The best 11 things to do in Madeira, Portugal

Madeira Island, a lovely subtropical archipelago off the coast of mainland Portugal, makes up for its tiny size with fascinating landscapes and little villages steeped in history and culture. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise, with a variety of unforgettable trekking activities to choose from, as well as quiet beaches and delectable culinary delights to please even the most discerning traveler. Make sure to include one of these activities on your list of things to do on Madeira Island in order to fully appreciate the island’s natural beauty.


At Mercado dos Lavradores, you may sample local tastes

The Mercado dos Lavradores is a must-see for foodies and a nice spot to wander. Wander through the bustling market and stock up on local delicacies like Madeira cake and wine, or dine at one of the dozens of classic restaurants and pubs. Visit a nearby wine cellar or simply appreciate the New State design, which features stunning tile panels on the facade, entry, and fishmonger.

the mercado dos lavradores

Explore Funchal’s cobblestone streets

Begin your tour in Madeira Island’s Funchal Old Town, where you’ll be mesmerized by the centuries-old architecture, seafood restaurants, and brightly painted doors. Learn about the region’s history by visiting one of the local museums, while sports lovers can visit Museu CR7 to see displays about Cristiano Ronaldo. You can toboggan down the streets or take a spectacular cable car ride across the cityscape.

restaurants at the old town funchal, madeira

In the Lido Pools, you can cool off

The Lido Bathing Complex is a terrific method to cool off with the kids if you’re traveling with them. It is one of Funchal’s most popular bathing spots, including a large and small seawater pool and direct access for those who prefer the ocean waves. There are sunbeds and parasols for soaking up the rays, as well as lockers and a snack bar for families vacationing together.

lido pools

In Ponta de São Lourenço marvel at the stunning cliffs

Ponta de São Lourenço is a wonderful climb to see the island’s stunning cliff beauty. It is located in a natural reserve with striking volcanic rocks streaked with reddish colours. The landscape at numerous lookouts, such as the stunning Ponta do Furado, as well as several bird species and seals, will wow you.

hades morgenröte (ponta de são lourenço / madeira)

Porto Moniz’s lava lakes are a must-see

Porto Moniz, on Madeira’s northern edge, is home to a natural wonder that should not be missed on a visit to the island. Its lava pools were created by volcanic lava and are now filled with clear seawater, creating natural swimming pools that are a sight to behold. These cool pools are great for the whole family, and the neighboring Madeira Aquarium has exhibits where you can get up up and personal with the island’s rich sea life.

lava pools of porto moniz

Enjoy the landscape at Cabo Giro

Cabo Giro, on Madeira’s south coast, is known for its nearly 2,000-foot skywalk perched atop a cliff. The observation point, which hangs over the edge of the cliff and features glass floor tiles that provide a dizzying view of the ocean and the towns of Camara De Lobos and Funchal below, will test your bravery. The cliffs are said to be Europe’s tallest, and they’re a terrific spot to see one of the island’s stunning sunsets.

skywalk at cabo girão

Levada dos 25 Fontes

A visit to Madeira Island isn’t complete without participating in a bucket list levada trip, which is a must for nature lovers. Water flows through “levadas,” which convey freshwater from the highlands to communities all around Madeira, as part of the island’s unique irrigation system. On the Levada dos 25 Fontes, which travels through some of the island’s loveliest landscape, you may explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a picturesque stroll past gushing waterfalls.

levada dos 25 fontes

At Seixal Beach, take in the beauty

Seixal Beach is a natural black sand beach nestled between green cliffs and mountains on the island’s north shore. You can visit this natural wonder, which is located near the Seixal Port and a natural pool, to take in the island’s scenery, where the green of the mountain contrasts sharply with the clear blue of the sea. You may also go for a stroll along nearby Praia da Jamaica, a beautiful pebble beach perfect for relaxing.

the scenery at seixal beach

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Take the Funchal cable car to Monte Palace Tropical Garden to see over 100,000 tropical and indigenous plant varieties. In addition to heather from Scotland and European azaleas, you’ll find cycads from South Africa and the rare Mocanu from the Laurisilva Forest. Visit the Japanese garden to see a pagoda and pond, then appreciate the approximately 1,000 sculptures produced by Zimbabwean artisans that dot the landscape.

monte palace tropical garden

Enjoy the sunshine on the island of Porto Santo

If you have spare time, you should visit one of Madeira’s neighboring islands. Take the ferry from Funchal to Porto Santo Island, where you’ll find a popular beach destination after a 27-mile voyage. Enjoy the five-mile stretch of white sand beach, where locals say the sand has therapeutic characteristics that help relieve aches and pains. Windsurfing, paddle boarding, and surfing are among the water sports accessible.

porto santo island

Pico do Arieiro hike

Lace up your boots and prepare for the challenge of Pico do Arieiro if you’re looking for a hiking adventure. It’s Madeira’s third highest mountain, located in the Funchal hills, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the island, including So Lourenço, Paul da Serra, and Porto Santo. Pico do Arieiro marks the start of one of the island’s best walking paths, which runs for four kilometers via cliffs, steep slopes, and tunnels all the way to Pico Ruivo.

pico do arieiro

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