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Like your apples and cider under the September Portuguese sun?

Then two Madeira festivals separated by just 26.7 miles (43km) and six days could form the core of your autumn holiday. Travellers flying through Madeira Airport - with easy bus transfers available both to and around the island's capital of Funchal - can enjoy the Apple Festival (Festa do Pero) - Ponta do Pargo - from September 14-15.

Then the following weekend it's the Mostra da Sidra (Apple Cider Festival) - Santo da Serra - from September 21-22. Festa do Pêro is a rural occasion in the quaint village of Ponta do Pargo. Here farmers from many nearby regions congregate and transform the apple harvest into a vibrant party, including a traditional street parade, exhibition, shops and cider tasting.

The aromatic quality of the famous apples in this area was so strong that ships on the high seas bound for Madeira were able to detect the perfume and some ancient writers have referred to it. Santo da Serra marks the established way of making cider during the Apple Cider Festival. Cider is a much loved beverage in Madeira, made from many types of apples across the region, including those made in Camacha, Santo da Serra, and Machico e Prazeres. The festival includes an exhibition of apple varieties and other related products. There will be a small parade and great entertainment with tourists getting the opportunity to savour cider sampling, press demonstrations, music and traditional food.

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