The island of Madeira is located off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic ocean. it’s famous for the beautiful scenery and fantastic hiking. Here are some of the best things to do in Madeira…
- Book a day trip to the Ilha Deserta.
- Take a catamaran sail to the other side of Madeira and go see Canico Volcano and Botanical Gardens, both part of the Natural Park of Madeira.
- Go diving with sharks in Porto Moniz or explore amazing waterfalls on the island, such as Ribeiro Frio Waterfall and Cachoeira do Salto.
- Enjoy a day trip to Porto Santo and go hiking up to the Beach of Calheta, one of the most beautiful in Europe.
- Take a ferry to the beach at Santana or visit the granite rocks in Cruzinhas, both on Santa Maria island.
- Go cycling in the valley of Arapele, a hidden paradise in one of the most beautiful island of the world.
- Go horse riding and visit Coruche castle, high on a hill overlooking all of Porto Santo.
- Go hiking in the Curral Street and visit the old village of Curral on Porto Moniz.
- Go bird watching at Pico do Fajardo, an extinct volcano that some believe was never a volcano but a volcano flow with postglacial sea level changes that were so extreme it appeared to be a new one (it is more likely that it was a small island).
- Go scuba diving and island hopping at the beautiful beaches of Fajardo, Canico and Cova Figueira (the only beach where you can easily swim between two islands).
- Explore the rock of Porto Moniz, covered in black lava and surrounded by tiny islets and hidden beaches.
- Browse caves with beautiful stalagmites at Cachoeira do Salto, then go look for more caves and caves with stalactites, starting in Lajes do Abraao on the northern end of the island.
- Go rafting or sailing along to the other side of the island, to Parque Natural da Ilha de Faial (the only national park in Madeira), or one of its sister parks such as Parque Natural da Serra de Sao Lourenco near Funchal or Parque das Granjas near Ponta do Sol.
- Go diving in Porto Moniz or Boa Vista, the only island with a port and many interesting dive sites.
- Visit the old town of Funchal and go explore the historical center of the town, full of interesting museums and churches such as the Church of Sao Francisco and its famous Black Madonna or Museo de Arte de Madeira.
What to Eat in Madeira
- Enjoy delicious local cuisine and a typical drink at the many restaurants in Funchal, Ponta Delgada and Lajes.
- Eat tapas with traditional local specialities such as churrasqui (Portuguese meat & potatoes), grilled sardines (with boiled banana and garlic sauce) or aubergine stuffed with patatas bravas (fried potato cubes mixed with spicy tomato sauce).
- Drink exquisite wines at the many wineries all around the island, especially on the eastern side of Madeira (the dryer part of Madeira).
- The standard meals in Portugal only go up to €8/person for lunch (more in some places) or dinner (fewer places).
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