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Lisbon versus Madeira in August 2021

I have a trip planned in August for 19 days.

A majority of the trip will be spent on the Silver Coast and around Porto. At the end, I had planned on spending 5-7 days in Lisbon. Now I'm considering shifting most of those days to Madeira.

Reasons include August being on the warm side in Lisbon and rising Covid cases.

I had considered extending the time on the Silver Coast instead, but if I do, I would be without a rental car. I had only reserved a car for a week a long time ago when the rates were reasonable.

I welcome input, suggestions, and ideas.

Posted by
18736 posts

I've been to Madeira twice and found it gorgeous. I have no idea to what extent there may be COVID-related restrictions in place, but one of the popular things to do there is walk along the levadas, and that shouldn't be affected.

Posted by
819 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
I was just asking myself why no one asks about Madeira. We spent a really nice week there. And our car rental fee was under $100.

Madeira does require a car. I don't know about the temperatures in Madeira come August. You are moving toward the equator from Lisbon. Lisbon is a great city, but August might be horrid.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
18736 posts

i disagree that a car is truly essential in Madeira, though of course it depends on how patient a traveler you are. At the time of my (much earlier) visits, there was bus service to a variety of places around the island, including Curral das Freiras. More recently--but pre-COVID--I read about a company offering walking tours along the levadas that provided transportation to and from the trailheads.

You can take a look at actual, historical, day-by-day weather data for Funchal going back about ten year on the website timeanddate.com. I've given you a link to the statistics for August 2020, but you should look at several more years. I like to go back five years, because a single year could be a real outlier.

A quick glance at the timeanddate data confirms my experience back in the 1970s/1980s, which was that clouds are quite common on Madeira, so it's not as hot as one might expect, given its near-equator location.

Posted by
23 posts

I changed my plans to spend a week in Madeira, staying in Funchal. We have a car for a couple of days, but hopefully can get around a bit with the bus etc. Unfortunately, this close to the trip, car rentals are very high and not much availability. Looking forward to relaxing, hiking, driving around the island, etc. in a beautiful place. I think it will a good way to end of my Portugal trip.

Posted by
1040 posts

If this is your first visit to Madeira, I suggest you start on the hop-on-hop-off bus. HOHO busses are not good value in all places (e.g. London), but they are on Madeira. Have a nice trip.