12 Things to do in Madeira on a rainy day
“On a sunny clear day, you can improve your body; on a rainy fogy day, you can improve your mind!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
A rainy day during a holiday in Madeira can be annoying or not…
Although Madeira is renowned for being a sunny island with a mild climate all year, there are days when the rain comes pouring down. It might also be raining near the sea and up above the clouds the sun is shinning or the other way around so “don’t judge a book by its cover” and try to find out where the sun is shinning. (To help you search for the best location to visit, check this site with web-cams spread all over the Island and see how it’s like out there.)
To make the most of your stay in Madeira, I’ve created this list of things to do in the Island when it’s raining.
#1. Visit a Museum - Get to know the local culture and feed your mind.
There are at least 20 museums to be discovered in Madeira. I'll leave you with a few suggestions. Admire the Flemish religious paintings, the sculpture and jewellery present in the Sacred Art Museum. Visit Mudas, the contemporary art museum in Calheta. Get to know the life story of the Madeiran football player Cristiano Ronaldo. A good option for families is the Whale Museum in Caniçal or the Madeira Story Centre and the Toy Museum in the Old Town, Funchal. For more information about cultural events visit this site.
#2. Join a Madeira Wine tour
There are many producers and exporters of Madeira Wine in the Island. One of the oldest wine cellars is Blandy’s Wine Lodges where you can join a tour inside its warehouses, to discover the history behind this company. In the tasting room you can admire the stages of wine production through the paintings of Max Romer and try the different types of Madeira wine.
#3. Taste local soups - nothing like a tasty soup to warm up your heart.
One of Madeira’s culinary delights are its soups. The tomato and onion soup or the “Açorda” also known as “the hangover broth” which is made with bread, garlic, oregano and egg are some of my favourites. One of the places I enjoy having “Açorda” is Combatentes Restaurant in Funchal.
#4. Admire Funchal's Monuments
The Jesuit’s College, the City Hall, and Sé Cathedral are some of the most emblematic icons of the city.The Students Union from Madeira’s University run tours focused on Madeiran heritage. Visit this site for more information.
#5. Go to the Theatre
Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias was built in 1888. It is a tribute to a famous madeiran blind playwright named Baltazar Dias. Besides all the beautiful decor and style, this romantic building has an interesting calendar of events. Check this site for more information.
#8. Go shopping
Besides the traditional shopping in the local streets and markets, there are several Shopping Centres in Madeira, mostly located in Funchal. Check the full list here.
#9. Have a “Madeira Film Experience”
If you'd like to know the history of Madeira and only have 30 minutes, go and watch this film. This is a nice experience that will take you on a journey through 600 years of the history of Madeira. It is available in five languages (Portuguese, English, French, German and Dutch).
#10. Visit São Vicente Caves and the Volcanism centre
Walk along the mysterious lava tubes that were formed 890,000 years ago. The guided tour lasts about 30 minutes and you can also access the volcanism centre on site.
#11. Book a special meal
Whether having dinner in Michelin-star rated restaurant at Cliff Bay Hotel or an afternoon tea in the iconic Reid’s Hotel, moments like these might remain special memories of your holiday — make them happen.
#12. Pamper yourself in a SPA
Ready for a hot jacuzzi or a Ayurvedic massage?
Pamper yourself, you’re on holiday after all.
There are many hotels with excellent spas in Madeira. Check it out here.
If none of these options are appealing to you I leave you with this quote:
“A rainy day is like a lovely gift -- you can sleep late and not feel guilty.”
― Elizabeth Jane Howard
Enjoy your holiday :)
P.S. Please feel free to share this post with your guests or friends visiting the Island. If you’d like to add any other tips please leave a comment below.