Welcome to a different world. Madeira is nature like you have never seen before. Hiking above the clouds and swimming in natural rock pools. Madeira has got it all.
PICO DO ARIEIRO
LEVADA DO CALDEIRAO VERDE
FAJA DOS PADRES
WHERE TO STAY?
We decided to stay in two different locations. The first 4 nights we stayed at Fajã Dos Padres and the second 3 nights in Funchal.
Fajã Dos Padres is an organic farm at the bottom of a huge cliff. You can only access it via cable car. The place is magical!!!
Read more about Fajã Dos Padres.
THE BEST PLACES & HIKES ON MADEIRA
Madeira is a hiker's paradise. These are the hikes you just cannot miss.
The hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo is one of the most popular and scenic hikes in Madeira. It offers stunning panoramic views of Madeira's mountainous landscape, including deep valleys, jagged peaks, and lush vegetation. You will also pass through tunnels and see some endemic plants and wildlife.
The hike is 13km and takes about 8 hours to complete (return). Read here our full report.
The hike to the waterfall is one of the famous levada hikes on the island. Levadas were built to bring water from the rainy north side of the island to the south part. The service path next to the levada makes for an amazing hiking trail. The path is lush and the tunnels add some adventure.
Read here our full report.
Madeira's coast line is mostly rought and the island does not have many beaches for swimming. But these rock pools make up for it. The water inside the pool is calm and warm while you can watch the waves breaking aginst the rock on the outside.
Read here where to find these amazing pools.
Madeira is full of magical moments. One of these absolutely stunning locations is the Fanal Cloud Forest. An ancient laurel forest located on the north side of the island. The trees are often covered in a mysterious fog that sweeps up from the coast turning the place into a fairytail location.
The cows grasing among the trees just add to the phantasy : )
Read more here.
GETTING THERE & AROUND
WHERE TO STAY?
Most people stay in Funchal, but the island is so beautiful that it would be a waste to only stay in Funchal. We also stayed a few nights at an organic farm at the bottom of a 250m cliff. Read more here.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY ON MADEIRA?
A long week / 10 days would a great time to explore the island, do some hikes and find some time to relax. Also keep in mind that the weather can change and that you might move your hike by a day or two.
GETTING AROUND THE ISLAND
Renting a car is the easiest way to get around the island. Especially if you are planning to do some hiking you need the car to get to the beginning of the hike. Roads are we ll maintained and it is easy to get around.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NORTH & SOUTH SIDE OF THE ISLAND?
The North side of the island gets more rain and has a spectecular coast line that can compete with coast lines in Hawaii and Iceland. The South side is dryer and is where most of the activity is. We prefered to sleep ont he south side and visit the North by car.