Villas in Madeira are surprisingly affordable for families travelling on a budget, especially when compared to other sunny European destinations.
Self catering villas and apartments are a fantastic, value for money option for a Madeira family holiday. Staying independently is easy in Madeira because of the island’s good transport links and ease of food shopping and diverse eating out options.
Families looking for high quality, private and budget friendly accommodation will be spoilt for choice in Madeira.
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Best villas in Madeira
Disclaimer – Obviously I have not stayed at all of these villas in Madeira!
I selected villas based on reviews from families and on value for money in terms of facilities and location. I look for child friendly furnishings plus extra such as a washing machine.
Then I cross check options with multiple websites to pick the best budget friendly villas in Madeira.
I did the leg work so you don’t have to but as always, read online reviews and listings carefully to check your choice is the right property for you.
We stayed in a villa near Calheta during our stay in Madeira with kids. We revelled in the space, the amazing sea views and loved being part of a rural community; an experience we would not have had in a hotel.
Usually our budget does not stretch to bedroom each, yet alone a pool, but our four bedroom villa in Madeira cost just £63 a night total (2019 prices) so there are fantastic bargains to be had on Madeira island.
You can spend thousands on a luxury villa in Madeira but as a budget loving blog, all the villas below are under £100 a night.
Villa Vista Mar
If fantastic views are your thing, check out Villa Vista Mar, a spacious 4 bedroom villa in elevated Monte, 2 1/2 miles outside Funchal.
This high quality villa has a roof terrace with unbeatable views.
It is a short five minute drive to the centre of Funchal or ten minutes by public bus. Plus you are withing walking distance of the famous Monte Tropical Gardens.
Funchal properties with a pool cost a premium due to space but that is not a problem at Bom Successo.
This is large 4 bedroom, spacious property sleeps up to 8 people from just £80 a night. You have to climb into the swimming pool which is reassuring for parents.
Bom Successo is 1 1/2 miles from the centre of Funchal.
For a taste of traditional Madeiran life, check out Villa Cantanho, a family owned 3 bedroom property on a small banana and fig plantation, a 10 minute walk from the centre of Funchal.
There is a garden to play in and as the living areas are on the first floor there are great views of Funchal.
You can read about where we stayed in Funchal and what we did here.
Calheta Beach (and surrounding area)
Calheta on the islands south west coast is the sunniest location in Madeira. It also has one of the best beaches in Madeira, a man made sandy beach.
It is an ideal base as it is close enough to day trip to Funchal (21 miles away, around 30 minutes on the rapid coastal highway). There are several fantastic levada hikes nearby and both inland and the north coast are easily accessible from Calheta.
Robert’s Place, Estreito da Calheta
This is the gorgeous villa we rented, found on Airbnb Madeira. It is on a quiet road, in a rural, elevated village just minutes from the main highway and the beach.
‘Robert’s Place’ has four bedrooms, a huge basement games room, large kitchen and living room and lots of outdoor space filled with tropical flowers and a large pool. The sea views from the rooms and wrap around balconies were outstanding.
This lovely property is more suitable for families with older children due to the 3 sets of stairs inside the house and the open sided pool but we loved every minute of our stay in this Madeira villa.
Casa Marias, Calheta
Charming Casa Marias, is a bright and spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. Inside the property is modern and so tastefully decorated you will feel as if you are staying in a hotel. The swimming pool would look at home in a 5 star hotel!
There is a colourful patio area and the whole property provides fantastic views of the coastline and sea.
Check prices and availability here.
Villa Flora, Jardim do Mar
Jardim do Mar is a pretty village and a suitable home for the stunning and highly rated Villa Flora.
This 3 bed, 2 bath property is amazing, with lots of space, incredible sea views and a heated outdoor pool which is perfect for Madeira’s cooler seasons. For families it has the added extra of a washing machine, free WiFi and air conditioning.
This is one property you would find it hard to tear yourself away from to go sightseeing! Check it out here.
Visit the Porto Moniz natural swimming pools, the lava caves at Sao Vicente and the Santana Cultural theme park.
Enjoy some of the best hiking in Madeira or relax and enjoy the more tropical climate and vegetation of the rugged north coast.
Solar Arco do Sao Jorge, Santana
To really get away from it all, stay in Solar Arco do Sao Jorge, a gorgeous 2 bedroom traditional style stone built house near Santana.
The house lacks a pool but makes up for it in charm. This property is highly regarded and is a bargain with prices from £400 for a family of four for one week in high season!
Read outstanding reviews here.
