Come away with us to the city of Funchal and from here we’ll take you to the best of the mountains and oceans of this stunning Portuguese island. This is an adult only break, with a choice of active excursions to take in all that Madeira has to offer.

“The ministry and fellowship was excellent. The holiday was very well organised and the hotel is an excellent choice and great location. The food was excellent and the hotel facilities were excellent (a week was not long enough to enjoy them all!). I rarely use the word excellent, so that is how well we were treated!”

After two wonderful trips in October 2022 and 2023 we are looking forward to returning at the same time this year as well as introducing a new trip in April 2025 to enjoy Madeira in a different season. This stunning island provided the perfect spot to come together and discover city delights, beautiful boat trips and empty Levada walks. With everything we experienced on our previous trips, we can’t wait to head back to Madeira, together with our experienced team, and find out even more about this beautiful island.

The dramatically mountainous island of Madeira is located 300 miles off the coast of West Africa. Known as the island of eternal Spring, in both October and April we’ll be enjoying temperatures in the mid-twenties. Its mountainous terrain is home to vineyards for Madeiran wine, and banana plantations which are traditionally paired with their gorgeous scabbard fish dish. Imagine green mountains, walks above the clouds along a network of water walkways, catamaran trips to see whales and dolphins in a Gulf Stream warmed sea (with lowest temperatures of 18 Celsius!) and tele-cabin trips up to luscious gardens with breath-taking views.

Madeira hosts an endless array of ‘Levada’ walks which start high in the mountains, some even above the clouds, and take you along easily accessible walks through forests and mountains. We’re excited to include a number of walks on our itinerary.

Madeira is located 300 miles from the coast of West Africa. Come away with us to the city of Funchal and from here we’ll take you to the best of the mountains and oceans of this stunning Portuguese island.

Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

In the centre of Funchal, based in a series of restored Madeiran manor houses, is the Castanheiro Boutique Hotel. This medium sized hotel is a little piece of 4* luxury in a historical and quiet part of the city, thanks to its leafy side street location. Being a family-run independent hotel, there is a very friendly feel that we just love. There is an optional excursion timetable which has a brilliantly tailored itinerary of outings, and from the Castanheiro there is lots to explore locally if you’d like a more flexible trip.

We are always impressed with the hotel team and their dedication in serving their guests.

What our guests are saying:

“Perfectly situated in the center of the city and close to all local facilities. The hotel is welcoming, cozy and has a quality feel. It is staffed by the most wonderful people.” 
“Excellent location – a wonderful find!” 
“Very impressed with the friendliness of staff, and their desire to make you feel so welcome.” 
“It was PERFECT!!!” 

  • The stunning rooftop space hosts an infinity pool, rooftop bar and jacuzzi where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city, mountains and sea.
  • There’s also a peaceful indoor spa with sauna, pool, and bookable treatments for full relaxation!
  • The food is really something to talk about here and taking your time over breakfast is something we’d definitely advise.

The Rooms

The Food

Our holidays are half board and include an incredible breakfast buffet spread, along with an À la Carte menu and a set menu for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. We are especially confident in their ability to cater for even the most complicated dietary requirements. 

What our guests are saying:

“The food was excellent”

“They remembered food allergies without being asked.”

“The restaurant tables set for 5 were perfect to include singles and get to know people.”

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel’s bright courtyard or spacious and contemporary restaurant each morning. Along with the spread of local fruits, choices of breads and juices, full hot buffet, pastries, local Portuguese treats, fresh coffee, choices of teas, there is an À la Carte menu. ‘Cozinhados no momento’ or cooked on request menu included in your holiday which features ‘pancakes with bee honey and walnuts’, ‘crepes with sauteed fruits and ground cinnamon’, ‘scrambled eggs with fresh asparagus’ and more.

Each morning your Richmond host and ministry leader will be at breakfast to soak in the island pace with you.

Although lunch isn’t included in your holiday package, on a number of our outings and excursions we will be having lunch together in tavernas and restaurants on the island. We are based in the centre of Funchal and so there is an extensive list of restaurants and cafes at a stone’s throw to enjoy. The Castanheiro terrace and pool bar also has a light menu of sandwiches, salads and pizzas to have while enjoying the pool loungers and panoramic views.

For most nights we will be enjoying the hotel’s Tipografia restaurant with a different set menu each evening. Take your time over a three course dinner, with local delights and a Mediterranean feel.

Example menus include:

Starter

Salmon Carpaccio with pesto and walnuts with a variety of lettuces

Spinach and carrot cream soup with grated coconut

Main

Swordfish with jasmine rice, peppers and onion rustic with carrot puree

Roasted veal with chestnut puree and fennel with roast sauce and cherry tomato confit

Moussaka with eggplant, tomato and seasonal salad

Basil and tomato risotto with mushrooms

Dessert

Fruit in Season

Banana stuffed crepe topped with passion fruit syrup

Ministry Leaders

We believe a time away of fun and relaxation is the perfect opportunity to grow deeper in relationship with our awesome, loving God in the setting of His beautiful creation. Christian holidays in Madeira are an amazing way to meet others, spend time with our Heavenly Father and encourage each other.

Each day, our caring Ministry Leaders provide daily teaching and reflective prayer times. They are also available throughout the holiday to chat and pray with you and will be joining on a number of excursions. At meal times, both your Richmond host and Ministry Leaders will be present and this time of fellowship is a great way to get to know your fellow travellers over the course of your holiday.

Ian and Jan have been married for 52 years and have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. Ian and Jan both had careers in medicine before retirement. Jan worked as a physiotherapist; Ian worked in a Mission Hospital in South Africa where they lived for a few years, and then as a GP in Frinton-on-Sea where they now live. They have been involved in various roles as members of Frinton Free Church over the past 45 years, including church leadership, music and worship, small groups, mums and toddlers, and prayer ministry. They have worked as ministry leaders with Richmond Holidays in the Reberty and Samos since 2011/12.

Ian and Jan say:

“It is always an absolute pleasure to meet, get to know, and serve Richmond guests and staff. We believe that every one of us is supremely valuable to God, and Richmond Holidays offers us a wonderful opportunity to help everyone appreciate how special we all are.”

Tour Leader - October 2024

Claire has been involved with Richmond for over nine years, firstly as a guest and more recently as a team member, serving in both the French Alps and Samos, Greece. Her children are now grown up and have flown the nest, giving her the freedom and flexibility to also spread her wings. Claire has had a long career in Consumer Protection and has always enjoyed working with and serving people. In her church she has undertaken roles with both Safe Families for Children and Christians Against Poverty.

Claire says:

“I love people, the Lord and travel, so I am very excited to be leading this year’s October Madeira holiday. I am looking forward to getting to know our guests and helping them have a wonderful holiday. As a regular solo traveller, the importance of the fellowship and connections that develop when holidaying with Richmond cannot be underestimated. The stunning location, wonderful hotel, friendly people, exciting excursions, and special Ministry Leaders, Ian and Jan, will ensure a truly memorable holiday.”

Tour Leader - April 2025

We’re so pleased to have Jerry Foster-Turner returning again to lead our tour to Madeira. This is now Jerry’s third visit to the island and we’re excited to take you more and more off the beaten track and delight you with new finds on the island.

Jerry Foster-Turner

Jerry says:

“Having led the first Richmond Holidays to Madeira in 2022 and 2023, I am excited to be asked to lead them again, alongside experienced Ministry Leaders Ian and Jan. Based in the chic and very central Castanheiro Boutique Hotel, much of delightful Funchal is an easy walk away. Highlights included seeing whales and dolphins in ink-blue seas, walking the ‘Levadas’, the coast and some peaks, enjoying the culture and having some fabulous meals together. Being able to come together daily for ministry and the opportunity to share such a wonderful place with each other will make our 2025 holidays equally special.”

Excursions From Resort

In addition to enjoying the facilities at the hotel itself and nearby shops, Richmond offers a range of excursions with opportunities to explore more of Madeira. Our hand-picked excursions deepen your experience of Madeira and offer those memory-making days – there’s something for everyone! Excursions will be available to pre-book from 4 weeks before the holiday. Here are some example trips we may operate:

Levada Walks through the beautiful Serra D’Água Valley, along the peaks of Madeira and more! These are specially curated, guided walks just for our Richmond group 

Joining a walking tour visiting the famous markets and historical side streets. We’ll take the telecabins up to luscious tropical and botanical gardens, with the opportunity to take the famous wicker baskets back down.

Join us on a day out around the island!
Our itinerary will take in unrivalled views and include a beautiful stop to swim.

A half day boat trip to take in the dramatic Madeiran coastline from the sea, with opportunities to see whales, dolphins, turtles and porpoises which are seen on over 80% of the outings.  

What are People Saying?

This has been our most highly recommended holiday since our feedback surveys began!

Our guests’ favourite things about Madeira:

Friendly and welcoming hotel staff, leader and ministry team all contributed to a great holiday on a beautiful island. The knowledge of the Excursion leaders was exceptional and nothing was too much trouble.” – Neil 2023

“The teaching was excellent, the care, concern and fellowship very good. Very efficient and well organised.” – Martin 2023

Ian and Jan were exceptional ministry leaders. Very sensitive and kind and fun too. I would love to go on another holiday with them.” – Christine 2023

The leaders were exceptional and appreciated, very easy to get to know and trust.” – Brian 2023 

It was wonderful to come on a holiday with Richmond that was a little different from our previous ones. We met some wonderful people and the hotel was perfect in location and facilities.” – Lucy 2023

 

Ian and Jan's Favourite Moment

This moment they’ve called ‘Fellowship at its best’ which captured their favourite experience during our last Madeira trip

Jerry's Favourite Moment

Jerry's favourite moment can be captured in this stunning photo of the endless Madeiran views. Jerry feels that this image sums up Madeira's lush volcanic hills and deep blue sea beautifully.

Getting There

FLIGHTS

Direct flights from the UK are available from London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Glasgow airports. After just a 4-hour flight you’ll have made it down to warm oceans and an island of eternal spring, which is in the same time zone as the UK.

TRANSFERS

Transfers from Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (the official name for Funchal Airport), are available to book with us and take around 30 minutes to the hotel. These are pre-bookable for £52pp return and are available for flights booked through Richmond or independently. We will make all the arrangements for you in line with your chosen flights.

ATOL PROTECTED PACKAGE

If you would like to to book an ATOL-protected flight package with Richmond, please call us on 020 3004 2661 to get your quote or complete the form and request a call back so we can go over the flight options with you! Our packages include transfers to and from the hotel and we provide trust-account backed financial protection in addition to ATOL certification for your peace of mind.