Funchal, PT "“ Looking for a new winter escape that is not the same old Caribbean, but that is affordable and warm? Madeira Island off the coast of North Africa is closer this fall and winter with new flights from Boston and expanded packages starting at a mere $939 for round-trip air and hotel (before taxes).  Portuguese airline SATA has new 6-night packages from Boston Logan Airport to Funchal (via the Azores) with more flights to choose from and eight hotels. Prices, including roundtrip air, hotel, and breakfast start at $939 per person, before taxes and fees. Hotel transfer can be added to the package at a nominal charge.


On the service from Boston to Madeira passengers can upgrade from coach to SATA Plus Business-Class for just a few hundred dollars each way. All packages include breakfast. Kids under 6 stay free, and pay only a child's airfare.


Madeira has a nearly perfect climate"”warm and clear in winter with temperature in the 70s.  Volcanic cliffs that rise dramatically from the sea characterize Madeira's fascinating landscape. The islands steep rise creates six unique climate zones, each with its own beautiful flora and fauna that contribute to the comparison of Madeira with Hawaii.


Visitors come for the natural beauty, and they stay to experience the ocean, golf, hiking, deep sea fishing, diving, an old world charm of the island and its mountains and seaside towns. Madeira remains an uncrowned and sophisticated pearl of European charm, where visitors can experience the sea, mountain hiking, or city culture. George Washington was a great fan of Madeira wine.


New this year is the Enotel Lido, with an all-inclusive package that starts at just $1,379 per person. Set on Madeira's sunny southern coast, the Enotel Lido offers 5-star conveniences and hospitality. Guests have access to a wide selection of fun with swimming pools, the squash court, gymnasium, and the Thalassothys Spa. Also new is the Porto Bay Porto Santa Maria hotel from $1,469 pp. Porto Santa Maria is set on the sea in the middle of the historic heart of Funchal. Close by are the cable cars which link Funchal with Monte, Forte de São Tiago (a fortress built at the beginning of the 17thcentury) and the famous Mercado dos Lavradores


Hotels include the four-star Four Views, Estrelicia, Cliff Bay, Pestana Carlton, Porto Santa Maria, Baia Azul, and the new Pestana Prominade. All hotels offer seaside views, outdoor saltwater pools and full resort facilities.


For more information and reservations, contact Azores Express at 800-762-9995,