Quintanha do Alvaro, Santana
An alternative in Santana if you are looking for a pool is Quintanha do Alvaro.
The views from this modern 4 bed property are fantastic and, for a house of this size, it is unbelievably good value for money at around £100 per night in peak season.
Porto Moniz Villa
This outstanding, tastefully decorated villa on Madeira’s north west coast is unusual in that is is a beachfront villa, a stones throw from Porto Moniz natural swimming pools.
The property has a spacious outdoor area, garden and BBQ, free WiFi and is just 50 metres from a supermarket.
Check prices and availability here.
Sea View Retreat, Santa Cruz
This property has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom plus the dream team – a washing machine and a dishwasher. There are lovely vbiews from the property and plenty of space. It comes highly recommended by families.
Sea View is 1/2 mile from the airport so it a good option for late night or early morning flights.
Casa da Morena, Santa Cruz
Casa da Morena is a quirky 2 bedroom property with stone walls throughout the house. It has sea views, a large private pool and a large kitchen/dining area. It is walking distance to 1/2 mile to Palmeiras beach (1/2 mile) and the town centre.
Check prices and availability here.
Casa da Graça by AnaLodges, Machico
A large 4 bedroom property with two bathrooms – one with a hot tub! Casa da Graça is bright, clean and airy with a fantastic view from the roof terrace. It will sleep up to 9 people.
There are good bus links and a supermarket nearby.
It does not have a pool but there is a small beach 500 yards away plus the property offers an shuttle service to the airport 2 miles away.
Book this lovely property here.
Villas in Madeira – know before you go
Be prepared for hills!
Madeira is a hilly island and the hills start at the coast. This means two things.
Firstly, your Madeira villa will elevated. If you have mobility issues, look for a property as near to the coast as possible, hire a car or check the transport and taxi links for villas you wish to rent.
Taxis in Madeira are very reasonable and some drivers will be happy to give you their phone number for you to use them throughout your stay. We tended to walk downhill and catch a taxi back uphill.
Secondly, villas are built to take advantage of the amazing views on offer. But this often means that balcony railings are not as high as most parents would like.
Many properties have several balconies so if there is one that makes you nervous, keep the access door locked. Consider bringing a portable door lock as an added extra.
Read out tips for travelling safely with children here.
Madeira houses are built from stone and that includes stone steps to access elevated properties. Watch out for uneven steps and lack of railings.
It is common for stairs inside Madeira houses to have open uppers so watch out for these with young children.
Plus, very few properties offer stairgates so consider bringing your own collapsible stair gate. We never travelled without one when our kids were little.
Flooring is usually stone or ceramic tiles so may be slippy underfoot in socks. Bring flip flips, non slip socks or go bare foot and be sure to wipe any wet patches immediately.
Also, very few pools have barriers so if you are going to spend time outside with your kids, pack a lifejacket for them.
There are a lot of dogs in rural Madeira and many properties keep chickens and roosters.
Being woken by a rooster at dawn adds to the rural charm but if it is not for you on your holiday (!) I’d recommend bringing earplugs!
Self catering in Madeira – tips
Self catering is easy in Madeira and is the best option for families travelling on a budget.
Eating out is comparable in price to the U.K , however, we found cafes to be very reasonable. We were able to buy five hot drinks and five cakes for between €5 – €7.
There are supermarkets dotted all over the island – keep an eye out for Pingo Doce and Continente signs. Prices were similar to the UK and we were able to find everything we needed. Don’t forget your reusable shopping bag.
Plus, there are small family owned grocery stores in villages and on many streets in Funchal. These shops were only slightly more expensive than supermarkets and often sold delicious home baked goods made on the premises by the owner. Plus, it helps to spread the tourist dollar/pound!
For budget food on the go there are fast food and sandwich chains in Funchal.
What to eat in Madeira
Meat and fish features heavily on menus. Look out for espetada (grilled meat on skewers), filete de espada (Scabbard fish) and Chicharro fritos (fried small fish)
Do not miss the chance to try fresh tropical fruit, the local honey cake (bolo de mel de cana) and bolo do caco (wheat bread, delicious when warm).
Our kids loved the local cheesecake – very different to cheesecake as we know it – and I loved the orange eclairs!
Madeiran wine is affordable in restaurants and supermarkets. For a soft drink, our kids lived sugar cane juice.
We also liked ‘poncha’ a fruity alcoholic drink made from sugar cane spirit and it makes an unusual gift for friends and family back home.
If you know a family and budget friendly villa in Madeira let me know so I can add it to this list!