Madeira has a lot to offer to all kinds of visitors. This scenic, all year round summer destination provides amazing hiking possibilities and perfect conditions to relax and unwind. The oasis in the Atlantic Ocean is famous for friendly people, mild subtropical climate and exceptional natural beauty.
The archipelago, discovered by the Portuguese in 1418 consists of several volcanic islands, including Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. The Pearl of the Atlantic is full of majestic cliffs, pebbled beaches and natural rock pools.
If you like to walk, Madeira's rugged terrain is ideal for hiking. The island has picturesque coastline with steep cliffs towering over the Atlantic Ocean. Levadas are small channels built in the sixteenth century for distributing water from the mountains to the drier parts in the lower areas. Agriculture is still an important part of the island’s resources. You will see ingeniously cultivated terraces along hillsides everywhere.
Going for a walk alongside an irrigation canal is one of the most exciting and unique experiences that a hiker can have. There are more than 2,170 km (1,350 miles) of levadas and they provide a remarkable network of walking paths that will guide you through the most beautiful landscapes of the island. You will find levada walks for every skill level. Some of them cross mountains from north to south, through tunnels that are hundreds of meters long.
Click to see a list of levada trails >> >>
How to get there:
Madeira is in easy reach of most of Europe. Take a look at the flight deals we’ve published:
- Summer flights from the UK from £49 >>
- Flights from Stuttgart for €59.98 >>
- Flights from Lyon for €154 >>
What to do:
Madeira archipelago is a destination where you can combine active tourism with relax by the ocean. To enjoy miles of golden beaches, take a ferry or flight to Porto Santo island. Madeira island itself isn’t a typical beach destination – it’s mountainous and the shore is almost all rock and cliffs. Trekking along levadas, horse-riding or moutain biking on unpaved roads in the forest is all invigorating and exciting. For the adventurous, we suggest you go canyoning, paragliding or climbing the amazing cliffs.
The archipelago is also one of the best locations in Europe for diving. Scuba divers can explore the crystal clear waters of Garajau Natural Reserve. You can take a boat trip to enjoy the beautiful landscape and watch various marine species. Known as the Hawaii of the Atlantic, the Madeira Islands meet all the necessary conditions for an unforgettable surfing experience. Go to the pebble beach in São Vicente, where you can find some of the best waves of Europe.
Where to stay:
The range of accommodation is vast and top quality, from traditional manor houses (‘Quintas da Madeira’) to the modern five-star hotels. There are two official camping sites on the Madeira archipelago, one in Porto Moniz (Ribeira da Janela) and the other in Porto Santo, in the town of Vila Baleira.
In Funchal we recommend you to stay at excellent 4* Hotel Alto Lido for only €61 per night. This top rated hotel is within a 25-minute drive of Madeira Airport and provides a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. It is conveniently positioned for those wishing to sightsee in the area.
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