Discover the Charms of Madeira

Colin Watts, Unsplash
January 5
Written by Elena Kostas

Explore the top places to visit in Madeira and enjoy an unforgettable experience. Our Madeira guide will help you plan your dream vacation.

Discover the secrets of Madeira. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, this Portuguese island will surprise you with its natural beauty and subtropical climate. Madeira offers a variety of activities and stunning landscapes that you can't miss. From its impressive cliffs and black sand beaches to its lush gardens and charming villages, there is something for everyone.

Explore its capital, Funchal. Take a stroll through the beautiful cobblestone streets and discover its colonial charm. Visit Funchal Market, where you'll find a variety of local products and, of course, the famous Madeira wine. Don't miss the Botanical Garden and enjoy panoramic views from the Monte Cable Car.

Immerse yourself in nature. Discover Madeira's beautiful natural landscapes. Take a hike to Pico Ruivo, the island's highest peak, and enjoy breathtaking views. Explore the levada trails, old irrigation channels transformed into hiking routes, and marvel at the beauty of the Laurisilva, a forest declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Explore Funchal's Old Town

History and Cultural Heritage
a person on a street
Explore Funchal's Old Town / Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash

Explore Funchal's Old Town is one of the top tourist attractions in Madeira. This charming old city will transport you back in time, with its cobblestone streets and historical buildings.

Admire the traditional architecture of the area, with pastel-colored houses and ornate balconies. You can stroll through narrow alleyways and discover craft shops, traditional restaurants, and charming small squares.

This fascinating place is perfect for history and culture lovers, as it houses museums, centuries-old churches, and historical buildings that tell the story of Madeira and its evolution over the years.

2. Cabo Girão Views

Natural Spaces and Parks
aerial view of green and brown mountain beside blue sea under blue sky during daytime
Cabo Girão Views / Arnaud STECKLE, Unsplash

Cabo Girão Views - Discover a Paradise in Madeira

Come and marvel at the breathtaking views from Cabo Girão. This tourist attraction in Madeira will leave you speechless. Located on a cliff over 500 meters high, it offers spectacular panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the natural beauty of the island.

At Cabo Girão, you can enjoy a glass-bottomed lookout, where you can observe the sea and the rocks beneath your feet. There are also several hiking routes that will take you through stunning landscapes to the cliff.

3. Visit the Charming Village of Santana

Historical Monuments and Architecture
flowers near a house
Visit the Charming Village of Santana / Daniela Turcanu, Unsplash

Visit the Charming Village of Santana is a unique experience not to be missed during your visit to Madeira. With its colorful thatched-roof houses and breathtaking landscapes, this picturesque village captivates the attention of all visitors.

Admire the traditional architecture of the Santana houses, known as 'casas de colmo'. These historic homes represent an important part of the region's history and culture.

Take the opportunity to explore the surroundings of Santana, where you'll find stunning natural landscapes. Walk along the trails that will lead you to waterfalls, viewpoints, and lush valleys. Don't forget your camera to capture unforgettable moments in this magical place!

4. Natural Pools of Porto Moniz

Natural Spaces and Parks
cityscape at night near body of water
Natural Pools of Porto Moniz / Daniela Turcanu, Unsplash

The natural pools of Porto Moniz are one of the main tourist attractions in Madeira. Located on the north coast of the island, these pools are rock formations that naturally fill with seawater, creating a unique place to take a dip.

The crystal-clear waters of these pools are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, the stunning rock formations surrounding them create a spectacular landscape that you cannot miss.

If you're looking for things to do in Madeira, you must visit the natural pools of Porto Moniz. Immerse yourself in a natural oasis and enjoy the beauty that this island has to offer.

5. Marvels of Madeira Botanical Garden

Natural Spaces and Parks
Marvels of Madeira Botanical Garden / Alice Kotlyarenko, Unsplash

Madeira Botanical Garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. Located in a stunning setting, this garden offers a unique experience for nature lovers.

