Solo travel Madeira: your ultimate 2024 guide


Are you itching to travel solo but not sure where to start? Consider the beautiful island of Madeira. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant nightlife, and delicious cuisine, it’s a perfect destination for solo travelers looking for adventure and relaxation.

In this ultimate guide, we will cover everything you need to know about traveling solo in Madeira. From safety aspects to connecting with other solo travelers, we’ve got you covered.

Last updated on: 24-01-2024

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    Is it safe to travel alone on Madeira?

    Yes, it is safe to travel alone on Madeira. The island is known for its safety and crime-free environment, making it an ideal destination for solo travelers. Here are some reasons why Madeira is a great choice for solo travel:

    1. Safety: Madeira is considered one of the safest European cities for solo travel, especially for solo female travelers. The crime rate is low, and locals are generally friendly and respectful towards solo travelers.


    Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in Europe for solo travelers. The country holds the 7th spot on the Global Peace Index. The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.

    2. Nature: Madeira offers breathtaking views of the largest laurel forest in the world, stunning natural waterfalls, and coastal views.

    3. Hiking: The island is home to unique levadas, irrigation channels built into the mountainside, which offer fantastic hiking opportunities.

    4. Friendly locals: Most locals are friendly and open-minded to tourists, making it easy to connect with people and learn about the local culture.

    5. Digital nomad community: Madeira has a growing digital nomad community that regularly holds events and connects with solo travelers.

    What is the best time to visit Madeira for solo travelers?

    Climate Madeira. Source:

    The best time to visit Madeira for solo travelers depends on your preferences and interests. Here are some general guidelines based on the seasons and activities:

    • Spring and Autumn (March to May and September to November): These seasons are ideal for hiking, as the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. The north of the island tends to be cloudier, while Funchal and the southwest Ponta Do Sol offer more sunlight.
    • Summer (June to August): If you prefer warmer weather and beach activities, the summer months are the best choice[1]. During this time, you can enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches and coastal views.
    • Winter (December to February): Madeira is a great destination for a winter getaway, offering a pleasant climate and beautiful landscapes. This is also a good time to enjoy the island’s delicious food and local culture.

    What are the most important holidays and festivals in Madeira?

    Madeira is known for its vibrant festivals and holidays that showcase the island’s rich culture and traditions. Some of the most important holidays and festivals in Madeira include:

    1. Carnival (February): This flamboyant celebration takes place in Funchal and features colorful parades, live music, and dancing.
    2. Madeira Flower Festival (May): Held in Funchal, this festival celebrates the island’s beautiful floral produce with floats, singing, and dancing.
    3. Atlantic Festival (June): This festival marks the beginning of the summer season and includes pyrotechnic and musical shows, the Madeira Music Festival, and the Regional Arts Week.
    4. Columbus Festival (September): Taking place on Porto Santo, this week-long event commemorates Christopher Columbus’s time on the island with parades, parties, and exhibitions.


    Keep these festivities in mind when determining the appropriate travel date, as this can affect the price of tickets and hotels. 

    How to meet other solo travelers in Madeira?

    Joining online travel communities is a great way to connect with fellow solo travelers exploring the island of Madeira. Attending local events or joining group tours is another option to meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for adventure.

    If you prefer staying in accommodations that cater specifically to solo travelers, hostels and guesthouses are a good choice.

    Are you looking for an easy and safe way to connect with other solo travelers? Then make use of a travel buddy app. With Likeplan, you can search for travel buddies even before your trip, based on your destination and travel dates.

    Create your own trips or activities, or join others’ events.

    Find travel buddies and plan activities with other solo travelers

    Is Madeira expensive for solo travelers?

    Madeira can be an affordable destination for solo travelers, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some general guidelines on the costs you can expect during your solo trip to Madeira:

    • Accommodation: Hostels in Funchal, the downtown area of the island, start at around €50 per night. If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, consider staying in a hostel or renting a cheap Airbnb.
    • Transportation: Public transportation in Madeira is relatively affordable, with bus fares ranging from €1.50 to €7. Renting a car can be more expensive, with prices starting at around €30 per day, plus gasoline.
    • Food and drinks: Eating out in Madeira can be inexpensive, with an evening meal with wine rarely costing more than €20. A medium draught beer is around €1.50, and a glass of local wine is no more than €4.
    • Activities and tours: The cost of activities and tours varies depending on the type of experience you’re looking for. For example, a boat tour in Funchal Bay can cost around €25. There are also various hiking trails, wine tours, and other activities to choose from, which can affect your overall budget.

