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Chase the sun west with Madeira holidays from Scotland

Madeira has long been a popular destination for Scottish holidaymakers keen to bask in year-round sunshine on the sub-tropical island. You could book a package or sort out an itinerary for your own Madeira holidays from Scotland.

Thomas Cook (www.thomas cook.com) has a wide range of package holidays, with direct flights departing from Glasgow to Funchal. There are some excellent deals available for flights and accommodation, with prices starting at around £490 for a 7-night self-catering stay in a villa complex.

The advantage of these packages is their flexibility. You can adjust the package to suit your choice of room, board and location, and last-minute travellers might also be able to take advantage of some bargain rates and discounts.

If you prefer to make your own accommodation arrangements, Thomson Flights (www.flights.thomson.co.uk) offers direct flights from Glasgow to Funchal. It is still possible to find 2011 flights for under £200 return, and, if booking in advance for 2012, you should be able to find some great deals.

In Madeira, you can choose to stay in the charming old Portuguese city of Funchal, with its sun-dappled squares and lively markets, or opt for one of the island's resorts, reachable by airport transfers or public transport.

Hiking is one of Madeira's most pleasurable activities. When the Atlantic clouds drift away, there are outstanding views from the breathtaking Eira Do Serrado viewpoint 3000 feet up in the mountains, a daunting climb, but rewarding..

From here, the intrepid hiker can make an enjoyable descent through a dramatic volcanic basin until they reach the quaintly picturesque Curral das Freiras. The village has plenty of charming restaurants, ensuring that these Madeira holidays from Scotland will remain memorable.

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