Our most recommended things to do in Madeira

From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

1. From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Go green with the premier dolphin and whale watching Eco-experience on Madeira Island! Book your cruise on our 2022 purpose-built Eco-friendly catamaran and enjoy a comfortable tour along the southern coast of Madeira Island. Watch out for wonderful whales and dolphins jumping and splashing nearby. When sea life arrives our electric engines engage for silent, emission free cruising which helps keep the cetaceans very happy! On this tour we will cruise a few miles out of Funchal looking for all kinds of wildlife such as dolphins, whales, turtles and oceanic birds. We have one of the best sightings records in Funchal thanks to our spotters from land monitoring the ocean and directing the boat to the dolphins and whales. Our certified guides will provide you with an informative commentary and fun facts about the cetaceans and marine species that you may find on your trip from Funchal. On our way back, we sail close to the coast passing by many points of interest such Cabo Girão where you will enjoy stunning views of one of the highest sea cliffs in the world! Camara de Lobos Bay – a traditional fishing village; the world famous Reid’s Hotel where Winston Churchill used to stay during his visits to Madeira Island and much more! You will be able to relax comfortably enjoy the beautiful views of the south coast of Madeira Island from our flagship vessel. Magic Dolphin Eco is the only purpose built dolphin & whale watching catamaran in Madeira Island with hybrid-electric engines. It was specially developed to assure our passengers a safe, comfortable and exceptional tour. Its hybrid-electric engines reduce noise and emissions making it the best experience not only for our guests, but also for our beloved cetaceans! Bar service (2x) with drinks and snacks available; Toilets (2x) on deck wheelchair accessible; Two decks for better sightseeing; Fantastic upper deck providing 360° panoramic views; Great bridge deck shade area; Large nets and sea life observation area; Seating for everyone inside and out; Fast Catamaran – up to 20 knots; Modern safety construction 2022; Stable and comfortable cruising. We are all about responsible dolphin and whale watching, and love sharing our knowledge with you! Join us and observe sealife the right way, in the wild! Note: Madeira is a world class destination for dolphin and whale watching. But as they are wild and free, it is simply not possible to guarantee seeing cetaceans on every tour. We encounter cetaceans every day and we always do our best to find them. But if your tour is one of the very few unlucky ones we will do our best to make you happy! Note: Please arrive to our office in Funchal Marina 30 minutes before departure. In respect to all of our guests the boat leaves on time. If you miss the boat, you will be not be issued a refund. Note: Cancellations/Booking Changes must be made 24h prior to departure time.

Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

2. Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

From Funchal we go to São Vicente in the North Coast, known for its vineyards, volcanic caves and Madeira table wine production, where we can see one of the most famous waterfall that by resembling a bride ́s veil got its name Véu da Noiva . Afterwards, we stop at the natural volcanic pools in Porto Moniz, one of the most visited places in Madeira, having the opportunity to swim in crystalline waters (entry not included) and enjoy the beautiful scenery around them. After this, we go uphill to Fanal, a place of rare beauty with centenary trees in the heart of the Laurissilva Forest (the largest in the world), which is one of the 7th Natural Wonders of Portugal. Continuing to Paúl da Serra, the biggest plateau of the island at nearly 1500 mts high with stunning views, we will have a lunch break (not included) in a typical Madeiran restaurant. To finish our tour, we drive to Cabo Girão, the highest Sea Cliff in Europe and the second in the World with 580 mts., better known for its suspended glass floor Viewpoint.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

3. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of Madeira coastline and look for marine life on this catamaran cruise from Funchal. Look for dolphins while sipping on a drink purchased from the onboard bar. See dolphins, whales, and turtles playing in their natural habitat. Throughout the year Madeira has different aquatic mammals journeying through its blue waters. Whether you come in summer or winter, the chances are high you’ll see one of these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season or catch a glimpse of the world beneath the waves with the provided snorkeling equipment. Relax on deck with a refreshing drink from the onboard bar.

All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

4. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

Your 3-hour luxury catamaran tour begins at the docks of the new marina of Funchal. Board the catamaran and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before setting off. Sail into the ocean to find dolphins, whales, and turtles. Spot these creatures in their natural habitat. After sailing around spotting dolphins, whales and turtles enjoy a 30 minute stop next to Cabo Girão, the 1920 foot (586m) seaside cliff. Here you have a change o go swimming in the crystal clear waters. After a quick swim, you will get back on the boat where you can relax and enjoy the views of the coast of Funchal as you head back to the marina.

From Funchal: Transfer to Pico do Arieiro & Pico Ruivo Trail

5. From Funchal: Transfer to Pico do Arieiro & Pico Ruivo Trail

Enjoy a flexible transfer from Funchal to Pico do Arieiro to enjoy the hike all the way to Pico Ruivo. Trek up to the highest and second-highest mountains on Madeira at your own pace and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Receive instructions from the host, and learn about the schedule and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, get the exact pickup time and a weather forecast to get ready for your transfer. Get picked up at your accommodation in Funchal and dropped off at the entrance to Pico do Arieiro to begin your self-guided hike. Soak in the natural scenery around you as you walk for 5 hours from mountain to mountain on a hiking trail. Walk up to 1862 meters in elevation at the Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira Island. When you're done exploring, head to the parking lot area at Achada do Teixeira.

