Coming hot off the heels of the Flower Festival, June is an action-packed month filled with light, colour and plenty of entertainment. If you are looking for excitement, then the Santana Ultra Skymarathon will have competitors racing over some of the toughest terrains Madeira has to offer from the 31st May to 1st June. The picturesque town of Ponta do Sol is holding its fifth annual Aqui Acola Festival from the 30th of May to the 2nd of June. The event showcases the work of local artists, including theatre, music and dance performances. Literary addicts will love Funchal’s Annual Bookfair, which runs from the 24th of May to the 2nd of June. The event takes place in the heart of Funchal and comprises of lectures, workshops and an array of book stalls covering all genres while glamour girls will go mad over Madeira Fashion Weekend on the 1st and 2nd which brings together fashion, music and dance as well as showcasing Madeira as the perfect setting for national and international style.
During the 4th to the 8th, the Trans Madeira Enduro Mountain Bike competition will take place throughout the island. The race attracts some 120 competitors who will race over 200km over the five days. Creativity knows no bounds during the Regional Arts Week as some 4,000 students exhibit their work and provide live entertainment throughout Funchal from 4th to the 11th. The island of Porto Santo celebrates all things Tuna with their Tuna Festival from the 5th to the 9th. There will be food tastings, workshops and hundreds of innovative ways to cook this delicious fish.
The Almirante Reis Gardens will be playing host to Global Wellness Day on the 8th. This free event aims to show people how important it is to balance our mind, body and soul through various alternative therapies, including meditation and dancing.
History is very much the forefront of this year’s entertainment and the Medieval Market (Mercado Quinhentista) in Machico, which takes place during the 7th and 9th. This is a superb way to experience Madeira’s unique and vibrant heritage. With the 600 years of the discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo very much in mind, this year’s event promises to be a fun-filled dynamic event with historical re-enactments, street performers, theatre and traditional stalls. On the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th (all Saturday evenings) the Atlantic Festival Fireworks contest takes place. Each Saturday night is ablaze with colour as international pyrotechnic companies fight it out to become the winner of this prestigious competition and provide the end of year firework display. Entertainment suddenly takes on a more homespun appeal as Boaventura hosts its traditional and delicious Soup Fair (Soupa do Campo) from the 8th to the 9th. The soups were initially created to sustain busy workers and are substantial, tasty and include the islands renowned Açorda da Madeira. And of course, if you have soup, you must have something to mop up the juices and the Regional Bread Fair held between the 14th and 16th is just the ticket. This event brings together a heavenly selection of local homemade bread and cakes that will whet any appetite. Over the same weekend, Jardim da Serra will be holding its famous Cherry Festival with plenty of entertainment including a parade to celebrate the new harvest from the 14th and 16th.
One of the highlights of the month is the Festival of Popular Saints (Festa dos Santos Populares). The event takes place from the 12th to the 29th and celebrates the lives of St. Anthony (Santo Antonio), St. John (São João), and St. Peter (São Pedro). As with all Madeiran festivals, there is plenty of good food, wine and live entertainment as well as homages to the saints themselves. This includes parades, marches, the occasional jumping over bonfires and live music. The celebrations take place in Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, Calheta and Ribeira Brava. The island of Porto Santo will be hosting the very popular St. John’s Festival (Festa de São João) between the 20th and 24th. While Ribeira Brava and Câmara de Lobos will celebrate St. Peter’s day from the 27th to the 30th. Ideal for all those who love a good party, as there is plenty of food, live entertainment and a firework display.
As June is about celebrations and celebrating the Madeira a Cantar (Madeira Singing as One) final brings together the twelve best singers in the region as they raise their voices to honour the 600 years of Madeira and Porto Santo on the 28th and brings a perfect end to the month.