Breathtakingly beautiful and located in the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira Portugal is an island that has endless things to do. There is something for everyone on this picturesque island, from hiking and biking to swimming and whale watching.
Visiting Madeira Portugal
Portugal is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, it is bordered by Spain to the east and north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. Madeira is one of Portugal's many islands, situated off the coast of Africa. The Madeira Archipelago is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful scenery, sunny weather, and friendly people. Madeira is also renowned for its unique landscape, volcanic mountains, lush forests, and terraced vineyards. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and bird watching in the island's natural parks or relax on the beach. Madeira is also home to some of Portugal's best-known restaurants and hotels, making it an ideal place to stay for a holiday or business trip. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, Madeira has something for everyone.
Where is Madeira Portugal Located
Madeira Portugal is a small island off the coast of Africa, about 1,000 miles from Lisbon. It's part of an archipelago that includes the Canary Islands, Azores, and Cape Verde. Madeira is a popular tourist destination because of its mild climate, year-round sunny weather, and dramatic landscape. Visitors can explore the island's volcanic caves, hike to waterfalls and lookouts, and go whale watching. Madeira is also known for its wine and embroidery. The island has a strong cultural identity and is proud of its unique history and traditions. Madeira Portugal is a great place to visit if you're looking for an exotic destination that's still relatively close to home.
How to get to Madeira
There are two main ways to reach Madeira: plane or boat. The island has its own airport, located just over 3 miles from the capital of Funchal. There are direct flights to Madeira from several European cities, including Lisbon, Frankfurt, and London. If you're coming from further afield, you'll need to make a connection in Lisbon or Porto. You can also take a ferry to Madeira from Portimao in Portugal or Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The journey takes around 12 hours.
Once you've arrived in Madeira, getting around is relatively easy. You can either rent a car or use the public bus system.
What you need to know before you visit Madeira
When planning your trip to Madeira, there are a few things to keep in mind. The island has a tropical climate, warm and sunny year-round. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so it's always good to pack a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
This is the busiest time of year for tourism if you're visiting during the summer months (June to September). You'll find that hotel prices are higher and restaurants are more crowded. If you're looking to avoid the crowds, plan your trip for shoulder season (April to May or October to November).
Finally, keep in mind that Madeira is a relatively small island. With a population of just over 250,000, it's about the same size as Portland, Oregon. This means that things can get crowded during peak season. If you're looking for a more relaxed vacation, consider visiting during the off-season.
Things to do in Madeira Portugal
Ponta de Sao Lourenco
Ponta de Sao Lourenco is a must when visiting Madeira. This area is beautiful and has a lot of history. The views are breathtaking, and you can see for miles. There are also many things to do in Ponta de Sao Lourenco. You can go hiking, take a boat ride, visit the lighthouse, or relax on the beach. There are also a few restaurants in Ponta de Sao Lourenco, so you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the views. If you're looking for a place to relax and take in the beauty of Madeira, Ponta de Sao Lourenco is the perfect spot.
Cabo Girao is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madeira. This is because it has some of the best views on the island. From Cabo Girao, you can see for miles in every direction. The views are so good that many people come here to take pictures.
There are also a few things to do at Cabo Girao. You can go on a glass-bottom boat ride, visit the lighthouse, or take a hike. If you're looking for a place to get some great photos of Madeira, Cabo Girao is the perfect spot.
Hike Pico Ruivo-The Island's Highest Point
If you're looking for a challenge, hike Pico Ruivo-the island's highest point. The hike is about 6 miles round trip and can be challenging at times. However, the views from the top are worth it. You can see for miles in every direction. On a clear day, you can even see the African coast. If you're up for a challenge, hike Pico Ruivo. You won't be disappointed.
Visit Porto Santo
Porto Santo is a small island located about 9 miles from Madeira. This island is much quieter than Madeira and is perfect for those who are looking for a more relaxing vacation. There are several things to do in Porto Santo, including swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and windsurfing.
Most people visit Porto Santo Island because of the beaches. These white sand beaches are some of the most beautiful in Madeira, making it the perfect place to spend the day. If you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy the quiet beauty of Madeira, visit Porto Santo.
Explore the Madeira Botanical Garden
The Madeira Botanical Garden is located in the Rua de a Maria. These gardens are one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. They feature various plants and flowers and a cafe and gift shop.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy the beauty of Madeira, visit the Madeira Botanical Gardens.
