Madeira has always been a tourist destination, specially for the Scandinavian and northern european people, who find in our mild winter temperatures a major attraction and a natural healing place for depression. I’ve once heard that in Sweeden lots of people must follow a special sunlight treatment during the long winter where the light of sun is rare.
Here in Madeira, even when the weather is “awful”, it means we’re having a temperature of min 15º degrees, often sunny, which makes us, the local people, strange to the eyes of the tourists when we say “it’s so cold today!”. They laugh at us, of course. Quite often, hotel pools are full on a winter day.
This year, it’s a fact, we had some days with severe weather conditions, with lots of intensive rain and wind. However, the local conditions vary extremely wether we are in the south or the north cost of the island, and it’s quite usual that you leave your hotel under rain, you walk 10 or 15 minutes to Funchal and you find yourself under a warm and shining sunny sky. The same thing applies if you go to the west cost, for instance, where the weather is usually much warmer than in Funchal.
So, don’t ever look only to the weather forecast on your tv to find out how the weather is going to be here. Use Twitter or Facebook to ask local people “how’s the weather today?”. You’ll probably hear “well, it’s raining now, but I can see sun coming out. It will be good in an hour or two”.
On the other hand, there’s a lot of activities you can do when facing a rainy day in Madeira. Mingle with local people in the cafés, visit the local museums, or just go near the sea, at promenades, and observe the seagulls playing with the wind and the basalt rocks being swelled by the seawaters. It’s fun when you’re on holidays and you don’t have to worry about being on your tight suit. Oh, and if you’re mad about golf, you can try our two golf courses, Palheiro Golf and Santo da Serra Golf (we’re building a third one, designed by Nick Faldo, but it will be ready only by the end of 2011).
New Year’s Eve firework is a worldwide well known spectacle when Funchal bay is lightened all over not only by the fireworks itself but also by all local houses being decorated with lots of light bulbs. Everybody wants to share joy and happiness for the new year. You can watch live here at midnight local time tomorrow.
Do come to visit us on winter. Actually, from December to April you’ll have some of the most interesting time of the year in local festivities such as the 31st December night, Carnival and Flower Feast.
I’m from Madeira. Feel free to ask me about the island. And if I cannot help you, I can always put you through to some good local professional who will welcome you!
The photos are today’s, from local webcams. Feel the sun!