Madeira attractions, map, sightseeing plan, trips, the most beautiful places

Sao Vicente, Madeira

Too busy

If you want to get to know Madeira well, there will be plenty to do. The island is dense with attractions and these are attractions of a very varied nature. You probably won't have the time (or determination) to see them all, but if you put in the effort, you might be close to 100%. Most of the places are practically on the road and are almost at your fingertips. A large part of them are simply easily accessible vantage points that you can drive up to by car or even drive past. Some are short walking trails, taking from a dozen to several dozen minutes, and some are activities that will take you all day.
On the internet you will find a lot of lists of attractions in Madeira, but I know from my experience that a list alone is not enough. Whenever you read the description of an attraction you like, you ask yourself: where on the island is it? A map is needed. Map of attractions presenting the location of all points of interest on the island. I will surprise you though. The map of attractions is also not enough. Why? Roads are also key. In Madeira, the fact that two attractions are close does not mean that you can easily drive between them. The following example illustrates this well.

The trap of short distances

Suppose it occurred to you to visit first Nuns Valley (Curral das Freiras), then take the quick and easy trail to the top Pico Ruivo (PR 1.2 Vereda to Pico Ruivo). Both points are 6,5 km apart, but getting from one to the other is another matter.
See how the fastest route, determined by navigation, connecting the two points I mentioned looks like.

Best route from Nuns Valley to Vereda levada starting point to Pico Ruivo PR 1.2

The fastest journey between points 6,5 km apart is over 60 km long and takes about 1,5 to 2 hours.

Planning a visit to Madeira requires a moment of reflection and good planning. So I tried to organize this post in such a way as to provide you with the right dose of key information. I assume that after reading it, you will be able to plan your visit to Madeira yourself, avoiding unnecessary journeys. The more that driving around Madeira, due to frequent serpentines, is not easy at all.

How to visit Madeira?

If you want to get to know the island really well, you have no choice. It will make the most sense to rent a car. Moving around by public transport is possible, but it does not give you the opportunity to quickly reach many of the places I have described.
You can also try ready-made trips, proposed by the travel agency in the hotel, but the offer does not cover all places.

In this article, I will not devote space to car rental advice, because there is a really solid and helpful entry available on this topic: Madeira Car Rental - No Credit Card or Deposit
So I sent it to him. I consider it mandatory to read it before renting a car.

Public transport and trips from local travel agencies can work in a situation where you do not want to explore the island so much and you intend to see only selected, single attractions. Then check the offer you can find in a hotel or a resident, or look for something on the trip page - [click]

Madeira attractions map

First, take some time to familiarize yourself with the map. For this occasion, I have prepared a special map of Madeira, which will be the main working tool for you when planning your visit to the island.

Madeira - map of attractions

On the map, I marked the location of the attractions I selected, but I also marked the course of the main access roads connecting all the marked places. Thanks to this, you can see at a glance whether there is a reasonable road connection between the attractions you are interested in. Of course, on the map, apart from the roads marked by me, there are other road connections, but before you decide to take other routes, take into account that they can be technically difficult, steep and winding. Madeira is full of such roads.
Some of the existing roads in Madeira have been closed in recent years because new, safer ones have been built. Just because a road exists on a map doesn't mean you can drive on it. Navigations should be able to deal with this fact well, but using only a paper map can lead to unpleasant surprises.

Each attraction marked on the map has its own number. In the further part of the text under this number you will find additional information related to a given attraction. It will be mainly a short description and some important information (if necessary).
Usually next to each attraction I put the GPS coordinates of the nearest car park and (if necessary) additional coordinates of key points that will help you get to the right place.
Use this data! They are simple to use. Just click on the link next to them, and the navigation will start automatically and calculate the route to the destination (just don't forget to switch the navigation from car mode to walking mode or vice versa).

Many of the attractions, apart from a short description included in this plan, also have separate, more detailed studies. If they exist, you will find links to them in these descriptions. It is worth entering them, because they contain a huge amount of useful information, practical advice, additional photos, detailed site maps of attractions, etc.