    What are the best hostels in Madeira?

    Here are some of the best hostels in Madeira for solo travelers, based on various sources:

    1. Santa Maria Hostel (Funchal): This hostel offers good prices, a central location, various room options, and awesome common areas to relax and meet other travelers.
    2. Jaca Hostel (Porto da Cruz): Located in the municipality of Machico in the northeastern corner of the island, this 19th-century building has been transformed into a charming hostel.
    3. 29 Madeira Hostel (Funchal): This hostel has received very good reviews and offers a comfortable stay in the heart of Funchal.
    4. Hostel Casal São João (Ribeira Brava): This hostel is located outside Funchal and offers a peaceful retreat in the picturesque town of Ribeira Brava.
    5. The Waves Hostel (São Vicente): This hostel is situated in the coastal town of São Vicente and is a great base for exploring the area’s natural attractions.
    6. Madeira Surf Camp (Porto da Cruz): This hostel is perfect for surfers and beach lovers, offering a laid-back atmosphere and easy access to the beach.
    7. Bruma Hostel (Funchal): This hostel is located in Funchal and offers a comfortable stay with various amenities for solo travelers.
    8. Maktub Guest House (Funchal): This guest house offers a unique stay in Funchal, with a mix of private rooms and dorms for solo travelers.

    These hostels provide a budget-friendly and social atmosphere for solo travelers, making them excellent choices for your trip to Madeira.

    What are the best things to do on Madeira for solo travelers?

    Madeira offers a variety of activities for solo travelers to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do during your solo trip to Madeira:

    1. Hiking: Explore the island’s unique levadas, irrigation channels built by hand hundreds of years ago, while taking in lush greenery and spectacular cliff-side vistas.

    2. Beach and natural pools: Swim at the beautiful beaches or natural pools around the island.

    Tip: Definitely don’t skip Porto Moniz. It is a spectacle to see the brutal sea from the natural pools.

    3. Driving around the island: Rent a car and explore the island’s stunning landscapes, including craggy landscapes, varying weather conditions, and interesting scenes.

    4. Water activities: Sign up for water activities such as surfing, coasteering, canyoning, or dolphin- and whale-watching.

    5. Digital nomad community: Madeira has a growing digital nomad community that regularly holds events and connects with solo travelers.

    Must-try dishes in Madeira

    When it comes to exploring the gastronomy of Madeira, there are several must-try dishes and drinks that will tantalize your taste buds.


    Espetada is a savory skewered meat dish that is immensely popular in Madeira, an island of Portugal. This delectable dish is made by grilling chunks of beef, marinated in garlic and spices, over an open fire, giving it a smoky flavor.

    Traditionally, it is served with Madeiran cornbread and a refreshing salad. For meat lovers visiting Madeira, trying Espetada is an absolute must. It showcases the rich culinary heritage of the island and is often found in the menus of the best restaurants.

    Bolo do Caco

    Bolo do Caco is a traditional Madeiran bread made with sweet potato and wheat flour. Its soft and fluffy texture makes it perfect for sandwiches. This delightful bread is often served with a spread of garlic butter, adding even more flavor to each bite.

    Whether enjoyed as a snack or alongside a meal, Bolo do Caco offers a unique and delicious taste of Madeira’s culinary heritage.

    Tip: watch this video to discover more must-try foods on Madeira


    Indulge in the iconic Madeiran cocktail known as Poncha. This refreshing drink is made with aguardente de cana, a sugarcane spirit, mixed with fresh lemon juice and honey. It is a popular choice for social gatherings and celebrations, offering a tangy yet sweet flavor profile.

    Poncha truly captures the essence of Madeira’s vibrant nightlife scene.

    Peixe Espada Preto

    Peixe Espada Preto, also known as black scabbard fish, is a local delicacy in Madeira. With its unique appearance, characterized by a long, black body and sharp teeth, this dish is sure to catch your attention.

    It is often served grilled or pan-fried with passion fruit sauce, enhancing the delicate and flavorful white flesh.


    Picado is a traditional Madeiran dish that features bite-sized pieces of meat. Typically made with beef, pork, or chicken, it is served on a sizzling hot plate with fried potatoes and rice.

    The meat is seasoned with garlic, onions, and spices, resulting in a hearty and satisfying dish that showcases Madeira’s meat-centric cuisine.