September swings into action in a big way as Funchal, surrounding towns and villages celebrate, the annual grape harvest with the Madeira Wine Festival, which runs from the 25th of August to the 8th of September. With static displays, wine tasting and a great festival atmosphere, it’s the perfect opportunity to take part in one of the islands most memorable events. Also, the village of Porto da Cruz celebrates its Grape and Farmer Harvest on the 31st of August to 1st September honouring the parish’s excellent winemaking tradition. Ponta Delgada on the 31st of August and 1st September plays host to one of the most significant pilgrimage festivals known on the island with the Santissimo Sacramento (Arraial do Bom Jesus), which has people travelling all over the island to take part in the religious ceremonies and enjoy the great entertainment. Blandy’s Wine Lodge in Funchal celebrates the wine festival from the 3rd – 7th, with a series of activities including wine tasting, tours and the infamous grape treading. Taking to the seas, the International Regatta Canary – Madeira, takes place from the 4th to the 8th. The event has hundreds of sailing enthusiasts competing against each other as they race from Lanzarote Marina to Madeira. From the 4th to the 8th squash players from all over the world will be taking part in the Madeira International Open Squash tournament.
If you are planning a trip to Porto Santo, then the weekend of the 5th and 6th is perfect, as the island celebrates its own Wine Harvest Festival and although most of the grapes produced are for eating, Porto Santo has created some lovely table wines. From the 6th to the 8th The Wine Harvest Festivities continue in Estreito Câmara de Lobos with the all-important treading of the grapes, folklore and music over three days of fun and festivities. Quinta do Furão will be hosting several events on the 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st including lunches, wine tasting and traditional grape treading. Between the 7th and 8th, the Madeira Classic Car Race will have the islands classic car enthusiasts racing along Madeira’s roads. Porto Santo will be holding its annual Columbus Festival from the 12th to the 14th celebrating all things Christopher Columbus related, including a historical re-enactment of his arrival to the island.
Moving back to Madeira, the Madeira International Table Tennis Open takes part from the 13th to 15th in Funchal. The event is part of the World Junior Circuit. Ponta do Pargo Apple Festival from the 14th to 15th will have you celebrating all things apple. The festival is full of fun and lively entertainment. Caniçal will be holding its beautiful and moving Festival of Our Lady of Mercy (Nossa Senhora da Piedade) on the 14th and 15th. This is one of the oldest festivals on the island, and like all things Madeira, the event combines religion with good humour, food, drink and plenty of music.
The Biosphere Roller Skate, part of the International Speed Skating Tournament takes place on the 20th and 21st in Faial, Santana attracting some 300 competitors. On the 22nd both national and international runners will be taking part in the Madeira Uphill Race. The race starts in Funchal and ends in Pico do Areerio, and as the name suggests it’s uphill all the way. The capital, Funchal celebrates World Tourism Day on the 27th with many of the gardens and museums offering free admission. The Apple Cider Festival (Mostra da Cidra), provides lively entertainment in Santo da Serra on the 28th and 29th. Demonstrations include a parade, apple exhibitions, the all-important cider sampling, music and as always, plenty to eat.