Things to do in Madeira

Madeira is known for its subtropical weather, mountains, turquoise sea, their wine and sugar. Here are a few things you can do whilst enjoying your trip in Madeira.

Funchal      Photographer: Commons/John6536

The first stop in Madeira is of course the old picturesque capital; Funchal. This city gives great importance to the history of Madeira and has a contrast of both the ancient and modern sides of the city. Tour around Funchal and admire the great colourful colonial architecture that dates back between the eras of the 1400 to the 1800 in parts of the city, such as the Forte de São Tiago. When in Funchal, you will have the opportunity to see  Madeira Wine in the making, as well as a tour and wine tasting at Blandy’s Wine Lodge.

Pico do Arieiro     Photographer: Commons/Lukas Litz Obb

Take a hike up the mountain Pico do Arieiro, which is the island’s third highest peak with it standing at 1,818 meters tall. In fact, you will literally feel like the king or queen of the world, as you are surrounded by a low level of clouds, greenery and the sun shining on you brightly. It is truly a breath taking view.

Dolphins in Calheta      Photographer: Commons/Spirou42

Rent out a boat for the day and sail the deep blue waters of Calheta. Here you can go dolphin and whale watching, or get up and close and go snorkelling. Once you’ve explored the sea life, sit back and unwind under the sun at Calheta beach.  Take a very sweet trip down Madeira’s memory lane, and visit the Sugar Cane Factory. You will get to see their ‘gold’ being produced in action, as this certain factory is a significant link to their history and is still in use in order to produce for local shops. If you have a sweet tooth then you’re in luck, as they allow you to taste some products too.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools    Photographer: Commons/Mike Chellini

Take a little dip in the Natural Swimming Pools in Porto Moniz. In between the lava rocks lies a formation of natural pools that are filled with salty crystal waters from the sea. This hidden gem is loved by the locals and visitors, as it is an ideal spot if you’re in the mood for a sense of tranquillity.

If you are planning on visiting Madeira in August or September, then make sure you attend the Madeira Wine Festival that starts on 28th August and ends on 10th September. It is a great opportunity to learn about their culture and familiarise yourself with the locals. The festival begins in the village of Câmara de Lobos, where traditions such as harvesting grapes, attending the pickers’ parade and treading on the grapes are carried out. In Funchal, there are folk shows, Madeiran food stalls, wine-making traditions and the chance to try a variety of traditional wines.

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