This is how long you will need to see the best parts of beautiful Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Cruise ships carrying people from older generations frequent this spot, but it’s also a great destination for younger travelers. It’s often compared to Hawaii because of its similarities, making this hidden gem in southwest Portugal a vacationer’s paradise.
Spectacular views, botanical gardens, natural volcanic lochs and toboggan rides make Madeira a great place for adventurers, family vacations or romantic honeymoons.
How many days to see Madeira?
If you are pressed for time, spending a minimum of seven days in Madeira will allow you to visit most places on the island. But if you want days when you can chill out by the pool and chill out, booking 10 days will give you a more relaxing trip.
Getting around Madeira
To get around Madeira, the options are public transport, guided tours and car rental.
- Public transport is not very good on the island, while booking tours will cost you a lot of money and also limit you by its schedule.
- If you want flexibility and freedom in your visit to the sights of Madeira, the best option is to hire a vehicle.
Places to see during your stay in Madeira
Depending on where you are from and what time you arrived, you may want to go straight ahead and start exploring the island or relax. Usually the first day is spent securing your rental vehicle, checking in at the hotel, resting for a bit, and exploring nearby places to start your route.
The next day, you can start your road trip and head to Cabo Girao ranked second among the highest sea cliffs in the world. This hidden gem offers fantastic views from its popular walkway with glass floors and the best part is you can visit it for free.
“Curral das Freiras” is a small isolated village buried between the adjacent mountains, located in the middle of Madeira. The name of Valley of the Sisters was born in 1566 during the attack on Funchal by pirates, which led the nuns of the convent of Santa Clara to take refuge there.
If you decide not to visit the village for a closer look, you can see it from the top of Eira do Serrado and not be disappointed.
Ponta do Sol
Then you can stop at Ponta Do Sol, and this is where renting a car is a benefit. Being the hottest spot in Madeira, magnificent sunsets and hours of sunbathing can be enjoyed in this peaceful little village.
Located in the northwest of Madeira is Porto Moniz, one of the places not to be missed. Created by volcanic lava, the natural lochs here are filled with clear blue waters, giving you a taste of the sandless beach.
Paul de Serra
Paul de Serra is located approximately 5,000 feet above sea level and is another place worthy of your time. Known as the flattest area of Madeira, it offers spectacular views over valleys and green mountains. After the tour, you can go to the Jungle Rain Café for lunch.
Faja dos Padres
Faja dos Padres is a quiet and secluded paradise located on the south coast of Madeira, offering an exclusive beach and has its own cellar and Madeiran restaurant serving the best cuisine on the island. The nutrient-rich volcanic soil provides organic fruits and vegetables which are used by the restaurant to create its delicious menu.
Access to this paradise is not for the faint of heart as you have to take a cable car to get there. But if you can muster your courage and step in, the ride will give you picturesque views of the shore.
Porto da Cruz
Known for being a beautiful and peaceful place, Porto da Cruz is the perfect place to swim, surf and take nature walks. The Porto da Cruz sugar cane processing plant turned into a rum production site can be visited for free, and you can stop by the factory as you stroll along the waterfront.
Santana is a charming village with its small triangular thatched-roof houses dating from the 16th century. The Madeira Theme Park is also located in the village, where instead of roller coasters and other rides, you can find an exhibition that caters to all ages showcasing Madeira’s culture, history and traditions.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden
Known as a crowd favorite, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is a 70,000 square meter plot with a wide assortment of exotic plants from around the world. You can also visit the Monte Palace Museum, an exhibit that showcases a distinctive collection of minerals from around the world.
Wicker toboggan ride
Before cable cars were a thing, the old-fashioned way to get back to Funchal was via the wicker slide. Today it is a tourist attraction where you will be taken through the streets aboard a wicker sled by a pair of carreiros, or men wearing straw hats and white clothes.
Although a bit pricey, the experience will be worth the hole in your pocket. The journey will stop at Livramento and you can return by bus or taxi, and if you still feel the effects of overspending, you can still walk 20 minutes to Funchal.
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