5 days in Madeira Portugal – What To Do

5 days in Madeira Portugal – What To Do

July 5, 2024 Off By TravelWW

Planning a trip to Madeira, Portugal and wondering what to do there? This scenic island offers an array of stunning views and exciting activities.

From exploring the historical heart of Funchal to indulging in unique local experiences, here are the top attractions.

  • Discover old town Funchal: Immerse yourself in the historical charm this city has to offer.
  • Take in views at Pico do Arieiro: A hiking adventure awaits in Madeira’s third highest peak.
  • Dolphin/Whale Watching: Embrace the sea and witness the magnificence of marine life.
  • Seixal Black Sand Beach: Experience the unique black sand and serene atmosphere of this beach.
  • Savour Porto Moniz Natural Pools: Enjoy nature’s wonder with these unique pool formations.
  • Hike Vereda dos Balcões: A breathtaking experience with panoramic views of Madeira’s landscape.
  • Toboggan Ride from Monte: For thrill-seekers, this is a must-do activity in Madeira.
  • Poncha Sampling: Experience local flavors with this traditional alcoholic beverage.

Picking out what to do in Madeira, Portugal can be overwhelming with all these varied options. But these handpicked suggestions promise a memorable experience.

A Memorable Journey in Madeira, Portugal

Please note that some activities may be season-dependent. Always check for the availability beforehand.

Don’t forget to bring appropriate footwear as some activities involve hiking.

Lastly, for the full Madeira experience, savor the local cuisine and interact with the friendly locals.

Day 1: Explore the Old Town of Funchal

Day Explore Town Funchal

What is so special about Funchal’s Old Town?

Funchal’s “Zona Velha”, or Old Town, is a distinctive blend of quaint, twisting alleys.

Both tourists and locals frequent this area for its daytime charm and tranquil nights.

Can I experience nightlife in the Old Town?

Absolutely. The old town boasts a vibrant atmosphere with plentiful bars and restaurants you can explore.

What unique sights are there in Funchal’s Old Town?

The “painted doors” project adorns the streets of Santa Maria with color and creativity.

Is there a local drink to try?

Yes: Puncha. This exclusive Madeiran mix of rum, lemon, and honey is an absolute must-try.

What makes daytime in Funchal special?

The unique sight of a “cableway” soaring through the sky adds a curious charm to your day.

This cableway can whisk you from downtown to Monte for an unforgettable view.

Are there any tours in Funchal?

Certainly. A variety of tours can help you uncover the gems of Funchal’s Old Town.

This European Best Destinations guide provides more detailed information about these tours.

Day 2: Hike and Take in Views at Pico do Arieiro

Day Hike Take Views Pico Arieiro

The Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo hike ranks among the most iconic hikes in Madeira, Portugal. The trail blesses visitors with scenic mountains, rugged terrains, and breathtaking landscapes.

Pacing yourself is key when embarking on this trail. Starting at a comfortable pace and taking breaks as needed can help you fully appreciate the views and avoid burnout.

We suggest embarking on this journey during the spring and autumn seasons, where the weather is milder. Early mornings are a great time to start, avoiding peak heat hours.

Madeira’s weather can be quite unpredictable, so packing waterproof clothing can be beneficial.

If you’re hiking during summer, always remember to stay hydrated and wear sun protection. The heat can intensify during this season.

Pack Essentials Description Note
Hiking Boots Good ankle support and sturdy for uneven terrains Essential for hike
Clothing Comfortable, moisture-wicking attire and a waterproof jacket Suitable for any weather condition
Backpack To carry water, snacks, and other essentials Ensure it has enough capacity for your needs
Sun Protection Hat and sunscreen to protect from strong sun rays Recommended especially during summer hikes
Food & Water At least 2L of water per person and energy-rich snacks No shops along the way; plan accordingly
Note: Always prepare according to weather forecasts and personal needs.

Ensure you inform someone about your trail plan and expected return time for safety reasons. Carrying a first-aid kit is also wise.

From rocky outcrops, lush forests, to mountainous terrains, this trail offers you a challenging yet rewarding experience. For further advice and information, visit Madeira’s Guide.

The Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo trail provides incredibly stunning views of Madeira’s rugged landscape and coastline. The route might be challenging due to steep sections and uneven terrain, but the rewards are worth it.

