Picking my top five experiences in Madeira was really hard! After only four whole days of exploring this gorgeous Portuguese island I had so many amazing moments it’s almost impossible to select the best ones. But I wanted to give you a list of things you absolutely can’t miss while going to Madeira, so here it goes. 🙂
P. S.: Read also how I got to know Madeira wine at Blandy’s Wine Lodge and Guide to all the tastes of Madeira. Blog posts about all the places I visited and what to see in Funchal coming soon.
Swimming in natural lava pools
How does this sound? Natural swimming pools made of volcanic rocks and filled with fresh sea water which flows in to the pools naturally. You can have this experience in Porto Moniz, which is definitely a must see village in Madeira. There are two sets of natural lava pools, I choose the western one and enjoyed Atlantic Ocean in March. Ok I admit, it took some courage to get into quite cold water but it was definitely worth it. Especially overlooking huge sea waves and whole village of Porto Moniz at the end of the infinity pool.
Walking the Ponta de São Lourenço
The westernmost point of Madeira represents beautiful cape of São Lourenço. Here you can do a hike to the end of the cape to the Sardinha house and admire the views of sea cliffs, green plateaus, going up and down on a very neat path. Don’t forget a bottle of water and sun screen, I got very red nose here for free.
Catching the sun in Câmara do Lobos
You probably know by now that I love colourful villages! And Câmara do Lobos is definitely colourful little fishing village. In its small port all the boats are painted in various colors and also the houses in its various squares. Here you can eat great sea food and admire the view of the world’s second highest sea cliffs Cabo Girão. They are 580 meters high and below them there are really nice beaches.
Admiring views at Pico do Areeiro
Madeira’s third highest peak – Pico do Areeiro – is 1818 meters high and you can access it by car. It is also one of the starting points of the walk towards Madeira’s highest mountain Pico Ruvio, which is 1862 meters high. This walk lasts several hours, however, we did a short part of the walk to the view point Ninho da Manta and the views were amazing! You can see the surrounding mountains and also the Atlantic Ocean. However, the weather here is very unpredictable and it changes quickly, so wear layers and be prepared for different weather conditions.
Relaxing at Monte Palace Tropical Gardens
For me mixing tropical and gardens does for sure result in a great place! I liked every part of Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, but have a few favorite spots – the Central Lake with a beautiful view of waterfall and Monte Palace, the palace itself, North Entrance to Japanese Gardens and Southern Oriental Gardens with lakes, miniature islands and red bridges.