Traveling to Madeira will not disappoint anyone and that’s a promise! If you like nature, hiking and good food Madeira will truly be your perfect choice. But what are really the best Madeira tourist attractions, which you should not miss when traveling there.
The first and often the only reason for traveling to Madeira for many, is its beautiful nature. Volcanic origin gives Madeira unique image, with vivid green color and exuberant look.
Nature and hiking paths go hand in hand in Madeira. The most stunning hiking paths are surrounded with the most beautiful nature.
Oh my, the views in Madeira are out of this world. It will not go a day buy for not being impressed over numerous dramatic lookouts. If you ask us, the most beautiful views are on the Eastern side of the island – Ponta de Sao Laurenco. Right at the end of the long cape stands a lighthouse, which you can reach by foot. Gorgeous hiking trail if you are in the mood for hiking!
If you are not really for hiking to the eastern lighthouse, you still have one more left. Head up to the western side and enjoy the views of the lighthouse and the cliffs. They are not so dramatic like the eastern ones, but they are still worth checking.
Madeira is full of steep cliffs, but there is only one, which attracts crowds of tourists every day – Skywalk Cobo Girao. The Cobo Girao is the second highest cliff in the world from which you will get stunning views over southern island coast.
Tunnels and roads
It is really funny sometimes, how some unusual things stay in your mind. If you ask us, one of the most extraordinary Madeira tourist attractions are its roads, bridges and tunnels. Amazing infrastructure!
One of our favorite things in Madeira was the fact, that this island grows fruits that normally comes from Asia, Africa and even South and Central America. It did not go a day buy that we would not feast with sweet mangos, juicy papayas, freshly picked bananas and unique passion fruit.
If you are not really keen of fruit, don’t give up on Madeira too fast. Madeira still has lots to offer. There is loads of vegetables, seafood and meat, which is amazing. If you are looking for local and traditional Madeira food, check out what not to miss here.
Not so long ago, Madeira’s main industry was whale hunting. Now whaling is strictly forbidden, but you can find everything about whaling and whales in a really interesting thematic museum in a town Canical. (Entrance fee: 10€/pp)
Madeira has lots of cute little coastal town, which are worth exploring. Find some local cafés and enjoy while time passes you buy.
The only market we had visited in Madeira was the one in Funchal. This market offers everything you can imagine, but the market is mostly known for its diverse offer of passion fruit and freshly caught fish and other seafood.
We were based in Funchal and that is why we were wondering around the city every day. We really liked the relaxed vibe and exploriation the old town. There were lots of restaurants, cafés and bakeries where it is nice to stop, enjoy some local snacks and taking in the vibrant daily life.
Don’t even forget about the tourist attractions like baroque churches (our favorite was Colegio Church), town hall, tidy streets, and wine tasting… You will not get bored for sure.
As already mentioned, Madeira was made due to volcanic eruption, what can clearly be seen today – from outside and inside. Make sure to visit volcanic caves and walk through lava tubes and try to imagine what a crazy time was during the eruption- very cool!
Another visible sight due to volcanic origin are its lava pools on the northern side of the island. You can swim inside, but unfortunately we had bad weather, cold and strong wind, so we had to skip visiting the lava polls and we only were able to see them from outside.
Visiting these cottages will make you feel like finding yourself in the middle of a fairy tale. You will find them on the NE of the island in a small town Santana. You can also walk inside of them and find out more about local crafts and traditions.
It is said that Madeira is like one big botanical garden, but if you are really into flowers, make sure to stop at the botanical garden in Funchal.
Madeira has lots of outdoor activities, but one of them which is a little bit on a funnier side is traditional sledge ride from the Monte village. Everything starts at the foot of Monte church, where you find nice views over Funchal and where last Emperor Charles of Austro-Hungarian Empire is buried.
When doing a roadtrip around Madeira we passed by a town of Porto Da Cruz and noticed heavily loaded trucks with sugarcane. We were curious what is happening, so we went exploring. At the end we found ourselves at the foot of a local sugarcane distillery. It was open for visitors and they even had a tasting room to try all their products –from plain sugarcane rum to aged rum in barrows and traditional Poncha.
Whales and dolphins watching
Some visitors cannot leave Madeira before going on a whales and dolphins cruise. Due to wind and restless sea we decided to leave this trip for our next visit to Madeira. But people who did it, told us it is unforgettable experience to see these gorgeous animals just meters away from you.
Before our travel to Madeira we had no plans and were completely unprepared. We had no idea what Madeira offers to a curious traveler, so we have decided to divide the island on East, West, North and South. Each day we explored a different part of the island and were amazed how diverse the island is. Even though we had no knowledge about Madeira, we came home richer in so many ways… and now we also know why Madeira charms everyone who gets to know this pearl of Atlantic.
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