Things to do in
São Vicente, Madeira

Our most recommended things to do in São Vicente, Madeira

Funchal: Porto Moniz, Fanal Forest and Cabo Girao Jeep Tour

1. Funchal: Porto Moniz, Fanal Forest and Cabo Girao Jeep Tour

Embarking from Funchal city to the enchanting landscapes of São Vicente on Madeira’s North Coast. Our first stop takes us to São Vicente's waterfall, a delicate cascade that resembles a bride's veil. Continuing our adventure, we travel across the coastal town of Seixal, a hidden treasure with a black volcanic sand beach voted 3erd Best Beach in Europe. Our path then leads us to the secret place of Poças das Lesmas, where time stands still among ancient lava rock formations that emerge against the Atlantic Ocean. Our journey proceeds to Porto Moniz, where natural volcanic pools are waiting for us to immerse yourself in the beauty of this unique place. Our adventure takes a thrilling turn as we head to Fanal, navigating off-road trails into the peaceful and magical Laurissilva Forest that reveals itself in front of you; a living testament of over 20 million years of natural evolution. Continuing our journey we go through Paúl da Serra, the largest plateau on the island (1400 mts above sea level) with incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean and above the clouds. Then Cabo Girão awaits, standing proudly as one of the highest sea cliffs in the world at 580 metres. The Skywalk viewpoint promises a breathtaking panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, Câmara de Lobos and the city of Funchal.

From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

2. From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Funchal on a full-day scenic tour of the west of Madeira. Admire the unspoiled natural beauty of the area and visit the charming villages of Câmara de Lobos and Porto Moniz. Following pickup from selected hotels in Funchal, pass through the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Continue to Cabo Girão Skywalk, Europe's highest cliff skywalk at 589m. Next, head towards the Ribeira Brava and go north through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra D'Água. Upon arrival at Encumeada, enjoy an incredible view of the south and north coast of the island. Cross a mountain pass, and witness the rugged beauty of the north coast, where Atlantic rollers deposit white surf on the cliffs. Traverse Madeira's highest plateau, and enjoy more spectacular panoramas. Continue to São Vicente on Madeira’s north coast. Visit the beautiful village of Porto Moniz and take 1 hour for lunch, as well as time to admire the volcanic swimming pools. Finish your tour at Paul da Serra to see one of the biggest natural reserves in the world.

Funchal: Discover the Natural Beauty of Porto Moniz & Seixal

3. Funchal: Discover the Natural Beauty of Porto Moniz & Seixal

Explore the untouched beauty of the northwest immersing yourself in the heritage of old roads and uncharted paths aboard an open-top 4x4 jeep. Revel in exclusive access to the most breathtaking vistas of Madeira, unreachable by traditional means, as you forge a trail to paradise. Indulge in the unparalleled thrill of swimming in volcanic lava pools, a rare and unforgettable encounter with nature's raw beauty. Then, tread lightly through the enchanting Fanal laurissilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, where time stands still and magic dances through the ancient trees, creating an experience that resonates with the very soul of the island. Uncover the serenity of hidden rural villages, each a unique thread in the vibrant tapestry of traditional Madeiran life. Embark on a journey that reveals the soul of this enchanting island, one charming village at a time. Transport yourself on a mesmerizing journey that feels like a nostalgic voyage back through the annals of time, where tranquility and a sense of history converge in perfect harmony. Prepare to be enchanted by the storied landscapes of Paul da Serra, a sprawling plateau renowned for its sweeping vistas and unspoiled beauty. The true "pièce de résistance" of this remarkable adventure lies in the unparalleled landscapes and viewpoints that unfold before you. Whether perched on a cliff overlooking the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, or nestled in a valley surrounded by lush greenery, these awe-inspiring vistas will leave an indelible mark on your soul. As you traverse this captivating region, immerse yourself in the verdant paradise of the Laurissilva Forest's lush Fanal, where towering trees and diverse flora create an otherworldly ambiance. The immersive walk through this natural wonderland is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the island's rich biodiversity. The journey continues with a visit to the volcanic pools of Porto Moniz and Seixal, where you can take a refreshing swimming in these unique, geologically formed aquatic marvels. The contrast between the rugged volcanic cliffs and the serene, azure waters creates a striking backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. In Porto Moniz you have oportunity to have a meal (optional). The tour then unfolds the picturesque beauty of Seixal and São Vicente villages, each exuding its own charm and character. The harmonious blend of tradition and modernity in these coastal enclaves provides a captivating glimpse into the island's culture and heritage. Your senses will be further delighted as you are treated to captivating waterfalls throughout the journey, each a testament to the raw power and beauty of nature. The tranquil melodies of cascading water will create a symphony of serenity, enveloping you in a moment of pure, unadulterated beauty.

Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Tour with Guide and Pickup

4. Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Tour with Guide and Pickup

This adventure is for ocean and mountain lovers who want to feel nature and adventure all day long. Our amazing north west coast tour is the way to complete your trip to Madeira combining with natural beauty among the best breathtaking scenarios of Europe. Who likes adventure, nature, the sea, volcanic pools, forests, off-roads tracks and to be on top of mountains? In this tour we will experience all this in one day, starting with Cabo Girão skywalk (589 meters) above the sea level with an amazing view over the sea and over fajã do Cabo Girão. This is the best place to take pictures feeling like flying over the cliff. Once we get back to our wonderful jeeps we will be heading towards our bumpy roads in Trompica where we will be driving to the top of the valley of Serra de Água. In this off-road we might have the chance to see wild animals such as buzzards, kestrels and cows. Once we finish the off-road we will head to the north coast ( São Vicente) full of vineyards, mountains and green vegetation following with sea view always by our side. On the way we will stop at Véu da Noiva, to see the waterfall and to explain more about the old roads as well, stopping for a short coffee break in the souvenir shop. Along the way we will have the pleasure to visit the beach of Seixal, a very small village with around 580 people living, and for many, the beach of Hawai. Next is a two hours stop in Porto Moniz that we will freely manage your time in between swimming on the volcanic pools and lunch. Once we are back from the pools and lunch, we will be visiting the very well known forest of Fanal. In this stop guests will have a break time contemplate and relax on the most beautiful landscape in the whole island. To finish the day we will drive down the mountains towards the sea having a sun bath on the bay of Ponta do Sol, the most sunny city in Madeira. In regards of views, we will be looking directly to the plateau around 1400 meters above the sea level, listen historical information about the old roads, contemplate the view of a beatifull beach by black sand, swiming in natural pools, eating sugar cane cookies and wine... all of this created by us to never forget your holidays in Madeira!

Funchal: Explore the West of Madeira and Laurel Forest

5. Funchal: Explore the West of Madeira and Laurel Forest

Discover the highlights of western Madeira's beautiful landscapes and charming towns on a guided day tour from Funchal. Admire the wonderful scenic views with stops at Camara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava, and the village of São Vicente. After pickup from your hotel, relax and enjoy the scenic views as you travel along the narrow roads of Estreito de Câmara de Lobos. Admire the banana plantations and sugarcane crops on the steep terraces. Next, visit Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second-highest in the world. Enjoy the sweeping views over the mountains and sea and old agricultural terraces, still cultivated today. Descend town to the town of Ribeira Brava. Explore this charming settlement and visit its historic monuments, including the local church. Continue the drive through to Paul da Serra Madeira's popular flat plateau at 1500 m above sea level. Embrace the beautiful laurel forest views through Fanal, where the oldest laurel trees and endemic vegetation grow. See the sea and the mountains, then continue to Porto Moniz Valley, well known for its natural volcanic pools. After a lunch stop, head along the north coast, where you can see numerous flowing waterfalls. Drive through the village of Seixal, well known for its black natural volcanic beach, with a stop for photos. If weather conditions permit, discover Portugual's Encumeada Pass, where the north meets the south at 1,007 meters above sea level. Relax on the return journey to Funcchal, you will be dropped back off at your hotel.

