Madeira Island is a true adventure paradise that offers nature lovers various activities. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a beach bum, or an adrenaline seeker, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful island. Recently I had the opportunity to spend six days on the island of Madeira Island, highlighting some of the best things to do and see during your visit.
Day 1: Walking around Funchal
We began our adventure in the island’s capital, Funchal. The city offers a great mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. We took a stroll through the city center and admired the colorful buildings, the bustling markets, and the beautiful gardens. We also visited the Madeira Story Centre, where we learned about the island’s history and culture.
Day 2: Hiking in Verada da Ponta de São Lourenço
On the second day, we headed to the island’s eastern tip for a challenging hike in Verada da Ponta de São Lourenço. The hike was 7.85 km long and had an elevation gain of 450m. We enjoyed breathtaking views of the coast, the sea, and the surrounding mountains along the way. We also kept an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including rare birds and endemic plants.
Day 3: Santana – Caldeirão Verde and Caldeirão do Inferno
On day three, we took a trip to Santana, a charming village north of the island. From here, we set off on a 25 km hike that took us through the spectacular Caldeirão Verde, and Caldeirão do Inferno. These beautiful valleys are surrounded by towering cliffs and lush vegetation, making for a truly magical experience.
Day 4: Black sand beach and Fanal forest
We took a break from hiking on day four and headed to the black sand beach of Porto Moniz. The beach is located on the island’s northwest coast and is known for its unique volcanic black sand. We took a dip in the crystal-clear waters and relaxed on the beach. Afterward, we headed to Fanal forest, a beautiful natural reserve home to various endemic plants and animals.
Day 5: Pico do Ariero – Pico do Ruivo
On day five, we woke up early and hiked up to Pico do Ariero for a sunrise experience. Once we reached the summit, we enjoyed the panoramic views of the island and the sea. After that, we hiked up to Pico do Ruivo, the island’s highest point. The hike was 17 km long and had an elevation gain of 1100m. Along the way, we passed through beautiful landscapes and enjoyed various viewpoints.
Day 6: Black sand beach, Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, and sunset at Ponta do Tristão
On the last day of our adventure, we returned to the black sand beach of Porto Moniz and relaxed on the beach one more time. Then, we headed to the natural swimming pools, a unique and beautiful spot worth visiting. Finally, we rounded off our trip with a sunset at Ponta do Tristão, a viewpoint located on the island’s northwest coast. From here, we could admire the beautiful colors of the sunset and take in the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding cliffs.
Madeira island is a perfect destination for those who want to experience nature, adventure, and culture all in one place. Its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and various activities make it a great place to explore.