All You Need To Know About Madeira Atlantic Festival
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This post contains all the information you want to know about June’s Madeira Festivals. I’ll add content regularly, so be sure to check for updates. (Last updated on 23.05.23).
June is a month of celebrations across the island. When people hear about the Madeira Atlantic Music Festival, they don’t quite get it because many things are happening simultaneously. So today, I want to share the best advice and answers to all the often asked questions about the Madeira Atlantic Festival. You won’t want to miss a thing, that’s for sure!
The questions I often get asked are:
- What is the Madeira Atlantic Festival?
- What does the Atlantic Festival include?
- When is the Atlantic Festival Madeira?
- What time do the fireworks start and end? How long does it take?
- When is it reasonable to leave the hotel and take the bus to Funchal? Can we take the bus? Are taxis easy to use?
- Where will the Atlantic Madeira Music Festival take place?
- Where are the best places to watch and photograph fireworks? Is it a standing, sitting, or dining area? Is the fireworks’ area crowded?
- Atlantic Festival Tickets: Where can I reserve a grandstand seat? How much is the ticket?
- How do we find the Madeira Atlantic Festival programme?
- What is the average weather in Funchal in June?
- When is the Atlantic Festival next year?
- Is the Madeira Atlantic Festival worth going?
- We cannot decide between this festival and New Year’s Eve.
- Where should I stay in Madeira?
1. What is the Madeira Atlantic Festival?
The Atlantic Music Festival is a firework show featuring music from four countries, but only three compete to become the best fireworks show.
They present all novelties of pyrotechnics at this festival. It’s worth the trip for that alone.
Historically, it was a competition between the invited countries to decide who would set off the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. However, many declined the invitation because of the astronomical and logistical costs of funding such a large exhibition.
Portugal usually gives the last show but does not compete. It is the company responsible for the logistics of the Atlantic Festival.
Winners will receive trophies through online public voting and raffles installed at strategic locations in the capital’s centre, Funchal (City Pier – Day of the Show, La Vie, Marina Shopping Centre and the Central Tourist Office on Arriaga Avenue).
2. What does the Atlantic Festival include?
This festival marks the start of summer in Madeira and includes other initiatives spread throughout June.
My favourites are the Music fireworks contest in Funchal (Saturdays) and the 16th-century Medieval Market in Machico (first weekend).
But there are other events in June, such as the Madeira Music Festival, Regional Arts Week and the Atlantic Roots Festival.
Popular Saint’s altars and religious festivals combine eating and drinking in street stalls in a variety of parishes (12-13th; 23-24th and 28-29th)
3. When is the Atlantic Festival Madeira?
The Madeira Atlantic Festival takes place every Saturday night for four weeks in June.
4. What time do the fireworks start and end? How long does it take?
The show begins at 22:30, with presentations in multiple languages and fireworks lasting 20 minutes. So, it ends around 23:00.
5. When is it reasonable to leave the hotel and take the bus to Funchal? Can we take the bus? Are taxis easy to use?
The harbour and marina area can get busy, so get there early (1 hour) to find your spot.
Ask the front desk if they bring guests into town. If not, go early and search for a seaside spot to watch the fireworks.
There are taxi stops in tourist areas and buses run every 10-15 minutes to the city centre.
It isn’t easy to get back to the hotel. It will be crowded, queues may form, and buses will run until around midnight.
Depending on the hotel’s location, you can also walk back if you are in good shape. I recommend taking Avenida do Infante, as the upper exit of Catarina Park is not open at night.
If you decide to stay in Funchal for a while after the show, you may have to wait 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours to get back to the hotel by bus or taxi. Some bars and restaurants are open until late (01:00).
Tips: You can always save yourself the wait by booking transport to and from the Atlantic Festival. CLICK HERE TO BOOK.
6. Where will the Atlantic Madeira Music Festival take place?
They will launch fireworks from the cruise terminal in the harbour of Funchal.
7. Where are the best places to watch and photograph fireworks? Is it a standing, sitting, or dining area? Is the fireworks’ area crowded?
The best place to see it is the Marina in the centre of Funchal, but you have six options:
7.1. The port area along the main road in the city centre: the Marina, Praça do Mar (CR7 Square) and Praça do Povo.
Eat first, then find a seat. There is a long section along Avenida do Mar where people stand up to enjoy the show.
Enjoy the atmosphere and spectacle with the residents and visitors. Yes, louder because we can hear the music choreographed by the fireworks, but brilliant.
Tips: No matter how wonderful, try to avoid staying near the huge speakers during the show.
Reserve a table and watch the fireworks from one of the many restaurants on the waterfront.
Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine after a superb meal in the Forte restaurant in the Old Town. To name a few, try Beer House, A Gruta or Sete Mares restaurants. They all have good locations that overlook the Marina and the harbour.
Tips: You must book each restaurant in advance. They fill up quickly. If you decide to dine at the restaurant and watch the fireworks, please book 2 hours in advance as it can get very busy. Otherwise, you can eat in the hotel area before heading into town to watch the fireworks.
7.3. Boat trip.
Fireworks cruises are available during the Atlantic Festival, but it’s best to book in advance if you decide to do so.
They stop in front of the harbour to watch the entire show from the sea, serving sparkling wine and snacks. They usually play the music of the pyro-musical show on board.
Please fill out the contact form to make a request.
Tips: Sunset cruises are great for other days of the week, as you get to see different views of the island and witness beautiful sunsets. Only between June and September. You can BOOK ONLINE HERE:
View from Santa Catarina Park, but keep in mind that the top exit closes at night. There’s also no guarantee the authorities will open the doors for the fireworks. Go back to the lower entrance to leave the garden.
If you cannot attend, browse through the MARINA WEBCAM. It is not as desirable as being there, but you can see how many people watch it.
Depending on the hotel you’re staying in, they might have a rooftop view, or you can watch it from the balcony of your room. You can play the show’s music from local radio stations. However, I guess the city centre could have an extra vibe.
8. Atlantic Festival Tickets: Where can I reserve a grandstand seat? How much is the ticket?
There are no pay-per-view spaces. If you want to sit down, go early for a free place along the Avenida do Mar, or book a table at one of the restaurants I recommend in section 7.2.
9. How do we find the Madeira Atlantic Festival programme?
Please fill out the contact form below if you would like to receive the complete programme as soon as they release it.
10. What is the average weather in Funchal in June?
Funchal may be cloudy in June, but it’s still warm (don’t lie on a sun lounger without sun cream).
It is difficult to predict the weather, especially in Madeira, whose microclimate shows various climatic zones. It may be cloudy, wet, sunny, and windy anytime.
Even Funchal can have a variety of climatic zones. Generally, clouds remain in the Monte region, while the centre of Funchal is sunny. Monte is located at the top of Funchal, so keep this in mind when planning your tour.
It’s also not likely that there will be clouds on the island for a week or more, and you can hunt the sun by visiting another region.
11. When is the Atlantic Festival next year?
The Madeira Atlantic Festival is only held in June.
12. Is the Madeira Atlantic Festival worth going to?
Watching the fireworks is a great spectacle to behold.
It’s going to be crowded, and no matter where you go, you’re probably not going to be able to get away from the hassle of coming and going. But it’s a great ad! Whatever you choose, you’ll have a great time.
Also, June is a great month to visit Madeira and enjoy the beautiful festivities. Fireworks with music every Saturday around the harbour area is my favourite.
Schools will also end up for three months from June 20. So, if you want quieter beaches, I recommend you to come earlier, but if you are in a hotel, it is not a problem.
People say that the Atlantic Festival in Madeira: is spectacular, ingenious, and worth watching; It’s a beautiful night and the fireworks are great!
13. We cannot decide between this festival and New Year’s Eve.
We have fireworks in June (Atlantic Festival) and on New Year’s Eve. Both shows are worth watching, and the atmosphere is exceptional.
The Atlantic Festival is a treat. The exhibit isn’t as big as New Year’s, but it is still great. At the Atlantic Festival, there is only one firework station in Funchal harbour. Multiply this by 37 launch stations spread all over the city at the end of the year.
The high areas are perfect for the fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, but for June, I would recommend the seafront, as the festival takes place in the harbour of Funchal.
Some hotels transport their guests to a viewpoint on New Year’s Eve, but not in June.
New Year’s flights can get expensive, but Christmas is also magical and unforgettable, with fantastic lights and a wonderful atmosphere, well worth a visit.
14. Where should I stay in Madeira?
This is a tricky question because it depends on your preferences. Madeira has many hotels with different locations, categories, styles and budgets.
If you need a travel expert to help you choose, CLICK HERE. Open the desired hotel category and select your preferences. It is easy and free.
Or check out HERE our pre-arranged 3, 5 or 7-night packages that offer accommodation, breakfast, airport transfers, tours and activities.
Don’t miss out on the Atlantic Festival Madeira and Madeira Music Festival. It will be a great mix of light, music, and fireworks in the city of Funchal.
I hope I have inspired you to come and enjoy our festivals. I love June in Madeira, and I’m guessing you will as well.