Madeira enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a select and refined holiday destination and has strong associations with Britain based on the island's principal export, Madeira wine. Its pleasant climate with mild winters and long summers makes it an ideal year-round destination. Sea temperatures also remain fairly constant due to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream that lap its shores.
Funchal is the island's elegant and cultured capital and offers a good selection of shops, cafés and restaurants, there is also a casino and nightlife is generally relaxed.
The beautiful Parque de Santa Caterina and the busy open-air market are worth a visit. You can take the cable car to Monte for magnificent views over the island, and then take the famous wooden toboggans down the steep hills which unfortunately no
longer take you all the way back.
The local food as you would expect features fish dishes and has a Portuguese influence, as well as making good use of local fresh fruit and vegetables.
Flights: 27 May, 17 June, 24 June, 29 July, 26 August & 23 September 2013.