Madeira: January Weather Averages
|Sunshine Hours||7 hrs|
|Chance of Sunny Day||27 %|
|Rainfall days||13 days|
|Chance of Rain||37 %|
|Chance of Cloudy Day||3 %|
|Chance of Windy Day||19 %|
Averages for Madeira in January
The island of Madeira enjoys dry hot summers and mild winters. Even throughout January, temperatures in Madeira are high enough to give the traditional British summer a run for its money, ranging from an average temperature of 17°C at the start of the month down to a slightly milder average of 16°C by the end of the month. Daily highs fall from 19°C down to 18°C and daily lows fall from 15°C to 14°C as the month progresses. Most days the average temperature stays around a warm 16°C but on some occasions temperatures can exceed 21°C.
The wet season in Madeira usually runs from November to February, making January one of the wettest months of the year. During this month, the average rainfall is 92mm (four inches) which is spread out over 13 days. With rainfall occurring on almost half of the month, there’s a good chance you’ll get a shower or two during your holiday, so make sure you bring an umbrella or some water-proof clothing with you.
Precipitation is most likely around January 4th, when it occurs in 50% of days. On the other hand, precipitation is least likely around January 30th, when it only occurs on 42% of days. Throughout January the most common forms of precipitation are light rain and moderate rain. If you're thinking of travelling to Madeira when rainfall is at a minimum, August and September are two of the best months to visit when only 10mm to 40mm of rainfall is expected.
During January, Madeira enjoys an average of seven hours of sunshine each day. There is quite a bit of difference in comparison to the summer months of July, August and September as expected, when sunshine hours range from eight to 11, on average.
However, over the course of January the length of day is gradually increasing, when compared to December. The shortest day of the month in January is January 2nd with ten hours and two minutes of daylight, whilst the longest day is January 31st with ten hours and 36 minutes of daylight.
The sky is relatively clear in Madeira in January. The median cloud cover is a partly cloudy 61% and does not vary substantially over the course of the month.
Over the course of an average January in Madeira, normal wind speeds vary from just 1 m/s to 7 m/s, which is considered as a light to moderate breeze, rarely exceeding 10 m/s, fresh breeze. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s occurs around January 1st, but this is still considered as a light breeze. However, the lowest average wind speed of 3 m/s (light breeze) occurs around January 14th, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. At this time of year the wind is most often coming from a north easterly direction.
The relative humidity in January ranges from a mildly humid 58% to a humid 84% over the course of the month, rarely dropping below 48% or exceeding 93%. The air is generally driest around January 29th, when relative humidity levels drop below a mildly humid 62% three days out of four. January 15th is when humidity levels are predicted to be highest at 79% three days out of four.
The average sea temperature at this time of year is a cool 19°C. Whilst everyone feels sea water differently, most swimmers will find this a little bit too cold to enjoy a swim longer than 15 minutes. If you’re planning on practicing some water sports during your holiday in Madeira, make sure you bring your wetsuit.
Calheta Beach in Madeira
Things to do
- Due to the amazing weather at this time of year, Madeira is truly buzzing in January, filled with travellers wanting to beat the winter blues with a splash of sunshine. Funchal especially is alive and kicking and a fantastic way to see this first-hand is to head to the docks. Funchal is a hugely popular port for transatlantic cruise ships, contributing to the estimated one million tourists that descend on the tiny island each year.
- Madeira offers a unique and breathtaking landscape just waiting to be discovered. “Levada” is a Portuguese word that derives from “levar”, which means to carry and can be interpreted as “carriageway.” In Madeira there are over 2500km of levadas on the island to be explored which weave through the scenic backdrop of this island. At this time of year it is still pleasant enough to go hiking or trekking without getting too hot! Lido Tours offers a number of excursions and popular walks to the Serra de Agua Valley and Madeira’s stunning lakes.
- The climate at this time of year is perfect for outdoor activities such as golf. Santo de Serra Golf is an original course, combined of three nine-holes, located in Machico. Redesigned in 1991 by the famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones, this is one of the most beautiful courses on the whole island.