Take a walk down Rua de Santa Maria.
Rua de Santa Maria is one of the most popular streets on the island. This street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, and it's the perfect place to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat.
But what draws visitors to this area are the painted doors. These doors are each unique and are a must-see when visiting Madeira.
Swim at Porto Moniz Natural Pools
Looking for a breathtaking swimming spot? Head to the north coast, where you find the Porto Moniz Natural Pools! These tiered pools are filled with crystal-clear water from the Atlantic Ocean. They're the perfect place to cool off on a hot day, and the views aren't too shabby either. Be careful of the slippery rocks – they can be pretty dangerous if you're not careful.
If you're not in the mood to swim, you can always sunbathe on one of the many black lava beaches. Madeira's volcanic origin makes for some fascinating landscapes, and the beaches are definitely no exception. Be warned, though – the lava can get pretty hot, so bring a towel to sit on.
Levada do Caldeirao Verde
There's plenty to do in Madeira, Portugal, and one of the best things to do is Levada do Caldeirao Verde. This beautiful Levada is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, and it's easy to see why. The walk takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Madeira, including a lush green valley and a towering waterfall. It's a moderate hike, so it's suitable for most people, and it's a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. If you're looking for things to do in Madeira, Portugal, Levada do Caldeirao Verde should definitely be at the top of your list.
Funchal Cable Car
If you're looking for a bird's eye view of Madeira, take the Funchal Cable Car. This cable car takes you from sea level to the top of Monte in just minutes. You'll have stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside from the top. The Funchal Cable Car is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, so buy your tickets in advance.
Go for a Panoramic Drive
One of the best ways to see Madeira is to go for a panoramic drive. Several roads take you along the rugged coastline and wind their way through the mountains, and each one offers breathtaking views. Just be sure to take it slow – the roads can be pretty narrow and curvy.
Parque Forestal de Queimadas
If you're looking for things to do in Madeira, Portugal, head to Parque Forestal de Queimadas. This park is located in the northwest part of the island and is home to various plants and animals. Several hiking trails wind their way through the park.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden
With its mild climate, picturesque landscapes, and abundance of flowers, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is a must-see for any visitors to Madeira. This lush oasis is home to over 2,000 different species of plants, making it one of the most diverse gardens in the world. Visitors can stroll through the manicured gardens, admire the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and even take a ride on the garden's vintage train. The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is also a great place to learn about Madeira's rich history and culture. The garden's museum features a rotating selection of exhibitions, and the garden's café offers a variety of traditional dishes. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an educational experience, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is sure to please.
Vereda dos Balcones
If you love hiking, one of the things to do in Madeira Portugal is Vereda dos Balcones. This popular trail is located in the western part of the island and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for most people. However, there are some steep sections, so wear comfortable shoes.
With its clear waters and abundance of marine life, Madeira is a popular destination for diving. There are several dive sites around the island, and many of them can be reached from the shore. If you're looking for things to do in Madeira, Portugal, diving is definitely something to add to your list.
Taste Madeira Wine
Madeira is world-renowned for its wine, so visiting the island without tasting it would be a crime. Madeira wine is made from various grape types, and each one has its own unique flavor. If you're not sure where to start, head to one of the many wineries located around the island. Many of them offer tastings, so you can try various wines before you buy.
Pico do Arriero
If you're looking for things to do in Madeira Portugal that offer an adrenaline rush, look no further than Pico do Arriero. This mountain is located in the eastern part of the island and is the highest point on Madeira. You'll need to hike or take a cable car to reach the summit. Once you're at the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning island views.
Santana is a small village located in the northeastern part of the island. This quaint village is known for its traditional thatched-roof houses, which are a common sight in Madeira. If you're looking for things to do in ana, visit the ana Folklore Museum. This museum is housed in one of the village's thatched-roof houses and features a collection of traditional artifacts.
Go on a dolphin or whale watching tour.
One of the best things to do in Madeira Portugal is to go on a dolphin or whale watching tour. These tours depart from the port of Funchal and take you out into the Atlantic Ocean. During the tour, you'll have the opportunity to see a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and turtles.
Get the perfect Instagram shot at Miradouro do Cortado.
If you're looking for things to do in Madeira Portugal that will help you get the perfect Instagram shot, look no further than Miradouro do Cortado. This miradouro, or lookout point, is located in the western part of the island and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coastline.
