Located in the southeastern corner of Madeira, Machico is the former capital of the island and still has a busy harbor used by the local fishermen. It’s well populated with a range of shops and restaurants but, because it does retain its traditional atmosphere, it’s more laidback than other nearby holiday destinations like Funchal.
Maderia as a whole is sunny and warm all year round, making it the perfect escape virtually any time.
But, if you prefer your holidays hot and dry, it’s best to visit between May and August when temperatures hover in the mid-20s. Of course, this is also peak travel time given the summer holiday.
If you don’t mind slightly lower temperatures, book a trip in March or April when you’ll enjoy lower prices as well.
Many of the attractions in Machicho involve hiking, which will go over in the Adventure and Sports section.
For those who don’t feel like lacing up their trainers, there are a number of first-rate museums with artefacts you can check out, including Museu da Baleia and Solar do Ribeirinho.
Machicho is home to one of only a few golden, sandy beaches in all of Madeira. Praia de Machicho, with sand shipped from Morocco, is popular especially in the summer with bars and restaurants located just a few metres away. This is also a great spot to wade in calm waters as large rocks keep the surf out.
The restaurants and cafes in Machico cater to all tastes. For a delicious Portugese meal, Restaurante Lily’s is a must and for pub grub, head to Blue. While in Machico, you have to try the local seafood and the best place to do so is at O Goncalves.
While there are plenty of restaurants and local bars where you can enjoy a beverage in the evening, Machico is not the ideal destination for those looking for a wild night out. But, for a relaxing spot with a beautiful view and nice drinks, head to Baía Beach Club
There is a lot to explore around town and those interested in history and local culture will be especially pleased to find monuments, estates and more within walking distance.
Visit Capela de São Roque, a catholic church built in the 1400s and restored in the middle of the 18th century for a chance to enjoy Baroque architecture or pay homage to Tristão Vaz Teixeira, the man who discovered Machico, by visiting his bronze statue.
Machico is a wonderful place to hike with several hilltops to climb and views to enjoy.
For lush, green trees as far as the eye can see, head to Levada dos Maroço or Levada do Caniçal. And, for the ultimate vantage point overlooking Machico, climb Pico do Facho.
For those who prefer walking on level ground, Santa de Serra Gold Course is nearby and boasts three nine-hole courses.
There are also opportunities for diving, horseback riding and even whale watching.
There are three regular buses that service Machico, all with easy-to-access schedules. You can also take these busses to neighboring towns like Porto and Funchal.
From Kerry airport, you can take a shuttle bus, get a taxi, or rent a car for the 50km journey.
The climate of Madeira is similar to that found around the Mediterranean or coastal California - Madeira has mild winters, and generally warm, sunny summers. The ocean moderates the climate so the island never suffers extreme heat or extreme cold. Winter months are slightly wetter - especially in mountain regions, however these spells only last a day or two at a time. In winter there is typically 5 - 6 hours of sunshine, and in Summer there can be up to 8.