Top 7 places to see and things to do in Madeira

Madeira, the jewel of Portugal, is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean known for its lush landscapes, delightful climate, and vibrant culture. The local currency is the Euro (€), and it has a population of about 270,000 people spread across its islands.

Madeira’s pleasant subtropical climate means it’s a year-round destination. However, to enjoy outdoor activities without too much rainfall, the best time to visit is from May to August. Flower lovers should consider visiting in April when the famous Flower Festival takes place.

Capital of Madeira, Funchal

Capital of Madeira, Funchal

Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is nestled in a natural amphitheater-shaped valley. Full of historic charm and cosmopolitan flair, it offers beautiful gardens, interesting museums, an old town area with traditional Portuguese houses, and a lively market – Mercado dos Lavradores, where you can find everything from fresh produce to local crafts.

Pico Ruivo and Pico do Arieiro

Pico Ruivo and Pico do Arieiro are the highest peaks on the island. The hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo is one of the most popular ones and offers breathtaking views of the island. It’s an unforgettable experience but can be challenging, so it’s recommended for experienced hikers.

Laurisilva Forest

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Laurisilva Forest is one of the most significant attractions of Madeira. This forest, which covers a fifth of the island, is a remnant of the prehistoric forests that once covered much of Europe. The forest is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna and is laced with levadas (irrigation channels) that are perfect for scenic walks.

Cabo Girão

Cabo Girão is one of the world’s highest ocean cliffs at an astonishing 580 meters. The cliff offers an incredible viewing platform with a glass floor, providing thrilling panoramic views of the ocean and the surrounding landscapes.

São Vicente Caves and Volcanism Centre

Formed some 890 thousand years ago, the São Vicente Caves offer a fascinating insight into the volcanic origins of the island. The Volcanism Centre provides interactive exhibits about geology and volcanic eruptions.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Madeira’s location makes it a great spot for whale and dolphin watching. Many tour operators offer excursions into the deep blue waters surrounding the island.

Wine Tasting in Madeira

Madeira wine is famous worldwide. Take a tour of a local vineyard or visit one of the wine cellars in Funchal to learn about the unique production process and taste the different varieties.

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