You need to figure out what to do during the winter holidays. Don’t worry; we collected a few fantastic places that you must visit this winter.
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Winter wonders in Madeira’s historic capital
Funchal is the capital city of Madeira and serves as the cultural and economic hub of the island. The city’s historic center features charming streets with colorful houses. It hosts various cultural events, festivals, and concerts during winter.
For example, you can celebrate Christmas and enjoy street and dance performances with festive lights and decorations.
The next point of your winter vacation is the must-visit markets, such as the Mercado dos Lavradores and Farmers’ Market, where you may taste exotic fruits, fresh seafood, local handicrafts, and other traditional Madeira food.
Oh, and remember its botanical gardens, which are home to lush green spaces with exotic plant species, serene ponds, and stunning vistas.
Cabo Girao’s glass-bottomed Skywalk experience
Cabo Girao stands out as one of the highest coastal cliffs in Europe. The main attraction is its glass-bottomed viewing platform, also referred to as the Skywalk. This engineering marvel is suspended over the cliff’s edge, offering an exhilarating experience for those who dare to step onto it.
The transparent floor lets you see the sheer drop beneath your feet, creating a sense of walking in the air. It’s an ideal spot for taking photographs and experiencing the thrill of looking straight down into the abyss. From Cabo Girao, you can enjoy 360-degree views of Madeira’s landscapes.
On clear days, you can see as far as Porto Santo, the neighboring island. Also, it is a popular spot to witness sunsets. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky is painted orange and pink, casting a magical glow over the landscape. It’s an excellent location for capturing unforgettable sunset photographs.
Exploring the Laurissilva Forest of Madeira
Laurissilva Forest in Madeira is a UNESCO-listed natural wonder that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. This recognition highlights its outstanding universal value and the need for its preservation. Laurissilva is not only ancient but also incredibly biodiverse.
It is home to many endemic species found nowhere else on Earth, including birds, insects, and plants. It offers numerous hiking trails that vary in difficulty, making it accessible to both beginner and experienced hikers. The paths often follow levadas, the historic irrigation channels, providing a unique way to explore the forest.
For students, the forest provides an excellent opportunity to learn about biodiversity, ecology, and the importance of preserving natural heritage. Guided tours and educational programs are often available. Additionally, you bring a great photo to Instagram for such experiences.
Unraveling Madeira’s geological history at Sao Vicente Caves
If you are interested in geology, Sao Vicente Caves is your choice. It is an opportunity to explore volcanic caves and gain insights into the geological history of the island. They are a series of lava tubes and volcanic caves formed by ancient volcanic activity on the island, which has a volcanic origin.
Inside the caves, you’ll find various rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites, which have formed over thousands of years due to mineral deposits left by volcanic activity. Also, you can learn about the processes that shaped Madeira’s unique landscape and how these lava tubes were created.
Sao Vicente Caves offers an excellent educational experience for students, and they can understand deeper volcanic activity, lava flow, and the role of geological processes in general.
Madeira: a wine adventure
We are sure that Madeira Wine Cellars are a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in wine culture. Madeira wine has a long history.
One of the highlights of visiting Madeira Wine Cellars is the opportunity to participate in tastings. During these tastings, you can sample a range of Madeira wines, each with its unique flavor profile. Madeira wines come in various styles, including dry, medium-dry, medium-sweet, and sweet, catering to different tastes.
Several grape varieties are used to produce Madeira wine, including Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malvasia. Each grape variety contributes to the wine’s distinctive characteristics, from dry and nutty to sweet and luscious.
All this experience can be confirmed in gift shops, where you can buy bottles of Madeira wine to take home as souvenirs or gifts.
Santa Cruz’s seaside promenade
Santa Cruz is an ideal destination for students looking to unwind by the sea or delve into the island’s past. It boasts several beautiful beaches. It’s an excellent spot for sunbathing, swimming, or even trying out water sports like windsurfing or paddleboarding.
The mild winter climate means that, even during the winter months, you can often enjoy comfortable temperatures for beach activities.
Additionally, for the beach rest, the local market is a great place to experience the island’s fresh produce and relax with friends on the seafront promenade.
Here, it is an excellent opportunity to snap photos of waves crashing against rugged cliffs in the distance and the sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky transforms into a mesmerizing palette of colors, ranging from fiery oranges to soothing purples.
Spending time with your girl- or boyfriend can be the perfect setting for a romantic evening.
Porto Santo: blissful beaches and serenity
Porto Santo is a charming neighboring island to Madeira, located just a short ferry ride away. It is renowned for its long stretches of golden sandy beaches spanning over nine kilometers, making it one of the longest in Europe.
Unlike the bustling city of Funchal on Madeira, Porto Santo offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. But if you are interested in history, it has a few historical sites worth visiting, such as the Christopher Columbus House Museum, where the famous explorer lived for a time. It provides insight into the island’s colonial history.
Porto Santo also offers wellness and spa facilities, making it an excellent place to relax and rejuvenate during the winter months. You can indulge in massages, thermal baths, and other wellness treatments.