Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Madeira

Things to do in  Madeira

Welcome to Madeira

The Portuguese archipelago Madeira features wild coastal landscapes and tranquil charm, and delights outdoor adventurers with a wealth of activities. Known affectionately as the Pearl of the Atlantic, Madeira island offers thrill seekers the chance to take a canyoneering tour in Ribeira das Cales or a hiking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Queimadas Forest Park, whose fairy-tale forests boast emerald green lagoons and waterfalls. The island’s relatively small size means even travelers short on time can enjoy most of its delights: take a hop-on hop-off tour of Funchal, the archipelago’s picturesque capital, to discover colonial monuments at your own pace; or tick off top attractions such as the Valley of the Nuns (Curral das Freiras), Pico do Arieiro, which affords spectacular island views, and Nossa Senhora do Monte Church on a full-day sightseeing tour by Jeep or minibus. From Funchal, day trips to southwestern shores reveal the natural pools of Porto Moniz, the volcanic caves of São Vicente, and Cabo Girão, one of Europe’s highest promontories. Go whale or dolphin watching on a boat tour; or excite your palate on a vineyard tour where you’ll taste famous Madeira wine. Take in the region’s spectacular natural landscapes on a hiking excursion, or walk through the “levadas” (canal ways) in the Laurissilva Forest.

Top 10 attractions in Madeira

#1
Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

star-537
Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte) is the most important pilgrimage site on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The original church was built in 1741 on top of the foundations of an old chapel that was said to be built by the son of the settler of the island, but it was soon destroyed by an earthquake. The church that stands today dates to 1818. The interior features elegant chandeliers, a statue of Our Lady of the Mountain and the tomb of Charles I of Habsburg, the last emperor of Austria who lived in exile on Madeira until his death in 1922. Also inside the church is a silver Pieta that was the only relic saved from the earthquake. Every year in mid-August the surrounding village of Monte is home to a large festival that includes a procession to the church in honor of Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of Monte).More
#2
Madeira Botanical Gardens

Madeira Botanical Gardens

star-580
One of Madeira’s loveliest green spaces, the island’s Botanical Gardens (Jardins Botânicos da Madeira) debuted in 1960. Stretching across 20 acres (9 hectares) and home to more than 2,000 species of exotic plants, the oasis is best known for its colorful geometric flower beds and carefully groomed topiary gardens.More
#3
Sé Cathedral of Funchal

Sé Cathedral of Funchal

star-5268
One of only a handful of late fifteenth century structures to survive the test of time, this Gothic-style cathedral is evidence of an impressive history and rich architectural past. Its impressive exterior gives way to an understated, spiritual gathering space and altar that make Sé Cathedral Funchal a perfect spot for quiet reflection or contemplative prayer. Visitors can marvel at the detailed ceiling and beautiful side altars while attending morning mass at 8 a.m. The church’s unique bell can be heard throughout the town just before services start.More
#4
Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz

star-51,540
Built against a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the charming seaside village of Porto Moniz on the north-west tip of Madeira is known for its natural salt-water swimming pools surrounded by volcanic rock formations. Life here revolves around the outdoors; the village started out as a fishing and farming outpost and you’ll see the tropical fruit plantations along the hillside as you walk around.More
#5
Paul da Serra Plateau

Paul da Serra Plateau

star-5235
To the south of the Laurel Forest lies the Paúl da Serra Plateau, a favorite destination for hikers, nature lovers, and those wishing to seek out the famous levadas of Madeira, several of which are located in nearby Rabaçal, at the western tip of the plateau.Levadas are a network of manmade waterways that bring water across and down from the mountains; alongside them run narrow but sturdy walkways that hikers have come to call their own. But the plateau itself is also a worthy destination that is easy enough to navigate while providing thrilling views and plenty of fresh air.More
#6
Santana

Santana

star-5955
Located on the north coast of Madeira, Santana is a small town famous for its traditional-style whitewashed A-Frame houses with thatched roofs, painted blue window frames, and red shutters. The town is also home to the Madeira Theme Park, a popular family-friendly attraction.More
#7
Cabo Girão

Cabo Girão

star-53,196
With its dramatic sea cliffs soaring more than 1,903 feet (580 meters) above Madeira’s south coast, Cabo Girão is the highest promontory in Europe. The clifftop is one of the island’s most-visited attractions, with a glass-floor skywalk lookout point affording spectacular panoramic views.More
#8
Machico

Machico

star-5566
Belonging to Portugal and lying in the Atlantic more than 550 miles west off the coast of Morocco, the archipelago of Madeira is not exactly a place one stumbles upon while traveling. But visitors soon realize it is a destination worth planning for, and the town of Machico is its shining star.Along with the island's largest city, Funchal, Machico quickly became a full-fledged town shortly after the discovery of the island in the early 15th century. In fact, it was the first place where explorers landed and as such, is the historical heart of the island. Sights include Franciscan chapels, defensive forts, and the original fire beacon to warn of intruders. There are also beautiful vistas, modern beach clubs, world-class diving spots, and the town itself, with its welcoming locals.More
#9
Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro

star-51,316
Pico do Arieiro is a mountain on the island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. At 5,965 feet (1,818 meters), it’s the island’s third highest peak and one of its most popular tourist attractions, thanks to incredible views from the summit and challenging hiking trails.More
#10
Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

star-413
Lush Japanese gardens, brilliant tropical flowers and scenic river bridges may be part of what draws travelers to this botanical destination, but what makes a trip to Monte Palace Tropical Garden unique is its extensive collection of historic tiles that decorate the landscape. These handmade artifacts have traveled from palaces, chapels, homes and churches across Portugal, and some date as far back as the 18th century. More than 150 of these ceramic tiles tell the story of Portuguese visitors in Japan, and include details on the trade relationships and cultural ties between the two countries that inspired portions of this garden.A three-floor museum is also tucked within the garden grounds. It displays more than 1,000 sculptures from countries such as Zambia, as well as a rare collection of minerals from every corner of the world.More