Madeira sightseeing itinerary

After a quick glance at the map of attractions above, you've probably realized that there are plenty of opportunities to explore the island. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. That is why I decided to publish the map in the above form. On its basis, you can explore the island according to your own preferences, including attractions selected for you.
You can plan and modify the route even at the last minute, adapting to the current situation: weather, level of fatigue or the degree of saturation with attractions on a given day.
Regardless of your plans, I have developed some suggestions for sightseeing routes that may inspire you. Perhaps you will even like them enough to decide to implement them in accordance with my proposal.
When working on my itineraries, I assumed you were staying overnight near Funchal. I had to make an assumption, and since most hotels are located here, I decided that such a plan would be useful for the largest group of recipients. However, in order not to be limited to Funchal itself, I decided to give all routes the form of closed loops. Thanks to this, it does not matter where you start the loop, because at the end of the day, after visiting everyone, you will reach the starting point anyway. So a set of relatively universal routes was created, which can be used even without living in Funchal.
I divided the routes into subsequent days, but it is not a rigid division. Each route is independent and can be taken in any order.
If you will be in Madeira in late autumn, winter or very early spring, when the days are much shorter, it will probably be a problem on some days to fit the whole schedule before it gets dark. Take it into consideration.

Visiting Madeira - day 1

We will start with the capital of the island, i.e. Funchal (1) and the adjacent Monte. On this day, apart from the attractions related to these places, we will not be able to see anything else. The day is full to the brim, from morning to evening. The description of visiting Funchal and Monte is so extensive that it was not suitable for posting here. So go to a separate entry, describing the tour in detail: Funchal sightseeing plan - map, attractions, monuments, accommodation, interesting facts

Visiting Madeira - day 2

On this day we will travel a bit around the island. The plan includes easily accessible viewpoints, a nice town and an insanely beautiful levada walk through the peninsula of St. Lawrence. If you have enough time and strength, on the way back you can stop for another short walk along a completely flat levada to the fantastic Balcoes viewpoint.

Attractions on the route: Ponta do Garajau (2) - Ponta de São Laurenco (3) - Porto da Cruz (4) - Miradouro do Guindaste (5) - Lewada PR 11 Vereda dos Balcoes (28)

Madeira sightseeing map – day 2
Visiting Madeira - day 3

On the third day we will focus on the highest peaks of Madeira: Pico do Arieiro and Pico Ruivo. Both peaks can be reached in two ways.
The first way (for those who like to walk in the mountains): we go by car to the top of Pico do Arieiro (yes, you can get to the top by car) and from there we go on foot through the fabulously beautiful trail to Pico Ruivo.
Method two (if you are in a weaker condition): You go by car to Pico do Arieiro, and after seeing everything, you go to the beginning of the PR 1.2 Vereda levada to Pico Ruivo and try to climb to the top of Pico Ruivo. Lewada PR 1.2 is the shortest and easiest way to climb the highest peak of Madeira. If you can't make it from here, then you can't make it any other way.

More about the entrance to Pico do Arieiro and the entrance to Pico Ruivo can be found in two entries:
- Pico do Arieiro (Pico do Areeiro) - access, parking, hiking trails
- The highest peak of Madeira Pico Ruivo (PR1 Vereda do Areeiro) - map, description, access, parking

Madeira sightseeing map – day 3
Visiting Madeira - day 4

A long and fun-filled day. If you have arrears from previous days, you can try to squeeze them in here. You will again pass Lewada PR 11 Vereda dos Balcoes (28) and Miradouro do Guindaste (5).

Attractions on the route: Santana (6) - Pont de Sao Jorge (7) - Miradouro do Bom Jesus (8) - Sao Vicente (9) - Cabo Girao (20) - Camara de Lobos (21) - Curral Das Freiras (24)

Madeira sightseeing map – day 4
Visiting Madeira - day 5

A very full and varied day. Anyway, you could write that for every day in this plan. During the ride, you will definitely come across viewpoints that I have not marked on the map, but it does not mean that it is not worth stopping at them. I did not mark some places on the map, because the road leads in such a way that it is impossible to miss them. If they catch your eye, just throw in your right turn signal, stop and enjoy.