Madeira: Funchal Sunset Tour by Catamaran

6. Madeira: Funchal Sunset Tour by Catamaran

Experience the changing colors of the sunset and reflections on the water from a unique perspective as you take a 3-hour catamaran cruise off the coast of Madeira from Funchal. Meet at the Marina do Funchal to climb aboard the catamaran and cruise along the south coast of Madeira. A qualified crew will provide detailed information in English and Portuguese about the cetaceans you may spot, as well as other technical and historic information to ensure a complete and unique experience. If there are no sightings of dolphins or whales, you will be offered a 2nd trip entirely free. Put on a wind-shield and warm clothes (recommended), and experience the sunset trip and peaceful melody of the ocean from a new perspective.

Funchal: Scuba Diving Experience for Beginners

7. Funchal: Scuba Diving Experience for Beginners

Your scuba diving adventure will begin with a short theory lesson about the practice of diving before doing your first trial in the shallow waters of the swimming pool.  Once you feel comfortable and know how to handle the equipment, you’ll be ready for the real deal. Your diving instructor will take you for a dive out in the sea to explore the spectacular underwater world of our private reef in the Funchal's Protected Area at a maximum depth of 12 meters!!! Our great location offers easy access to our private reef, just a few steps away from our dive shop. This is a great and lovely dive, interesting for beginners and experienced divers to start discovering Madeira's waters. Encounters with octopuses, parrot fish, young groupers, garden eels, trumpet fish, rays, cuttlefish, sea horses and moray eels are all common. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a certificate of participation to make your next underwater adventure an absolute breeze.

Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

8. Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

Start the day at the harbor where you will learn everything you need to know about kayaking before heading to the nature reserve. Upon arrival at Garajau, enjoy a 40-minute paddle toward Lazareto. Stop for a break on the beautiful pebble beach and take in the views of the surrounding rock features from times gone by. Afterward, discover Madeira's native marine life as you snorkel through crystal-clear waters. In the event of poor weather conditions, you will have the opportunity to explore the sea from the safety of your kayak instead. Finish the day with a spot of cliff diving before heading back to your hotel for the evening.

Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

9. Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

Discover why Madeira island is one of the top five places in the world for canyoning on this canyoning adventure tour. Rappel down waterfalls and experience the area’s natural splendor. Head up to the mountains where you will receive your canyoning gear. After being decked out in gear, it will be time for a small hike through some of the most impressive nature that Madeira has to offer. Rappel down sparkling waterfalls, where the mountain spring waters are always flowing.  Swim in the natural swimming pools along the canyons. In some of the canyons you may also have the opportunity to slide down natural water slides. Once the activity ends, change back into your dry clothes and return to your accommodation.

Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

10. Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

Discover the diverse landscapes of Madeira on a day-long tour. Wander charming towns, enjoy panoramic views and learn about the area from your expert guide. Depart from the meeting point at Funchal's Lido or take advantage of a free hotel pick-up in selected areas. The first stop is at the beautiful viewpoint of Terreiro da Luta, located a few kilometers outside Funchal. Next, drive toward the mountain of Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1,818 meters, the third highest peak on the island offers breathtaking views. Once you've been to the highest drivable peak in Madeira, head back down through the forest on the way to the coast. Admire some of Madeira's emblematic straw-roof houses, pass pretty villages and get stunning seascape views. Arrive at the very eastern point of the island for some superb panoramas of the north and south coasts. Discover the popular start point for the levada walks, Ribeiro Frio, on the northern slopes of the island. See interesting trout pools and original vegetation. Madeira was once completely covered by laurissilva forest, a relic from prehistoric times. Stop for lunch in Santana, characterized by its small, thatched triangular houses. Past Portela go towards Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island. This is a place where a fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature combine. The last town to be visited is Machico, a viewpoint where you can look over the bay and the golden sandy beach.

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Local wine in the sun beckons between volcanic expeditions, hikes, and coastal trips on this island paradise.

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What people are saying about Madeira

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 26,134 reviews

We had a great experience and highly recommend it! We booked the trip just one day in advance and were imitatively contacted by Elizabeth, who provided us with all the details and map of the upcoming hike. We were picked at the hotel by a friendly and punctual driver Luis. Luis is a nice person to talk too; on our way up and down he shared some interesting stories about the places we were passing. The ride was fun. We got lucky with the weather and enjoyed the hike a lot. It was not easy but definitely worth it.

I had such an amazing experience despite never having done canyoning before. I felt super safe and the guides were super nice and helpful :) Transport to and from the location was also amazing. Thank you so much!

Very good communication by Elisabeth. Everything was clear. Driver was on time and very friendly. We were lucky with the weather. You’ll have plenty of time to sightsee during the walk.

Great tour, lots of great points pushed into a half day tour. Ruben was a fantastic tour guide, he knew a high level of information and kept the day very interesting.

Stunning way to see the island with great stops and even better tracks. I would highly recommend this particular tour.