If Mom Nature had a favorite little one, it’s in all probability Madeira.
You would possibly recall a goofy-looking bust of Ronaldo that went viral years in the past. It was unveiled at Madeira’s airport (or Cristiano Ronaldo Worldwide Airport), the place the well-known footballer was born.
For many who’ve by no means heard of Madeira, right here’s a quick introduction. Madeira is an archipelago made of 4 islands. It’s an autonomous area of Portugal — nevertheless it’s geographically nearer to Africa than Europe!
We had been coming to the top of our month-long keep in Lisbon as a part of Airbnb’s LiveAnywhere Programme, and determined to fly to Madeira. When else would now we have the chance to remain on a lovely Portuguese island for 2 weeks?
I’m so glad we did as a result of Madeira is simply one of the crucial lovely locations I’ve ever seen.
Unimaginable Picture Spots in Madeira
Madeira is actually a photographer’s dream. The island is so picturesque, it’s nearly unfair. What amazed me is how totally different the landscapes are simply an hour’s drive aside! We’d get lush forests on one finish, and desert-like landscapes on one other.
1) Cascata dos Anjos
A 30-minute drive from the capital metropolis of Funchal is Cascata dos Anjos. It’s this attractive waterfall that cascades over the previous freeway ER 101.
The very best time to go to is correct after a wet interval, because the waterfall shall be extra highly effective. To prime it off, we noticed a rainbow whereas we had been there!
2) Madeira Bridge
Hardly any info might be discovered on-line on this bridge. I couldn’t discover an official title, however some name it the Jungle Bridge. It’s not even listed on Google Maps!
Nevertheless it seemed like a fairytale bridge guarded by trolls — we couldn’t resist checking it out.
Tackle: P3VV+FF Funchal, Portugal
3) Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira
Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira is a cliffside viewpoint that overlooks Achadas Da Cruz and a small village referred to as Fajã da Quebrada Nova.
After arriving on the car parking zone pinned on Google maps, we needed to scramble down an unmarked grime path to get there. It’s a bit steep, so take warning once you go to. We caught an epic sundown right here, the type that makes you’re feeling alive.
Tackle: VQ5W+RJ Porto Moniz, Portugal
4) Achadas da Cruz and Fajã da Quebrada Nova
Achadas da Cruz is a small district in Porto Moniz — and it was certainly one of my favorite spots on this Madeira journey information.
We arrived at a cliffside viewpoint overlooking Fajã da Quebrada Nova; a small uninhabited village which sits alongside the coast. It’s surrounded by dramatic cliffs coated in greenery, and when the sunshine hits the mountains, it’s fairly particular.
The primary roads aren’t at sea stage — they’re really on the prime of the cliffs!
Which implies that you’ve obtained to take the Achadas da Cruz cable automotive to get to the village! The choice is a really, very steep climb down — I extremely doubt anybody sane would try this.
The cable automotive prices simply 5 euros for a spherical journey (#value). It’s a steep descent, mixed with panoramic views — like an amusement trip, however higher.
After testing the village, we explored the opposite facet of the coast. There’s a slender path via the vegetation (within the image above!) that results in an remoted rocky seaside.
We stayed right here until golden hour and the colors had been magical!
Enjoyable reality: There’s just one cable automotive operator (and his cat) — situated on the prime station. Whenever you’re able to return, shut the doorways your self and he’ll begin the trip!
The final cable automotive departs at round 6PM, so remember to catch it otherwise you’ll be sleeping on the seaside (not as enjoyable because it sounds).
5) Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela Rocks
Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela Rocks are these lovely rock formations that sit near the pebble seaside shoreline. This space is supposedly fashionable for browsing, although we didn’t see any surfers whereas we had been there.
6) Miradouro da Garganta Funda
We didn’t even should enterprise far to seek out it — it’s only a brief 600m stroll from the carpark!
