Madeira, Portugal impersonates the beauty of heaven. Underrated among the tourists, this subtropical island is best known for its namesake fortified wine. Ethereally beautiful and bestowed with exotic greens, Madeira is a destination for every globetrotter. A European gem that is filled to the brim with dramatic scenery, gardens, enchantingly rugged landscapes, exotic wine, and equally good beaches. For good reasons, it is called ‘the island of eternal spring’ and even is compared to Hawaii Island! A truly romantic honeymoon getaway and an equally worthy destination for the travelers who seek solace in the lap of nature, these are the best places to explore during your visit to Madeira, Portugal.
This Portuguese archipelago locates in North Atlantic Ocean in the Macaronesia region and comprises of Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas, and the Selvagens. Its capital Funchal is located on Madeira Island and it is also gonna be the base for your Madeira travel. If you are planning for a fun holiday location with all its fancy destinations and warm sun, you must check out these places for a full-fledged Madeira, Portugal experience.
Best Places To Visit In Madeira, Portugal For A Lifetime Experience:
The island’s capital and the lively heart of Madeira’s tourism, Funchal is known for its dramatic hills, gardens, harbors, notable architecture, good food, wine, and all those things to keep you on your toes. It is also the most sophisticated drinking and dining area of the archipelago. Visit Funchal Cathedral which is one of the historic landmarks of Funchal.
For getting access to most of the city’s best shops and restaurants, you have to go to the Old Town of Funchal. Usually, this place is packed with locals and tourists alike and it is great to taste some local food here and to try your hands on the local shopping items that they sell along the shopping streets.
The Mercado dos Lavradores is a much-loved farmer’s market in Funchal and also is one of the major attractions in Madera, Portugal. Full of fresh fruits, veggies, fish and local produces, this market is open daily and calls on attention.
You gotta visit other amazing places like Madeira Botanical Garden, Monte Palace Tropical Garden and Museum, Santa Catarina Park, and many more.
Daily boat service is available from Funchal Harbor that will take you to Porto Santo which is 43 kilometers northeast of Madeira Island. It is the northernmost and easternmost island of Madeira archipelago and is a place where you can witness the dramatic geographical features like rocky ledges, cliffs, and a nine kilometer long white sand beach!
Hotels and restaurants you find here are less expensive compared to Madeira and it is the place to seek some peace and spend some relaxing time. Do not expect any flurry of activity at the beaches of Porto Santo as you would do at any other beach destination. It is one of the least-developed beach resorts in Europe and is considered as the only desert island in Europe! Just enjoy the soft golden sand under your feet and admire the beauty of the turquoise sea that surrounds you.
Among the major and only a few tourist attractions, go visit Christopher Columbus’ House and Vila Baleira [the quaint miniature model town]. Rest, you are free to heal yourself at the beach.
The highest point of Madeira and the third highest point of the country, Pico Ruivo stands tall at a height of 1862m above sea level. You need to hike your way up to the top of the mountain as the summit can only be accessed by foot. There are three hiking trails to reach out there. One runs from Pico do Arieiro [third highest peak on Madeira, Portugal], the second one runs from Achada do Teixeira, and the third one leads to the west of Encumeada. Among these three, the second hiking trail is the shortest and the easiest one.
Admire the landscape along your way up and get to see a splendid view of the surrounding once you reach the summit.
Camara de Lobos:
Picturesque? We call it divine. This beautiful small village sitting in the southern part of the island of Madeira, Portugal will woo you with its array of colorful fishing boats and postcard-like landscape set up. This is basically a suburb region of the capital city of Funchal and is just about 10km from the same.
Historically, Camera de Lobos was among Madeira’s earliest few settlements in the 15th century. There are a couple of photogenic churches that reminisces the stories of the past periods. Apart from its beauty and history, this seaside village is also a place to explore dramatically tall cliffs at Cabo Girao. In 2012, a skywalk was installed here to enjoy the view beneath. The half kilometer tall cliff beneath you and the ravishing blue of the sea, it is so thrilling to walk on the skywalk.
A Levada walk is also a must whilst in Camara de Lobos.
Pretty village, anyone? If you want to witness some of the prettiest traditional houses that remind you of the pictures straight out from the fairy tale books, Santana is the place where you need to head to. On the north coast of Madeira, Portugal lies this small town that is all famous for its A-framed traditional triangular houses with thatched roofs, painted blue-framed windows, and red shutters. They also run craft shops inside these traditional houses.
Besides, you must not miss out on Madeira Theme Park, baroque-style Igreja de Santana Church whilst in Santana.
Ponta do Sol:
Sitting in the southwestern coast of the island of Madeira, with the crashing waves of the Atlantic and stunning amount of urban art, Ponta do Sol is a lovely small town to visit in Madeira, Portugal. When in here, you have to check out the pretty beach of Ponta de Sol where you can have a relaxing stroll. It is also the spot from where you will start your diving excursion. A dive through the mountains is a must-have experience here. Also, sample some nice tapas and Poncha [rum and fruit juice, a traditional alcoholic drink] and enjoy hiking, outdoor activities here in Ponta de Sol. The town’s rugged coastline, pebbled beach, and the pretty seafront will leave you awestruck.
Madeira is a treat to the visitors. Its amazing climate, diverse landscape, beautiful beaches to panoramic sunset- everything is so refreshing and tranquil about this beautiful Atlantic Ocean Island. Rightly called as ‘the Atlantic floating Garden’, Madeira, Portugal is the best for you if you love abundant nature, endless good food, and simple relaxation in the midst of nature. Also, a little bit on the cheaper side, visiting the island does not burn a hole in your pocket. So what are you waiting for? Get your bags ready and set a trip to this beautiful wonderland.