The Balconies of Madeira viewpoint is a highlight along the trail and offers panoramic views of the surrounding vista.

To avoid crowds and secure ample parking, consider starting hikes early in the morning. There’s a paid parking lot at the summit that fills up quickly during peak season.

Day 3: Seize the Sea: Dolphin/Whale Watching and Seixal Black Sand Beach

Day Seize Sea DolphinWhale Watching Seixal Black Sand Beach

The third day in Madeira kicks off with an exciting dolphin and whale watching adventure. It has been booked over 400 times in the last week alone.

This 2.5 to 3 hours long venture is a popular activity among tourists according to GetYourGuide. The platform ranks it highly for availability and customer ratings.

Post the delightful encounter with these marine creatures, you can relax at Seixal’s black sand beach. Let’s breakdown this fun-filled day for you.

Activity Duration
Dolphin & Whale Watching 2.5-3 Hours
Skip the Line Privilege Included in Activity Time
Seixal’s Black Sand Beach Visit Rest of the Day
Note: Pickup available for certain activities.

This itinerary ensures a perfect blend of thrill and relaxation for your third day in Madeira.

The seamless organization of these activities ensures you get the most out of your time in Madeira. So gear up, take that sea voyage, spot some dolphins and whales, then unwind on the serene black sands of Seixal’s beach.

Day 4: Enjoy the Natural Beauty: Porto Moniz Natural Pools and Vereda dos Balcões

Day Enjoy Natural Beauty Porto Moniz Natural Pools Vereda dos Balces

Bask in the uncompromised beauty of Madeira at Porto Moniz Natural Pools, a symbiosis of nature’s grandeur and comfort.

An Unforgettable Experience

The natural pools, an amazing spectacle nestled by the ocean, creates a mesmerizing sight worth beholding.

Exploiting Madeira’s unique volcanic geography, these pools offer a serene ambiance for relaxation and reflection.

Swim in the Ocean or the Pool

Take advantage of the opportunity to swim in the open sea or soak in one of the natural swimming pools.

The rejuvenating waters are an essence of pure bliss to immerse in.

A Boon for Nature Lovers

Porto Moniz is a must-visit not only for its natural pools but for the breathtaking Vereda dos Balcões which is also nearby.

The panoramic view will capture your heart and etch into your memory forever.

Discover reviews by fellow travelers to plan your trip better.

Day 5: Unique Experiences: Toboggan Ride from Monte and Poncha Sampling

Day Unique Experiences Toboggan Ride from Monte Poncha Sampling

High above the city of Funchal lies the district of Monte, home to a unique slice of Madeiran history – the Monte Toboggan Ride. Traditionally used by locals, these wicker basket sleds, propelled by skilled men known as “Carreiros do Monte,” have become a popular attraction for tourists.

  • Experience History: The Toboggan ride provides a unique insight into Madeira’s past.
  • Enjoy Breathtaking Views: Seated in your sled, soak up the views from one of Madeira’s highest vantage points.
  • A Uniquely Thrilling Ride: The sled carries you down steep streets for an exhilarating 5 to 10-minute ride.
  • Cultural Immersion: This experience embodies Madeira’s vibrant culture and history.

Pricing is reasonable. It costs 25 euros for a single passenger, 30 euros for two, and 45 euros for three. To optimize your time and avoid long queues, it’s advised to arrive early.

To enhance your Toboggan experience, consider combining it with other activities in close proximity such as visiting the Monte Palace Gardens and the Botanical Garden. These scenic spots are accessible via cable car and perfectly complement your toboggan ride.

This source offers invaluable information on this thrilling experience. The Monte Toboggan Ride is more than just a tourist attraction; it’s an adventurous journey into the heart of Madeira’s rich history and vibrant culture.

Madeira’s Must-Visits

Uncover the beauty of Madeira, Portugal in a 5-day adventure. Immerse in the vibrant Funchal city life, explore the stunning Cabo Girão Skywalk, bathe in the volcanic lava pools of Porto Moniz, taste distinctive Madeira wine, and hike along the Levada trails. From its diverse landscapes to its rich culture, Madeira offers an enriching and diverse retreat.