Weather in Madeira in March travel guide

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 25.04.2024

March in Madeira offers a mild spring climate ideal for comfortably exploring the stunning mountains, lush gardens and quaint villages. The beautiful weather in Madeira in March creates ideal conditions for hiking in the levadas, enjoying the local cuisine and relaxing on serene beaches that are comfortable and warm, with plenty of seclusion. Moderate temperatures and a welcoming atmosphere make this the perfect place for an outdoor vacation.

Highlights Madeira weather in March

The weather in Madeira in March is the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, from adventurous nature excursions to relaxing by the ocean. Here are some of the highlights of the weather conditions you can expect:

  • Mild temperatures: The island enjoys mild weather with average daytime temperatures hovering around 20°C (around 70°F), perfect for outdoor activities without overheating.
    Spring blossom: With the arrival of spring, Madeira's gardens and landscapes bloom with vibrant colors, making it a stunning time to visit botanical gardens and natural parks.
    Ideal for hiking: The temperate climate makes March one of the best months for hiking through Madeira's extensive network of levadas (irrigation canals), where you can explore lush, green landscapes in comfort.
    Pleasant beach weather: Although the beaches in March are not as warm as in the summer months, they are warm enough to relax by the sea and enjoy the quiet of the off-peak season.
    Low rainfall: Compared to the wetter winter months, rainfall is relatively low, providing more sunny days ideal for sightseeing and exploring the island.

Keen to visit Madeira? Talk to our local Portugal experts to kick-start creating your dream trip. And to ensure you're well-equipped for your trip explore our list of tips for traveling in Portugal.

Portugal, Madeira, city of Funchal on landscape seen from Pico dos Barcelos

Portugal, Madeira, city of Funchal on landscape seen from Pico dos Barcelos  © Shutterstock

Is March a good time to visit Madeira?

March is an attractive time to visit Madeira as it transitions to spring. Although the weather in Madeira in March is not as warm as in the summer months, the climate is ideal if you want to enjoy an active vacation without the discomfort of extreme heat or crowds of tourists during the peak tourist season.

Rainfall in March can still be frequent, but it is much less than in the winter months. On average, Madeira receives around 72mm of rainfall over the 12 days of March, meaning that although there are wet days, prolonged periods of rain are rare. This allows you to plan outdoor excursions with confidence in the good weather, although it wouldn't hurt to bring a light raincoat.

March falls in the "shoulder" season of tourism in Madeira. This means fewer tourists, more affordable accommodation, and generally quieter attractions. For travelers who prefer a quieter vacation with fewer crowds at popular attractions and on hiking trails, this can be especially beneficial.

Overall, March can be a great time to visit Madeira due to the mild weather, moderate rainfall, and the benefits of traveling during the shoulder season. This combination creates favorable conditions to explore the natural beauty and cultural attractions of the island with greater ease and comfort.

Editor’s tip: for a bigger picture of the weather, read up on the best time to visit Portugal.


Madeira, Portugal  © Shutterstock

Average temperatures in Madeira in March

The weather in Madeira in March is characterized by average high temperatures of around 20°C (68°F) and average low temperatures of around 16°C (61°F). These mild conditions provide a comfortable climate suitable for a variety of activities, from hiking to exploring the local towns.

Temperature fluctuations from day to night are generally moderate. Daytime temperatures are warm enough for light clothing, while evenings may require a light jacket or sweater, especially if you are near the coast or at higher elevations where it may be cooler.

Compared to other times of the year, temperatures in March in Madeira are cooler than during the peak summer months, when average temperatures can reach 25°C (77°F) or higher. However, March is significantly warmer than the coldest winter months such as January and February, where nighttime lows can drop as low as 13°C (55°F). 

March marks the beginning of spring, which brings a gradual increase in the number of sunny days and a decrease in rainfall. It is a transitional period that combines the remnants of the winter chill with the approaching summer warmth.

Want even more inspiration for your Portugal adventure? Discover the best places to visit in Portugal.

What about the crowd & cost?

March in Madeira falls during the shoulder season, which offers distinct advantages in terms of tourist flow and cost. It is less crowded than the peak summer months of July and August, when tourists flock to enjoy the hot weather and colorful summer festivals. As a consequence, if you arrive in March you will find more tranquility and fewer queues at the main attractions and on the tourist routes.

