Experiences & Adventures in Madeira

The pearl of the Atlantic, Madeira attracts with a magnificent nature spiced with Portuguese hospitality and charm. Hike along Madeira’s many irrigation canals – the levador, drive along the rocky coastal landscape, stand on the mountain top of the island’s highest point, soar over the capital Funchal by cable car and explore the botanical garden.

The experiences take turns on the small colorful island of Madeira! On this trip you will get really close to Madeira’s beautiful nature, where you can hike along one of the island’s beautiful irrigation canals – levador head to the easternmost tip and the island’s highest point, Pico Ruivo.

Throughout the trip you have a rental car to take you around the lush island, which gives you great freedom to explore the island on your own. You start by living on the north side of the island, which offers scenic roads, hiking along the Risco Levada that leads you to 25 fountains, a beautiful collection of waterfalls and you can also take a trip to the island’s easternmost tip, Ponta Säo Lourenco.

Then spend a few days in the island’s cozy and charming capital Funchal, located in the southern part of the island. We have included a guided tour up among the highest mountains on the island, where you get to stand on top of Madeira on Pico Ruivo with magnificent views as far as the eye can see. In Funchal you can enjoy exotic flowers and stunning views of the botanical gardens, visit the Farmers Market, go wine tasting and end the day at one of the delicious restaurants in the old town to taste the local specialties.

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia and arrival in Madeira

Fly to beautiful Madeira where you pick up your rental car at the airport. Then your adventure begins in Madeira and as soon as you get out on the road you will be captivated by the fantastic and mountainous landscape that meets you. Today you drive to your hotel located on the north side of the island in Sao Jorge. The distance from the airport is about 21 km and if you feel rested after the flight, we recommend that you take the scenic smaller mountain roads to the hotel for a beautiful introduction to the island.

Day 2: Levada hike to 25 fountains and Risco Lavada as well as waterfalls in Rabacal

Today, a hike is planned along one of the island’s many Levada canals, Risco, leading to beautiful 25 fountains; a collection of waterfalls that rush down the mountainside and form a small lake. Here you have the opportunity to take a refreshing dip before returning. From a vantage point you can enjoy the view of Rabacal waterfalls. This is one of the very popular hiking trails in Madeira and can be done on your own starting and ending up in the mountains in the middle of the island in the Paul da Serra area. It is also possible to book a guided tour. The trip is 11km and takes 3-4 hours to complete, so you can walk at a leisurely pace and enjoy a lunch along the way. When you have finished the hike, drive back to your hotel in Sao Jorge. ( F )

Day 3: Road trip in northwestern Madeira, Säo Viente, Porto Moniz and Paul de Serra

Today it’s time to make a delicious road trip on your own, as you will see more of Madeira’s magnificent nature. It is entirely up to you how you spend the day and which route you want to drive. Madeira is only 800 square kilometers large, only slightly larger than Bornholm, but due to the many mountains, winding roads, beautiful viewpoints and stops that you will want to make along the way, it takes longer to get around the island than you might expect. Here’s a suggestion on what today’s road trip in northwest Madeira might look like: Start by driving west from San Jorge to the small town of Sao Vicente with its cozy square and the cool volcanic caves just outside the city. Visit Porto Moniz where you can enjoy your lunch with a fantastic view of the sea and a cooling dip in the natural pools. Then drive over the Paul da Serra plateau which is located at an altitude of 1400 meters and is the only flat area on the island. Continue down to Ribeira Brava on the south side of the island where you can enjoy a coffee before driving further along the south side of the island. Do not miss the beautiful viewpoint Cape Giräo where you can step out on a glass plateau and see 580 meters down from the high cliffs, straight down to the sea. Then head back north to Sao Jorge. (F )

Day 4: Road trip in south-eastern Madeira to Funchal, via hike on Ponta Säo Lourenco

After breakfast it is time to leave the north side of the island and drive south, where the next few days are spent. Along the way, you can make several stops to explore southeastern Madeira. Start with a stop in the picturesque town of Santana, famous for its triangular cottages with light thatched roofs and red windows. Continue past the Canical and out to Madeira’s easternmost point Ponta Säo Lourenco. Here awaits a fantastic 10 km hike in the unique rocky and almost desert-like landscape that is bare and barren, but incredibly beautiful. Enjoy the dizzying views and sounds of the Atlantic roaring against the cliffs, during the hike that takes you out to the tip of Ponta Säo Lourenco and back again. On the way to Funchal you can also stop in the small town of Garajau, famous for its Christ statue perched on a cliff, like those in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. You end the day in Madeira’s capital Funchal, but you can continue to have the rental car available if you want to experience more of the island. Parking is available near the hotel (fees apply). (F )

Day 5: Guided hike to Madeira’s highest point, Pico Ruivo

Today includes a guided tour from Pico Do Areeiro to the island’s highest point Pico Ruivo, located 1862 meters above sea level. You will be picked up at your hotel or nearest pick-up point. The hike is incredibly beautiful, with a view of the entire island, but it is one of the toughest hiking trails on the island and is not suitable for those who suffer from fear of heights as there are some steep stairs and stretches of hiking trail. After the excursion, you have the rest of the day on your own to explore Funchal. Spend the evening around the small picturesque streets of the old town, taste the delicious local dishes and fine wines, and then perhaps end the evening with a Poncha (local drink) and Portuguese Fado music. ( F )

Day 6-7: Relaxation and sightseeing in Funchal

Du har nu två dagar att på egen hand utforska och uppleva Funchal. Staden är mycket charmig och har många historiska byggnader – och precis som på resten av ön finns här fantastiska vyer att njuta av! Funchal ligger i en vik omgiven av frodiga sluttningar och det öppna havet. Här på södra sidan av ön är klimatet behagligt året runt, vilket är en av anledningarna till att cirka 50% av öns befolkning bor i staden. I Funchal hittar du många mysiga restauranger och caféer där man kan prova utsökt traditionell mat från Madeira. En stadsvandring till fots är ett naturligt sätt att uppleva staden och dess många mysiga skrymslen och vrår – vi hjälper dig gärna boka detta! Om du vill njuta av den imponerande utsikten från botaniska trädgården kan du ta en tur i linbanan upp över staden till trädgården. Efter besöket kan du antingen gå till fots tillbaka ned till staden eller ta linbanan ner igen. Fortsätt till gamla stan och på fredagar och lördagar får man inte missa ett besök till den lokala Bondens marknad som är fylld med exotiska frukter och färska grönsaker, eller varför inte avnjuta en vinprovning där du får smaka på det berömda Madeira-vinet. Ta en promenad längs vattnet och se statyn av fotbollslegenden Christiano Ronaldo – är du fotbollsintresserad kanske du rent av vill besöka hans museum, CR7. Du kan också välja att ge dig på ut en båttur till havs i en motorbåt eller katamaran för att försöka få syn på de delfiner och valar som ofta gästar Madeira. (F )

Day 8: Departure from Madeira and return home

Today it’s time to say goodbye to Madeira after an active trip on this beautiful island. Homecoming the same day, the time depends on the airline. ( F )

Overnight stays

Three nights in a 3-star hotel in a double room near Sao Jorge
Four nights in a 3-star hotel in a double room in central Funchal

Experiences & Adventures in Madeira