Madeira Events, Things to Do and Festivals

(Madeira, Portugal)

Photo of flower parade and celebrationsEach year, a number of exciting and enjoyable festivals take place of the Portuguese island of Madeira, providing visitors and holiday makers with a plethora of things to do and events to enjoy. Many of these festivals are seasonal and are held each year.

One of the biggest and most popular events staged on the island is without question the Madeira Flower Festival, which is hosted in the middle of April and heralds the arrival of spring. Crowds flock to Funchal to join in the celebrations and watch the costumed procession, where flowers play an important part. Also on the evening before, crowds come to the Praca do Municipio to build a wall of flowers.

Further picture of the flower procession

Madeira Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015: General Information

Other notable events that take place on an annual basis include the following:

  • Orienteering Festival - late January, with different trails designed to suit all abilities
  • Carnival - February, a huge event in the Madeira calendar, with all kinds of celebrations held on the island, and in particular in Funchal. Expect glittering carnival processions along the Avenida Arriaga, music by the Municipal Band of Funchal, theatrical performances and other live entertainment
  • Atlantic Firework Festival - each Saturday in June, with philharmonic orchestras performing in Funchal, followed by evening fireworks
  • Funchal Jazz Festival - early July, at the Quinta Magnolia, attracting jazz and blues musicians from far and wide
  • Madeira Wine Festival - early September, a three-day event honouring the wine-growing traditions on the island, with events in the village of Camara de Lobos and Funchal
  • Columbus Festival - mid-September, remembering the famous navigator Christopher Columbus, who had a strong relationship with Madeira and actually lived next door for several years, on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo
  • Tall Ships Race and Regatta - early October, an exciting event for Madeira, with this yacht racing starting from Falmouth (southern England), before stopping at the Port of Aveiro and then Funchal
  • Madeira Nature Festival - early October, lasting seven days combining air, mountain and sea activities
  • Christmas and New Year Events - mid-November to early January, with seasonal illuminations and decorations in the main streets of Funchal, and breathtaking fireworks at midnight on New Year's Eve