Sights in Madeira - My 10 Favorites - Portugal

Madeira – this wonderfully dramatic Portuguese island just north of the Canary Islands. You don't go here mainly to swim, but to experience nature, the pleasant climate and the well-kept hiking trails. Here are my ten favorites for those of you who want to experience both Madeira's sights and nature!

Porto Moniz-Madeira

1. Hike along levadas

The most unique thing about Madeira is the island's water channels - the so-called the levadas. Through the canals, the rainwater in the mountains is brought down to the warm plantations on the coast. If I have to say one thing that is a "must do" when you visit the island, it's hiking by a levada. There are levada hikes of all levels of difficulty and there are plenty of levadas on the island. It's almost like I dare to say that there is a levada that suits everyone! We hiked at several levadas that were all very different from each other, but all offered very lovely hikes!

Read more about one of our lifestyle hikes in Levada hiking in Madeira - Waterfalls at Rabaçal and Hiking in Madeira - Levada das Rabacas.

Walking towards the sugar peak on Madeira

2. Hike to Pico Ruivo – Madeira's highest peak

A moderately easy hike takes you up to the top of Pico Ruivo, Madeira's highest mountain. From here you have a mile-long view of the dramatic island. A lovely half-day excursion!

Read along on Walking to Pico Ruivo – Madeira's highest mountain

Pico Ruivo - Madeira

3. Visit the finest waterfall – Rabacal

It's almost like I thought I was in Hawaii. The Rabacal waterfall is surrounded by dramatic cliffs, in the middle of Madeira's punk greenery. The fact that you also hike here along a levada is a real bonus!

Read more Levada hiking in Madeira - Waterfalls at Rabacal.

Levada hiking - Rabacal - Madeira

4. Lava cave Sao Vicente

Hold on. The island of Madeira is actually the top of a giant shield volcano that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean. The whole island is actually the remains of a volcano that erupted millions of years ago, but which today (luckily) is resting. IN lava caves Sao Vicente you can go on a guided tour down the lava tunnels that were formed when the hot surface of the lava solidified in contact with the air. I've only visited lava tunnels in Hawaii and Washington in the US before, so it was exciting to find lava tunnels here!

Read more in Sao Vicente – The Lava Caves of Madeira

5. Ponta de Sao Lourenco

The Ponta de Sao Lourenco peninsula in northeastern Madeira is not at all like the rest of the island. Here the landscape looks more like the Faroe Islands, completely without trees and with steep cliffs that seem to be slowly eating up the land mass. The hike to the tip of the peninsula is a really lovely day trip, bring a lunch bag, good hiking shoes and plenty of sunscreen!

Read more about the hike here Walk in Madeira - Ponta de Sao Lourenco.

St. Lawrence

6. Camara de Lobos

Camara de Lobos is one of Madeira's most beautiful and coziest fishing villages. Here you eat freshly caught fish and watch as the fishermen come ashore with their catch in their colorful boats.

Read more Camara de Lobos – Fishing boats and grilled conch shells in Churchill's favorite village.

Fishing boats in Camara de Lobos

7. The traditional houses of Santana

The small traditional houses on Madeira are today quite few, but i Santana you can still visit several of them. The houses are built of wood with thatched roofs and were once common houses for the island's poorer families. Today, the houses in Santana are protected as historical landmarks and contain shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Well worth a stop if you're driving by!

8. Cabo Girao

At the Cabo Girao viewpoint, you can see the beauty of Madeira from a glass floor, high above a cliff. Nothing for those afraid of heights, but quite fun for everyone else.

Read more The glass platform at Cabo Girao – not for those with a fear of heights!

Cabo Girao

9. Go to the market

In Madeira, fruit and vegetables are grown that you would otherwise only find at much warmer latitudes, and in the sea swim fish that seem to come from space. Most cities have markets, so be sure to visit at least one while you're here. The biggest market Mercardo dos Lavradores you will find in Funchal.

10. Faja dos Padres

Perhaps Madeira's most isolated place. Faja dos Padres is fruit growing in its own climate zone under a cliff without any pretense of road. You can only get here by cable car or boat. A place to stay if you want to have Madeira's most beautiful coastline to yourself.

Read more Faja dos Padres – Where Madeira becomes even more exotic.

The black beach at Faja Dos Padres

Want to read more of my travel tips? do not forget to like Rucksack on Facebook!

LEAVE AN ANSWER

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

About

Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 60 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel site Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.

Artiklar report

The fountain at Mata Nacional do Buçaco (Bussaco Forest) – Portugal

The Bussaco forest just north of Coimbra was a spontaneous stop on our way to Porto. We wandered to the beautiful cold fountain and dreamed of a night at the castle.

Curia Palace - A castle night in the spirit of the Great Gatsby - Portugal

There are places that take you back in history. Time bubbles that no one dares to puncture, where everything just continues to live its historical little life. This is a story about how we inadvertently went on a trip back to the 1920s. Complete with a cooking lesson that could have been created by the History Eaters.

Convento dos Capuchos – The abandoned monastery outside Sintra – Portugal

In the middle of the forest near Sintra, lie the ruins of the old monastery Convento dos Capuchos. Abandoned and overgrown, it still shows the extremely simple life that the monks here lived.

Porto - When it's not love at first sight - Portugal

Porto would be one of the highlights of the trip. But it wasn't love at first sight between me and Porto - far from it, actually.

Câmara de Lobos – Fishing boats and grilled conch shells in Madeira – Portugal

Not even Churchill could resist Câmara de Lobo's charm. Here we found a colorful fishing village, perfectly grilled fish and a fruit market with surprises.

Waiting for the blue whale - Whale watching in Madeira - Portugal

I've never seen a blue whale. They have stayed hidden every single time I have been out on the high seas. Maybe we would be lucky enough to see the giant of the sea on whale watching in Madeira?

Even more travel inspiration

Fajã dos Padres - Where Madeira becomes even more exotic - Portugal

Faja dos Padres is located in its own climate zone on Madeira, only accessible from the sea or by cable car. Totally unique, a little weird and pretty awesome.

Câmara de Lobos – Fishing boats and grilled conch shells in Madeira – Portugal

Not even Churchill could resist Câmara de Lobo's charm. Here we found a colorful fishing village, perfectly grilled fish and a fruit market with surprises.

Hiking in Madeira - Levada das Rabacas - Portugal

At the Boca da Encumeada mountain pass, Levada das Rabacas runs through a lush green jungle. We hiked here and marveled at the views - and the steeps.