THE cold months can often have us dreaming of a break away in the sun, and with summer fast approaching, many will have already begun making plans to get away.
If you are looking for a stunning place to relax and soak up the rays without breaking the bank, you may be in luck.
This spectacular island, just 3.5 hours from Ireland, will have you feeling as though you are in Hawaii without having to endure the long flights and price tag.
Madeira, located off the east coast of Africa but part of Portugal, is often compared to the Aloha State and comes with the added bonus of being much more affordable.
The island enjoys good weather for most of the year, reaching temperatures of around 18C in December and January and climbing to about 24C during the summer months.
Better still, return flights will set you back just €83, with Ryanair operating a direct route to and from the holiday destination.
What is Madeira like?
Many compare the island to Hawaii, both being volcanic islands and having huge sprawling mountains and a luscious green landscapes.
When visiting the island, most head to Funchal, the island’s capital and home to most of the hotels.
Along with restaurants, bars and museums, the Avenida do Mar has an incredible shopping region which is sure to keep you busy.
Funchal is home to one of the best botanical gardens in the world, with tourists able to avail of a cable car up to the gardens and then toboggan back down.
Some also head to the more rural parts of the island for levada walks, with more than 1,200 miles of trails.
The tallest is Pico Ruivo at 1,862m, followed by Pico do Arieiro at 1,818m.
The walks are suitable for both beginners and expert hikers and are one of the most popular things to do on the island.
What are the best Madeira holiday deals?
Madeira is a very affordable destination with cheap deals.
We’ve found seven-night holiday packages for as little as €248pp, including return flights, with Love Holidays.
The site also has options for a shorter break, with three-night stays at a 4* hotel from €219pp.
What else do I need to know about Madeira?
The local language in Madeira is Portuguese, although most people speak English.
There is no time difference between Madeira and Ireland, so you don’t have to change your watch.
Another bonus is you don’t have to change your money as Madeira uses the euro.
Meanwhile, an Irish woman has shared her journey flying business class on an Aer Lingus flight to New York.