People go here primarily for the climate, the nature, the many hiking opportunities and, of course, for the charming capital Funchal.
Madeira offers beach life, turquoise blue sparkling sea and umbrella drinks on outdoor seating.
Madeira does not have many natural sandy beaches, most bathing areas instead consist of lovely natural sea pools with rocks and steps down into the water.
The capital Funchal
Funchal has beautiful architecture with houses from the 15th century mixed with modern buildings.
The capital Funchal is reason enough in itself to visit Madeira.
The city has beautiful architecture with houses from the 15th century mixed with modern buildings.
Here you can stroll among lovely parks and cobbled streets, peek into historic alleys, cathedrals and churches, visit exciting museums, restaurants and cafes and spend hours at the local market Mercado dos Lavradores.
Of course, you also have to ride the toboggan when you are in Funchal. These sleds in a basket with room for two people are controlled by two so-called Carreiros, who run, kick, push and hang to make the trip down the curvy roads an incredible experience. Or as Ernest Hemingway put it after trying to ride the toboggan; “the most exhilarating experience”.
Eat and drink
In addition to the well-known Madeira wine, the island has many other exciting things for those who want to try new flavors.
For example, don’t miss the good deep-sea fish Espada or the sweet potato bread Bolo de Caco.
Or why not cool off with a glass of Poncha made with sugar cane rum, freshly squeezed lemon and honey.
Bananas have been grown on Madeira for a long time, but since the EU changed the standard for how big bananas should be, Madeira is no longer allowed to export its bananas. So even though the bananas here are small, they actually taste better than the bigger ones we’re used to.
Football at a high level
Madeira has two football teams that play in Portugal’s top league, one of the teams, CD National, is the club where Christiano Ronaldo’s career took off.
On the weekends, you can enjoy high-class football during the season, when one of the two teams usually has a home game.
If you want to know more about the island’s great football talent, there is a museum focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo’s career and trophies. The museum, called CR7 and located in Funchal, is like one big tribute to Ronaldo.
Whale and dolphin tours
Take a rib boat east and experience the amazing wildlife at sea. Seeing dolphins and whales in their natural environment is an unbeatable feature of the trip!
Almost everywhere on the island you can walk around and look at old houses and other buildings.
The visits take you back in history all the way to the 15th century. The majority of buildings still remain today and stand together with new, modern buildings.
You will discover beautiful, old cobbled streets and special backyards and alleys.
At some point during your stay on the island, you should take a walk among the buildings and take part in the historic wing beat.
Swim in volcanic pools
In the picturesque town of Porto Moniz on the northwestern part of the island, there are several natural pools created by solidified lava.
Swimming in the pools is free and the water is insanely clear. The town itself, Porto Moniz, is also worth spending time in, for example at one of the homely restaurants.
The Lava Caves of Sao Vicenta
These caves differ from traditional caves in that there are no stalactites and stalagmites, the caves instead consist of solidified lava in various forms.
The tour through the caves takes about half an hour and afterwards you can visit a small museum where you can learn more about Madeira’s volcanic history.
When you go on holiday, food is something that is an important ingredient for the trip to be successful.
Few would say no to eating their fill in a lovely holiday environment. In Madeira, you basically have the entire world’s cuisine to choose from, and also domestic food, which means that everyone can find their own favorite restaurant regardless of taste.
There are also special local foods and drinks that are well worth trying. Precisely because Madeira has such a varied tourism, this has led to the wide range of different types of food served at the many restaurants on the island.
If you want to try local food, it is food that is strongly influenced by Portuguese cuisine.
As Madeira is located in the middle of the sea, many different fish and shellfish dishes are offered. It can be anything from grilled fish to mussels, lobster and squid. The local food is also a bit more spicy, which can really wake up the taste buds.
When it comes to drinks, you absolutely cannot miss the locally produced wine.
Madeira’s wine is a strong wine that has different sweetness, which goes very well with cheese trays or as an aperitif.
The slightly sweeter wine is used in cooking and also tastes good with desserts.