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Madeira Travel Blogs

Many people describe the Portuguese island of Madeira as the “Island of Eternal Spring” and “The Hawaii of Europe”. Find out why via our Madeira travel blogs below.

Views of Porto Moniz from afar
Views of Porto Moniz on the island of Madeira

Madeira is a stunning island within the Portuguese archipelago and is full of treasures for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to discover. 

From bathing in volcanic rock pools and hiking the Levadas to taking in the views from the top of mountain peaks, you’ll surely have plenty of adventures on this little island.

Are you ready to start planning a trip to the island of Madeira? Check out our Madeira travel blogs below to start planning your adventure.

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Planning Your Trip To Madeira & Useful Info

Views of Madeira from the Cable Car
Views across Madeira from the Funchal cable car

If you’re not yet familiar with the Portuguese island of Madeira, then our travel guides below are probably a good place to start:

Madeira Bucket List

Wondering what to see and where to go on your trip to Madeira?
Here’s a quick peek at what your Madeira bucket list could look like…

Madeira Porto Moniz
Admiring the volcanic rock pools of Porto Moniz

1. Hike the Levadas

Levadas are a kind of irrigation channel used to transport water from one part of the island to another. Madeira has over 200 Levadas across the island. And a hike or walk that follows the Levadas is one of the top things to do in Madeira (especially for nature lovers and outdoor adventure seekers).

2. Bathe in volcanic rock pools in Porto Moniz

On the northwestern side of the island, you’ll find the small coastal town of Porto Moniz, which is home to volcanic rock pools that were formed by lava thousands of years ago. Today, they naturally fill with clean seawater to create a unique and unmissable swimming and bathing experience.

3. Climb the island’s highest mountain peaks

As Madeira is made from volcanic rock, you’ll find lots of viewpoints and mountain peaks dotted around the island to enjoy today. Some of the most popular viewpoints include the ones at Cabo Girão, Pico do Areeiro and Pico Ruivo (the latter is only accessible on foot).

4. See the iconic Santana houses

Once upon a time, the local people of Madeira lived in small triangular houses made from wood and straw. They were often brightly coloured in red, white and blue. And today, you can head to Santana on the northeastern coast and see these quirky little houses up close.

Traditional straw huts in Santana, Madeira
Head to Santana to see the traditional Madeiran houses

5. See the sights of Funchal

As Funchal is Madeira’s capital city, there are lots of fun things to do in Funchal itself. From botanical gardens and festivals to thrilling toboggan rides, you’ll find it difficult to run out of things to do even if you only stay within Funchal during your trip. Discover top things to do in Funchal now >>

6. Enjoy tours and day trips around the island

Of course, if you do want to leave Funchal for the day, then you have plenty of choices. Many of the places already mentioned above can be seen as day trips from Funchal, but you’ll need access to a car for most of them. The roads are challenging in Madeira, though, so if you’re not a confident driver, you can see much of the above via day tours. Check out some great options now >>

7. Hop on a catamaran to find whales and dolphins

Funchal also has an active harbour, so if you’d like to escape the city on a boat or catamaran, then this is another top thing to do during your trip. Why not join a whale or dolphin-watching tour while you’re at it? You’re practically guaranteed to see whales and dolphins during your trip as they’re so frequently found near Madeira.

Getting Around Madeira: Catamaran
Enjoy a dolphin and whale watching tour from Funchal Harbour

8. Visit the nearby island of Porto Santo

You won’t find many sandy beaches on Madeira (not natural ones anyway), so if a day of lazing on the beach is more your style, then you might like a trip to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo. The ferry runs frequently from Funchal Harbour and takes about 2.5 hours. Quick note: Expect bumpy sea conditions even in the summer, so you might want to pack some seasickness pills.

9. Try some delicious (and adventurous!) food

Despite Madeira’s small size, the local cuisine differs vastly across the island. But there’s one thing Madeira food has in common no matter where you eat on the island: the food is delicious and unique. As an example, look out for the Espada Fish (Black Scabbardfish) at local markets. It looks terrifying, but it tastes delicious! Then enjoy Pastel de Nata, a traditional Portuguese custard tart or a slice of Madeira honey cake for dessert.

Psst! Reid’s Palace in Funchal also does a delicious afternoon tea!

10. And don’t forget to try the wine and Poncha!

We’ve talked about food, but we mustn’t forget delicious drinks to wash it down with. In Madeira, it’s customary to try their locally-produced Madeira wine as well as Poncha, which is a type of alcoholic drink made from sugar cane juice, honey, sugar and orange juice. I suspect you’re feeling rather hungry (and thirsty!) now. Sorry about that!

Discover more incredible things to do in Madeira now >>

Madeira Itineraries

Getting Around Madeira: Camara do Lobos, Madeira
Câmara de Lobos on the island of Madeira

Now that you have an idea of what you should see and do during your trip, it’s time to create your very own Madeira itinerary. We use Google My Maps for our own itineraries and we plan to see or do two or three activities per day. 

This usually means you have enough time for your top must-sees and must-dos, but there’s still plenty of time left in case something random catches your attention during your trip. For more travel planning tips, take a look at our in-depth guide.

Specifically for Madeira, you might find our premade itineraries helpful when planning your trip:

Need help planning your trip to Madeira? We also offer custom travel planning services. This is perfect for those of you who are unsure where to start or simply don’t have the time to research your trip. Find out more here >>>

Pretty little waterfall in Madeira
Madeira is full of stunning landscapes to admire

Madeira Travel Blogs & Other Resources You Might Like

Do you want to keep reading about the island of Madeira? Here are all of our Madeira travel blogs and related travel guides:

Booking Your Trip To Madeira

And here are the top tools, resources and sites we swear by when booking our own travels:

Europe Travel Inspiration

Sao Vicente, Madeira
São Vicente on the island of Madeira

Finally, check out our other Europe travel blogs for even more travel tips and inspiration: