a VirtualTourist member from Chester asked on May 10, 2013
Can you tell me what it is like over Christmas and New Year please. Are the shops/bars/restaurants open on Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day?
It's a very lively time of year on Madeira as many people from the island live on mainland Portugal and come home to see their old friends and family during christmas.
You will find some things closed on christmas day but on the other hand you have the big market open on christmas eve and you will see more people out in the streets than any other time of year.
And they do a lot of christmas celebrations on Madeira and you will see live music in the streets pretty much every day over christmas.
It's a very nice time of year to visit if you ask me.
I might just add that i speak from personal expreience there as i spend last christ´mas on the island working as a tour guide and will do it again this year.
Thank you for the prompt response cashaseiro, I think we may come over for New Year which will probably mean more will be open.
New year is fantastic there.
Madeira is the cradle of new years fireworks as it was the first place in the world where people started with that and they are very proud of this on the island and still has enormous fireworks on new years eve.
Just be ware that the price of the hotels go up a lot on new years eve as this is considerd one of the top spots in the world to celebrate new year.
Very interesting, we'll definitely consider it. Thank you.
Claus/cachaseiro is right. Xmas and New Year must be a fantastic time to visit Madeira. A lot of activities, firework. I went to Madeira mostly around the carnival in February, but my friends from Madeira tell me I have to come around Xmas and New Year the next time. I hope to do soon.
Thanks [VT member 5b526] - I've booked and am going for New Year, staying at the Pestana Carlton. We're looking forward to it.
Jane, enjoy your stay ! From Pestana Carlton it is easy to walk to the citycentre, the marina and the boulevard. After the floods of a few years ago ( I was there 2 weeks later and saw the mess, but also the hard work of cleaning and rebuilding) they are reconstructing the former 'beach' area along the boulevard.