Attractions on the route: Sao Vicente (9) - Praia da Laje (10) - Miradouro da Ribeira da Janela (11) - Porto Moniz (12) - Fanal Forestry (27) - Miradouro Lombo do Mouro (25)

Madeira sightseeing map – day 5
Visiting Madeira - day 6

The day I crammed in two levadas (although to be honest I think you'll have to decide which one to give up or you'll run out of time). None of them are difficult or very long, but you need to reserve some time to complete each of them. You enter the first Levada 25 Fontes (26) at the very beginning of the day, because it is the first point of the program. The second levada (actually a combination of two levadas, Levada do Moinho and Levada Nova) (19) is at the very end of the day and if you have one more day on the island, you can postpone this point to the next, seventh day of visiting the island.

Attractions on the route: Levada 25 Fontes (26) - Miradouro de Boa Morte (13) - Farol da Ponta do Pargo (14) - Miradouro da Raposeira (15) - Rota da Banana - RB2 (16) - Cascata dos Anjos (17) - Ponta do Sol (18) – Levada do Moinho and Levada Nova (19)

Madeira sightseeing map – day 6
Visiting Madeira - day 7

Here, put everything you haven't seen yet, because you ran out of time, or just don't do anything. Rest.

Descriptions of attractions in Madeira

Below you will find really short descriptions of all the attractions visible on the map. Next to the descriptions, I put GPS coordinates of key points, including car parks that allow you to stop near the attractions. I encourage you to use them. Every driver will appreciate such convenience. You click your finger, the navigation starts by itself and you go.

1. Funchal and Monte
Monte Palace garden in Funchal, Madeira

Funchal is by far the largest city in Madeira. About 240 people live on the island. people, of which 110 lives in Funchal itself. On an island scale, it is a colossus, but on a European scale, it is rather a medium-sized city. It can be successfully visited on foot and I have prepared such a plan of visiting Funchal.
A detailed description of visiting the capital of Madeira, arranged in a neat plan, can be found in the entry: Funchal sightseeing plan - map, attractions, monuments, accommodation, interesting facts

2. Ponta to Garajau
Drone photo of the Ponta do Garajau viewpoint. After clicking on the photo, a panorama will open in Google maps
photo: james

A characteristic and frequently visited viewpoint on a high cliff located about 6 km from Funchal. However, the drive is much longer than the straight-line distance and will take you around 20 minutes from the center of Funchal.
On the cliff stands a large sculpture of Christ (Cristo Rei) welcoming those arriving to the island from the sea. At the foot of the cliff there is a small beach, closed on both sides by steep rocks. You can get to it only from the water and by a special, very steep cable car.

Parking on the cliff, near the statue of Christ (Cristo Rei), GPS coordinates:
32°38’23.7″N 16°51’05.5″W
32.639925, -16.851539 - click and route 

3. Ponta de São Laurenco
Ponta de Sao Laurenco, Madeira

Peninsula of St. Lawrence (because that's how its name sounds in our language) is an extremely picturesque, mostly rocky piece of land, cutting deep into the sea. Along the peninsula runs an exceptionally beautiful levada (PR 8 Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco), which I described in detail in the entry: The trail to the St. Lawrence (PR 8 Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco) - map, description, directions, parking
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with it. It contains a lot of detailed data, maps and several additional locations located on the peninsula and easily accessible viewpoints.

