Welcome to Madeira! This 53 km long and 23 km wide island in the Atlantic Ocean promises you unforgettable landscapes between mountains, cliffs, tropical vegetation and ocean views. The one that calls itself the Island of Flowers has a palette of incredible colors and scents in store for you around its towns and primary forests. Find out how to organize your road trip in Madeira : when to go, where to find eco-responsible accommodation and what to do on the island. Follow the guide !
If you are looking for heavenly fine sandy beaches, Madeira may disappoint you. The volcanic island , with its rugged terrain, is best known as a hiking paradise . Steep peaks, deep valleys (called ribeiras) and a pleasant climate allowed the vegetation to develop. A large part of the island is therefore covered by primary forest, which is magnificent to discover during your excursions on foot.
1) Visit Funchal
The capital of Madeira is a pleasant and dynamic city. Do not miss to discover its pretty historic center, in particular the Santa Maria district .
Here are some other ideas for excursions to discover Funchal:
Stroll through the pleasant flower market, which shines with 1000 colors;
Visit the Fortress of São Tiago which houses a museum of contemporary art;
Explore the Botanical Garden on the heights of the city, accessible by cable car. With no less than 2000 plant species gathered in a magnificent green space, you will certainly be charmed. Continue your discovery with the Monte Palace tropical garden , located above.
2) Take a dip in the ocean at Seixal
The black sand beach of Seixal is a unique place that is worth the detour for its iconic and exotic landscape.
Take the time to admire the ocean waves in front of you and the green cliffs of Madeira falling into the sea. Perhaps you will take the opportunity to take a dip in the waves?
3) Discover Porto Moniz
Located on the northwest coast, the city of Porto Moniz is known for its natural pools made of rock and lava . It’s the perfect place for a swim in salt water but without the waves of the ocean!
4) Go to meet whales and dolphins with a catamaran
Embark on a catamaran for a marine excursion to meet whales and dolphins , visible all year round in Madeira. The ideal period, however, is from spring to autumn.
Departures are mainly from the Calheta Marina in the west of the island.
5) Discover Cape Girão
Cape Girão is a high cliff almost 600 meters high in the south of the island of Madeira. It is one of the highest cliffs on the European continent, which offers an incomparable view!
A glazed platform overlooking the void has even been set up on the site for a guaranteed adrenaline rush, for anyone who wants to venture there.
6) Iconic hikes in Madeira
The hiking possibilities are endless on Madeira Island! We give you some ideas of the best known routes on the island. Do not hesitate to let yourself be advised by locals to find other ideas for walks off the beaten track.