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Which island? Madeira, Malta or one of the Canaries

(12 Posts)
problem1234567 Thu 24-Jan-19 20:30:44

Any thoughts/experiences/recommendations?
Context is two friends, both in early forties, probably 5 days long.

OP’s posts: |
Dreamscomingtrue Thu 24-Jan-19 20:39:52

Depends on your budget and what month you want to travel? I’ve been to Malta several times with budget airlines at different times of the year and accommodation was reasonably priced too. A nice but small island, plenty to see and do, good bus routes, hop on/off. Weathers generally good from Easter to October. Not many Sandy beaches though. You could also visit Gozo by Ferry for the day.

I’ve been to Grand Caneria too, in July. Friend had a timeshare there that 6 of us stayed in. Flights were quite expensive in July. Weather was good and there was plenty to do, locally and also day trips further afield.

I’d like to go to Madeira, a friend went and said it was lovely but very hilly. I think she said the flights were quite expensive though, she was a teacher so had to travel during the school holidays.

problem1234567 Thu 24-Jan-19 20:46:53

I should have said, intending to travel in March...
Not too fussed about budget.

OP’s posts: |
Dreamscomingtrue Thu 24-Jan-19 23:32:17

In that case, Malta can be windy sometimes in March and the temperature may not be that high. It depends how much the weather bothers you. There is lots of history and culture in Malta, I have friends there and have been about 6 times over 30 years. I’ve always found things to do, there are a couple of nice beaches but I’m not really a beach person.

Also look at flight times to each destination from where you live. Early flights out will give you more time there & later flights back too. If the flight times are late out & early back you might only end up with three days there.

I’d look at the rain and sun forecasts for Madeira and the Canary Islands for March if your looking for some sunshine/warm weather. Also site seeings not as much fun if it’s a rainy month, in my experience.

PenguinPandas Fri 25-Jan-19 05:28:12

Been to Maderia a few times and would recommend it unless they are after a party island grin

It has beautiful tropical gardens- our hotel had bananas growing outside. We stayed at Porto Mare apartments which would recommend, lovely pools and meals and afternoon tea. Also have hotel there too - we had a baby so wanted the bigger apartment. Can do dolphin / whale watching trips but don't know if they are all year. We had hire car. Is hilly but that's part of its beauty. Quite a few afternoon tea places.

GiantKitten Fri 25-Jan-19 07:14:34

We’re going to Madeira today! I will report back smile

EasyJet flights from Manchester were only £110 each (though booked last April). We’ve got what looks like a lovely apartment from Airbnb, in the centre by the botanical gardens, for £450 for a week.

Madeira’s climate, being a fairly small island a long way from land, means the weather’s pretty similar all year round, though warmer in the summer of course. It can rain any day, & clouds come & go.

There’s a great webcam here - it switches views every few seconds. Yesterday when I was looking there were people in coats & people in shorts grin

D3adPh0n3 Sat 26-Jan-19 09:30:43

I've visited Malta, Madeira, Ferventura, Lanzarote, Cape Verde, all the islands have a different character. Madera is the most lush/greenest. Ferventura and Cape Verde were hot, but windy.

GiantKitten Sat 26-Jan-19 21:45:51

Madeira is bloody lovely so far - even in January there are quite a lot of flowers, & I imagine in March there would be loads more.

Today we mooched around the waterfront & through the old town. Morning was cloudy, but sun came out around noon, & it was glorious after that (almost too hot for me, but I am a wimp. Prob around 20-21)

It’s a beautiful island & we’re looking forward to exploring more, via cable car, open top bus & hire car smile

Showers are forecast most days but certainly don’t always materialise.

dreamingofsun Sun 27-Jan-19 09:24:32

what do you want to do on holiday? If its swimming, sunbathing etc I would go to canaries - lanzarote or gran canaria (Mogan). if you love history but dont want to sunbathe then malta.

buttermilkwaffles Sun 27-Jan-19 12:12:12

As @dreamingofsun says you don't say what your interests/ priorities are, so not clear what you want. Need a bit more info than just your age and length of stay! 😀

If you just want somewhere warm and sunny then agree Canaries are probably the best bet for sunshine. Weather on Madeira is very variable and I didn't think Funchal was particularly attractive, but unless you hire a car then it's probably the only realistic base if you want to see the rest of the island and go on sea trips etc.

For hiking, scenery etc La Gomera or North Tenerife are easier to get around by bus than Madeira and offer more attractive towns (like La Laguna) as a base.

North of Tenerife, North and Central Madeira often cloudy and cool when South is warm and sunny. So for nightlife, bars or for sunbathing, swimming, then definitely not North Tenerife or Madeira.

Never been to Malta.

GiantKitten Sun 27-Jan-19 22:19:05

“Not particularly attractive” Funchal grin

There are open-top buses which do various routes around both Funchal & the whole island.

True though that what will suit your friends depends on their requirements. DH & I love wandering around new places looking at sights & scenery but we are older & they may be much more energetic; however there are lots of energetic pursuits on offer here too.

Yesterday afternoon was warm & sunny - temp got up to 21-22 which was delightful. Today there was an easterly breeze in the morning which made it cooler but once that went back round to the N (the usual source) it was much calmer & warmer.

GiantKitten Sun 27-Jan-19 22:23:49

More unattractive Funchal..,

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