With an extensive collection of plants and flowers, Madeira Botanical Garden is a true botanical paradise. Its paths wind through beautiful gardens and terraces, where exotic and endemic species can be admired.

Explore the different corners of this captivating garden, relax on the benches, and let yourself be carried away by the magic of nature. Definitely a must-visit for anyone seeking tranquility and beauty in Madeira.

6. Hike to Pico do Arieiro for Spectacular Panoramic Views

Natural Spaces and Parks
A group of people standing on the top of a mountain
Hike to Pico do Arieiro for Spectacular Panoramic Views / Maria Teneva, Unsplash

Hike to Pico do Arieiro for Spectacular Panoramic Views

If you're looking for things to do in Madeira and enjoy incredible natural landscapes, don't miss the hike to Pico do Arieiro. This thrilling hiking route will take you to one of the highest points on the island, where you can admire breathtaking panoramic views.

Pico do Arieiro is known for being one of the three highest peaks in Madeira, with an altitude of 1,818 meters above sea level. During the hike, you'll be surrounded by mountains, valleys, cliffs, and lush vegetation.

Once you reach the summit of Pico do Arieiro, you'll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views. From here, you can admire the Atlantic Ocean, the surrounding mountains, and other islands of the Madeira archipelago. Don't forget your camera to capture this natural spectacle!

7. Scenic Drive along the Coastal Road of Madeira

Outdoor Activities and Sports

Explore the Coastal Road of Madeira: The scenic drive along the Coastal Road of Madeira is a unique experience that you shouldn't miss during your visit to the island. This route will take you through breathtaking landscapes and offer you the chance to enjoy the most stunning views of the coast.

Enjoy stunning views of the sea: Along the way, you'll be able to admire the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and the turquoise waters that surround the island. The panoramic views will leave you breathless and provide you with the opportunity to take impressive photos.

Travel along impressive cliffs: The Coastal Road of Madeira passes by incredible cliffs that rise above the sea. The dramatic scenery and rock formations will make you feel like you're in a dreamlike place.

8. Fort São Tiago

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Fort São Tiago is an imposing defensive structure located in Madeira, Portugal. Built in the 17th century, this historic fort was designed to protect the island from possible invasions.

Explore its impressive walls and towers while enjoying breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Admire the military architecture of the past and learn about the strategic importance of this fortification in the past.

Visiting Fort São Tiago is one of the top things to do in Madeira. Immerse yourself in its history and enjoy a unique stroll surrounded by natural beauty and cultural heritage.

9. Relax on the Black Sand Beaches of Madeira

Natural Spaces and Parks
beach with black sand
Relax on the Black Sand Beaches of Madeira / Maria Lupan, Unsplash

Relax on the Black Sand Beaches of Madeira

Discover the stunning black sand beaches of Madeira, a hidden treasure in the Atlantic. These unique beaches are the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. With its soft, dark sand contrasting with the intense blue of the sea, you will be transported to a tropical paradise.

The black sand beaches of Madeira are known for their therapeutic properties. The contact with this volcanic sand helps to relax the muscles and improve blood circulation. In addition, the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings create an ideal environment for meditation and finding inner peace.

If you are looking for a unique relaxation experience amidst nature, you cannot miss the black sand beaches of Madeira. Breathe in the fresh air, dive into the crystal clear waters, and let yourself be carried away by the serenity of this island paradise.

10. Indulge in Madeira's Culinary Delights

Food and Markets

Indulge in Madeira's Culinary Delights offers an incredible variety of gastronomic options that will delight any food lover. From fresh seafood to meat-based dishes, Madeira's cuisine is a perfect fusion of flavors and traditions.

One of the highlights of this culinary experience is the use of local and fresh ingredients. The island's restaurants and markets source their products from the land and sea, ensuring the freshness and quality of each dish.

In addition to tasting Madeira's typical dishes, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the island's culinary history. Discover the influences of different cultures on Madeiran cuisine and how they have adapted over the years.