Are you planning to visit Portugal soon? If it is on the top of your bucket list, you should definitely include the beautiful island of Madeira. But what can you do there? Here are the Top Things to do in Madeira Portugal on your next visit.
Madeira is an archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa and one of the Autonomous Regions of Portugal. It’s a popular tourist destination, thanks to its stunning scenery, mild temperatures year-round, and unique culture. From levadas (irrigation channels) that crisscross countryside echoing with birdsong to thriving marketplaces alive with colorful fruits and seafood dishes, Madeira offers something for everyone.
Whether your dream vacation consists of lounging on pristine beaches lined with fortified castles or adventuring into rugged mountainous terrain–there’s so much to explore in Madeira Portugal! In this article, we’ll dive into some activities that are sure to make your holiday unforgettable.
If you’re planning a trip to Madeira, Portugal, it’s important to consider travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events. SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance is an excellent option for digital nomads, remote workers, and anyone traveling long-term.
Hi, my name is Sankalp
Enjoying our travel guides & tips? Show your support & help us keep it up! 🤗
The insurance covers a range of benefits, including medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip interruption, and more. With SafetyWing, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re covered no matter where your travels take you.
Madeira Portugal is a unique destination with breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches, and plenty of activities to explore. From its beautiful volcanic scenery to its many ancient monuments, the archipelago offers an unforgettable experience for any type of traveler. Here’s a list of things to do in Madeira Portugal for all kinds of interests:
Top Things to do in Madiera Portugal
Visit São Vicente Caves
Take a trip back in time and explore one of the oldest archeological sites on the island by visiting the São Vicente caves located near Porto Moniz. These caves were formed over two million years ago by lava streams that have since created a ghostly yet fascinating atmosphere and some interesting stalagmites and stalactites formations. The entry fee is only 5 Euros per person, making it an affordable option for travelers looking to explore some local history.
Take a Scenic Drive along the Coastal Road
The coastal road of Madeira is a scenic drive that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. You can stop at various viewpoints along the way to take pictures and soak in the scenery. One of the most popular viewpoints is Cabo Girao, which is the highest cliff in Europe.
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching tours are becoming more popular in Madeira thanks to its abundant whale population which includes sperm whales, pilot whales, fin whales, blue whales and more! You can take tour groups out on boat trips departing everyday from the capital Funchal or surrounding areas such as Calheta or Machico depending on where you’re staying. A typical tour will last about three hours and you’ll get extensive views of both coastal and open ocean environments – plus you might spot some other marine creatures like dolphins or turtles too!
Explore the Lavada Walks
The Lavada Walks are a network of narrow irrigation channels that run along the mountainsides of Madeira. The walks provide a unique opportunity to explore the island’s stunning landscapes and hidden treasures. You can take a guided tour or explore the walks on your own.
Go Wine Tasting at Vinhos do Madeira
If you’re looking to try something new during your visit to Madeira then make sure you check out Vinhos do Madeira – an iconic winery established in 1848 which produces high quality table wines from indigenous Portuguese varieties like Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia wines. You can go for either their wine tasting session or the full-course meal accompanied with some delightful samples of their signature products.
Relax on Sao Lourenco Beach
The easternmost part of Madeira has long been famed for its distinct black sand beaches – notably Sao Lourenco Beach which contains volcanic minerals (serpentine) giving it a unique appearance while still being clean enough for swimming purposes due to its location surrounded by seaweed farms. Enjoying its waters often requires more patience given how cold they remain throughout most months but fortunately there are plenty facilities around here as well such as pubs, restaurants and snack bars so what’s not to love?
Explore Quinta das Palmeiras Botanical Garden
As soon as your daytrip arrives in Funchal make sure to drop by this sustainable oasis that’s almost reserved exclusively for tourists looking to escape the hustle bustle city life otherwise present in town – Quinta das Palmeiras Botanical Garden! Guests pay only few euros entrance fee but have access hundreds upon hundreds species of plants each boasting signatures colors varying amongst different gardens depending on season visited – be sure take lots photos because they’ll definitely look great later down track!
Explore the Photoscape at Miradouro dos Balcães
This point is located on a cliff between the towns of São Vicente and Ponta Delgada – perfect for getting a glimpse of the picturesque coastline. From here you can take in stunning views of traditional villages, lush green fields, and lush blue waters that show off the clarity of their waters.
Visit the Cabo Girão Viewpoint
Cabo Girão is one of Portugal’s largest ocean cliffs known for its incredible heights. Standing proudly at 589 meters above sea level, this viewpoint offers remarkable panoramic views with crystal clear waters that seem to never end – making it one of Madeira’s best spots for postcard-worthy photographs!
Check Out World Heritage Site Lagos de Monte Palace Gardens
One of only four surviving examples of ‘fortified garden enclosures’ in Europe is Lagos de Monte Palace Gardens. This impressive palace was constructed in 1715 by Prince Joao de Sousa Abreu e Lima but remains beautifully preserved today, featuring blooming gardens both inside and out! Soak in all its beauty at your own leisurely pace as you enjoy peaceful days strolling amongst its grandeur design!
Explore Santana Town on Quad Bikes
Madeira isn’t just visually appealing but also ideal for adventures like quad biking through Santana town with amazing arrangements available if booked ahead – allowing up to 6 persons per bike thus creating an unforgettable experience perfect not only couples but also friends and family groups too! Enjoy trails that make their way through banana plantations while taking in exotic sights dotting along these roads!
