Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is often called the “Hawaii of Europe” and this is for a good reason: from beautiful landscapes to incredible beaches, Madeira is definitely a destination that you should add to your list.
With its sub tropical climate, Madeira is perfect if all year round: from hot summers to very mild winters, you can enjoy this beautiful island whenever you like.
We visited the island mid November, wanted to spend hubby’s birthday on a little getaway and this was our first choice since we never visited Madeira before.
Despite my friends telling us to pack for both warm and cold weather, as they said it can get a bit chilly at night, we were lucky enough to get to enjoy 24-27 degrees for the entire week, using only the warmer clothes for when we went hiking at sunset.
I would encourage you to wither rent a bike or a car to help you get around the island. What we also started doing over the last few years is to change accommodations every couple of days so we can enjoy as much as possible and see more parts of the island.
Where to stay in Madeira?
As mentioned above we split our stay in 4 different locations:
What to do in Madeira?
1. Pico Ruivo
This had to be the highlight of our trip! We actually went hiking up there twice as we loved it so much.
You can drive up to Arcada do Teixeira and from there the hike took us just over an hour and we went both times to catch the sunset and let me tell you the view is absolutely incredible.
2. Pico Do Arieiro
Pico Do Arieiro is Madeira Island’s third highest peak.
There is a road that will get you to the summit , with a big car park and a restaurant and you can also see the footpath from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo .
3. Seixal beach
This is one of the most stunning views I have seen here! The perfectly black sand beach has an incredible mountain backdrop featuring ridges and waterfalls overlooking the beach.
4. Achadas Da Cruz
This was such an incredible experience, you’ll have to take the cable car down a huge cliff to a unique spot of Madeira island. This is considered one of the steepest cable rides in Europe.
At the bottom of the cliff you get to enjoy a beautiful view of an agricultural land and splendid cliff views.
5. Monte Palace Tropical Gardens
Monte Palace Gardens is a vast, tropical garden located in the village of Monte, on Funchal’s mountainside. The garden is a picturesque park that has a mix of both Asian and African inspired influences, giving it an enchanting façade that’s full of interesting plants, Japanese-inspired gardens, waterfalls, a river, statues, a museum, colourful tropical plants and various water features throughout the garden.
6. Funchal Farmers Market
This open market is a hive of activity, noise, color and high-energy. Its size and positioning immediately reflected the intention to make the Mercado dos Lavradores the great supply point of the city.Open from Monday to Saturday this beautiful market is a well known destination point for the island where both tourists and locals come to get their fresh produce, including fish, vegetables and fuits.
7. Reid’s Palace
Set on a cliff in 10 acres of verdant gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Reid’s Palace is the ultimate place to stretch out in the sun and relax.
Belmond Reid’s Palace has been Madeira’s number one hotel for over a century – Churchill even wrote his war memoirs here.
Two big pools and one tidal pool by the sea take pride of place among the tropical gardens and you’ll find tennis courts out here, too. As for food, expect everything from a generous afternoon tea to moonlit meals.
8. Seixal Natural Pools
The Seixal Natural Pools are on the stunning northern coast of Madeira Island in Portugal.
Giant lush cliffs, water rushing from falls into the sea, thick, dark volcanic rocks- no doubt that this is a must visit location in Madeira.
9. Cascata dos Anjos
The “Waterfall of Angels” falls down a sheer rock face onto the E.R.101 road and in to the sea. This is one of the most picturesque and photographed falls on Madeira.
10. Funchal Old Town
“Zona Velha” (Old town) is a crossbreed of small and cozy alleys where locals and tourists come and stroll during the day and enjoy beautiful and quiet evenings.
You can also enjoy nightlife in a beautiful atmosphere with bars and restaurants in the old town of Funchal.
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