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Madeira

Nature & Adventure

Our most recommended Madeira Nature & Adventure

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

1. 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. Snorkel through schools of silver fish with high-quality snorkeling gear. 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.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

2. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

Hit the waters near Cabo Girão in search of dolphins and whales on a cruise trip from Funchal. Learn amazing facts about the animals from your guide. Take a dip in the water and use the snorkel provided, or relax with a drink in your hand before your sailboat docks back at the Funchal Marina. Set sail from the marina in Funchal, where you will board the yacht. Search for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in their natural environment.  As you keep an eye out for local wildlife, make a stop for snorkeling. Swim in the sea or use the snorkeling gear at Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe at 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. Alternatively, admire the towering cliffs and the scenic coastal landscapes from the boat while sipping on a complimentary drink served on board.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

3. Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

Arrive at Marina Nova Funchal 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time and board a luxury catamaran. Receive some safety information from the experienced crew. Choose to sit in the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and protection from the sun, and lounge chairs or outdoor hammocks. Afterward, sit back and relax as you sail towards the open sea. Although sightings of marine species can not be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often found in the waters around Funchal. Keep an eye on the movements in the water whilst the crew answers any questions about the variety of species. Continue up to the high cliffs of Cabo Girão, which rise 580 meters above sea level. Anchor the boat at Cabo Girão and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters to explore underwater marine life with a snorkel. Then, stroll at a leisurely pace around the Marina of Funchal, and marvel at the fantastic views of Madeira's landscapes. Return to Funchal Marina Nova for a quick landing process and continue to enjoy your day after the tour.

Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

4. Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel, start the day at Funchal Harbour 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 towards Lazareto. Stop for a break on the beautiful pebble beach and take in the views of the surrounding rock features from times gone by. Afterwards, 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.

Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

5. Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Enjoy an affordable and flexible transfer to Pico do Arieiro to enjoy a sunrise 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. Instructions will be given by the host, regarding schedules and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, you will receive the exact pickup time and a weather forecast, in order for you to be as prepared as you can be! Get picked up at your accommodation in Funchal and dropped off at the entrance to Pico do Arieiro to begin your self-guided hike. Experience the most amazing natural scenery as you walk from mountain to mountain on the #1 hiking trail on Madeira Island. Once you're finished exploring, the end of the hike and pick-up location is at Achada do Teixeira, in the parking lot area. On the way back to your accommodation, pass through the city of Santana for close-up views of the traditional triangular homes and you will have a tasting and the end of the hike, produced by locals. Hike information: Distance: 10km Availability: Sunrise Hike (05.00 - 13.30) or Morning Hike (09.30 - 17.30) Elevation Gain: 1862 m / 1540 m

Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

6. Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

Madeira island is one of the top 5 places in the world for the practice of canyoning/canyoneering, and this is your opportunity to experience it first hand. Following pickup from your hotel, you'll head up to the mountains where you will receive your canyoning gear. After being decked out in your gear, it will be time for a small hike through some of the most impressive and exclusive nature that Madeira has to offer. As soon as your safety briefing concludes, it will be time to rappel down paradisaical waterfalls, where the mountain spring waters are always flowing. Along the canyon you'll also encounter natural swimming pools which you can swim in and even jump into. In some of the canyons you may also have the opportunity to slide down natural water slides. Once the activity ends you'll change back into your regular dry clothes, following which you'll be returned back to your accommodation.

Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

7. Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

Have a unique experience and climb aboard a convincing replica of Christopher Columbus’s original vessel the Santa Maria, built right here on lush Madeira Island. Enjoy a time-travelling journey back to the 15th century, and walk along the southern coast of the island before reaching Cabo Girão. There, stop for a refreshing swim in the azure waters off the coast. Keep your eyes open for possible sightings of dolphins and whales peeking above the blue waves as you walk along the Atlantic coastline.

Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

8. Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

The sun rises over your hotel as you set out on your walking tour adventure. Leaving from the comforts of your room in Funchal on the Madeira Islands, we'll drive you up to the third highest peak in Madeira - the magnificent Pico Arieiro. You'll sip coffee or a drink on your way up to the base of the peak, looking out at all the stunning beauty this place has to offer. As we head from sea level up to the base at 5,964ft (1818m), you'll pass beautiful flora and fauna. Finally, we'll begin our mighty walk up the mighty Pico Arieiro up to the highest point on the island, the Pico Ruivo peak at 6107 ft (1862m). Finally, we'll walk down to Teixeira where you'll be comfortably transferred back to your hotel. And of course, no day of hiking is complete without a drink at a traditional bar, so we'll make sure to stop at one with a spectacular view to enjoy the closing of your day!

Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

9. Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

Your scuba diving adventure will begin with a short theory lesson about the practice of diving before doing a trial dive 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 an exhilarating dive out in the sea to explore the spectacular underwater world of Madeira. The dive itself will last about 45 minutes at a maximum depth of 12 meters. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a certificate of participation to make your next underwater adventure an absolute breeze.

Tour to the West of Madeira

10. Tour to the West of Madeira

Discover the highlights of Madeira's beautiful landscapes and charming towns on this guided tour in a comfortable vehicle, with pickup and drop-off included. Stop at Camara de Lobos, the Ribeira Brava and visit the village of São Vicente. After pick-up from your hotel, make your way to Camara de Lobos where beautiful landscapes were painted by Sir Winston Churchill in the 1950s. The drive takes you along the old narrow roads of Estreito de Camara de Lobos, where the vines were first introduced and still exist today. Admire the banana plantations and sugarcane on the steepy terraces that sometimes are difficult to get to. Visit Madeira's pride and Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second-highest in the world. Discover the breathtaking views over the mountains and sea and old agricultural terraces still planted today. Then, the route descends to Ribeira Brava, visit old monuments including the church. Continue the drive through to Paul da Serra Madeira´s popular flat plateau at 1500m above sea level. Embrace the beautiful laurel forest views through Madeira´s little green Scotland, where the oldest Laurel Trees and endemic vegetation that grows and embraces the long Rabaçal Valley, to Porto Moniz valley, well known for its natural volcanic pools in the summer. Spend 2 hours and in the winter 1 and half hours there. A stop for lunch or a light snack follows after (not included in the price). The tour continues along the north coast where waterfalls are visible. Drive through the village of Seixal, well known for its black natural volcanic beach and wine terraces which continues right through São Vicente. Appreciate Portugal's own little "Hawai" due to the high wave attraction in the winter and surfing attraction nature will escort up to the Encumeada Pass, where the North meets the South at 1007 meters above sea level (this stop will depend on the weather conditions). At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Madeira

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 4,572 reviews

Amazing staff, no hassle with anything, Very knowledgable about surroundings, Couldn’t do enough to make excursion a pleasant experience

Driver/guide Diogo Pinto was brilliant Probably oldest jeep on the island but made it so much better

A really good overview of the East of the island. Perfect if you don’t have a car.

Diogo and Miguel were the best guides. The tour was wonderful!

All staff very helpful, great tour and would recommend