Tackle: 9385, Ribeira da Vaca, Portugal
7) Seixal Pure Swimming pools
Madeira has a number of pure swimming pools and this one is situated alongside the north coast, near Porto Moniz.
Once more, I discovered many pictures on-line however not a lot info on it. It’s situated proper beside Seixal Seaside, the place there have been a couple of folks browsing whereas we had been there!
8) Miradouro do Véu da Noiva (Seixal Waterfall)
Simply throughout Seixal Seaside is one other well-known waterfall — Miradouro do Véu da Noiva. Véu da Noiva means bridal veil, as a result of the falls resembles one plunging into Atlantic ocean!
Epic Climbing Trails in Madeira
There are two important varieties of mountaineering trails in Madeira. Vereda hikes are mountain or coastal cliff walks, whereas Levada hikes observe irrigation channels and waterfalls. This Madeira journey information consists of the three hikes you shouldn’t miss if you happen to’re visiting for the primary time:
9) PR1: Vereda do Areeiro
Distance: 13km return
Place to begin: P3PC+7G Curral das Freiras, Portugal
You might need seen movies of Vereda do Areeiro on Instagram; it’s Madeira’s most well-known hike! So in fact we needed to embody it in our Madeira journey information.
This path connects Madeira’s three highest peaks — Pico do Areeiro (1818m), Pico das Torres (1851m) and Pico Ruivo (1862m).
The hike begins at Pico do Areeiro, with a slender part of stairs above the clouds that seemingly result in heaven. That is probably the most photographed spot of the hike, barely half-hour from the place to begin!
We handed via tunnels dug out of the mountain, used to shelter cattle and shepherds up to now. There aren’t any lights, so it’s pitch-black — we used our cellphone torchlights to see.
This hike is reasonably difficult — there are fairly a couple of prolonged sections of stairs, particularly towards the top!
The views all through this hike are extraordinarily rewarding, so take your time and soak all of it in. Undoubtedly certainly one of my all-time favorite hikes!
10) PR6: Levada das 24 Fontes
Distance: 8.6km spherical journey
Place to begin: ER110 15, Portugal
Levada das 25 Fontes is Madeira’s hottest levada hike, which fits via lush valleys and follows the island’s irrigation channel.
The hike itself is average problem, with a mixture of slender paths and stairs. A singular characteristic of the path is that many sections are framed by curved tree branches that look straight out of a Stephen King horror movie. Within the daytime although, it’s a fairly sight.
The tip of the path is the 25 Fontes waterfall! At this level, you’ll have to show round and head again the identical manner.
11) PR8: Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço
Distance: 6km return
Place to begin: ER109, Estr. de São Lourenço, 9200-044 Caniçal, Portugal
Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço appears like one thing out of Jurassic World. It’s simply one of the crucial lovely hikes I’ve ever been on! We did this hike as a part of our Consolation Zones sequence, together with strangers we met in Madeira (watch it!).
This path snakes alongside Madeira’s rugged shoreline and ends on the japanese tip of Madeira. The views all through had been unbelievable — gorgeous cliff edges and vivid blue waters stretching so far as the attention may see.
We went early within the morning, so there weren’t many individuals on the path but — and it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
Different Issues to Do in Madeira
I’m comparatively new to canyoning, having solely finished cliff jumps again in Cebu years in the past. This canyoning tour with Epic Madeira was much more memorable for 2 causes. First, this tour concerned rappelling down waterfalls and second, we didn’t see one other soul throughout the whole three hours.
Seems, Madeira is a improbable place for canyoning. There are tons of attractive canyons, waterfalls and lagoons — and you’ll go canyoning all yr spherical!
Our guides Ronaldo and Vitor made the entire expertise. They’re skilled, enjoyable and fearless. We had lunch with them after and learnt they spend their free time doing insane cliff dives and rappelling down waterfalls as much as 120m tall. 🤯
There are three ranges of canyoning excursions — newbie, intermediate and superior. We did the intermediate stage which included a enjoyable mixture of rappelling, cliff jumps and scrambling over rocks. In addition they supply coasteering and climbing excursions!
