On the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean, there is a mountainous island, with few beaches and with the highest peak in Europe. Are you ready to discover Madeira? A land of traditions and breathtaking panoramas, once you have visited Funchal, in 4 days in Madeira you can explore the island without haste and from all sides. Don’t know how to get to Madeira? Read it!
Depart from Funchal travel to the beautiful village of Camacha, located a few kilometers outside Funchal. Camacha is best known as the center of Madeira’s willow craft industry and where they football in Portugal for the first time.
Next, drive toward the mountain of Pico do Arieiro (bookable tour). At an altitude of 1,818 meters, the third highest peak on the island offers breathtaking views. Once you’ve been to the highest drivable peak in Madeira, head back down through a beautiful forest, Unesco Heritage, on the way to the coast.
Discover the popular start point for the Levada walks, Ribeiro Frio, on the northern slopes of the island. During the Levada walk, you can found a typical nice bird, if you have something to eat offer them. They are really friendly.
Then we stop Santana, characterized by its small, thatched triangular houses. Nowadays they used it for shops and tourist information. But if you ask at the guide the will show you where people nowadays live in those houses.
The last town to be visited is Machico, a viewpoint where you can look over the bay and the golden sandy beach and the airport.
Depart from Funchal, pass through the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Stop at Pico da Torre to enjoy panoramic views. Câmara de Lobos is famous to be the inspiration for Sir Winston Churchill’s paintings of its surroundings. The village was named by the explorers and due to the shape of its bay and the many sea lions living there.
Continue to Cabo Girão, (bookable tour) the 2nd highest sea cliff in the world and the highest sea cliff in Europe. We pass through Ribeira Brava and head north through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra D’Água.
Cross a mountain pass, where both sides of the island are visible not in a foggy day.
Next, visit the beautiful village of Porto Moniz where we can admire the volcanic swimming pools. Continue to Paul da Serra to see one of the biggest natural reserves in the world.
NUNS VALLEY (half-day):
Explore the stunning landscapes of the Curral from Freiras (Nuns Valley) on a scenic half-day tour from Funchal.
First, we stop at the Eira do Serrado for one of the most beautiful views in Madeira. Continue down to Corral from Freiras. Once in Nuns Valley, a small village nestling between almost perpendicular mountains.
What is beyond dispute is that the village is very isolated. The locals mainly live off what they cultivate, including the delicious chestnuts that are the centerpiece of the annual Chestnut Festival. Try the Chestnut cake! Finally, we return to Funchal.
MAP OF THE TOURS:
I hope you have enjoyed Madeira as much as I do. See you in the next travelers… 🙂