Madeira’s weather is determined by the climate: subtropical-maritime. This means that the island’s temperatures are usually pleasant, but that we always feel the influence of the ocean is.
not just subtropical
Many people think that Madeira has a subtropical climate and conveniently forget the maritime part. However, the maritime character is the reason why temperatures are still pleasant in Madeira in winter. This is not the case in the Mediterranean countries – just subtropical – where it is usually just too cold to sit outside in winter. In Madeira, this is not always possible in winter, but there are still many days we can enjoy our breakfast in the garden, even at 550 metres aktidude.
flower island: so rain is needed
Madeira is also known as the Flower Island. It is no rocket science to understand that it needs to rain to water all that beauty at regular intervals. Although there are seasons, the weather in Madeira is almost never extremely hot or cold. Due to the steep mountains, there are also quite a few microclimates, so it is difficult to make a sensible forecast for the whole island. We take the weather a day at a time, and enjoy both rain and sunshine.
breakfast on our terrace
Yet even in winter, we have weeks when we can have breakfast on the terrace every day, provided we wait a little until the sun comes over the mountain. By the end of December that would be around 9AM, mid-summer it would be around 7.30 AM. Moreover, Madeira has quite a few different microclimates. So it happens that one valley has rain, and the next valley has radiant weather. In short: the weather is the weather and it does as it pleases.
To give you an idea of what to expect, we have gathered some statistics about the island weather. But beware: these are averages and there are no weather guarantees!
Average Madeira temperatures in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit:
The Average daily hours of sunshine in Madeira:
rain days and average rainfall in Madeira in millimeters:
Average sea water teperatures around Madeira in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit:
What to wear? Think in layers!
In winter, our guests often ask us: what clothes should I bring? We always say: layers. The weather in Madeira, like in any other island, can change quite quickly. Although Madeira’s climate never shows many extreme temperatures, the weather is the weather: It does what it wants and you better be prepared. Layers will prepare you for anything. Do bring one warm jumper, if not for the daytime, then for the evenings, which can be cool even sometimes in summer. Great for a good night’s sleep!
And as a interesting detail: It can even snow in Madeira. It doesn’t happen very often, and it doesn’t last long either. And it only happens high up in the mountains. In fact, it happens once or twice most winters.
The flower in the background of this page is the beautiful Hydranchea. It is abundant on the island, and its flower ‘balls’ can reach football-like sizes.