Value: From €60 (~S$87) — incl. all canyoning tools and apparel, simply put on a swimsuit and produce a towel
Tour timings: Varies
13) Discover Funchal
Picture credit score: @visitmadeira through Instagram
There are many issues to do in Funchal, Madeira’s historic capital!
Just like the CR7 Museum which celebrates Madeira’s most well-known son. They’ve obtained all kinds of memorabilia on show together with a few of Ronaldo’s Golden Boots and Ballon d’Or trophies.
The Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmer’s Market) is one other fashionable place to go to in Madeira. They’ve obtained some actually, err, fascinating fruits. Just like the pineapple banana. Sure, there’s such a factor.
Additionally try the road artwork alongside Rua da Santa Maria, strolling distance from the market.
Venice has gondolas, Madeira has toboggans. Courting again to the nineteenth century, this custom concerned locals zipping down slopes in conventional basket sledges from the village of Monte to Funchal.
The sledge is pushed by two drivers referred to as carreiros — who use their thick rubber footwear as brakes. Today, guests can ebook a trip (from €15/pax) and expertise a 2km-long route!
Madeira Journey Suggestions for First-time Guests
Flying into Madeira: Madeira’s solely airport is in Funchal, its capital. There aren’t any direct flights to Madeira from Singapore, however you possibly can fly in from main cities in Europe like Lisbon, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam!
The place to remain in Madeira: We’d suggest staying in Funchal — it’s the biggest metropolis with probably the most lodging and restaurant choices. Most automotive rental locations are discovered right here as properly!
Getting round Madeira: A lot of the picture spots and hikes are at the least a 45-minute drive from Funchal, so the easiest way to get round Madeira is by renting a automotive. We rented ours from 7M Lease a Automotive because it was near our Airbnb.
What to eat in Madeira: Madeira’s location in the course of the Atlantic ocean, mixed together with her subtropical local weather and fertile soil means the meals right here is sweet.
Listed here are some native Madeira dishes value making an attempt:
1) Lapas — limpets; a sort of shellfish, seasoned with garlic and butter
2) Bolo do caco — spherical flatbread historically cooked on a sizzling basalt stone slab, served with garlic butter
3) Espetada — grilled beef cooked on skewers, seasoned with garlic, salt and bay leaf
4) Espada — black scabbard fish with banana and fervour fruit
5) Poncha — a conventional alcoholic drink made with sugar cane rum, honey and lemon juice
Le Bistrot Jacarandá (left) in Funchal was an sudden discover — they’ve obtained a fairly priced set lunch (round S$25) that features a starter, important (you possibly can select espetada or espada), dessert and poncha. The meals was so good we ended up returning!
We discovered O Splendid (proper) on-line — they’re identified for recent lapas and different seafood. It’s situated on the west coast of Madeira, so we visited on a day journey. The seafood was sinfully buttery, and their bolo do caco was additionally actually addictive. 🤤
Madeira’s climate: Madeira typically has a light, nice local weather. The most well liked month is August with common temperatures at 22.5°C, whereas the coldest is January at 16°C. We had been there in February on the tail-end of winter and had lovely climate — sunny however cool.
That being mentioned, the climate differs in several elements of the island on account of various elevation and wind publicity. Throughout our PR1 Vereda do Areeiro hike, we noticed clear skies, fog and snow — all inside a couple of hours.
What to pack: Protecting in thoughts the climate, listed here are some helpful objects to pack to your journey to Madeira!
– Worldwide driving allow
– Climbing pants
– Climbing footwear
As somebody who loves mountains, seashores and staying energetic, Madeira was a dream to go to. I solely hope I get to return!
Have any tips on travelling to Madeira so as to add to our Madeira journey information? Share with us within the feedback!