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Portugal

Madeira

Cover image of Madeira plan
Enjoy Madeira General info 1. Make sure you have warm and waterproof clothes for mountains (10-15 °C). 2. Roads on Madeira are in good shape, but nothing is flat or straight on this island, always count with some delays when driving. 3. When renting a car, we highly recommend going for an automatic transmission as mentioned before, roads here are a bit challenging. Food tip: Bolo di caco is a local specialty - it's a thin bread with butter and garlic usually offered as a small snack or starter.
Discover Funchal
Day 1: Old city and port
Image Discover Funchal
When arriving at the airport, rent a car from a rental company - we chose a Goldcar with insurance. Take a walk in the city center and the old fort from the 16th century - Forte de São Tiago.
Adventure in the mountains
Day 2: Pico-to-Pico hikeHike routeMap
Image Adventure in the mountains
Hike from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo (2 of 3 highest peaks on Madeira) If the weather is good, go for this adventure as soon as possible. This is the highlight of hiking trails on the island. Wake up early and drive to the parking point near Pico Arieiro. It should take around 45 minutes. The hike is quite challenging so make sure you have enough snacks and clothes for change.
Dinner at Santa Maria
Image Dinner at Santa Maria
Enjoy dinner in the streets of the old city of Funchal.
Ponta de São Lourenço
Day 3: Explore the eastern part of the islandMap
Image Ponta de São Lourenço
Check out from the hotel and drive towards Canical and then further to park near the footpath to Ponta de Sao Lourenco. It should take around 30 minutes. Make sure you have suncream and enough water as there’s no sunshade along the trail. The trail should take up to 3 hours there and back, but if you feel tired, just shorten the walk, the views are beautiful no matter how far you make it!
Miradouro da Beira da Quinta
Image Miradouro da Beira da Quinta
On the way to the northern part of the island, you can take a break on your journey for some more spectacular views of the Madeira coastline.
Stay at Aqua Natura Bay Hotel
Continue to the Northern part of the island and it will take around 1,5 hours. If you don’t feel like driving there after the hike, feel free to stay somewhere in the middle and continue your journey the day after. The hotel has a pool and wellness center and also you can find a natural swimming pool near the hotel.
Fanal forest
Day 4: Take a dip in the mistMapWebsite
Image Fanal forest
Drive up to 30 minutes to visit the ancient, mystical, and enchanting destination within the Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forest is usually shrouded in mist, which creates a mystical vibe. However, don’t be sad if you come on a sunny day. This place is a must-see.
Levada des 25 Fontes
Day 5: Discover the unique hiking trailsMapHike route
Image Levada des 25 Fontes
Levadas are an old system of channels or aqueducts of hundreds of kilometers in length, mostly bordering mountains but also going through them, to bring water from different sources to its intermediate or final uses. Madeira has more than 200 hundred levadas and The 25 Fontes (25 fountains) Levada is one of the most popular. Its name lives up to the number of fountains or little waterfalls along the trail.
Stay at Calheta Glamping Pods
Image Stay at Calheta Glamping Pods
Experience the unique vibe of small and cozy glamping pods, with beautiful scenery, views of the ocean, and a kind and friendly host. Minimum 3 nights of stay.
Lighthouse Ponta do Pargo
Day 6: Chill and the west coastMap
Image Lighthouse Ponta do Pargo
Take some rest and enjoy the views from the west coast of the island. Have an easy walk around the lighthouse and the surrounding area. Driving here from Calheta will take 20 minutes.
Pico Grande
Day 7 - One more hike for the spectacular viewsMapHike route
Image Pico Grande
Drive to the parking lot at the starting point - it should take around 45 minutes. The hike is rather challenging and requires a good fitness level and previous experience with exposed terrain. As a reward, you‘ll get spectacular views of all of Madeira’s highest peaks. This trail is one of the hidden gems and is much less crowded than the Pico-to-Pico trail.
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