- Madeira is well known as one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. The Madeira Whale Museum (Museu da Baleia) located in the village of Canical offers two exhibition rooms which showcase the history of whaling in the region and also the importance of marine life in Madeira’s waters.
- If you’re a football fan, or in fact a fan of the renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo you may want to visit the CR7 Museum in Funchal, which was opened by the man himself at the end of 2013. The museum exhibits a variety of trophies such as the Ballon d’Or, the FIFA World Player Award and the European Golden Shoe. The display even includes a life-size wax figure of Cristiano Ronaldo so don’t forget to bring along your camera. This is the best place to come to on a rainy or cold day in January.
Hit the beach
- Even though it’s January, the sea temperature at this time of year is still quite warm at 18°C, which make enjoying a day at the beach a real possibility. Sao Vicente is located on the north side of Madeira and boasts excellent condition for surfers due to the waves being rougher in this area. The site also features a bathing complex with a restaurant and bar.
- Porto Santo offers one of the most spectacular coastlines along the south of the island. This area is divided into several small beaches, each of which boasts fine golden sand and crystal clear waters. There are a variety of facilities here including snack bars, sunshades and showers to keep everyone happy.
- Calheta is a manmade beach with sand imported from Morocco and Portugal. Situated on the south-western shores of the island, this beach offers activities such as windsurfing and canoeing.
Where to eat and drink
- As you can imagine there are plenty of restaurants catering for all tastes located in Madeira. Lily’s Restaurant is a popular Portuguese eatery located in Caramanchao, Machico. They serve a wide variety of typical dishes found in Madeira including fresh mussels, steak medallions and king prawns. The restaurant also boasts panoramic views over the rest of the town.
- Beef & Wines is a renowned steak house located in Funchal. To accompany the meat dishes on offer they serve a wide range of locally sourced and international wines.
- Ristorante Villa Cipriania is a fine dining restaurant in the Reid’s Palace Hotel located in Funchal. This chic Italian restaurant offers a cocktail bar and also afternoon tea on a delightful sun terrace overlooking the rest of the island.
- Funchal, the capital of Madeira offers hundreds of bars and nightclubs to choose from. Vespas is a long-established nightclub located in the city centre and is the largest club on the whole island. During the weekends it is very popular among the locals and specialises in house and dance music.
Ponta Delgada Beach in Madeira
Where to stay
- Quinta do Cabouco is a manor house built in the 18th century which was restored in 2003. It was recently licensed by the local tourism authority as being one of the best B&B houses in the whole of Malta.
- A more expensive option would be Enotal Golf – Santo Da Serra. This four-star hotel is ideal for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. The hotel offers a discount fee at the Santo da Serra Golf Club and features a number of spa facilities including a Turkish bath, whirlpool and indoor swimming pool.
- Hotel Do Carmo is an inviting three-star hotel located in the centre of Funchal. This is a modern complex offering a restaurant, bar and rooftop pool, making it the perfect place for a romantic getaway.
- If you’re looking for a self-catering option you may want to try Apartamentos Atlantida Lido, also situated in one of the most dynamic areas of Funchal. All of the apartments come with a private balcony, fully equipped kitchens and modern fittings.
January events in Madeira
Cantar os Reis
6th January 2015
Cantar os Reis (Singing of the Kings) is a religious festival celebrated on the 12th night after Christmas. On this night, music concerts with carols, hymns and traditional songs take place throughout the island, with the hub of activity happening in the Municipal Garden in Funchal.
10th January 2015 to 15th January 2015
To commemorate the end of the Christmas season, Santo Amaro is celebrated each year throughout Madiera. During this event, traditional nativity scenes and decorations are taken down and final Christmas feasts are shared between local families. The municipality of Santa Cruz also honours it's patron saint on this day - Santo Amaro - with a candlelit procession which leads to Igreja Matriz. Throughout the area you'll also find food and drink kiosks, artisan stalls and music concerts.
Festa do Panelo
25th January 2015
Festa do Panelo is held on the last Sunday of January in Seixal, Porto Moniz. In celebration of this festival, locals in ChÃ£o da Ribeira prepare a traditional communal lunch in a huge pot over a fire. In addition to the shared lunch, festivities also include live entertainment and kiosks selling even more local food and drinks.