Explore Gay Madeira.

Gay Madeira.

What's it really like?

While Madeira was once thought of as a holiday resort for sunshine-chasing seniors, the island is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of Europe’s best island destinations, with jaw-dropping nature, charming villages, and fantastic food and drink.

This is in large part thanks to its location. Like many of Southern Europe’s island destinations, Madeira sits closer to Africa than it does to Europe, benefiting from year-round sunny weather, a unique volcanic landscape, and crystal-clear waters rich in biodiversity. For these reasons, hikers, swimmers, scuba divers, surfers, and other adventure-seeking travellers are bound to fall in love with Madeira.

 

Its natural beauty may be its chief attraction, but it is by no means its only one. The island’s capital of Funchal rivals Lisbon for cool bars and cafés, charming shops and markets, and beautiful architecture, while its placement on a cliffside means you are never far from a show-stopping view. Quaint fishing villages line the coast, as do beautiful beaches ranging from developed resorts to quiet deserted paradises.

Portugal is a country that knows its food, and Madeira is no different. There is, of course, delicious fresh seafood, but also fantastic grilled meat and many of Portugal’s best delicacies, like pastel de nata and prego steak sandwiches.

Madeira is not particularly gay – there are no gay bars on the island and no gay hotels. However, it is a welcoming place, with gay-friendly nightlife and an open-minded attitude. Couples will especially love visiting, but it is also an amazing option for solo gay travellers and groups of friends.

More

Start planning a trip to Madeira

Create a Trip to save and organise all of your travel ideas, and see them on a map

Madeira's Gay-Friendly Hotels

There are hotel options for every budget and type of traveller on Madeira, but the main question comes down to whether you want to stay in Funchal, the capital, or whether you want something more remote and nature-based.

Funchal is ideal if you want to balance nature walks and beach days with bars, restaurants, and nightlife, as there isn’t much of it outside the city. If you want more of a resort vibe, there are some amazing hotels in Machico and Calheta. Caniçal is a popular base for hikers thanks to its coastal paths, and Jardim do Mar is all about surfing and watersports.

Caniço, a resort town a short drive from Funchal, is a popular place to stay and a good compromise between city and nature.

Best Hotels in Madeira

HOT LIST

Best Luxury Hotels in Madeira

Guide.

Articles

Madeira isn’t a particularly gay destination, but it is a friendly and open-minded place where gay visitors are likely to feel welcome.

Portugal is a progressive country, with sturdy legal protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – it was, after all, named the world’s most gay friendly destination by Spartacus in 2019. As usual, more conservative attitudes are common in rural areas, but Madeira’s popularity as a tourist destination makes it a bit of an exception in this regard.

Gay-Phuket-Instagram-Luxury-Hotels
Wish you were here?

Sign up for our newsletter and discover travel experiences you’ll really want to try.

Log In

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. For example, they allow us to connect to social networks, display personalised content, as well as analyse and improve our site's operation – find out more here.