Tourist car park at the beginning of the PR8 levada, GPS coordinates:
32°44’35.6″N 16°42’03.4″W
32.743220, -16.700938 - click and route 

4. Porto da Cruz
Porto da Cruz seen from the drone. A click will take you to the panoramic photo on Google maps
photo: Madeira360 – Visitas Virtuais 360 – Google Services

Porto da Cruz is a typical small seaside town. It developed best in times when ... there was no land road to it. This was due to the port operating here. When a convenient network of roads covered the island, the port lost its importance and Porto da Cruz became quiet and cozy. It has remained so until today. Lying at a hundred characteristic rocks, the town is an oasis of peace. It is mainly visited by surfers, as there is supposedly a good wave here. Not far from the center (about 1 km along the coast - facing the water to the right) of Porto da Cruz there is a nice and usually empty Praia da Maiata beach. It can be reached by car, but the parking lot next to it (actually the place to turn around at the end of the road) is tiny, it can only accommodate single cars. Parking may be a problem in the summer, and lack of space in the off-season can be considered an unlucky coincidence. Some people stop by the access road.

Parking in Porto da Cruz, GPS coordinates:
32°46’21.1″N 16°49’48.1″W
32.772521, -16.830036 - click and route 

Parking at Praia da Maiata beach, GPS coordinates:
32°46’03.0″N 16°49’15.4″W
32.767485, -16.820931 - click and route 

5. Miradouro to Guindaste
Wifok on the cliffs and the peak of Penha d'Aguia
Clicking takes you to the Goggle panorama
photo: Carlos Faria

A viewpoint of steep and monumental cliffs, the peak of which is called Penha d'Aguia. The levada Vereda da Penha de Aguia, almost 6 km long, leads to the top. Walking time is about 2-3 hours. The route is steep and rather difficult. It can be slippery. Trekking shoes required.
There is a small car park next to the viewpoint.

Parking at Miradouro to Guindaste, GPS coordinates:
32°47’38.5″N 16°50’57.8″W
32.794027, -16.849391 - click and route

6. Santana
Cottages in Santana

The small town of Santana with its colorful, traditional houses is a typical postcard motif featured on souvenirs from the island.
I described visiting Santana and the houses in detail in a separate entry: Santana – access, parking, sightseeing
Here I put only the basic coordinates for quick navigation.

Parking at the houses in Santana, GPS coordinates:
32°48’18.3″N 16°52’58.3″W
32.805082, -16.882865 - click and route

7. Pont de Sao Jorge

A spectacular and picturesque walk to the Pont de Sao Jorge. The path runs along the coast and is sometimes impassable. It all depends on sea activity and wave height. You may not make it all the way to the peninsula itself, but the views are really nice from the start. Shoes with non-slip soles are necessary.
At the end of the trail, the path leads over a wooden bridge. Before you step on it, make sure it is in a walkable condition. It has recently been in need of refurbishment.

see the path in several panoramic photos:
- beginning of the path - [click]
- first narrowing on the trail - [click]
- one of the rock ledges - [click]
- wooden platform at the end of the trail - [click]

Parking at the beginning of the path to Pont de Sao Jorge, GPS coordinates:
32°49’42.0″N 16°53’53.0″W
32.828323, -16.898055 - click and route

8. Miradouro to Bom Jesus

Located directly on the road, a viewpoint of one of the most characteristic green mountains on the island. The viewpoint is located on the bend of the road and if you don't brake earlier, you will certainly pass it. The road is narrow and cramped. So there is no option to stop later. Slow down early enough, then hope you're lucky enough to have a free spot at the arch to stop. There may be two or three cars here.
If you do not want to risk that there will be no free space, then a few hundred meters earlier you can take a narrow road that leads to a second place from which you can admire the rock.

