As unlikely as it seems, it’s not necessary to travel long distances to find an idyllic place. Madeira, 1,000 kilometers from Lisbon and 500 from Morocco, is an ideal destination for your holidays. Why not travelling to Madeira to discover overwhelming spots, huge cliffs battered by the waters of the Atlantic, and flawless landscapes with lush mountains and valleys?
Madeira is a perfect destination year round, with warm temperatures both in summer and winter.
To discover the true Madeira, the best option is climbing to the summit of any of its mountains and be amazed by the breathtaking landscape or walking along its trails in the laurel forests, extending for more than 1,400 kilometers of “levadas,” granting a unique opportunity to get in touch with the real island.
To go for a stroll in the island, departing from Funchal, you could head West. There, you will find the city of Câmara de Lobo, with the impressive Cabo Girão Cape, the biggest cliff in Europe. You will also find the unique parish of Curral das Freiras, located in a deep valley, with vertiginous views.
Going further West, you will find the sunny shores of Ponta do Sol and Calheta, where the water invites you to take a bath and refresh. Sport lovers will find the perfect place to enjoy their favourite sports activity on the beaches of the cities of Jardim and Paul do Mar, where you can find the best waves of Europe for surfing.
You shouldn’t leave Madeira without walking through its picturesque and cosmopolitan streets in Funchal, where you should buy some nice souvenirs, such as the renown embroidery, wicker baskets, or respected Madeira Wine.
Thereafter, you can go to Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau in Madeira. Don’t forget to make a stop to enjoy the stunning views of the North and South hillsides. If you keep moving towards Porto Moniz, you can recover strength having a bath in the natural pools of this town. Its formation is due to the lava that descends towards the sea.
Now you can continue your trip going to São Vicente, along a road full of waterfalls, with a beautiful contrast between the intense green and the crystalline blue of the sea waters. In São Vicente, it is worth visiting the Grutas (Caves), the Volcanism Centre, and the Ruta de la Cala Museum Centre; and also have a walk through the charming streets of the village.
Then, you can choose between going again to the Encumeda, and breathing in the spectacular scent of the laurisilva forest, or keep going to Santana to enjoy the beautiful views offered from the many overlooks you can find along the road.
In Santana , it is really interesting to visit the traditional houses, the Theme Park and the Queimadas area, which is the departure point for the gorgeous walking tours as the Caldeirão Verde. The descent to Faial surprises the tourist due to the stunning mountainous landscape.
Once in Faial, you will have to decide whether to move forward to Machico, or to visit the interior of the island through the highway reaching Ribeiro Frio Natural Park, Poiso and Pico do Areeiro Peak. From this point, which is 1,818 metres height, you will admire beautiful rocky formations projected in the sky which look much like imposing statues.
If you decide to continue towards Machico, do not hesitate in visiting Caniçal and Ponta de São Lourenço, in the most oriental point of the island.
Once back to Funchal, in the Ponta do Garajau Point, do not miss the view of the Desertas Islands and, in the old highway leading to Funchal, the Miradouro do São Gonçalo Overlook, which will provide you with a wonderful panoramic of the bay.
In Madeira there is no room for boredom, because of its offer of dream-like places, where nature is in all its splendour; boasting many interesting museums, charming towns, and magnificent scenarios to practice different sports. It also offers huge attractions and amusement places such as Madeira Thematic Park, the Caves and Volcanism Centre, the Centro de Ciência Viva, the Botanic Garden and Funchal funiculars, the Madeira Casino, the Aquapark or the Madeira Aquarium.
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