Madeira, Portugal is one of the most majestic places to visit in Europe. Once known as a sleepy paradise, the island is gaining in popularity due to some of their wonderful events, held year-round due to their annual spring-like climate. Here are some LGBTQ-friendly events you should consider planning your visit around if you decide to visit Madeira later this year.
June 8 to June 29 in Funchal: Madeira Atlantic Festival
The Madeira Atlantic Festival, an event that sets the beginning of the summer season in Madeira, is one of the most recent tourist entertainment events. This event consists of a diverse set of initiatives spread throughout the month of June, with emphasis on the pyromusical shows; the Atlantic Roots Festival and the Regional Arts Week.
August 26 to September 9 in Funchal: Madeira Wine Festival
The Madeira Wine Festival is one of the island´s main tourist attractions that pays tribute to this precious nectar and its undeniable socioeconomic significance. Taking place during the grape harvest in late August, early September, this event aims to recreate the old traditions of Madeira, which were developed over centuries of labor in viticulture. This event has been commemorated since the late seventies of the last century. It begins in Funchal and includes European Folklore Week, ornamentations, exhibitions and live portraits depicting wine and its crafts and light and traditional music performances.
September 12 to 14 in Porto Santo Island: Columbus Festival
The Columbus Festival is based on the historical re-enactment of the time when this famous merchant lived in Porto Santo Island, recalling his stay in the Madeira Islands. The festival takes place during the month of September, between the 12th and the 14th, in the city of Vila Baleira, and features a set of activities that seek to recall the epic Portuguese Discoveries. The event includes the disembarking of Columbus, a sixteenth-century market with food, crafts, street performances, circus arts, theatrical representations and staging of peace and war ordeals common at the time, games of skill, weapons training, acrobatics and juggling, lots of music and exotic dances, ensuring permanent entertainment and a constant uproar among the various typical characters of this period.
September 2020: Flower Festival
Floral species originating in many parts of the world bloom in Madeira, as the island meets specific climatic conditions that allow species from both tropical and cold regions to flourish. The Flower Festival is a tribute to spring and the celebration of metamorphosis and rebirth, fertility and the abundance of the flowers that color, perfume and inebriates the surrounding environment and gives value and takes the good name of this tourist destination across borders.
October 1 to 6 in Madeira: Madeira Nature Festival
The Madeira Nature Festival aims to promote nature tourism, encouraging the practice of activities that allow direct contact with the rich natural heritage of the archipelago of Madeira. Whether in the mountains, in the air or at sea, the choices are more than many, sign up for free!
December 1, 2019 to January 6, 2020 in Funchal: Christmas and New Year’s Eve Festivities (Note, Madeira is known around the world for its spectacular fireworks at New Year)
The arrival of the decorative lights in the streets of the city center of Funchal, during the month of December, sets the beginning of the Madeira Christmas and End of the Year Festivities program.These festivities culminate with the famous fireworks show, officially recognized in 2006 by the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest fireworks show in the world. These commemorations consist of a rich and extensive program of cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic manifestations that take place throughout the entire month of December, an event that culminates on January 6th.
Where to Stay? Opened July 2019, the Savoy Palace is in the capital city of Funchal on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. As the island’s only Leading Hotels of the World affiliate, the new five-star resort features 352 ocean-facing rooms and suites, a rooftop lounge with panoramic views, expansive spa, terraced gardens, meeting spaces, multiple pools, a library and an array of trendy restaurants and bars. An expansive 33,000 square-foot spa inspired by the Laurissilva Forest – Madeira’s UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest surviving laurel forest in the world, features eleven treatment rooms, a halo therapy room, sensory showers, Turkish hammam, beauty bar and more. Designed by Nini Andrade Silva, one of Madeira’s most renowned interior designers, the hotel’s aesthetic reflects the surrounding landscape and culture of the island. The Savoy Palace is conveniently located within walking distance to Old Town and 20-minutes from the Madeira Airport.