From Funchal: West Madeira Waterfalls and Fanal Forest Tour

6. From Funchal: West Madeira Waterfalls and Fanal Forest Tour

The tour begins with a pickup from your accommodation,heading to the first stop of the day, the small fishing village of Câmara De Lobos. Located in a small creak, with a beach and a harbor, the village is surrounded by quintessential houses that pile up around the bay. From here, continue up the world’s second-largest sea cliff and admire the beautiful views of Camara de Lobos and Funchal. The next stop is Ribeira Brava, named after the wild stream that runs through it. Visit the village’s history-rich church that was built in the 16th century and learn about its Flemish influences and baptism fountain. Head towards Ponta Do Sol next, one of the sunniest spots on the island and home to a pretty little village nestled in the steep folds of the valley overhung with dense banana plants. Climbing to the mountain plateau of Madeira, we will find the Fanal forest, Fanal Forest is a magical forest on the Island. Often, but not always, there is mysterious fog in the forest amongst the 600 year old trees with there twisted branches. As you gradually enter an extraordinary landscape surrounded by a mysterious mist that creates a special atmosphere, Once at Fanal weather permitting you will be able to do a 20 minutes walk in Laurel tree Forest (Optional) . Afterward, zigzag through the narrow village roads and head towards the fishing village of Porto Moniz. Walk along the promenade which stretches from the natural pools to the pier, and find a local seafood restaurant to dine at for lunch. There’s also time to visit the aquarium, housed by the fort of Sao Jaoa Batista, or swim in the volcanic pools. Onto the Sao Vicente on the north coast, to admire this charming little town with its picturesque streets, and immaculately white houses. Visit the 17th-century church here and a park with a selection of coastal plants native to Madeira. Towards the end of the tour travel through the forest to the Encumeada Pass, one of the most beautiful mountain spots of the region, where you can marvel at the view of the north and south coast from the top.

From Funchal: 2-Day Guided Tour of Madeira

7. From Funchal: 2-Day Guided Tour of Madeira

During this 2 day tour, from 9AM to 5PM each day, you will have the change to experience the best of Madeira. Here are a few highlights that you will discover - Cabo Girão: Our first stop, we travel up to the magnificent 580m high, glass balcony view point of Cabo Girão, famous for being the highest in Europe and second highest cliff in the world. - Ribeira Brava: Traveling along the coast of the island we soon arrive at the village of Ribeira Brava, where we can visit a church dated in the 15th century. - Madalena do Mar: Next we make our way to Madalena do Mar, a smnice visit throught the lush green banana plantations. - Fonte do Bispo: From an altitude of between 1300-1500 meters we find the tourist attraction of Paúl de Serra and it's initiation of several levada walks that connect to different points of the island through the Laurissilva forest. - Porto Moniz: Home of the largest volcanic natural pools of Madeira. On our decent towards the town we can enjoy fantastic views, especially those of the volcanic pools in their entirety. Lunch stop / free time, about 1.30 to 2 hours stop. - Seixal: Next we enjoy a brief stop in Seixal. Along the way, we have the pleasure of passing several waterfalls, particularly the famous and stunning Bridal Veil waterfall. - São Vicente: Thereafter we visit the picturesque neighbouring village of São Vicente, where you can visit a beautiful church dating from the 17th century before returning to Funchal. - Câmara de Lobos: Situated 5km from the city of Funchal, our last stop is the quaint and famous fishing village of Câmara de Lobos; a favourite painting spot of the late Winston Churchill! - Cristo Rei in Garajau: Situated in one of the most surprising places on the Island of Madeira, the statue of Christ the King of Garajau is one of the most emblematic monuments on the east coast. - Machico: A historic city, it was here that the first settlers loved in 1420 and Funchal only became the capital in 1508. - Ponta de São Lourenço: Ponta do Rosto, the easternmost point of Madeira and is a natural reserve with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and spectacular rock formations; it is a unique landscape very different from the rest of the island. - Porto da Cruz: A small village located in the North Eastern part of Madeira, an ancient rum distillery testifies the importance of sugarcane for Madeira. - Faial: A small and picturesque village on the northeast coast of the island that was named after a local beech tree. The colonizers arrived here only in 1519 and were mostly of Moorish and Galician origin. - Santana: Santana is a charming village on the northeast coast of Madeira, well known for its colorful, thatched, triangular houses. Lunch stop / free time, about 1.30 to 2 hours stop. - Ribeiro Frio: Ribeiro Frio is a natural park located in a deep valley in the north of the island surrounded by mountains. - Pico do Arieiro: Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island of Madeira, with an altitude of 1818 meters. The views are fabulous, with clouds hovering over the fantastic rock formations - an impossible scenario to describe.

