Madeira Carnival

8 Days

25th Feb 2019 - From £999 pp


All Info


The Carnival of Madeira is known as one of the best in Europe. There are two main parades - the allegoric parade features thousands of participants in magnificent colourful costumes dancing to electrifying Samba music through the streets of the capital, Funchal. The second, called Trapalhao, features carnival goers in daring costumes and local caricatures. Included excursions take in the best of the island including Camara da Lobos, where Winston Churchill painted and the amazing glass platform at Cabo Girau with breathtaking views over the highest sea cliffs in Europe. We stay near Funchal centre with all meals and drinks included at the hotel.

Madeira is lapped by the waters of the Gulf Stream and blessed with mild winters. When you arrive take a good look around, the pleasant, soothing colours invade the senses with countless shades of green set against an azure sea - the hallmark of the subtropics.

Funchal, Europe’s most picturesque and cleanest capital, is a modern, cosmopolitan city, well known for its subtropical climate, exotic plants and of course its most famous export, Nestled in a great natural amphitheatre, facing the blue Atlantic with a backdrop of dramatic mountains, Funchal is located in the stunning south of Madeira, on its sunniest coast amidst banana plantations and wonderful gardens where flowers bloom all year round in the shelter of the verdant mountains.

Madeira carnival
Colourful carnival costumes

Madeira carnival
Plenty of ‘bling‘ at the carnival

Carnival Held every year, forty days before Easter ending on Shrove Tuesday (known locally as Fat Tuesday or Terca-feira Gorda in Portuguese), the day before Ash Wednesday or first day of Lent. One of the island’s first major festivals of the year, the Madeira carnival is known as one of the best in Europe. Traditionally there are two main parades which are very different from each other. The allegoric parade, which always takes place on Saturday, is the more sophisticated of the two. Numerous Samba groups with thousands of participants in magnificent and colourful costumes dance to electrifying Samba music through the streets of the capital Funchal, spreading an ambience evoking that of the Rio Carnival.

The second parade, called trapalhao, is older and used to occur all over the island. Now it floods the streets of the city centre with thrilling joy on Terca-feira Gorda, ending the carnival period. Anybody can take part in this parade and the - sometimes quite daring - costumes and depicted caricatures are left to the participants’ own imagination.


Funchal, the Madeiran capital

An exciting toboggan ride in Funchal

Funchal from Pico dos Barcelos

Day 1: Flight to Madeira
Check in at your selected airport for the flight to Funchal. Transfer to the hotel Raga included.

Day 2: Explore local history
Morning free. Half-day afternoon tour including the Quinta das Cruzes museum of ancient buildings, orchids, porcelain, furniture and silverware or the Frederico de Freitas museum created by a lawyer and art collector. Visit the Santa Clara Convent and finish the tour at the church of the Colegio.

Day 3: Carnival Day
Allegoric carnival day. Transfer to Funchal centre and take your seat (included) for the colourful procession.

Day 4: Explore Madeira
Morning half-day tour to the centre of the island. Travel to Pico dos Barcelos, west of the capital, for amazing views then stop at Eira do Serrado, a look out point on a crater in the `village of the nuns’ Curral des Freiras. Continue to Monte to see the grave of Charles I of Austria, and have the opportunity to descend by toboggan (fare payable locally). Originally a fast means of transport down to Funchal for people living in Monte, these toboggan sledges appeared around 1850. This exciting experience on narrow, winding streets down to Funchal, is in two-seat wicker sledges gliding on wooden runners, pushed and steered by two men traditionally dressed in white cotton clothes and a straw hat, using their rubber-soled boots as brakes.

Day 5: Free day

Day 6: Carnival Day 2
It’s Trapalhao carnival day. Make your own way into Funchal for this `slapstick’ parade where humour and satire are the order of the day.

Day 6: Island tour
Full day excursion with lunch. Visit: Camara da Lobos, where Winston Churchill painted; the amazing glass platform at Cabo Girau with it’s breathtaking views over the highest sea cliffs in Europe; Ribeira Brava; Ponta do Sol; Madalena do Mar; Loreto and the plateau of Paul da Serra protected by UNESCO. Continue to Porto Moniz with it’s lava pools and enjoy lunch by the sea at Sao Vicente. Return via the Encumeada Pass and the Serra d’Agua valley, a World Heritage Site.

Day 8: Return flight to UK
Transfer to Funchal airport and check in for your flight back to the UK.

Your Hotel

Hotel Raga pool

Hotel Raga – 3 Star
The hotel is situated a short distance from the city centre, on a hillside in Funchal’s renowned Lido area with spectacular views from its high vantage point. Enjoy all-inclusive catering with 3 meals per day, bar snacks, and free drinks from noon to 11pm. The outdoor, heated swimming pool overlooks the sea and Lido area.

Land View Rooms look out over the hill behind the hotel and have a balcony with a table and two chairs. All have flat screen satellite TV, air conditioning, telephone, mini bar, safe, sofa, desk & chair, hair dryer and bath/shower/wc.

Sea View Room - add £70pp total
The hotel’s enviable hillside location ensures that its sea view rooms offer fabulous views of the Atlantic ocean and the Lido promenade.

The hotel‘s rooftop restaurant

A sea-view room


  • Return flights with luggage to Funchal - supp’t may apply - see below

  • Return airport to hotel transfers

  • 7 night’s sharing a land view room

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches (including 1 by the sea at Sao Vincente with drinks) & 7 dinners plus bar snacks 4pm-6pm at the Pool Bar. Tea & Coffee is included 4pm-6pm &  with meals

  • Free Drinks noon-11pm. House Brands - Beer, Red or White wine by the glass, Rum, Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Brandy, Soft drinks (not bottled water)

  • Use of the hotel gym and outdoor heated pool

  • Porterage

  • Excursions as stated including seating for Madeira Carnival


  • Single room supplement £150pp

  • Sea view supplement £70pp


Return flights are possible from Manchester & Gatwick direct to Madeira. On arrival transfer to the hotel.

  • Flights are subject to availability at time of booking and a supplement may apply. Includes 1 carry-on bag and 1 checked in bag per person.

  • Transfer time from Funchal Airport to the hotel is approximately 25 minutes.

  • Please call us on 01895 83 33 33 to discuss your flight requirements.