Parking (although it is definitely too big a word) at Miradouro do Bom Jesus, GPS coordinates:
32°49’39.3″N 16°58’37.5″W
32.827569, -16.977076 - click and route

Alternative viewpoint Miradouro de São Cristovãowith a much larger parking lot, GPS coordinates:
32°49’37.3″N 16°58’23.5″W
32.827038, -16.973184 - click and route

9. Sao Vicente
Sao Vicente. Madeira

A small town with a picturesque center. There is also a Volcanic Center in Sao Vicente with caves to explore. Underground volcanic caves and natural channels lead among rocks and underground lakes. The walk is enriched by additional lighting, audiovisual shows and music. Everything lasts about 30 minutes and you have to admit that it is interesting.

side Volcanic Center – [click]

Parking near the center of Sao Vicente, GPS coordinates:
32°48’09.4″N 17°02’44.1″W
32.802607, -17.045569 - click and route

Parking at the Volcanic Center in Sao Vicente, GPS coordinates:
32°47’54.2″N 17°02’29.3″W
32.798401, -17.041459 - click and route

10. Praia da Laje

Nestled among jagged, rocky shores, the beach is basically … not a beach. It is rather a stony rocky place for a short rest and admiring the volcanic, irregular coast.
You can take a look at the coast from above or below. It is also possible that after many kilometers of driving, this place will not make an electrifying impression on you.
If you decide to take a look from above, just head to the landmark located at the small car park at the edge of the slope.
If you feel like stretching your legs and taking a short break, you can slide right down to the water in the harbor beach area or on the other side of the town, by the natural volcanic pools.

Parking by the beach, in Seixal Harbour, GPS coordinates:
32°49’22.2″N 17°06’09.2″W
32.822841, -17.102542 - click and route

Parking near natural volcanic pools, GPS coordinates:
32°49’34.7″N 17°06’54.3″W
32.826314, -17.115090 - click and route

Parking at the top of the slope in Seixal, GPS coordinates:
32°49’34.2″N 17°06’40.7″W
32.826165, -17.111299 - click and route

11. Miradouro da Ribeira da Janela
Ilheuzinho rocks, Ilheus da Ribeira and Ilheus da Janela, Madeira
Photos: Colin Watts na Unsplash

The attractiveness of this place is determined by unusual rock formations and a rocky beach. The rocks of Ilheuzinho, Ilheus da Ribeira and Ilheus da Janela protruding from the water are very photogenic and willingly pose for photos. The place is beautiful, and at the same time not as well known and popular as other attractions of the island. Thanks to this, there are no wild crowds here yet, and the scenery is great.
Getting there is quite easy and there is a decent sized car park right next to the beach.

Parking at Miradouro da Ribeira da Janela, GPS coordinates:
32°51’17.2″N 17°09’13.1″W
32.854769, -17.153632 - click and route

12. Porto Moniz
A walk among the pools in Porto Moniz, Madeira

Porto Moniz is best known for its natural volcanic pools. The flowing lava here was formed in such a way that many reservoirs of various sizes were created, which, after minor adjustments introduced by man, serve as swimming pools filled with ocean water.
You can walk between the pools while enjoying the picturesque scenery.
The swimming pools are payable, and the swimming pools between which you walk are available free of charge.
Both pool complexes are separate locations, approximately 400 m apart.

Parking by the swimming pools, between which you can walk, GPS coordinates:
32°52’02.9″N 17°10’00.3″W
32.867476, -17.166760 - click and route

Parking by the swimming pools, GPS coordinates:
32°52’04.9″N 17°10’14.8″W
32.868035, -17.170769 - click and route

13. Miradouro de Boa Morte

The strength of this viewpoint is not the point itself, but rather the path to it. You get off the car at a small church, picturesquely situated on a slightly undulating area covered with a green carpet of grass. Here begins a narrow and short path that drowns in the greenery of the surrounding meadows and leads straight to the edge of the abyss.
I don't know, maybe it's a matter of the moment, the weather and the idealization of the picture saved in my memory, but this short walk among the lush greenery was wonderful!

Parking by the church at the beginning of the path, GPS coordinates:
32°49’54.8″N 17°14’04.8″W
32.831884, -17.234673 - click and route

14. Farol da Ponta do Pargo

This is the real end of the world in Madeira. The farthest part of the least popular part of the island. Few people commute here, and even fewer get out of the car for a short walk. I encourage you even more. Come, stop, get off and feel the peace.
By the way, you can win a short walk (about 500 m) along the edge of the slope to the next Miradouro do Fio viewpoint. Nice relaxation.

