Madeira Wine Rally (Rali Vinho Madeira) – 1-3 August
Rally cars dominate Madeira’s picturesque landscape over three days during the annual Madeira Wine Rally. This top race attracts a number of European competitors, whose skilful driving is tested by the island’s mountainous routes, winding roads and unpredictable weather. Fans flock to watch the race, and there are plenty of places where visitors can gather to appreciate the speed and expertise of the drivers. The Madeira Wine Rally is one of the top events in the FIA European Rally Championships.
NATIONAL JUNIORS ABSOLUTE CHAMPIONSHIP– 1-4 August
Madeira hosts "OPEN DE PORTUGAL - CIMAI / MYRTHA", the National Juniors Absolute Championship, a sports event organised by the Portuguese Swimming Federation in collaboration with the Madeira Swimming Association which will take place at Funchal Olimpic Swimming Pool Complex.
The organisation estimates that this sports competition will contribute to optimise and bring greater dynamics to Madeiran swimming competitions and consequently to the tourist and sports calendar of Madeira islands as well as to enhance and promote the quality of the region’s sports infrastructures abroad, in an event which is considered the greatest of its kind in Portugal, to be held between August 1st and 4th.
SANTAcurtas – Santa Cruz – 2-30 from 10:00pm to 22:00pm
The world in which we live touches us all; whether it is mobility, human rights, conservation, business or pleasure it affects us both directly and indirectly. As such the SANTAcurtas Short Film Festival aims to showcase films that may be unavailable to watch in traditional cinemas and develop a passion for directors and actors to create films that tell a story, move an audience and make a difference in their rawness, intensity and vulnerability. Held in the atmospheric setting of the Quina do Revoredo amphitheatre in Santa Cruz this event regularly attracts a broad genre of films from a truly national and international mix of film directors and actors. A must for film enthusiasts and those interested in cinematography.
Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Our Lady of Health) – Lameiros – 2-5 August
First celebrated in the sixteenth century, the festival of Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Our Lady of Health) usually takes place on the first Sunday in September and pays homage to her healing powers. Having been accredited for her miracle of ridding Portugal of the plague in the mid-sixteenth century, she is often called upon to heal the sick. Madeira celebrates this event in Lameiros, São Vicente through a series of nine masses and special church services in her honour. As with all Madeiran religious festivals, pilgrims now as then enjoyed feasting and celebrating in her name and this year is no exception as everyone is encouraged to enjoy the local cuisine, friendship and performances by local bands, DJ’s and traditional dancers.
Black Scabbard Fish Festival – 9-11 August
Fished at a depth of several hundred metres the Black Scabbard Fish or “Espada” is one of the most typical specialties of Madeiran cuisine. However, its diversity is sometimes overlooked, and it is through the initiative of the Black Scabbard Festival in the village of Câmara de Lobos that visitors to the island can appreciate what an outstanding and versatile fish this is. With a myriad of different ‘show cooking’ workshops and tasting sessions, you are bound to find that one dish you will never forget. As with all great festivals, the enjoyment of eating is accompanied by great entertainment, creating a vibrant unmissable atmosphere of fun and celebration.
Art Camacha – 9-15 August
Madeira celebrates its rich cultural heritage in many different ways, but none so vibrantly or passionately as Art Camacha. Organised by the Casa do Povo Camacha, this week-long event combines sporting activities and culture, including wicker, embroidery, fashion, music, dancing, theatre and literature this festival brings together all these things, creating a unique, vibrant and wholly entertaining event.
Monte Festival – 14-15 August
Monte Festival is one of the largest religious festivals on the island. Nossa Senhora do Monte Church, located in the hills of Monte, is beautifully decorated with flowers in honour of Our Lady of the Monte, the patron saint of Funchal city. Pilgrims take part in a procession to the church, with the streets covered in flowers. This picturesque place comes alive with entertainment and festivities, including music, dancing and stalls serving local food and drinks.
