Madeira is a beautiful island for nature lovers. You can easily get anywhere and return at one day driving. Enjoy the steep mountains, the eucalyptus woods and the flowers, lots of sunshine at the south, the rough and cloudy mountains in the centre, the ocean view all around. Hike to the Pico Ruivo at 1862 meters, or step on the glass floor of the Cabo Girão, the highest cliff of Europe, at 580 meters.
Walking through Madeira
In Madeira you can walk along the “Levadas”: ancient irrigation channels. Put on your hiking shoes!
In total there are 300 km of trails, ranging from 4 to 20 km through beautiful eucalyptus forests, passing waterfalls, lookout points and spectacular gorges. They are marked as PR (Pequna Rota) with a number. The Levada’s know almost no height decay, which makes walking very pleasant. Maps of the Levada routes are available and taxi drivers can bring you to the beginning of a route. Madeira is truly a paradise for nature lovers, it is quiet, far away from mass tourism. The climate is perfect, there is plenty of sunshine and it’s never too hot or too cold .
A beautiful and clear app for your smartphone, to find the levada you like:
Madeira – walk me
Travel to Madeira
Many airlines are flying to Funchal, the capital in the south of Madeira, such as Transavia, TAP, Easyjet, Austrian, Lufthansa, British Airways, Brussels airlines. To estimate the costs and travel time: Madeira is about 1,45 hours flying from Lissabon.
Car hire is available at several companies on the airport. For a small middle class car one can count on an average price of € 300,- per week. Tip: do not take the smallest car, it must carry a good engine, because some roads are very steep. On the other hand however, we would not recommend a big car, for the roads can be small and the underground car parkings have a lot of concrete columns that make it hard to manoeuvre. We advise you to take a full cover insurance, because a scratch or dent is easily sustained.
These are the main providers of car rental :
New Year’s Eve : the biggest fireworks in the world !
If you are lucky to be in Madeira at New Year’s Eve a big surprise is waiting for you: a spectacular firework display In the Bay of Funchal. Be sure to arrive at least one hour before in order to get a good spot. Hotels are organizing buses to go there. Then the inferno gets loose: 15 minutes splendid fireworks, ending in a three-minute total blast. You can also experience it from a boat in the bay, then you’re right in the middle of it.
Funchal owns the Guinness World Record Prize for the biggest firework in the world.