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15 Best spots in Madeira

by Sofia Vasconcelos

Ces 15 spots à Madère vous y emmènent . ..



Have you ever felt the experience of being in a place, where all the elements around you magically combine, together, in perfect harmony ?

These 15 spots in Madeira will take you there . ..

1. Monte

Any trip to Madeira should include a stop in Monte. The green lush gardens with their exotic beautiful flowers and the charming Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte, overlooking the sparkling waters of the Atlantic, make this village the perfect spot to relax on your holiday. Head to the area where ‘Carreiros do Monte’ keep their typical wicker baskets and enjoy a return ride to Funchal, sliding down the streets.

2. Old town, Funchal

This is one of Funchal oldest neighborhoods: a colourful maze of narrow streets full of fantastic streetart, bars, shops and restaurants. Take the opportunity to sit down with a glass of Madeira wine in hand and savour some of the island’s delicious seafood dishes or simply marvel at the painted doors. This is also a great location for having a traditional alcoholic drink called ‘Poncha’, since it is the meeting point for the nightlife scene of Funchal.

3. Cabo Girão

This sea cliff has an impressive suspended glass platform, standing at 580 meters of altitude. Admire breathtaking views that stretch to the sea, Camara de Lobos and onwards to Funchal. You’ll feel as if you’re "on the rooftop of the world" . ..

4. Câmara de Lobos

Bordered by the sea, the petite city of Camara de Lobos is a beautiful, picturesque area with fishing boats resting in a pebble beach. Accept the invitation to take pictures while going for a walk by the sea promenade which takes you back to Formosa beach, in Funchal. Take the opportunity to taste the limpets accompanied by a local bread ‘bolo do caco’ with garlic butter, while enjoying the sunset views.

5. Garajau

Go for a walk, make a wish on a Dandelion flower and admire the panoramic views of Funchal from the Cristo Rei viewpoint. There’s also a cable car nearby that will take you to a lovely beach nearby, the perfect spot for diving.

6. Balcões

Feel Madeira’s nature and enjoy walking along the mountain paths called ‘veredas’. ‘Vereda’ dos Balcões, in Ribeiro Frio, is one of the island’s most popular walks. This path, will take you through the trees of the Laurissilva Forest , overlooking the highest peaks of the island, Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro. Relax, enjoy the views and listen to the birds, such as the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs maderensis) who like to call this place home.

Photo : Francisco Correia

7. Nun’s Valley

Nestled in a valley above the sea, the Nun’s Valley is a great addition to your Madeira itinerary. This tiny village was once the perfect spot for the nun’s retreat from Santa Clara Monastery, in Funchal, whenever pirates attacked this city. Relax under the shade of a chestnut tree and taste the typical local liqueur made of cherries, called Ginja.

8. Pico do Areeiro

You can drive your way up to Pico do Areeiro (at 1818 meters high) and is one of the most scenic roads of Madeira - a truly unforgettable experience. There at the top, you can take a break to sample the delicacies of Madeira: honey cake, fennel sweets and Madeira wine.

9. Porto Moniz

Swim in the natural pools of Porto Moniz, while being surrounded by lava formations and the sound of Atlantic waves. Combine this stop with a trip to São Vicente and discover the volcanic caves or taste one of the typical dishes of the North Coast, the soup of the ‘Romaria’, made with beef, onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes, delicious!

10. Santo da Serra

Considered to be one of the most spectacular golf courses in Europe, Santo da Serra Golf Club offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the sea. Designed by the famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones, it features 27 holes and 4 beautiful lakes.

If you go there on a Sunday, enjoy a visit to the flea Market and taste the local cider, made with fermented apple juice.

11. Ponta de São Lourenço

Walk on volcanic cliffs at Ponta de São Lourenço or swim in the crystal clear waters of one of the most beautiful bays of Madeira: Baía d’Abra.

One of the mandatory stops in this area, is also the ‘Ponta do Rosto’ Viewpoint, which allows you to glimpse the north and south coast of Madeira and (if the skies are blue) the neighboring island of Porto Santo.

Photo : Francisco Correia

12. Seixal

You can’t leave Madeira without admiring the mountains and waterfalls of Northern Madeira.

In Seixal you can also see small agriculture terraces, called ‘poios’ where locals produce wine, vegetables and fruits.

Do not miss the famous rice limpets accompanied by grilled trout for lunch. Relax on the beach of Laje, also known as ‘Jamaica Beach’, due to the existing palm trees nearby.

13. Portela

Enjoy the views from Portela viewpoint and discover the iconic rock, in the shape of a pyramid, called ‘Penha d’Águia’ or ‘Eagle’s Rock’. Taste the tomato and onion soup, the perfect choice to recover your strength after a day of hiking.

Photo : Francisco Correia

14. Largo D. Manuel I

Funchal is known for its historic buildings, lovely gardens, colourful market, beautifully designed pebbles pavements, yellow taxis and a revived seafront area, where you can go for long walks and admire the ships floating away.

Largo de D. Manuel I, near the Cathedral, is the meeting point to explore all the highlights of this capital city.

15. Pico Ruivo

Go ‘to the infinity and beyond’ while standing above the clouds, at 1862 meters of altitude. This is after all, the highest peak of Madeira, don’t miss it!


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