Caniço Gastronomic Week – Caniço – 16-20 August
There is something about Madeira that makes gastronomic festivals unique, and the Caniço Gastronomic Festival is no exception. Celebrated in both Reis Magos in Caniço do Baixo and in the public square in Caniço, the popularity of the festival is long withstanding. Even so, organisers are keen to create something special every year, as are the bars and restaurants who attend the event showcasing their signature dishes, with the aim of encouraging visitors to try something new. Meandering through the many stalls the feeling is unmistakable, you are part of something, something different and unique, you are part of the community whether it's sampling the dishes on offer, sharing a drink with friends or watching the moon shimmer on the ocean, all accompanied by great music from local bands and traditional dancers.
Funchal City Day – 21 August
Dia da Cidade do Funchal commemorates the anniversary of the Royal Charter signed by King D. Manuel I in 1508, which officially recognises Funchal as a city. Historically an important sea port for trade, Funchal was the first European city built in the Atlantic. Official ceremonies include a mass at the Colégio Church and an assembly at the Town Hall, as well as plenty of local events and festivities.
Wine Harvest Festival – Porto Santo – (dates to be announced)
Porto Santo’s Wine Harvest Festival is one of the biggest events in Porto Santo.
Held in Largo das Palmeiras, visitors enjoy the opportunity to get to know the grape varieties produced on the island. Activities include wine tasting, winemaking demonstrations and an exhibit of some of the tools and equipment used to cultivate and harvest the grapes, including a traditional wine press. Music and folklore groups provide plenty of entertainment.
São Vicente Festival (Festas do Concelho) – 21-24
For such a small island, Madeira’s festival culture is second to none. Originally used to celebrate religious festivals and feast days, nowadays Madeira enjoys celebrating its cultural heritage alongside its musical and culinary tradition. And the São Vicente Festival is no exception! Especially, as it affectionately regarded as one of the best parties on the island; each year thousands of partygoers of all ages flock to São Vicente to watch and listen to local, national and international bands and artists, dance the night away to local DJ ’s and enjoy the haunting rhythms and melodies of local folklore groups. It is an unmissable event.
National and International Folklore Festival – (dates to be announced)
Dancing is a vitally important aspect of Madeiran cultural life and although the typical traditional dances have several influences, including the mainland, Moorish slaves, Arab melodies and different elements of European dances, the Madeiran traditional dancers have a style that is unique to them and something that you will not be able to see anywhere else in the world. As such, the picturesque town of Ponta do, Sol comes alive to the music, singing and dancing of both local and international folklore groups in what is described as a lively foot-tapping all-encompassing event which encourages children, young adults and adults to perform together as they weave their tales of days gone by different national and international groups.
European Folklore Week – Funchal – (dates to be announced)
Although Madeira folklore has a vibe all of its own, it is genuinely unique and although its the national the dance of a small country, its liveliness and soul has managed to captivate many throughout Europe. As such, local, national and European groups come together to celebrate six hundred years of culture, dance and music in one very lively and entertaining week performing in the heart of Funchal at the Municipal Gardens Auditorium.
Madeira Wine Festival – 25th August to 8th September
Recalling the social and economic importance of Madeira wine by reliving old wine-growing traditions, Madeira Wine Festival is held in September during the main period of grape harvesting. The festival begins in the village of Câmara de Lobos with the actual picking of the grapes, the pickers’ parade, the treading of the grapes and other related traditions that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In the centre of Funchal, this Festival includes light, sound and folk shows, all related to wine-making traditions, and many stands serve typical Madeiran food and drink specialities. There is also a historical-ethnographic parade, where you can see how rich the wine culture in Madeira is.
Feast of Jesus and the Holy Sacrament – Ponta Delgada – 31st August to 1st September
Madeira’s religious festival calendar is as relevant now, as it was when the island was first populated in 1419. But perhaps none are quite so revered as the Feast of Jesus and the Holy Sacrament, held in the beautifully crafted and intricately decorated ‘Church of the Good Lord Jesus’ located in the heart of Ponta Delgada in São Vicente. Initially, pilgrims would trek for several days along the meandering paths that lay from the south to the north of the island to celebrate this sacred festival, and even today a large number of pilgrims arrive to worship the Santissimo Sacramento. It is small wonder that it is one of the largest and most revered festivals on the island.