Portugal - Madeira

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Sightseeing

Beaches & water

Nature & outdoors

Winter sports

Nightlife

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Things to Do in Madeira

Madeira, an autonomous archipelago to the Southwest of Portugal, makes for a fantastic year-round destination. With temperatures rarely dropping below ten degrees Celsius, the winter months are perfect for cooler hikes, while the summer period is the best time to enjoy Madeira’s beaches.

Funchal

If you’re not afraid of heights, take Funchal’s cable car up to the Jardim Tropical Monte Palace. At 600 meters above the capital city, this garden is the perfect spot for bird watchers, who could spot peacocks, swans, and more.

Cable Car, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Take Funchal’s cable car up to the Jardim Tropical Monte Palace.
 

Head back down to ground level to stroll around the city’s Old Town. Go shopping along Rua do Aljube or Rua da Carreira before checking out the local restaurants for black scabbard fish, espetada (a beef dish), and passion fruit pudding.

Old Town, Funchal, Portugal
Stroll around Funchal's Old Town.
 

Alternatively, buy your own local produce from the Mercado dos Lavradores, Madeira’s bustling farmers’ market, where you can also purchase wicker and leatherwork. You’ll find more delicious treats at the wineries of São Francisco, which make for a great day trip from the capital. 

Small Villages

Madeira has plenty of quaint villages outside of Funchal that are worth visiting. Porto Moniz, on the northern tip, offers beautiful natural swimming pools, formed by black lava rocks, while Garajau is a great base for hikes to the Cristo Rei.

Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portugal
Porto Moniz is located on the northern tip of the island. 
 

Head south to visit the old fishing town of Câmara de Lobos or check out Prazeres for eucalyptus forests and llama and pig farms.

Highest Peaks

Put on your hiking boots to explore some of Madeira’s most challenging peaks. The highest mountain, Pico Ruivo (1,862m), and third-tallest peak, Pico Areiro (1,818m), are connected by the Vereda do Areeiro path, which takes roughly eight hours to complete.

Pico Ruivo, Madeira, Portugal
Madeira is a great destination for hikers. 
 

You can also climb Pico Ruivo along the path from Achada do Teixiera, which is much less strenuous.

Cabo Girão, a 580-meter-high cliff, is best explored via the skywalk. The glass-floor platform isn’t for the faint-hearted; however, if you can conquer your nerves, you’ll love the views over Funchal and beautiful ocean.

Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal
Ponta de São Lourenço is Madeira’s easternmost peninsula.
 

More challenging walks can be found at Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira’s easternmost peninsula. Watch your step along the rocky four-kilometer path while looking out for rare birds and seals splashing around in the sea.

Easier Walks

Not feeling energetic? Try one of Madeira’s levada walks (which follow waterways) instead. The 25 Fountains Levada Walk stretches from the small town of Rabaçal to 25 beautiful fountains, while the Levada do Caldeirão Verde follows the fairly steep waterway into the parish of Faial.

Levada walks, Madeira, Portugal
Madeira’s levada walks follow waterways. 
 

Madeira’s stunning gardens are also perfect for a peaceful stroll. The Parque Forestal de Queimadas at the foot of Pico Ruivo mainly consists of a subtropical laurel forest, with moss, ferns, and a web of scenic walking trails.

Parque Forestal de Queimadas, Madeira, Portugal
The Parque Forestal de Queimadas is just one of the many stunning gardens of Madeira. 
 

Alternatively, check out Vereda dos Balcões to see beautiful orchids, colorful blueberry plants, and soak up gorgeous valley views.

Seaside Entertainment

Between April and October, Madeira’s coastline is full of wildlife enthusiasts on the look out for various whale and dolphin species.

Dolphins, Madeira, Portugal
You may spot some dolphins along Madeira's coastline. 
 

If you’re more of a beach bum, you can visit Praia Formosa, Madeira’s largest public beach, all year round. It’s also worth visiting Doca do Cavacas, a sandy stretch with natural volcanic swimming pools, and the black beach of Seixal, which is also a great surfing spot. 

Seixal, Madeira, Portugal
Seixal is a black beach and great surfing spot. 
 

Activities & Accomodation 

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NextStop24 Admin

30 May 2019
26-30 years
Germany

First Review by Admin

Madeira, an autonomous archipelago to the Southwest of Portugal, makes for a fantastic year-round destination. With temperatures rarely dropping below ten degrees Celsius, the winter months are perfect for cooler hikes, while the summer period is the best time to enjoy Madeira’s beaches.

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Sightseeing

Beaches & water

Nature & outdoors

Nightlife

Shopping