Parking at Farol da Ponta do Pargo, GPS coordinates:
32°48’50.6″N 17°15’46.1″W
32.814067, -17.262798 - click and route

Miradouro to Fio, GPS coordinates:
32°48’35.0″N 17°15’23.3″W
32.809708, -17.256466 - click and route

15. Miradouro da Raposeira

The Miradouro da Raposeira viewpoint looks like this when you see it - [click] then you will probably decide immediately that you must stand on it. A charming location and a perfect place for a souvenir photo from Madeira.

Maybe not a parking lot, but you can stop here before going to Miradouro da Raposeira, GPS coordinates:
32°45’41.4″N 17°13’17.4″W
32.761496, -17.221504 - click and route

Miradouro da Raposeira viewpoint, GPS coordinates:
32°45’33.2″N 17°13’23.1″W
32.759228, -17.223093 - click and route

16. Rota da Banana - RB2
Bananas are growing

Walking path in a banana grove. Under the huge banana leaves, among the huge bunches of bananas and in the pleasant shade, it's really nice to walk around. A very pleasant and short trip to get to know the fruit, tree and farming better.

The beginning of the Rota da Banana RB2 trail, GPS coordinates:
32°41’58.7″N 17°07’56.4″W
32.699637, -17.132319 - click and route

The end of the Rota da Banana RB2 trail, GPS coordinates:
32°41’55.1″N 17°07’50.2″W
32.698646, -17.130604 - click and route

17. Cascata dos Anjos
Cascata dos Anjos, Madeira

A rather peculiar waterfall that falls from high rocks directly onto the old regional road ER101. Currently, the road is no longer in use because a new expressway was built, the launch of which excluded the old road connection from use. However, when the old road ER101 was in use, the waterfall fell on it just as it does today, and the locals called it a free car wash.

Cascata dos Anjos waterfall, GPS coordinates:
32°41’11.7″N 17°06’49.5″W
32.686584, -17.113748 - click and route

18. Ponta do Sol
Ponta do Sol, Madeira

Ponta do Sol beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Madeira. Even if you are not a fan of sunbathing, it is worth visiting this place. The small town fits perfectly into the surrounding hills and nature. The buildings do not compete with the natural beauty of the surroundings, but they harmonize perfectly with it, additionally emphasizing the beauty of the place.
Even the biggest opponent of sunbathing will be happy to spend some time on the beach located in such a way.
If you can't find a parking space along the street by the beach, look for it in a disused tunnel converted into a covered parking lot.

Street parking, along the Ponta do Sol beach, GPS coordinates:
32°40’46.9″N 17°06’17.7″W
32.679700, -17.104902 - click and route

Parking in a disused tunnel near the beach in Ponta do Sol, GPS coordinates:
32°40’44.8″N 17°06’13.5″W
32.679113, -17.103745 - click and route

19. Levada do Moinho and Levada Nova

This point of the program is a proposal for a walk with two levadas. The former is Levada do Moinho and the latter is Levada Nova. Both are beautiful. They lead through winding rock ledges with waterfalls, tunnels next to the ruins of three watermills. The walk is not difficult due to the fact that the levadas are almost flat. The length of the walk is about 9 km.

The two levadas start not far from each other and merge at the end. So you can go one way with the first one, at the point where they connect, turn around and go back the other, leaving at the end almost at the starting point.
It is best to park the car next to the church of Igreja da Lombada da Ponta do Sol and go first to Levada do Moinho, which starts behind the church, then return to Levada Nova.