Cabo Girao Skywalk
Cabo Girao is a cape located in the southwestern part of the island. It's one of the things to do in Madeira, Portugal, that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you're not afraid of heights, check out the Cabo Girao Skywalk. The Skywalk is a built-in 2021 on a 580-meter cliff overlooking Madeira's south coast. This glass platform lets you walk out over the edge of the cape, giving you a bird's eye view of the ocean below.
Miradouro do Veu da Noiva
Another one of the things to do in Madeira Portugal that offers beautiful views is Miradouro do Veu da Noiva. This miradouro, or lookout point, is located in the northeastern part of the island and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Valley of the Nuns
The Valley of the Nuns is a valley located in the central part of the island. This valley is known for its lush vegetation and tranquil atmosphere. If you're looking for things to do in the Valley of the Nuns, be sure to visit the ruins of the Convento da Esperanca. This convent was founded in the 18th century and was later abandoned. Today, all that remains are the ruins of the convent's walls.
Cascata do Anjos
Cascata do Anjos is a waterfall located in the central part of the island. This waterfall is one of the best things to do in Madeira, Portugal. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. To reach the waterfall, you'll need to hike through the forests of Madeira.
Garajau Nature Reserve
The Garajau Nature Reserve is a nature reserve located in the island's southeastern part. This reserve is home to various plant and animal life and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you're looking for things to do in the Garajau Nature Reserve, go on a hike or dip in the ocean.
Spend the day on a black sand beach at Seixal
Head over to Seixal, where you will find some of the most beautiful black sand beaches on the Island of Madeira. The sand is a result of the volcanic activity on the island. After spending a day at the beach, visit the Miradouro do Veu da Boda, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.
Garganta Funda Viewpoint
This is one of the things to do in Madeira Portugal that not many tourists know about. Garganta Funda Viewpoint is located in Ponta do Pargo, in Calheta. This viewpoint is perfect for those that are not big on hiking as it is only a short walk to get to this viewpoint and the waterfall. You will be rewarded with stunning views of Madeira and the ocean.
One of the things you must do when in Madeira is eating Espetadas. This Portuguese dish is from Madeira, so it is definitely a must-eat when visiting the island.
This dish is traditionally made with beef that is skewered and grilled over an open fire. The meat is usually marinated in garlic, salt, and pepper. However, you can find variations of the dish made with chicken or pork.
Visit the Madeira Aquarium
If you're looking for things to do in Madeira Portugal with kids, visit the Madeira Aquarium. This aquarium is located in Funchal and is home to various fish, turtles, and other marine life. The aquarium also has a touch tank where kids can get up close and personal with some creatures.
Cascata Agua d'Alto
Cascata Agua d'Alto is a waterfall located in the Agua D'Alto site belonging to Faial parish in Santana. After a short walk along the Levada, you will reach the waterfall. This is a great side trip for those looking to spend the day in ana. This waterfall is one of the best things to do in Madeira, Portugal. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The Fanal Forest is a mystical experience and a must-visit on the Island of Madeira. Fanal is part of the Laurisilva forest which is a UNESCO Heritage site. The forest is a beautiful experience due to the fog that seems to move through the forest, creating a mystical experience.
Make sure to stop by one of the many viewpoints to take in the Final Forest's beauty.
Camara de Lobos
Camara de Lobos is a small fishing village located on the southwest coast of Madeira. It's easy to get to if you're staying in Funchal, although some choose to make Camara de Lobos their home away from home to visit Madeira.
Camara de Lobos is infamous for being the spot where Winston Churchill would come to paint and relax on the Island. Today you will find colorful fishing boats on the beach with a backdrop of the mountains of Madeira.
Rock Formations at Mirador Illeus da Ribiera da Janela
The Rock Formations at Mirador Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela are a sight to behold. Located along the northwest corner of the Island between Porto Moniz and Seixal, these formations are indeed a natural wonder. Although they may appear small from a distance, up close, they are pretty impressive. Jutting up from the sea, these rocks provide a stunning contrast to the blue waters. Whether you're looking for a place to take some stunning photos or just want to soak up the natural beauty, the Rock Formations at Mirador Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela are definitely worth visiting.
Scabbardfish is a type of fish that is found in the Madeira Islands. This fish is typically served grilled with a side of potato and vegetables. While it may not be the most popular dish on the island, it is definitely worth trying if you're looking for something new.
