Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal and the island is so stunning that it definitely must be at the top of your travel bucket list. The garden island, pearl of the Atlantic, island of eternal spring Madeira has many nicknames that are well deserved and the affections it holds. Madeira lies geographically closer to Africa's coast than Europe's, but is only a 90-minute flight from mainland Portugal. This lush island offers diversity for your holiday with black sandy beaches, botanical gardens and hiking to discover the secrets Madeira has to share.
One of the first things you should do when arriving in Madeira is drive out to Ponta de Sao Lourenco. It is there that you will discover a nature reserve filled with massive volcanic rocks and youll want to see the different plants that seem to thrive in this part of the island. The sights will take your breath away, so make sure you plan to spend a few hours in this location before driving to your next destination.
If you head to the south of Madeira, you will find yourself at Cabo Girao. This is where there is a skywalk that has been installed at the top of the five hundred eighty-meter cliff. The glass floor tiles only add to the thrill of walking out onto it to see the incredible views of the water and surrounding area. You may want to skip this attraction if you are afraid of heights, but we definitely recommend it if you can brave it.
One of the Levada Walks should be next on your list. These paths have been walked along for centuries, so there is no way you can get lost along the way. While there are many different Levada Walks to choose from, the most popular one is the Levada dos 25 Fontes. The reason for this is it is the one that will lead you directly to the Risco Waterfall.
Theres no doubt that there will be beautiful places to relax on this gorgeous island, the options are endless. Madeira is an island that is ripe for discovery too and car hire is essential so you dont miss out, especially the panoramic views the adventures can offer. We can recommend the following drives:
- VE2 - This all-time favourite amongst many people, which goes from Sao Vicente to Porto Moniz. There are many stops you can make along the way to see waterfalls, but dont forget to detour to Seixal to go swimming in the rock pools.
- Camara de Lobos- Winston Churchill considered the Madeira community of Camara de Lobos to be his favourite holiday getaway. A sheltered port and towering cliffs protect this picturesque fishing village, Madeira's second most populous community, from the elements. The beach may be rocky, but the harbour provides a relaxing place to stroll.
- Curral das Freiras- Motorists must drive through two mountain tunnels along the N107 road leading to the centrally located village of Curral das Freiras and its surrounding extinct volcanoes. A fascinating history filled with Moorish pirates is among the main attractions in this village filled with charming whitewashed houses.
- Pico do Arieiro- A 35km drive north of Funchal will lead motorists to the island's third tallest peak, the nearly 18,000m (5,900ft) high Pico do Arieiro and its namesake mountain village. Visitors can either follow the hiking trails or drive to the mountain's summit. Either way, once they reach the top, stunning Penha d'Aguia, Pico Ruivo, and Curral das Freiras views will await them.
You wont have a moment when youre not surrounded by all the beauty that Madeira offers. Its wise to plan your time to explore when you are there and most of all enjoy it.
Get yourcar hire deal forMadeira