Quick Guide to Madeira

Written By Carolina Ventura

If you are a beach person, a nature one, an adventurous individual or a party being, this is the place to be! Let us start with a toast to life! Luckily, Madeira has their own traditional alcoholic drink called Poncha, made to be very sweet and fruit flavored. 

Now let us organize a bit, the Madeira archipelago has desert islands (you can only see by boat), an island called Porto Santo (where you can visit the beach, the cliffs by the great blue ocean and also, snorkeling – which is very recommended in this part of the archipelago) and lastly, the Madeira Island.

In the main island, Madeira, is where the magic happens! The best way to get to know the charms of it is to rent a car and set off to discover this floating garden! However, do not get discouraged for such a simple ride, there are other two transports that you cannot miss.

You need to try a cable car trip; there are at least seven cable car spots in high points around the island that offer you a privileged view to enjoy all the nature around you while facing the ocean. 

The other transportation method is called “basket cars”, with more than one hundred years of history; these cars are made of wood and wicker and can carry two to three people. The most fun part is that these basket cars are literally a big basket going down a two kilometers hill with no mechanical breaks, only controlled by two specialized men who make this experience unforgettable. Check out the prices and locations for this amazing ride here https://www.carreirosdomonte.com/v2/en/prices.php

The best part about this volcanic island is its nature. You can visit by foot or jeep tours and you will be amazed. Here are a few places that you should see other than through photographs:

  • The Botanic Garden with an amazing view and a beautiful flower rug;
  • Vereda do Larano – Boca do Risco, a walking cliff tour;
  • Levada do Alecrim, Levada Rabaçal and Levada do Caldeirão Verde, are walking tours through the forest, natural water formations and waterfalls;
  • Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, is a walking tour through the mountains that requires some physical preparation once it covers the three highest peaks of Madeira;
  • Porto Moniz, a tour among the west coast of the island where you can try a volcanic natural pools;
  • Ponta do Pargo, São Jorge, Porto Moniz and Santana, a few areas where the jeep tours are the preferable way to get to know these amazing viewpoints.

You can choose and book your tours here.

This amazing island is also made for non adventurous ones; you can also relax while discovering the wonderful vineyards. Whether it is by the water, in a cave, a picnic, a street restaurant, do yourself a favor, and enjoy the gastronomy, and wine tours. Take a look here

We cannot say goodbye without mentioning the way the Madeira visitors enter every New Year. They present you with a massive and very famous firework show (part of the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Fireworks Display in the World” between 2006 and 2010). 

For the soccer fans! Yes, Funchal is the hometown of the worldwide known soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo. You can visit his museum and spend a night in his famous hotel.


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