Explore Old Town Funchal
Funchal is the capital and largest city of Portugal's autonomous region of Madeira. The city has a rich history dating back to the 15th century when it was founded by Portuguese settlers. Today, Old Town Funchal is a well-preserved example of this colonial past, with its narrow streets and traditional architecture. Visitors can explore the city's museums and art galleries or simply enjoy the views from one of its many rooftop bars. Old Town Funchal is also home to several churches and cathedrals, including the impressive Sé Cathedral. Old Town Funchal is well worth a visit with its mix of traditional and modern attractions.
CR7 Museum to Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Manchester United.
Often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest, Ronaldo has five Ballon d'Or awards and four European Golden Shoes.
The CR7 Museum is dedicated to showcasing the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo. The museum is located in Ronaldo's hometown of Madeira, Portugal. Visitors can learn about Ronaldo's early life and career, see his trophies and awards, and view interactive exhibits. The CR7 Museum is a must-visit for any fan of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Praia da Calheta
Praia da Calheta is a beach that is located near the town of Calheta, on the island of Madeira, Portugal. It is known for its golden sand and clear waters and its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy plenty of swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, and kayaking. There are also several restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Whether you're looking for a day of fun in the sun or a scenic spot to watch the waves crash against the shore, Praia da Calheta is sure to please.
Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse
The Ponta do Pargo lighthouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Madeira Island. It stands on a cliff, 300 meters above sea level, at Ponta da Vigia, the westernmost point on the island. The lighthouse was built in 1922.
Today, it is a popular spot for visitors to take photographs and enjoy the stunning views. The lighthouse is open to the public all year round, and there is a small museum on site. Visitors can also climb to the top of the lighthouse for an even better view of the island and the surrounding ocean.
Toboggan Ride in Monte
The Monte Toboggan Ride is one of the most popular attractions in Madeira. The ride takes visitors down a winding road from the city of Monte to Livramento at speeds of up to 40km/h. The toboggan cars are traditional wooden sleds, and each can seat up to four people.
The ride is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely a thrilling experience. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the island as they zoom down the winding roads. The Monte Toboggan Ride is sure to highlight your trip to Madeira.
Visit a Banana Plantation
Madeira is home to several banana plantations. These plantations are a significant source of income for the island, and they provide employment for many of its residents. Visitors can take a tour of one of the plantations to learn about the industry's history and see how bananas are grown.
The tours typically last around two hours. They include a visit to the plantation, where you will learn more about the history of the plantations and even get to pick your own bananas.
Tours of the banana plantations are a great way to learn about Madeira's history and culture. They provide visitors with an up-close look at the island's agricultural industry.
Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink of Madeira, made with rum, sugar cane juice, and lemon. Poncha is very popular on the island, and it is often served at parties and celebrations. Visitors can find Poncha in many bars and restaurants around Madeira.
If you're looking for a traditional Madeiran experience, try Poncha at Rei Da Poncha.
What to Pack-Madeira Portugal
So now that you know all the fantastic things to do in Madeira, you're probably wondering what to pack.
For starters, you'll need to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen if you plan on spending any time at the beach. Madeira has some stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters, so you'll definitely want to take advantage of them.
If you're planning on doing any hiking or biking, make sure to pack comfortable clothes and shoes. And if you're planning on doing many Levada walks, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and pack a raincoat, as the weather can be unpredictable.
Finally, don't forget to pack your camera! Madeira is an incredibly scenic island. You'll want to make sure you have plenty of pictures to remember your trip.
Where to Stay in Madeira Portugal
Madeira has several accommodation options, depending on your budget and preferences.
First, you're going to figure out what you want to do while in Madeira. If you're not renting a car, it is recommended to stay in Funchal. This is the perfect spot as the area is very walkable; however, there are also many options for buses and other ways to get around the island right from Funchal.
Our number one pick for staying in Funchal is the Se Boutique Hotel. Located right next to the Se Cathedral, this boutique hotel is in a perfect location that is walkable to pretty much anywhere you want to go in Funchal.
They also have a rooftop bar with amazing views, great for an evening cocktail. And they even offer complimentary breakfast for their guests.
Map of Things to do In Madeira, Portugal
Visiting Madeira Island
Madeira is a truly stunning island, and there are endless things to do to keep you busy. You'll never run out of things to do on Madeira, from hiking and biking to swimming and whale watching. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!