What to Wear in Madeira

The Monte Toboggan Ride in Funchal, January

The Monte Toboggan Ride in Funchal, January

Locals at Funchal market, in May

Locals at Funchal market, in May

Funchal in August

Funchal in August

Christmas lights, Funchal in December

Christmas lights, Funchal in December

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Throughout Madeira dress is casual.
  • Shorts, t-shirts and camisoles are perfectly acceptable; team with a sunhat, sunglasses and beach bag for a perfect daytime look.
  • Jeans are very popular everywhere but in the hottest months may be too uncomfortable; opt instead for lightweight natural fabrics.
  • Remember lots of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a hat.
  • Check out our seasonal advice below; in the winter months you really can experience four seasons in one day.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime - we really like Hotter shoes, for total comfort with style.
  • Take your heels, but save them for evening dining. Or we love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • We would suggest that you pack a smarter outfit for more up-market restaurants and some great sparkly sandals.
  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
  • And a pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.
  • If you're going to visit any religious sites then be sure to cover your shoulders and bare legs - your pashmina or a sarong can come in handy for this too.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • From November through December, January, February and into March it can be cool and wet, so pack a lightweight raincoat and small travel umbrella.
  • Dressing in layers will help you with the temperature changes.
  • Heavy downpours are common in the afternoons - you can almost set your watch by them. However they're usually short-lived, so your best bet is to take cover and wait for it to pass. If you're somewhere away from shelter you might want to carry a light waterproof and hat.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Madeira

  • For mountain walking you will require good walking boots or shoes and warm clothing as the weather can change rapidly. You may like to check out our trekking packing list. A packaway day bag will be useful to carry your essentials e.g. water, snacks, camera, map etc. 

Other Things To Pack

  • Take a comfy shoulder bag or day pack to carry your sightseeing essentials and keep your hands free.
  • If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for European voltage (230V).
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Madeiran embroidery is very popular, or why not indulge in some Madeira wine - but remember you will need to pack this in your checked-in luggage unless you buy at the airport. You can even buy exotic flowers such as Orchids and Birds of Paradise; these are often packed up for you in special boxes and flown home in a cooled container, but check with your airline regarding charges.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

Get a Full Packing List for Madeira

Our Members can download a suggested packing list for Madeira which covers ladies' and men's clothes for all seasons, plus a checklist for must-take items. Sign up or log in below.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.