Visit the Funchal Old Town
Funchal Old Town is a charming district with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and historic landmarks. You can wander through the streets, visit local shops and cafes, and admire the architecture of the old buildings. One of the highlights of the area is the Mercado dos Lavradores, a lively market selling local produce and handmade crafts.
Experience the Toboggan Ride
The Toboggan Ride is a unique and thrilling experience that involves sliding down the steep streets of Funchal in a wicker basket. It’s a popular attraction in Madeira, and it’s been around since the early 19th century. The ride lasts for around 10 minutes, and it offers a fun and exciting way to explore the city.
Taste Authentic Cuisine
Discover local seafood flavors such as Tuna Stew Canhota on menus available throughout many Funchal sites. Enjoy warm sunsets with traditional delicacies like Espetada (Skewered Beef) or marinated meats made using fresh herbs plucked directly from local gardens ensuring that ingredients are always naturally grown – tasted definitely better when shared amongst good company!
Surf Waves at Praia Formosa Beach
The inhabitants from Funchal have taken surfing to new heights showcasing their skills when positioned against long rollers crashing onto formosa beach shores year round seeking challengers ready for an adventure under Madeiran skies! Equipment rental shops located nearby ensure you can jump into a pair without wasting time waiting around so no excuses not able get wild with waves here!
Experience Parasailing Adventure For Some Much Needed Adrenaline Rush Putting fear aside aerial experiences are best seen while suspended securely within bright colored parasails soaring above oceanside cliffs often accompanied by captivating backdrops too beautiful ignore just be sure strap yourself safely onto rigs tailored specifically during such high altitude excursions otherwise it might end up being longer stronger before expected until parachutes come into play further below surfaces whatsoever even capable carrying two persons during each adventure if necessary filled thrills guaranteed
Paragliding is a thrilling adventure activity that allows you to soar above the stunning landscapes of Madeira. There are several paragliding operators on the island that offer tandem flights with experienced instructors. You can take off from various locations around the island, including Funchal, Ponta do Sol, and Calheta.
Explore The Laurisilva Forest
The Laurisilva forest is an area located on the north coast of Madeira in the municipality of Santana. It is estimated that this ancient forest dates back at least 3,500 years and it is home to a great variety of fauna and flora. There are several protected areas within this forest such as the Pico da Cruz Natural Monument or Nature Park where you can go hiking or explore its cultural sites.
Take A Tour Of The Vineyards
During your visit to Madeira, take advantage of exploring one of its most beloved traditions – wine production! At many wineries across the island, you’ll find tours which will show you how grapevines are planted and cultivated for some excellent Madeiran wines. Many tours also offer tastings with prior reservation so be sure to add this to your itinerary!
Discover An Old Town Charm at Funchal
Funchal is Moscomb’s oldest city and it has plenty to offer visitors – both old and new. Wander through streets lined with colourful houses, beautiful parks, markets brimming with local produce as well as historical monuments like São Francisco church and other attractions. For those who want an even more unique experience within this historic city, take part in one of Funchal’s themed trails that take you on a guided walk around specific sites that share particular stories about the city’s past heritage.
Visit One Of The Islands Natural Beaches
Madeira Island has plenty of natural beauty spots along its shores from secluded sandy beaches to rocky areas perfect for snorkeling or sunbathing. From Machico Bay beach strewn with golden sand (perfect for family holidays!) to Porto Moniz beach where volcanic rock formations provide ample opportunities for swimming amidst crystal clear waters – there’s something unique here whatever your style.
Try Local Cuisine
No holiday would be complete without sampling all the delicious treats that local cafés, restaurants and bars have to offer! Indulge in traditional dishes like cataplana de marisco (traditional seafood stew)and espetada (grilled beef served on skewers) – accompanied by locally produced wines. You could also try bolo de mel– which translates literally as ‘honey cake’- or else pop into any patisserie where there will be no shortageof sweet treats available!
Explore La Levadas – Hiking Trails
Madeira’s network of levadas, or mini aquaducts, offer wonderful opportunities for hikers to explore the island’s rugged landscapes. The levadas total 3,000 km and also provide power for hydroelectricity plants. There are several paths ranging from easy trails that take 30 minutes to all-day hikes across steep terrain. These trails give visitors stunning views of waterfalls, mountain flora and fauna, plus some spectacular vistas over Madeira itself. Visit Funchal’s City Market
The Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmers’ Market) on Avenida Sergio Brás has long been one of the best places to sample authentic products from Madeira Portugal. It houses hundreds of vendors selling fresh produce including fish caught daily at sea, flowers grown locally and firm favourites like passion fruit wines and local sweets. Enjoy Some Relaxing Beach Time
There are several beautiful beaches to choose from on Madeira Island such as Praia de Canico de Baixo or Calheta Beach with sprawling golden sands stretching out as far as the eye can see; Serra de Agua beach is also popular with children since it offers less intimidating waves than other beaches around which makes it ideal for swimming lessons or snorkelling. Indulge in Authentic Portuguese Cuisine
What is the best time of year to visit Madeira Portugal?
Is it possible to take a day trip from Madeira Portugal to the nearby islands?
What is the currency used in Madeira?
The currency used in Madeira is the Euro.
What language is spoken in Madeira?
The official language of Madeira is Portuguese, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.