Weather Averages for Madeira in May
Averages for Madeira in May
May falls at the end of the spring season in Madeira, when the island enjoys mild temperatures and loads of sunshine. At this time of the year, the average temperature for the island increases from 18.5°C at the start of the month up to 19.5°C by the end of the month. Daily highs change in a similar way, rising from 21°C to 22°C, whilst daily lows also increase from 16°C to 17°C as the month progresses.
During this month, Madeira is subject to an average rainfall of only 15mm (one inch) divided amongst eight days. With rain falling on only ¼ of the month, there is quite a small chance you’ll experience as much as a shower during your holiday, so you can happily leave your umbrella at home, where it belongs.
The likelihood of rainfall occurring in Madeira during this month is at its highest around May 3rd, when it falls on 36% of days. On the other hand, rainfall is least likely to occur around May 31st, when it only falls on 29% of days. Across the month, the most expected forms of precipitation are light rain and drizzle. If you don’t want to chance rain spoiling your holiday in Madeira, you’re best off visiting in August or September, when the rainfall is at a minimum.
Across May, Madeira enjoys around ten hours of sunshine each day, giving you plenty of opportunities to hit the beach and work on your tan during your holiday.
Throughout the month, the length of the day is gradually increasing, with a difference of 30 minutes between May 1st and May 31st. The shortest day of the month is May 1st with 13 hours and 29 minutes of daylight, whilst the longest day of the month is May 31st with 14 hours and nine minutes of daylight.
During May in Madeira, the sky is best described as being partly cloudy, with an average cloud coverage of 49% - that’s slightly lower than the previous month. This average falls as the month progresses, dropping down from 51% to 47%.
Over the course of a typical May in Madeira, wind speeds usually vary between 1 m/s (light breeze) and 7 m/s (moderate breeze), almost never exceeding 9 m/s (fresh breeze). The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s (gentle breeze) usually happens around May 25th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur around May 2nd, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. During this month, the wind is most often coming from a north easterly direction.
The relative humidity for Madeira in May fluctuates between 54% (mildly humid) up to 80% (humid), almost never falling below 43% (comfortable) or rising above 90% (very humid). The air is usually at its driest around May 2nd, when the relative humidity levels fall below 59% three days out of every four. May 31st is when the air is usually at its most humid, when the relative humidity levels rise above 75% three days out of every four.
During this month, the average sea temperature for Madeira is 19°C – that’s the same temperature as last month. Whilst some people will find this temperature perfect for enjoying a swim, others might find it a bit too cold. If you don’t want to risk it, stick to Madeira’s heated and indoor swimming pools.
Ponta Delgada Beach in Madeira
Dates for the diary
- Between May 1st and May 7th in 2014, the Madeira Flower Festival takes place in Funchal. This colourful event is one of the most traditional on the island and is comprised of loads of family-friendly activities and attractions. Highlights of the festival include: the making of flower carpets, musical concerts, folk dancing, flower displays, the main parade and the children’s parade. Many groups also organise dancing throughout the streets, with locals dressed from head-to-toe in traditional Madeiran embroidered costumes.
- On May 3rd and May 4th in 2014, Santana hosts the Festa do Limão (Lemon Festival). This foodie festival is one of the most highly-anticipated of the year and sees locals farmers gather together at the Ilha Parish to display their produce. As well as being able to purchase loads of lemons, you can also buy lemon-themed desserts, including cakes, biscuits and puddings.
- Between May 10th and May 11th in 2014, Reid’s Palace Classic Auto Show takes place in Funchal. A must-visit for car enthusiasts, this exhibition is a great opportunity to admire all sorts of vintage and classic cars, motorbikes and scooters – all of which are in perfect condition. The day comes to a close with a cocktail party and prestigious award ceremony.
- Between May 15th and May 18th, the Madeira Island Open (PGA European Tour) takes place, one of the two main Portugal sporting events which appears on the official PGA European tour for men. Since 1993, all three golf courses in Madeira have hosted this prestigious event, due to their quality greens, stunning views and challenging holes.
- On May 16th and 17th in 2014, the Festa da Cebola (Onion Festival) is held in Caniço. In a similar way to the Lemon Festival, this foodie fair is made up of numerous stalls run by local farmers eager to display and sell their produce. Unlike the Lemon Festival, the Onion Festival also features artistic arrangements of flowers and onions which are used to decorate tractors and cars. Folk music concerts, craft stalls and plenty of local food samplings make this event fun for everyone.
- Between May 23rd and May 31st in 2014, Funchal celebrates the Festas da Sé. During this celebration, the streets which surround the local cathedral burst into life with street parties, traditional menus in found restaurants, musical concerts and instrumental performances.
Things to do
- With spring in full bloom, May is a great time to visit some of Madeira’s parks. The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is one of the most popular parks, located at the top of the Monte hill in Funchal. Much more than an ordinary park, this attraction is often described as one of the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens, bursting with all sorts of exotic plants and trees, as well as ponds teeming with koi, ceramic tiles and garden art.
- The Santa Catarina Park is another park worthy of a visit during your holiday. Here you’ll find gardens, ponds, lakes, fountains and benches, making it a great place to relax. You can bring along a picnic and enjoy it under the shade of a tree, or stop by the café for a bite to eat.
- If panoramic views are your thing, make sure you visit Cabo Girao. This popular view point boasts stunning vistas which stretch all the way down the cliff face to the coast below and across the glistening sea. If you’re feeling brave, you can even stand on the glass floor and admire the view 580 metres below.
Ponta Gorda Beach in Madeira
Where to eat and drink
- Restaurante Goya is a popular restaurant located in Funchal serving a wide variety of international specialities and a few signature French dishes. The most popular item on the menu is the fixed-price three-course meal which allows you to sample some of the restaurant’s best dishes which are paired with local wines. If you’re not feeling that hungry, there is an extensive a la carte menu to choose from, too.
- If you’re craving a curry, stop by Delhi Indian Restaurant. Here you’ll find a vast selection of Indian starters, mains and side dishes, including the curries we all know and love. Here you can choose to dine at the restaurant or order a takeaway and enjoy your meal back at your hotel.
- When it comes to a traditional British pub in Madeira, it doesn’t get much better than the Prince Albert Pub. Here you’ll find a wide variety of local and imported beers, as well as a selection of wines, spirits and soft drinks. Live sporting events are regularly shown on numerous TV screens and fun-filled theme nights are the norm.
- The Chameleon club, located just a short walk away from the harbour in Funchal, is a top class nightclub. Inside you’ll find a number of dance floors which are usually packed with locals and holidaymakers alike who come together to dance the night away. The dance floors are lined by numerous bars where you can enjoy a wide variety of drinks.
Where to stay
- If you plan on visiting the annual Lemon Festival, the Colmo Hotel is a great place to stay. This hotel is located close to the festival’s grounds and offers very affordable accommodation, making it both convenient and great value for guests on a budget. After a long day at the festival, the hotel’s piano bar is a relaxing place to spend an evening in Santana.
- Quinta Mirabela is perfect for guests in search of a small boutique hotel. Here you’ll find a small number of rooms, each of which is uniquely decorated. There is a handful of services and facilities available onsite, such as: restaurant, swimming pool, health club and gym.
- For something a bit more luxurious, check out the Pestana Grand Hotel. This five-star complex provides guests with standard rooms, family rooms and various suites. There are also loads of services and facilities to take advantage of, including: restaurants, bars, spa, swimming pool and internet access.