Funchal is the capital of Madeira; the main island in the Madeira archipelago. These Portuguese Islands are roughly at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert; but don’t get as hot, thanks to a cooling influence from the Atlantic.
Funchal weather averages and climate
Funchal is a popular island destination with year-round warmth. It’s mountainous terrain and stunning coastal views make it perfect for both the more adventurous traveller, and those who prefer to relax by the pool.
When is the best time to visit Funchal?
The summer months are perfect if you are looking for sunshine and temperatures which are hot, but not too hot. July and August are the warmest, sunniest and driest months. During the winter, temperatures drop slightly although they are still very warm by UK standards during this time of year. Weather systems occasionally affect the island, mainly outside of the summer months; bringing cloudier skies and some rainfall from time to time. There can often be mist and fog in the mountains and valleys, though these tend to clear up during the afternoons.
If you are looking to visit outside of the peak summer season, September is the warmest and sunniest of these months. Temperatures tend to be higher during autumn than they are in spring, as the surrounding water has had longer to warm up through the summer months, and retains this heat into September and October. Average temperatures during September are 25.9 Celsius, and only 21.7 Celsius in May by comparison. It can rain from time to time during Spring and Autumn, with May being the driest of these months (22mm on average), and November being the wettest (97mm on average).
The summer months are the hottest and driest times to visit Funchal, with only 10mm rain on average for June, and only 5mm during July and August. On average, temperatures in August reach 26.4 Celsius each day; a perfect temperature if you don’t enjoy the scorching heat. Sunshine amounts are greatest this time of year too, with 7 or 8 hours on average each day.
If you’re looking for a winter getaway, Funchal offers balmy average temperatures of 20.1 Celsius in December, 19.0 Celsius in January and 18.8 Celsius in February. Weather systems bring cloud and rain from time to time, so you may find a few days of your holiday are better spent enjoying the rich culture and large variety of sights and activities than sunbathing by the pool. The warmer temperatures in December are offset by larger amounts of cloud and rainfall, with 103mm on average, compared to 72mm in January, and 70mm in February. Sunshine amounts are only 5 hours per day in December and January, compared to 6 hours per day by February.
Funchal tourist information
The strong Atlantic waves have prevented many natural sandy beaches on the island from forming, but its man-made sandy shorelines and beautiful resorts offer a good space for a relaxing day sunbathing. If you’re looking for more adventure, there are plenty of paths snaking through the jagged volcanic mountains, offer stunning views of the islands lush valleys and deserted rocky beaches along its magnificent coastline. Thrill-seekers can enjoy plenty other exhilarating activities; mountain biking, paragliding, canyoning, kayaking and more. For a more relaxed pace of life, the cable cars can lift you to the sensational views, whilst a walk around the old town, wine tours, and rich local markets make Funchal a varied and remarkable holiday hotspot.