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Best Island Tour in December

Hamilton
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Best Island Tour in December

I know Madeira has a micro climate and the weather can vary from East, West, North and South. So what is the best area to tour/visit in December outside of Funchal? What other areas and attractions of Madeira are worth visiting to experience the run up to a Maderian Christmas?

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Madeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Best Island Tour in December

I think any of the tours will be good as you will be able to see how other parts of the Island cdecorate their towns and villages. Historically December is not usually wet but then neither is October and there has been lots of rain during the last three weeks. I have found in the past that operators will change the route if the weather is not too good in the area where the planned trip is. I'm sure Marco is better placed than me to advise on where to go during December with his mini buses. Obviously the lights (switch-on 8th Dec) displays and food stalls along Ave. Arriaga. Something else which is quite an experience is the all-night shopping in the Old Town, usually 23rd Dec, unique, loads of stands, flowers,fruit,drink amazing atmosphere, very very busy, the stalls are open 24 hours - great night. Madeira Mandolins fab concert in the English Church on Friday nights, starts 21.00, sometimes play/concert in Theatre (not seen any posters for the Theatre yet) if you manage to get a copy of The Brit (English Newspaper) they often have a list of events, will be out early Dec and they also have a website - worth checking out. Still possible to do trips to see whales and dolphins - last year I saw whales & dolphins on a trip early Dec.

England, United...
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2. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Hi Jim, lucky you going to Madeira for the run up to Christmas. We went last year just after Christmas & for new year and we loved every minute of it.

In your other post you mentioned the possibility of it being cold and wet at Pico Areiro in December but the thing is you just never know with Madeira. We've been a few times in May/June and had really bad visibility there but on Dec 31st last year we had perfect conditions. It is high up so best to wear a jumper/light jacket but sitting outside having coffee with a clear blue sky and the clouds below was fantastic. Here are some photos if you're interested:-

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We loved all the lights, decorations, music, Christmas stalls, smell of chestnuts cooking etc in Funchal town. We also went to a restaurant in Camara de Lobos where it was lovely to see the lights there.

As flowercity suggested the tour guides should be able to help and best to play it by ear as far as the weather is concerned. Hope you have a great time and the weather is good for you.

Glasgow, United...
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3. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Jim, I was in Madeira at the same time as Queen_Mary last Christmas and New Year and would reiterate that the weather was very good - better than I was expecting with temperatures probably above the seasonal average.

December/early January is a lovely time to be there and I'm sure you will have a great time. Appreciating the festive atmosphere in and around the city of Funchal is in itself a lovely experience. We actually did not venture far from Funchal on that particular holiday'

QM, I think you said in an earlier post that May 2013 would be your next visit - so you, like me, will be feeling slightly envious of those heading out shortly.

PS Still got that report for Milan forum to do - will try over weekend to have it posted - has been 'all work and no play' since I got back.

Edited: 02 November 2012, 07:09
England, United...
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4. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Yes Laptop, posting those photos (above) brought back some great memories and I would love to go back to Madeira again for the Christmas period. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be possible this year so next trip is May. Look forward to seeing your Milan report. We went to Skiathos in September and I've left a trip report and photos for that if anyone is interested.

Jim, I loved ginja which they sold from the little Christmas huts. It's a cherry liqueur served in an edible chocolate cup, delicious.

Hamilton
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5. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Many thanks to you all for the quick responses and helpful advice for my visit to Funchal in December, counting down the days now. Hopefully weather will be dry which will allow us to visit our favourite spots in Madeira.

Fantastic photos Queen_Mary I never get tired looking at the wonderful scenery and views of Madeira.

Edited: 02 November 2012, 18:10
Rainham, United...
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6. Re: Best Island Tour in December

we fly out on boxing day :-) staying in funchal, can anyone reccomend a good tour company or would a hire car be a better option ?

thanks

Edd

Madeira, Portugal
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7. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Happy Tours is a good mini bus tour Company and Madeira Seekers also, links below. Both do hotel pick-up in Funchal area.Tours cost around €25 per day and someone else does the driving!! also the driver misses out on some views because of having to concentrate on road signs and driving in general.

www.madeira-seekers.com

www.madeirahappytours.com

Glasgow, United...
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8. Re: Best Island Tour in December

Hi re a car hire cant help but a good tour company is Madeira Happy Tours whose main office is in the Lido Shopping Centre on the Estrada Monumental near the Lido which is shut just now. Anyway have a great time hope weather is good.

9. Re: Best Island Tour in December

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