Weather Averages for Madeira in January
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 it’s money, ranging from a mild 13°C to a comfortably warm 19°C. 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 between November and February. Therefore, January is one of the wettest months in Madeira, but with only around four to a maximum of 11 inches of rainfall spread over 13 days, it’s certainly not enough to deter travellers. Precipitation is most likely around January 4th when rainfall is 50% likely, whilst precipitation is least likely around January 30th , when rainfall is only 42% likely to occur. 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 seven hours of sunshine is likely on most days. There is quite a bit of difference in comparison to the summer months of July, August and September as expected, as sunshine hours range from eight to 11 hours on average. However over the course of January the length of day is gradually increasing compared to December, which sees just over 10 hours of daylight. The shortest day of the month in January falls on January 2nd with 10:02 of daylights; the longest day is January 31st with 10:36 hours of daylight.
The earliest sunrise usually occurs at 8:03am on January 31st, whilst the latest sunset is at 6:38pm on January 31st. On the other hand the latest sunrise is at 8:11am on January 10th and the earliest sunset is at 6:12pm on January 1st.
The sky is relatively clear 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 January typical 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. 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 to wind is most often coming from a north westerly direction 35% of the time.
The relative humidity in January ranges from a mildly humid 58% to a humid 84% over the course of the month, rarely ever 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 dew point is often a better way to measure how comfortable a person will find the climate, as it relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin. During January, the dew point typically varies from 8°C to 13°C, which is considered as comfortable. At this time of year dew points are neither too dry or too muggy, so January is the perfect time of year to come to Madeira if you want to experience a comfortable and relatively warm weather.
The sea temperature at this time of year is also not bad at 18°C, this is slightly cooler than December where average sea temperatures are at 19°C. However, this type of climate is still perfect for swimming and water sports.
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 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.
Dates for the diary
Cantar os Reis (Singing of the Kings) takes place every year from the 5th to the 6th of January. This is a charming traditional Madeiran festival celebrated on the 12th night after Christmas. Outdoor concerts are held all over the island singing carols and traditional songs, but the hub of activity is found at the Municipal Garden in Madeira’s capital, Funchal.
To commemorate the end of the Christmas season ‘Santo Amaro’ is celebrated on January 15th throughout the island of Madeira. Traditional nativity scenes are put on display and Christmas delicacies are shared between local families and tourists. Other festivities include stalls, music, food and a candle-lit procession held in Santa Cruz.
Where to eat & 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.
Hit the beach
Even though it is January the sea temperature at this time of year is still quite warm at 18°C. 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 boasts 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, made up of 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 southwestern shores of the island this beach offers activities such as windsurfing and canoeing.
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 island.
A more expensive option would be Enotal Golf – Santo Da Serra. This is a four-star hotel 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.