Everywhere in Madeira is a step away from the sea or from the mountains. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Madeira was voted Best European Island at the 2019 World Travel Awards. But there are many more reasons to visit the "Pearl of the Atlantic" as it once was called.
See what to do in Madeira
With the decline of sugar production in the late sixteenth century, sugar plantations in Madeira Island were replaced by vineyards, originating in the so-called ‘Wine Culture’, which acquired international fame and provided the rise of a new social class, the Bourgeoisie.
One of the greatest tourist attractions of the Island of Madeira lies in its spectacular landscape. Its luxurious vegetation continues to fascinate all those closely drawn to nature.
This archipelago, included in the bio-geographic region of Macaronesia, retains a natural heritage of great scientific value, distinguished by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage - the Laurissilva Forest.
Come to Madeira for a close encounter with some of the 28 species of cetaceans that inhabit or visit these waters. Who knows? You might have the chance to swim with dolphins!
Take a boat trip in the Madeira Archipelago and enjoy the beautiful landscape of these islands.
From bodyboard, surf, sport fishing, stand up paddle or coasteering... there is a lot to choose from and so little time to enjoy it all.
To taste Madeira is to try Madeira wine, honey cakes, black scabbardfish, limpets, “bolo do caco” bread, bananas with syrup, tuna steak, fried cornmeal, meat kebabs on laurel skews, homemade couscous, wheat soup… A list of tasty delicacies that will make your head spin.
Madeira wine – highly typical but very distinct, served as both an aperitif and after-dinner drink, with its unique character and aromas – has already won fans throughout the entire world. It is a fortified wine with a history spanning more than five centuries, produced in the hills and wineries of the Demarcated Region of the Island of Madeira.
The Farmers’ Market (Mercado dos Lavradores), one of the milestones of Funchal, is located right in the heart of the historical city centre. Colours, aromas and tradition all combine to welcome and amaze those who visit. The market displays the best that the island has to offer: the freshest and most exotic fruits, gorgeous flowers, meat, seafood, vegetables and local spices.
Enjoy all the typical drinks like the famous Poncha (a local cocktail made of sugar cane rum, honey and orange/lemon juice) or have a taste of the local lager beer "Coral".
There are so many events throughout the year. The Atlantic Festival Fireworks Show, the National and International Folklore Festival, the Madeira Wine Rally, the Flower Festival, the Carnival Parade, Christmas and New Year's Celebrations... amongst many others.
In Madeira Island, all parishes celebrate religious festivities and pilgrimages. In these festivals there is always entertainment, with philharmonic and modern bands. The areas and streets surrounding the church are decorated with colourful flags. The food and drink stalls are the crowd's favourites.
Famous all over the world for its natural beauty, the Island of Madeira is often called “the floating garden of the Atlantic”. Here, the hues of the vegetation that covers the hillsides are matched only in the exotic flowers that bloom from every recess.
The Old Town is the ideal setting for unique experiences. Here, creativity can be found year-round, with attractions setting the stage for many opportunities to feel the city. A number of restaurants and lots of night-life let you experience and feel this part of the city in a different way.
The island of Madeira was discovered by two Portuguese explorers, in 1419. In the fifteenth century, Madeira starts planting sugar cane. With the rapid expansion of the sugar cane industry, Funchal becomes a commercial center of excellence, attended by traders of various nationalities.
Currently the List of Recommended Walking Routes includes more than 30 hiking trails, officially recommended by the Regional Government of Madeira, classifyed as small routes (PR) and identified by a sequential number.
Opt for a day tour guided by professionals, so you can visit different typical locations on the island in a comfortable way. Go on a bus tour in Madeira. Don’t worry about driving and let yourself go on a calm and relaxing tour to discover the beautiful landscapes of Madeira.
Take a boat trip in the Madeira Archipelago and enjoy the beautiful landscape of these islands. Or choose to go for a close encounter with some of the 28 species of cetaceans that inhabit or visit these waters. And if you are up to it, you can even swim with dolphins or go diving in amazing locations for an unforgettable underwater experience.
Surfing, Body Board, Stand Up Paddle, Sport Fishing, Coasteering. These are some examples of the activities you can do in this amazing Island.
Check out some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. Try canyoning for an adrenaline rush. Bring your trekking shoes for miles of footpaths. And much more...
The Madeira Archipelago has excellent courses that allow you to play golf in scenery that looks like paradise, painted with the green of the mountains and the blue of the sea that stretches to the horizon.