The reduced number of tourists also affects the cost of accommodation and flights, which are usually lower than in the high season. This makes March an economically attractive time if you are looking for a bargain. In addition, the mild weather in Madeira in March allows you to enjoy outdoor activities without the discomfort of the summer heat, providing a balanced introduction to Madeira's natural beauty and cultural offerings.

Turquoise waters at Machico bay, Madeira © Balate Dorin/Shutterstock

Turquoise waters at Machico bay, Madeira © Balate Dorin/Shutterstock

Unforgettable and customizable Portugal itineraries

Are you ready to plan your dream trip to Portugal? The local experts at Rough Guides can help you create a fully customized and unforgettable itinerary tailored to your preferences. Here are three tantalizing travel options you should consider:

  • The Wines of Portugal (9 days): This unforgettable journey takes you to some of Portugal's best wine regions, including the Douro Valley. Taste the best local varieties and explore the exciting and stunningly beautiful cities of Lisbon and Porto, complete with guided tours of their historic old towns.
  • The best of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve (12 days): Portugal offers many attractions, but if you're short on time, this trip is perfect for covering all the highlights: the capital Lisbon, historic Porto, the luxurious Douro Valley, and the stunning beaches of the Algarve are all included in this trip.
  • Madeira and São Miguel - guided island adventures (9 days): Visit Portugal's two autonomous regions: Madeira, the island of eternal spring as it is known, and São Miguel, nicknamed the green island. Guided tours will introduce you to the highlights of both islands, with plenty of time to explore on your own or simply relax.
  • Discover more of our Portugal itineraries.

What to do and see in Madeira in March?

March in Madeira is a delightful mix of activities and attractions that are especially enjoyable thanks to the mild weather and the emergence of spring flowers. Here are five great activities and attractions to enjoy during your visit:

  • Explore the Levadas: March is ideal for hiking along Madeira's unique irrigation canals, known as levadas, which offer scenic views of lush spring vegetation.
  • Visit the Botanical Gardens: As the blossoms begin to bloom, March is the perfect time to visit Madeira's famous botanical gardens, which showcase a vibrant variety of native and exotic plants.
  • Whale and dolphin watching: Take advantage of the calm seas in March to embark on a whale and dolphin watching excursion - an unforgettable way to experience Madeira's rich marine life.
  • Taste Madeira wine: Visit local wineries to learn about Madeira's world-famous wine and taste it when there are fewer tourists around.
  • Visit Festa da Anona: If you're in Madeira in March, don't miss the Festa da Anona (Festival of the Cherimoya Fruit) in Faial, which celebrates the harvest of this delicious local fruit with music, exhibitions, and tastings.

Madeira offers only a fraction of the unique experiences that Portugal has to offer. For even more ideas for your vacation, see our guide to the best things to do in Portugal.

Visit Madeira in different months

A year-round paradise, Madeira offers unique experiences every month to suit a variety of travelers' preferences. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, cultural events, or just a relaxing vacation in nature, Madeira's diverse climate and activities ensure that there is always something special to do here.

  • April:  Delight in the Madeira Flower Festival, where the island explodes with color and fragrant displays.
  • May: Enjoy comfortable temperatures and the start of the season of outdoor activities, including the Madeira Island Ultra Trail.
  • June: Take part in the Atlantic Festival with fireworks and music, which marks the beginning of the summer festivities.
  • July: Enjoy the summer heat, ideal for beach walks and water sports in Madeira's crystal clear waters.
  • August: Experience the peak of summer with lively street festivals, including the popular Madeira Wine Festival.
  • September: Take advantage of warm seas and less crowded attractions as the high season comes to an end.
  • October: Watch the leaves change and enjoy the mild weather, ideal for exploring the island's natural landscapes.
  • November: Enjoy the quieter side of Madeira and the wine harvest festivities, ideal for food lovers.
  • December: Get into the festive spirit with Madeira's famous Christmas lights and New Year's Eve fireworks.
  • January: Experience the tranquility of post-holiday Madeira, ideal for enjoying its natural beauty without the crowds of tourists.
  • February: Take part in the vibrant festivities of the Madeira Carnival, one of the most colorful and lively events on the island.
Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 25.04.2024

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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