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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
Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro

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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
#2
Cabo Girão

Cabo Girão

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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
#3
Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz

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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
#4
Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre

Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre

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Formed by volcanic eruptions more than 890,000 years ago, the Sao Vicente Caves are a network of underground lava tubes beneath the north coast town of Sao Vicente on Madeira island. Follow pathways around the caverns, rocks, and lakes before exploring the Volcanism Centre with explanatory audio-visual displays.More
#5
Santana

Santana

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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
#6
Madeira Botanical Gardens

Madeira Botanical Gardens

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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
#7
Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

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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
#8
Machico

Machico

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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
Paul da Serra Plateau

Paul da Serra Plateau

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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
#10
Valley of the Nuns (Curral das Freiras)

Valley of the Nuns (Curral das Freiras)

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Surrounded by steep mountains, the village of Curral das Freiras (Valley of the Nuns) seems like an impossible place to access when viewed from the Eira do Serrado lookout point. But its remote location is exactly why it was embraced by the escaped slaves and nuns who fled from pirates in Funchal.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

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Madeira Food & Cultural Tour
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Madeira Food & Cultural Tour

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Full Day Jeep Safari East - Pico do Areeiro - Santana - Ponta de são Lourenço
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Full-Day Madeira North West Coast Safari from Funchal
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All Madeira In 2 Days Tour

All Madeira In 2 Days Tour

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Skywalk & Rabacal "25 Fountains Levada Walk" in 4x4 Full Day Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in Madeira

star-5
A tour you definitely don't wanna miss out on!
Victor_L, Dec 2021
Small Group West Tour Waterfalls and Peaks
Got to visit many of the scenic places that really felt surreal.
star-5
R & C on Madeira
Rino_T, Dec 2021
East of Madeira Tour. Full Day
We were able to see the entire east of Madeira on a single tour.
star-5
Unbelievable tour
Zoya_I, Nov 2021
Madeira Jeep 4x4: Amazing West Full-Day Tour to Natural Pools
You won't be able to see some of these sights or experience the beauty from a bus or taxi.
star-5
Brilliant- great way to see Madeira
Adele_K, Nov 2021
Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools and more...Full day Tour in Open Roof 4x4
Fun, interesting and a great way to see Madeira.
star-5
100% must do in Madeira
Jamie_C, Oct 2021
Canyoning in Madeira Island
It was a great way to see some beautiful waterfalls and landscape from a perspective you wouldn’t get in any other way.
star-5
Very fun good value for money
Aliki_K, Aug 2021
Kayak and Snorkeling Tour in Underwater Nature Reserve Garajau
Was great to see all the fish up close, the kayaking was also very fun and way easier on the way back!
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Must do TukTuk tour!
Timothy_W, Aug 2021
Cabo Girão (price per tukxi - up to 3 people)
Must do experience to see more of Madeira and learn a lot about the history of the island.
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A brilliant day Thank You
Kevin_M, Aug 2021
Scuba Diving In Garajau Reserve
I have Jose’s card (Summerboard Dive Centre)and will definitely look him up again on my next Madeira adventure.
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Fantastic
Eva_V, Jul 2021
Full-Day Rabaçal Levada Walk from Funchal
Very nice sights, and ofcourse the waterfalls were amazing.
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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.
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Great way to see north and south island trip
cheryl_g, Jan 2022
Full Day East Madeira - Camacha, Pico do Ariero, Ribeiro Frio, Portela, Santana
Myself and my partner went on this tour which was a great way to see the island.
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Exceed my expectations!
carly_t, Jan 2022
East of Madeira Tour. Full Day
Our guide spoke perfect English and told us lots of interesting facts about Madeira, stopping along the way to show us fruits and viewing points.
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Fun trip
Lei_W, Dec 2021
Craters of Fire - 4X4 Full-Day Tour
Walked through waterfall was the highlight of our journey.
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4 by 4 fun
Kim_S, Dec 2021
Skywalk & Rabacal "25 Fountains Levada Walk" in 4x4 Full Day Tour
The waterfall, views & colours are beautiful!
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Amazing experience!
Amy_Z, Nov 2021
Around The Island - Two Days Tour From 9am to 5pm (each Day)
Madeira has so many special things to see and our tour guide did such an amazing job in showing us around the island.
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Best spent time and money in Madeira!
Vedran_K, Oct 2021
Madeira Jeep 4x4: Amazing West Full-Day Tour to Natural Pools
You will get to see all the places that you need to see in Madeira even those that are inaccessible with a normal car, Mauricio's Defender makes all the worthwhile places accessible, and then some!
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Best spent time and money in Madeira!
Vedran_K, Oct 2021
Madeira Jeep 4x4: Old Forest Full-Day Tour incl Pico Arieiro
You will get to see all the places that you need to see in Madeira even those that are inaccessible with a normal car, Mauricio's Defender makes all the worthwhile places accessible, and then some!
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A different side of Madeira
Paul_S, Sep 2021
Madeira East Tour from Funchal
Enjoyed this day trip out to see the eastern side of Madeira, in a air conditioned mini bus.
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Good tour
Stephen_G, Sep 2021
Madeira East Island Tour with Levada Walk and Lunch
Great tour to see the East Side of Madeira with fantastic views.
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Busy but enjoyable!
Lee_N, Aug 2021
Rabaçal - Risco - 25 Fontes Levada Walk
In addition, this is a very popular area, and the routes to the waterfalls are narrow in lots of places - causing 'pinch points' when passing other groups - perhaps this is an excursion to consider out of the main tourist season?
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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