Should I take my coat? What to pack for Madeira in Winter


Madeira in Winter: We spent the month of January on the island of Madeira. We’ll attempt to answer the three questions that we received whilst on the island which revolve around its weather and what to pack in winter, so let’s see if we can help you!


Packing for Madeira

What’s The Weather Like On Madeira In Winter?

We were on Madeira for thirty days and the weather was very mixed.  Most days were around 13-22°C however the wind played a big factor in how warm we felt.  Madeira is a rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so it goes without saying that in winter it’s going to be a bit windy, but the rain also plays a large factor too.

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Location Is Everything

Where you are located on the island also depends on what the weather will be like. Confused? That’s because Madeira has its own micro-climate and weather differs hugely according to where you are.

We were up in the northern quarters of Santana and we lit a fire some days and every night but it was positively glorious 90% of the time when we went to Funchal and the sun always seemed to be shining.

Cloud coverage over Santana

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Madeira in Winter: Can I Wear My Shorts?

Well, that really depends on how hardy you are.  At times, I was cold in my jeans but a Nordic family were swimming at Port Moniz natural pools.

I didn’t take my shorts and whilst I’m pleased (because I don’t cope with the cold) I missed a skirt or dress – which I didn’t take.  My younger kids wore their shorts and were fine and we saw serious walkers and runners on the island, all wearing shorts.

So bringing your shorts to Madeira in winter depends entirely on what type of person you are and what activities you plan on doing.  It might be worth bringing one pair and just seeing how the weather is. Alternatively, light cotton trousers might be better.

It was a barmy 18 degrees at Porto Moniz when I saw this Nordic family swimming.

What Should I Pack?

Layers are going to be your friends.  Madeira in winter is neither cold nor hot, but with frequent short showers and some very impressive clouds, the weather is prone to changing quickly.

Most days we combined a selection of short-sleeved & long-sleeved t-shirts with a hooded top and a pair of jeans. We layered up and when it was too hot, we removed one layer.  In the car, we also had waterproof jackets and thicker coats.  I didn’t use my waterproof jacket, but I’m glad that I took my thick winter coat because when the wind picked up it was pretty cold.

What was in my suitcase?

See the list below for more detail



1 warm coat with hood.

1 cardigan, 1 jumper and 1 hooded top.

1 wrap-around, long-sleeve t-shirt.

4 long sleeved t-shirts

2 short sleeved t-shirts

2 pairs of jeans

1 pair of PJs

5 pairs of socks

1 pair of UGG boots and 1 pair of white trainers

Hiking; What To Wear

I also took my yoga pants, a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved yoga top, a pair of hiking boots and 2 pairs of bulky socks.

I wore my hiking boots at least twice a week but I only wore my yoga stuff once.

Driving on Madeira Was Straight Forward. Get Car Rental Quotes Here

Madeira was hilly but even in our tiny 1.2lt rental car, we did ok.

Car rental

We spent a month on Madeira, check out our other posts below to see what you could do on the island independently.

If you’d like to try some tours on Madeira, have a look at the following:

Hike Pico do Areeiro with a guide

Go On A Wine Tour

Take A Boat Tour from Cais do Sardinha To The Oldest Lighthouse On Madeira