Madeira: Cabo Girão, Wine Tasting, & Serra d'Água Jeep Tour

8. Madeira: Cabo Girão, Wine Tasting, & Serra d'Água Jeep Tour

Embark on an unforgettable journey from Funchal to Cabo Girão sea cliff, standing tall as one of the highest cliffs in the world at 580 meters. As we continue our adventure through the picturesque valley of Serra d'Água on our way to São Vicente, prepare to be enchanted by the captivating blend of on-road and off-road experience. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery of the northern part of the island, with its traditional terraced landscapes and captivating viewpoints that showcase the natural beauty of Madeira in all its glory. Next, immerse yourself in a truly unforgettable and sustainable experience at the bee honey museum, “Mel da Laurissilva”. Discover the fascinating process and benefits of the production of organic beekeeping, while enjoying the local honey sweet treat. It's an opportunity to connect with nature and support local sustainability initiatives while filling your senses in the flavours of Madeira. But the journey doesn't end there. We'll then take you to the heart of Madeira's wine region, where you'll be guided through the largest extension of vineyards in Madeira. Learn about the rich history, culture, and production techniques behind Madeira's renowned wines, before joining in a professional wine tasting featuring a selection of one rose, three whites, and two red wines, together with Portuguese cheese and chorizo. It's a journey that promises to delight wine lovers, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Madeira's winemaking heritage. Inspired by the harmony of nature and the local wine, this perfect tour is tailor-made for lovers of adventure and authenticity. Let the beauty of Madeira's landscapes and the rich flavours of its traditions captivate your senses and create memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Madeira: West and East Madeira Tour with Snacks and Drinks

9. Madeira: West and East Madeira Tour with Snacks and Drinks

Explore both sides of the island on one day. This tour will allow you to visit both areas of the west and east of the island in a non rushed tour that takes about 9 to 10 hours in order for us to have enough time to properly visit these wonderful areas Madeira has to offer. We start off with the East Side of the island by going to the original Christ Statue, which has a great view to Funchal. Afterwards we head to the tip of the island Ponta de São Lourenço and we do a stop there for about 25 minutes, where you can enjoy some great views to both the south and northeast coast of the island. After we go and visit another viewpoint in Faial, Santana with a skywalk, the viewpoint of Guindaste. We also visit the traditional straw rooftop houses in Santana, and then we make our way to the northwest coast using the scenic roads from the northeast and we stop along the way on a very interesting beach in Calhau de São Jorge where there are some interesting ruins and afterwards we have a little stop in São Vicente and then we make way for our lunch/swimming stop in Porto Moniz. After we enjoyed the natural pools we go to the Western tip of the island, the lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo. Afterwards we visit Paul do Mar, while taking some scenic roads as well and then we head off to a great waterfall in Ponta do Sol , called Cascata dos Anjos and we stop at the skywalk in Cabo Girão at 580 metres of altitude for some great views. If you wish to ask for a specific spot to visit you can request us beforehand and we can see if its possible to incorporate it in our tour

Madeira: Cabo Girao, Jeep Tour Adventure and Wine Tasting

10. Madeira: Cabo Girao, Jeep Tour Adventure and Wine Tasting

Step into a world of wonder as we journey together, taking in the stunning views of Nuns valley from high above at Boca dos Namorados, almost 1000 meters above sea level. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as we drive off road in our open roof 4x4 jeep, this experience takes us through the picturesque cherry fields of Jardim da Serra. Our adventure is more than just admiring the scenery, it's about immersing ourselves in Madeira's culture and efforts to care for the environment. Take a break with us at a typical Madeiran bar, where each sip of freshly made Poncha tells a story from the island's past (not included). By enjoying this local drink, we are also supporting small local businesses grow and keeping Madeira's special traditions alive. Get ready to be amazed as we visit one of the most iconic places of the island Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs of the world (580 meters), known as skywalk, which offers a spectacular panoramic view over the Atlantic Ocean, Câmara de Lobos and Funchal (not included 2€). Our adventure leads us to Henriques & Henriques, a famous Madeira wine cellar, where peace and good taste come together. Here, in a calm atmosphere, you'll have the chance to try the different flavors of Madeira wine, from Sweet to Dry (3 years old). Finally to end our trip through Madeira's amazing landscapes, we will visit the very famous fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Important: This wine tasting is completely free for all guests. Please note that visits to Henriques & Henriques wine lodge may not be available during certain Portuguese holidays.

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What people are saying about São Vicente, Madeira

Overall rating

4.8
(4,846 reviews)

What a fantastic day! This was a birthday present for my husband so I booked a private tour. Jose was great, very friendly, happy and extremely knowledgable. We drove through places that we would never have attempted if we’d hired a car & driven ourselves. We particularly enjoyed the off road portion of the day.

Had a great day. Pleasant guide and driver and nice fellow travelers. Seen a lot, done a lot. What a beautiful island of Madeira.

Our guide Paulo was awesome, super fun and relaxed. Explained a lot of island history and traditions.

Perfect tour! Tony is such a warm personality and highly motivated guide 👍

Manuel was amazing. He made the experience much better.