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Honeymoons
& weddings
  
Honeymoons and weddings abroad are tailor-made by Expressions Holidays. Contact us for a range of honeymoon and wedding destinations around the world and an amazing choice of honeymoons from island-hopping to visiting cultural sites.
Authentic
Experiences
  

With Authentic Experiences from Expressions Holidays you enter a world of genuine holiday and travel experiences within the framework of one of our tailor-made holidays, be its significance culture, gastronomy, wine appreciation, wildlife, sports or special occasions.
Spa
holidays
  

Expressions Spas opens a world of tailor-made spa holidays that allows you to choose according to region, type of treatment desired, product type and recommends for your party type, whether it be for couples, singles or perhaps mothers and daughters travelling together.
Family
holidays
  

Expressions Families affords you an amazing choice of sophisticated resorts ideally suited to families in selected destinations worldwide. You can also choose according to required facilities in resort and we suggest holidays for families with grandparents and single parent families too.
Rail
holidays
  

Expressions Holidays offers you tailor-made rail holidays and journeys by train, including luxury trains, scenic journeys and classic rail tours.
Worldwide
journeys
  

Tailor-made journeys and tours for individuals and small groups to selected destinations around the world from Burma to Italy, from Vietnam to India.
  • Madeira luxury winter holidays

    Reid's Palace Hotel

    Choupana Hills

    Reid's Palace

    Bungalow at Choupana Hills

    Madeira luxury winter holidays:The winter walker’s Promised Land and honeypot for garden lovers…

    There is much to love about Madeira, but the thing that stands out for us is Madeira’s weather. Portuguese it may be, but fully 500 miles off the mainland’s southwest tip, lying on the same sort of latitude as Casablanca and Beirut, Madeira is almost indecently warm in winter, with averages right up in the high teens. Siefted by mild sea breezes and warmed by the Gulf Stream, this is a wonderful place to defrost the winter veins.
    The mountain summit of an enormous volcano that rose up out of the Atlantic seabed millions of years ago, Madeira is dominated by dramatic, craggy spires rising to over 6,000ft. Riven by deep ravines that cut all the way down to the coast and plummet into the Atlantic in sheer, breathtaking cliffs, Madeira is superb walking country – particularly at this time of year and over winter when temperatures are perfect for long, languid walks in the hills. Criss-crossed by levadas (irrigation channels) that form a 1,300-mile network of footpaths through the hills, this is a stunning destination for daywalks and longer treks – all less than three hours flight from London.
    If Madeira’s volcanic origins make it a winter walker’s Promised Land, it also makes it something of a honeypot for garden lovers. With the richest of soils and most temperate of winter climates, plants and flowers blaze here like brushstrokes on a Gauguin palette. Jacaranda and geraniums, bougainvillea and birds of paradise, custard apples and mangoes – the hillsides here are a veritable Kew Gardens gone wild, with the fragrance of vanilla and wild fennel drifting across the landscape on the warm sea breeze. 

    Arcing around a natural amphitheatre at the southern end of the island, Funchal has been Madeira’s capital for more than five centuries. Wherever you stay on the island, Funchal is well worth a wander, with the beautiful Praça do Município (Municipal Square) paved with hundreds of black-and-white half-moons made from lava. Funchal also has a magnificent 15th century cathedral, with Moorish carved cedar ceiling, stone floors and wonderfully ornate baroque altars. 

    Funchal is also home to the best restaurants on the island, with Quinta Palmeira the undoubted jewel in the island’s culinary crown. Housed in a beautiful 18th century country house on the slopes above town, the restaurant specialises in classic Portuguese dishes served with island flair, so that many meat dishes are accompanied by bananas or passion fruit, and the likes of avocado ice cream is sometimes served up for dessert. Book a terrace seat, order some exquisite Madeira wine, and a long, lazy lunch here will be worth the airfare alone.

    Also worth the airfare alone are some of Madeira’s hotels. Built in 1891, perched dramatically on the clifftops overlooking the Bay of Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean, Reid’s Palace Hotel is one of our favourites anywhere in the world. Nestled amongst ten acres of semi-tropical gardens that brim brightly with geraniums, mimosa, and wisteria, the hotel is steeped in history, with antique furnishings and chandeliers throughout, maintaining its gloriously old-fashioned charm and excellent service at all times. With stunning views and three seawater pools, one of which has direct access to the ocean, Reid’s Palace is a perfect hotel for couples and families alike.

    Another Madeira hotel we tend to eye longingly whenever it rains outside our office just now is Choupana Hills Resort & Spa. Opened in 2002 in the hills above Funchal, this gorgeous resort has sweeping views over the ocean, with beautiful two-bedroom bungalows scattered about its subtropical gardens, and large, airy rooms with vaulted ceilings and private sundecks or verandahs for every room. Staying at either of these hotels, boat trips can be arranged to the only other inhabited island in the Madeira archipelago, Porto Santo, a wild, arid island with stunning sugar-white beaches and gentle cobalt coves.

    Situated right along the migratory path of several species of whale, with the island’s coastline plummeting right down to the ocean floor within a few miles of shore, Madeira is one of those fabulous places where you can sit and watch sperm whales breeching from the clifftops themselves. Also visited by fin whales and pilot whales, humpback whales and several species of dolphin, Madeira’s local operators offer a slew of wonderfully rewarding whale-watching daytrips.
    More bizarre, but just as memorable, Funchal is home to one of the most original attractions in Europe. Madeira’s answer to the Cresta Run, this is urban tobogganing in two- or three-passenger wicker baskets once used to transport produce from Monte to Funchal, sliding downhill on greased wooden runners, while sled-drivers run alongside, occasionally jumping on to apply the brakes.

    A superb winter sun escape, with fabulous food, elegant hotels and a world of adventure away from the pool, Madeira is a fascinating, beautiful holiday destination – and all only three hours from London.

    Our suggestions for luxury holidays to Madeira 
    Reid’s Palace Hotel
    164 rooms and suites, 5 restaurants, 4 pools, tea terrace, boutiques, lounge bar, tennis courts, spa. Reid’s offers superb gala dinner at New Year – so worth considering for a festive break.
    Prices from about £729 per person for 3 nights based on two people sharing a double or twin room on bed and breakfast including flights with TAP and private transfers

    Choupana Hills
    64 rooms, indoor pool, bar, restaurant, spa, fitness and courtesy coach to Funchal.
    Prices from about £676 per person for 3 nights based on two people sharing a double or twin deluxe room with garden view on bed and breakfast, including flights with TAP and private transfers.

    Find out more about luxury holidays to Portugal including Madeira.

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  • OUR HOLIDAYS

    • Rail holidays

      Rail holidays and train journeys, tailor-made.

    • Garden holidays

      Italian garden holidays and tours for individuals and small groups

    • Family holidays

      Visit our selection of tailor-made family holidays to selected hotels and resorts around the world.

    • Cookery holidays

      Tailor-made cookery holidays in Italy

    • Spa holidays

      Rejuvenating, relaxing, refreshing, good for the body and the soul; spa and well-being worldwide

    • Authentic experiences

      Our selection of authentic experience and special interest holidays.

    • Worldwide journeys

      Luxury tours for individuals around the world

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