Carnival on Madeira island

Undoubtedly one of the best in Europe, the Carnival in Madeira is a guarantee for endless fun and entertainment!

Traditionally there are two Carnival parades in Madeira, which are very different from each other. The most important one, the allegoric parade, which takes place always on the Saturday of the Carnival weekend, is the more sophisticated one and needs a great deal of commitment and organisation from all the groups and the people involved. Numerous Samba groups with thousands of participants in magnificent and colourful costumes dance to electrifying Samba music through the streets of Funchal, spreading an ambiance evoking the Carnival of Rio.

The second parade, called ‘trapalhão’, traditionally floods the streets of the city centre with thrilling joy on ‘Mardi gras’ (Tuesday ending the Carnival period). In this parade everybody can take part and the – sometimes quite daring – costumes and depicted caricatures are left to the participants’ own imagination.

Both parades have a defined itinerary in the city centre and end at the Municipal Square where more entertainment with live music and costume competitions is provided.

At least one month before the Carnival peak time the best-known and established Carnival groups visit the hotels and entertain the guests with dance and music performances.