Provided by: Madeira Promotion Bureau (Hugo Reis)
Section in Madeira
Do & See
The cascades and footpaths are an open door for researchers and amateurs. They are also the delight of open-air sports fans – such as trekking, climbing, canyoning and mountain biking, among others. Most of these activities can be planned in hotels or through specialized agencies, but there are marked and identified courses in most part of the routes. A means of communication in expansion on the island is the teleferic – in spite of it not being recommended to people suffering from vertigo. There are also cultural centres spread throughout the Island. The most important ones being currently located in Calheta, home of Casa das Mudas, and in Funchal, such as the Madeira Story Center, the Vicentes Museum of Photography, the Municipal Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Frederico de Freitas Museum.

Funchal Downtown And Historical Area

Funchal, capital of Madeira, is located on a bay and started out by occupying a small extension of land by the sea, going up on the mountain slopes as it grew. A few walking minutes away, it is possible to stroll down the centre of the city, where you have access to all commerce and services, and can also visit the town’s main ex-libris. It can be divided into 3 historical nucleuses, which are also its first three parishes: São Pedro, Santa Maria Maior and Sé. It is also in the vicinities of the Historical Area that you can find the teleferic station, which links the town to the Monte.
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Adventure in Madeira

Have a glimpse at what to do in Madeira - be Active - several activities

Introducing Madeira Islands

Get to know Madeira, the atlantic island, belonging to Portugal and known as The Pearl of the Atlantic.


In July 1419, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, who discovered the Islands, came ashore in the beach of Machico. This same beach is now covered with golden sand. To know the history of the municipality, the best thing to do is to visit the Museum Nucleus in Solar do Ribeirinho. If you are staying in Machico, it is worth going to Caniçal, a fishermen’s village which was the centre of whale hunting, testimonies of which can be found in the Whale Museum. The town is famous for its restaurants, which serve typical delicacies, such as limpets, periwinkles, wrasses or fresh “castanhetas” (small fried fish).
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Pico Do Areeiro And Pico Ruivo

A drive to Pico do Areeiro, the third highest part of the Island, offers visitors a magnificent landscape of the central ridge and its peaks. The footpath connecting Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo is one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most challenging ones. For those who cannot cross it and still wish to enjoy the magnificent landscape from the highest spot of the island, an alternative and much more accessible footpath allows reaching the peak through the other side, starting the route in Achada do Teixeira in Santana.
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Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo, located some 40 Km northeast of the Island of Madeira, has a low population. It is very quiet during most part of the year (except in August, when many summer tourists are visiting), and is a small idyll for those seeking to run away from stress and to rest. The 9 km extension of its golden sand beach, bathed by crystal and serene waters (which are never below 17 degrees C), is particularly appreciated by those who enjoy going to the beach, which is possible to do all year long, for temperatures vary very little along the year (23 degrees C in the summer and 19 degrees C in the winter). The island Porto Santo has a wide variety of outdoor activities to offer the tourist such as diving, big game fishing, sailing, canoeing, wind-surfing and kite-surfing. Much less hilly than Madeira, the island of Porto Santo is also perfect for bicycle strolls. Bikes can be rented at hotels or in downtown.
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Outdoor Actvities

Climb up to the clouds among mountains and levadas and enjoy the pure, rarefied air or discover treasures as you explore the depths of the Atlantic. Whatever your choice, you will feel nature all around you! If you like active holidays, this archipelago has excellent natural conditions for mountaineering. You can choose from trekking, climbing, canyoning, jeep safaris, mountain bikes or horse riding to conquer the impressive mountains in a memorable experience. Don’t miss the chance to go hiking, the number one favourite with Madeira’ visitors. Hang-gliding and paragliding are very attractive sports as the island’s natural terrain is ideal for it. Where nautical sports are concerned, there are countless choices. Why not try diving with dusky groupers, dolphins or seals. Head into the waves at Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar or S. Vicente, and go surfing, windsurfing, jet skiing or water skiing for an unforgettable experience. For big-game fishermen, try catching a blue marlin in this huge, enchanted lake.
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20 Million Year Old Forest - Laurissilva Forest

About 20 million years ago, Laurissilva Forest covered large areas of the south of Europe and of the Mediterranean Basin. This prehistoric relic survived the ice ages that completely extinct it in all other sites except in Macaronesia (which includes the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). Madeira owns the largest area of Laurissilva Forest of the world. In fact, it occupies around 15.000 hectares, located mainly on the north slopes of the island. Due to its biological specificity, the diversity of its endemic species and its well-preserved condition, in 1999 Laurissilva Forest was granted by Unesco the World Natural Heritage classification. This forest consists of large trees, mostly belonging to the "Lauraceae" family, namely the laurel, the mahogany, the til and barbusano, alongside others like picconia excelsa, the heberdenia excelsa, the Lily-of-the-Valley tree, the buckthorn and ilex perado. Beneath the canopy of these trees evergreen bushes also abound, such as Madeira blueberry, the shrub trefoil and the heather, and closest to the ground there are ferns, mosses, liverworts, lichens, and other smaller plants. Within the forest, which is especially rich in terrestrial molluscs and insects, several rare bird species can still be seen, including the Madeira Laurel Pigeon and Firecrest, which are the only endemic species of this ecosystem.
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Madeira Wine

Madeira’s matchless soil and climate, the production process and the grape varieties used have made Madeira wine unique. Chosen to celebrate the independence of the United States on 4 July 1776, praised by Shakespeare in his plays and admired by monarchs, princes, generals and explorers, Madeira wine is certainly a treasure. It is appreciated all over the world and has more than five centuries of history. This ‘nectar of the gods’ is one of Madeira’s finest achievements. Just think about the Madeirans’ constructive spirit over the centuries, visible in the hand-tilled vineyards on small plots of land called poios, sometimes clinging to the mountain sides. There are more than 30 Madeira wine grape varieties, though the best are Sercial, Boal, Verdelho and Malvasia. The most well-known dry wine is made from Sercial grapes. This pale, strongly perfumed wine makes an ideal aperitif. Verdelho leads the medium dry wines. It is golden, delicate and quite perfumed and is the best one for drinking with meals. Boal is medium sweet, smooth, velvety, noble and dark gold in colour and goes well with roast meat or dessert. Between meals or with dessert, few can resist a Malvasia, a sweet, red, full-bodied, intensely perfumed wine. Connoisseurs of this ‘art’ should come to Madeira in September to see and participate in the Madeira grape harvest and its festival, a tribute to this age-old product that is recognised worldwide. Savour a glass and drink a toast to life with Madeira wine…
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