Madeira Weather Explained! What To Expect During The Year?

Beautiful weather on the beach in Madeira

It is worth saying right away that the Madeira weather is a natural wonder. Madeira has been called the island of eternal spring, and it’s not just words. When Valeria and I lived on the island all year round, we realized that our closet had never changed throughout the entire time. We didn’t pull out any winter jackets, coats, gloves, hats, or scarves. I even wore pants only a couple of times during the year!

But like nothing else in this life, the weather in Madeira can’t be 100% perfect. There are gray days, showers, storms, and even snow! (But don’t be frightened, it can only be found at the top of a mountain). However, the beauty of Madeira Island is that these are all very rare events. When after a year of living on the island you are asked “How is the Madeira weather in general?”, you can barely remember the bad days, because the picture of perfect weather so often flashes before your eyes that it is imprinted in your memory!

A view of Faial Madeira from top
Faial in January looks like this

Madeira Weather During A Year

Madeira, like everywhere else, has its best days, as well as just good days (sorry, but I just couldn’t write “bad”!). Of course, there are many factors in choosing the best time to visit Madeira, but in this article, we will look at it in terms of temperatures throughout the year.

If you look at the chart below, you’ll notice that the temperature spread is kept within 10°C. That is, during the year the minimum temperature is ~15°C and the maximum temperature is ~25°C.

The daily average high and low temperature (source: weatherspark)

But to complete the picture, let’s take a closer look at each month. Below I have provided data that shows the Average Temperature, Rainfall and Rainy days, Wind Speed, and Water Temperature. These are averages over the last 10 years.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.


Av. Temp.Rainfall (mm)Rainy days (d)Wind Speed (m/s)Water Temp.

Madeira Has Different Weather By Location

The weather in Madeira can be different after all! But it does not depend on the time of year, but on the specific part of the island. This is due to the mountainous landscape of the island, which creates a variety of microclimates. The southern part of the island is usually cloudless and drier, while the northwestern part is considered the most humid and cloudy part.

Our experience

On one of our first expeditions around the island, we had a climate dissonance in our heads. It was January and we had friends visiting us, so we rented a car and went to explore the island. Our itinerary was that from the south of the island (Ribeira Brava) we were to head north (São Vicente) through a canyon using the Encumeada Royal Road. And then go to the highest peak of the island (Pico do Arieiro) and go back down south to Funchal.

How surprised we were when:

  1. Arriving north, we had to put on sweatshirts.
  2. Then, after climbing up the mountain, we had to put on a winter jacket (ok, sometimes you really need it!) and made a little snowman.
  3. And then, after coming down, we went to the beach and swam in the ocean.

That’s how you can spend one day in different parts of Madeira in different ways!

Valeria and little snowman show how different can be Madeira weather
Valeria and little snowman show how different can be Madeira weather

Funchal Weather

The Funchal weather is the most favorable all year round. The central part of Funchal is rarely clouded, making it almost always sunny and windless. Many levadas descend into Funchal, bringing water from the north of the island and therefore it is not as dry as the south-eastern side of Madeira.

To better understand the weather in Funchal, it is best to refer to the chart below. It shows how the temperature changes slightly throughout the year and how low the rainfall there is.

Avg. Temp. °C15 °C14 °C15 °C15 °C17 °C19 °C20 °C21 °C21 °C19 °C17 °C16 °C
Rainfall (mm)
Rainy days (d)
Avg. Sun hours4.
Funchal weather overview (source: weatherspark)

Weather in Madeira vs. Portugal (Continental)

Speaking of the weather in Madeira, it is impossible not to compare it with the weather in continental Portugal (read full comparison Madeira Island vs Portugal Mainland). But continental Portugal is a latitudinally extended area and the weather varies from north to south. And as we have already found out, the weather in Madeira also tends to differ from one part of the island to another.

So I will compare the central part of the continent of Portugal, namely Lisbon, where the weather can be considered average, and Funchal, as the most popular and populated place on the island. Plus, we have experience living in both!

When you look at the weather in Lisbon it is excellent compared to England, for example. But if you take a closer look, and pay attention to each month in particular, you’ll find some downsides. For instance, during the winter months in Lisbon, it can be pretty rough to live in unprepared apartments.

How Do You Feel Weather in Lisbon

I remember going to work in a café every morning in winter because it was so cold at home that our hands would freeze and I couldn’t type properly. Our apartment was in an old house in the very center of Lisbon and it had horrible renovations that no heater could save the situation.

Me at cold home in Lisbon during winter
My workplace at an apartment in Lisbon during wintertime

At the same time in the summer, especially in August, it could get very hot days. It used to be so hot that breathing in the city was impossible, and the only escape was moving closer to the ocean. And it can go on for weeks at a time. Because of this, fires often occur in surrounding areas of Lisbon, which can bring smog to the Portuguese capital. Now imagine this mixture of heat and the smell of burning in a city filled with crowds of sweaty tourists!

How Do You Feel Weather in Funchal

Of course, after living in Funchal during both winter and summer, everything became clear to us. In winter it is not cold at all in Funchal – you can quickly go out in the daytime in just a T-shirt. The apartments can be a little chilly if they are in the shade, in which case you will have to wear light pajamas. So, as a digital nomad in Madeira, I’m able to work from home and my fingers are not frozen!

During the summer months, however, the temperature in Funchal is only a little bit higher (2-3 degrees) than the rest of the year. The evenings can be quite chilly, so it is best to make a habit of always bringing a jacket when going for a long walk.

Lisbon Weather

Without further ado, here is the annual weather chart for Lisbon:

Funchal weather overview (source: weatherspark)

To summarize, I can say that for life, personally for us, Funchal is more suitable. For a temporary visit as a tourist, both destinations are fine. Except that I would rather go to Lisbon in spring, while to Funchal I would go at any time.

Weather in Madeira Now

If you are suddenly wondering what the weather is in Madeira right now, you should first decide on a specific place on the island. Asking “What’s the weather in Madeira right now” is like asking “What’s the weather in the UK? That’s how tricky these islands are!

Some websites and apps can show you the weather for entire Madeira, but you should not rely on this data. The fact is that these services take average data for the island, including even the temperature at the highest points of the island. Therefore, the data are not reliable!

I will assume that you are most likely interested in Funchal, so look below at the forecast for the capital of the island of Madeira:


So, what is the weather in Madeira? I would say it’s different but constant!

The Madeira weather can teach you to appreciate and love more than just sunny days. I confess that when it happens to be a rainy day in Madeira, I am even a little bit happy about the phenomenon. At least it’s the only days like this when you can stay home and not blame yourself for it. Although walking in the warm rain in Madeira is a special kind of pleasure!

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