The following itineraries focus much more on our suggested routes in the map and the visual perspective through the camera lens so you can easily pick the places with the most appeal for you and create your own itinerary. Then there are thousands of travel guides and webpages for you to learn about each place. Nevertheless ask us anything about the itineraries or sites anytime. It will be a pleasure to help.
- Western Madeira
Funchal – Câmara de Lobos – Ponta do Sol – Calheta – Levada das 25 Fontes – Porto Moniz – São Vicente
- Eastern Madeira
Funchal – Curral das Freiras – Pico do Areeiro – São Jorge – Santana – Machico – Ponta do Garajau
Funchal is the capital of Madeira Archipelago and its 100 thousand inhabitants are spread through the hills that climb from the sea. By the sea shore defending the city is São Tiago Fort, built in 1614. Currently it hosts a Modern Art Museum. Near the Fort we can take the cable car to Monte where the Monte Church and Monte Palace Tropical Garden are located. From there we can go downhill in one of the famous Cestos guided by the “carreiros”. Near the cable car is located Zona Velha, an old colorful set of houses, and also Mercado dos Lavradores (market). Towards the center is located the Cathedral from the 16th century. Followind the coast westwards, Lido is the main resort area of Funchal holding several hotels and an ocean swimming pool complex. One of the most visited sites in Funchal is the Botanical Garden and more recently the CR7 Museum.
Leaving Funchal to the west by the shore we reach Praia Formosa overlooking Cabo Girão, a 580 m high cliff with an awesome viewpoint that features a glass platform. Câmara de Lobos is one of the main towns of Madeira with a fishing port. Estreito da Câmara de Lobos is a villahe nearby known for the traditional beef kebab and Madeira wine production.
After passing Cabo Girão, we reach Ribeira Brava where several rivers flow from Serra de Água. Here is the main road connection to the island’s north coast. Moving on west we find Madalena do Mar and Calheta, where there is an artificial sand beach.
Driving north from Calheta we reach Serra de Água and then turn to Paúl da Serra, a lovely plateau at 1300 m of altitude. Here on the regional road 110 (ER110) is the access to Levada das 25 Fontes, one of the most beautiful hikes in the island, all along the famous “Levadas”, the man made waterways that bring water from one point to another. Staying on this road takes us to the picturesque town of Porto Moniz that features awesome oceanic swimming pools.
The north coast of Madeira is impressive for its mountainous landscape right by the sea, when we drive from Porto Moniz to São Vicente.
Leaving Funchal to the north we find the incredible and unique village of Curral das Freiras. It stays in a valley where it used to be pratically isolated by the difficult road connection. In the Eira do Serrado viewpoint the landscape is fantastic overlooking Curral das Freiras from above.
We then drive to Pico do Areeiro where we can watch Madeira’s highest peak, Pico Ruivo (1862 m) or hike a trail to get there. Then we drive north to Miradouro da Vigia, a viewpoint where we can watch the whole north coast of the island. In this area we can enjoy another hike, Levada do Rei or Levada do Caldeirão Verde.
Then driving south we find the famous Santana traditional houses. While we continue to Machico the coast is still rugged and majestic through Faial and Porto da Cruz. Before reaching Machico it is worth going to Caniçal and Ponta de São Lourenço from where we can see the Island of Porto Santo on a clear day. Machico is the second town of Madeira and it was its capital before Funchal. There is a sand beach here.
Going back to Funchal we pass by the airport in Santa Cruz where there is a nice water park with slides. The last stop before Funchal is Ponta do Garajau where there is a Christ statue in the viewpoint and a cable car that takes you down to Garajau Beach.