Trip ideas

Top Hiking Trails on Madeira

Top Hiking Trails on Madeira

How to Spend 3 Days in Madeira

How to Spend 3 Days in Madeira

Levada Walks in Madeira

Levada Walks in Madeira

Top activities in Madeira

Madeira Best of the West Day Tour

Madeira Best of the West Day Tour

star-4.5
241
From
$34.59
Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching on a Luxurious Catamaran
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools and more...Full day Tour in Open Roof 4x4
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise from Funchal
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Madeira Food & Cultural Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Madeira Food & Cultural Tour

star-5
283
From
$83.20
Canyoning in Madeira Island

Canyoning in Madeira Island

star-5
662
From
$71.57
Exorbitant West Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Exorbitant West Tour

star-4.5
19
From
$35.78
Madeira Grand Experience

Madeira Grand Experience

star-5
8
From
$95.42
per group
Full Day Jeep Safari East - Pico do Areeiro - Santana - Ponta de são Lourenço
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Recent reviews from experiences in Madeira

star-5
Fantastic
Eva, Jul 2021
Full-Day Rabaçal Levada Walk from Funchal
Very nice sights, and ofcourse the waterfalls were amazing.
star-5
Really fun day
Carolina_M, Jul 2021
Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools and more...Full day Tour in Open Roof 4x4
The places we got to see on this trip were absolutely stunning and places that you would only be able to access by jeep.
star-5
Amazing!
Catia-Tavares, Jul 2021
VipDolphins Luxury Whale Watching
We had the opportunity to see dolphins and a whale and go for a swim in the ocean.
star-5
Very nice tour!!
Els_T, Jun 2021
Exorbitant West Tour
Renato's English was very good and he gave us a lot of interesting information about Madeira!
star-5
Wonderfull tour with fantastic guide
Els, Jun 2021
 Magnificent East Tour
Our guide his English was really clear and he told us a lot of interesting facts about Madeira.
star-5
Very good tour
Rosario_G, Apr 2021
A-Framed Houses East Tour
Good way to see the East Coast of Madeira in a day.
star-5
Unforgettable
BrunaMarisa_T, Apr 2021
West of Madeira Tour
Very informative, dynamic and complete tour, with the right duration and enough to see the best attractions and landscapes of Madeira.
star-5
Amazing experience
Eva, Jul 2021
Madeira Top Sunrise
And also a great experience to see the sun rise at such a height.
star-4
Lovely views, tour information could be improved
Elitsa_D, Jun 2021
Exorbitant West Tour
Vicente was not necessary -nothing to see there.
star-5
Pleasant walk in the woods
Ksenia_Alekseeva, Jul 2019
Levada Rabaçal and 25 Fountains Walking Tour
We have seen several waterfalls, although it was quite misty on that day (it was in July).
star-4
Well worth it!
Departure11373430615, Jun 2019
Full-Day Madeira North West Coast Safari from Funchal
We saw so many amazing viewpoints and got to visit all the main attractions we were interested in which would have been too far for us to go alone.
star-5
Good fun
Seliyn, May 2019
Skywalk & Professional Wine Tasting and Vineyards in 4x4 Tour
The off-road section was great fun and a good way to see the landscape of Madeira.
star-5
Seabourn Trip
Linda H, May 2019
3-Hour Madeira Scenic Island Tour (Price per Sidecar - 1 or 2 passengers)
Our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw all the important spots to see in the short time we were there.
star-5
Really good
cawalters, Mar 2019
Skywalk & Professional Wine Tasting and Vineyards in 4x4 Tour
A way to see a bit more of Madeira as well as sample a wine.
star-5
Nice tour to the mountains
Scenic66612178780, Feb 2019
Small Group Madeira Half Day Tour from Funchal
We had 4-5 stops during the tour to visit local attractions and had good time to take photos too.
star-4
Best of the West Day Tour
278angeliquer, Nov 2018
Madeira Best of the West Day Tour
It would have been nice to have had some more time at Cabo Girao and Ribeira Brava, otherwise it was a great day to see what Madeira has to offer.
star-5
Full day trip round Madeira.Great to...
Gerdi C, Dec 2015
Grand Madeira Island Tour - Porto Moniz and Santana
Great to get your bearings and for things to see and do during your stay.
star-5
This tour was a wonderful orientation...
LeRoy H, Jun 2007
Grand Madeira Island Tour - Porto Moniz and Santana
Our tour guide was a very friendly Madeiran man who spoke English quite fluently.
star-5
Filipo was an excellent guide, you...
Chris P, Oct 2017
Amazing Skywalk, Madeira Wine Tasting and more... in 4x4 Half day Tour
Filipo was an excellent guide, you get more of a sense of the real Madeira and get to see some of the parts that are of the tourist map which is excellent!
star-5
The 3/1 Hopon/Hopoff ticket was a...
esuperior, May 2017
Funchal Hop-On Hop-Off Tour 3 in 1
The 3/1 Hopon/Hopoff ticket was a fabulous way to see all of Madeira on a cloudy day when inland and high were engulfed in clouds This is a good compliment to an tour inland
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Madeira?
Q:
What are the top activities in Madeira?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Madeira?
A:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Madeira?