-formed amphitheatre is transformed by thousands of lights and the bar and restaurants come alive with throngs of revellers.

Get into the spirit of Europe’s most colourful festival

Flower garlands

Similar to the Rio Carnival, the Carnival of Madeira is held every year; starting forty day before Easter and ending on Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday. Madeira’s take on Carnival is regarded as the best in Europe and features two colourful parades complete with samba music and dancing, flamboyant costumes, themed parties and sweet treats. Carnival is celebrated all over Madeira from the north to the south, and this intense week of revelry is not to be missed.

A feast for the senses, a cacophony of floral colours and scent

Madeira Flower Festival participants in traditional dress holding a flower baskets

Every two weeks after Easter, the Floral Isle and its capital Funchal begin the colourful Flower Festival when the streets, shop displays and window boxes become a riot of colour with myriad flowers and foliage. Join in the street parades, see thousands of children gather on Avenida Arriaga, admire the impressive Wall of Hope on Praça do Munípio, participate in creating a carpet of flowers in the streets, watch folklore performances and listen to classical music concerts.

A whole month of celebrations to mark the beginning of summer

Fireworks at the Atlantic Festival in Madeira

Entertainment… music… extravagant firework displays… the Atlantic Festival is a combination of three different cultural celebrations. The Madeira Music Festival, the International Fireworks Festival and performances by the philharmonic orchestras in Funchal come together, and every Saturday night in June contestants from different countries organise firework displays in harmony with accompanying music.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.