Start of Levada do Moinho (behind the church) and car park by the street, GPS coordinates:
32°41’22.4″N 17°05’29.5″W
32.689547, -17.091520 - click and route

The beginning of the Levada Nova, GPS coordinates:
32°41’39.3″N 17°05’15.7″W
32.694240, -17.087704 - click and route

20. Cabo Girao
The glass bridge at Cabo Girao, Madeira

A glass viewing platform installed on one of the highest cliffs in Europe. If you are not afraid to stand on a glass floor over a few hundred meter precipice, I invite you to Cabo Girao.
More tips related to Cabo Girao can be found in a separate entry: Cabo Girao - glass observation deck - map, parking, access, sightseeing

Parking by the observation deck on the Cabo Girao cliff, GPS coordinates:
32°39’25.6″N 17°00’19.7″W
32.657103, -17.005462 - click and route

21. Camara de Lobos
Camara de Lobos, Madeira
Camara de Lobos, Madeira

Stories about Camara de Lobos almost always begin with the information that it was Winston Churchill's favorite place. While relaxing, he immortalized them on the paintings he created. And it must be said that the town is pleasant, but many other places on the island can compete with its beauty. On the other hand, Camara de Lobos is usually distinguished by its unconventional street decor, which changes from time to time. When I was here during my trip, there were countless prasols hanging over the streets. At other times, it was painted on canvas, the most popular fish in Madeira: espada. Someone else posted pictures of shirts hanging over the streets. The town wants to stand out and stands out. It is definitely a place worth seeing and getting to know.

Parking near the port of Camara de Lobos, GPS coordinates:
32°38’52.3″N 16°58’39.3″W
32.647869, -16.977584 - click and route

22. Pico do Arieiro
View from Pico do Arieiro, Madeira

The third highest peak of Madeira. Many people will enjoy the fact that it can be reached by car. Yes! A comfortable road leads to the top and you don't need any effort to stand on top and look at the whole island from above.
More about the summit itself and some practical information related to visiting its surroundings can be found in a separate entry: Pico do Arieiro (Pico do Areeiro) - access, parking, hiking trails

Tourist parking at the top of Pico do Arieiro, GPS coordinates:
32°44’05.2″N 16°55’43.4″W
32.734766, -16.928712 - click and route

23. Pico Ruivo
Trail to Pico Ruivo, Madeira

Pico Ruivo is the highest peak of Madeira. You can see the whole island from it. Unless the weather and clouds disturb your view, you can see almost every corner of Madeira from the top.
Several trails lead to the top, including one exceptionally beautiful. A description of the peak and the trail that can be used to reach it can be found in a separate entry: The trail to the highest peak of Madeira, Pico Ruivo (PR1 Vereda do Areeiro) - map, description, directions, parking

The entrance to the trail leading to Pico Ruivo is at the tourist car park at the top of Pico do Arieiro.

Tourist parking at the top of Pico do Arieiro, GPS coordinates:
32°44’05.2″N 16°55’43.4″W
32.734766, -16.928712 - click and route

24. Curral Das Freiras
Nuns Valley seen from the viewpoint, Madeira

You go to the Valley of the Nuns (because that's its name in Polish) mainly in search of beautiful views. Thanks to the specific shape of the terrain, which creates a narrow, very deep and long valley, you will not be able to complain about the lack of beautiful scenery. By the way, however, the road is steep and winding, so while the passengers of the car will have a pleasant journey with views, the driver is unlikely to see anything but a piece of asphalt in front of the hood.
On the road you have to be careful as hell, because it can be tight and dangerous, and vehicles from around tight corners appear in a fraction of a second.
On the way, however, I recommend stopping at the Eira do Serrado viewpoint with a view of the entire valley (let the driver have something from this trip). From the main road leading to the valley, take a short side exit and park in front of the Estalagem Eira do Serrado hotel, then walk about 400 meters to the viewpoint.
Upon reaching Curral Das Freiras, you'll find yourself in the center of a tiny village where souvenir shops, small churches and, of course, the views attract the attention.
The town hidden at the bottom of the valley gives the impression of seclusion, cosiness and peace (unless a few buses with tourists have just arrived).

Parking at the Estalagem Eira do Serrado hotel, GPS coordinates:
32°42’36.6″N 16°57’45.3″W
32.710165, -16.962577 - click and route

Eira do Serrado viewpoint, GPS coordinates:
32°42’37.0″N 16°57’56.1″W
32.710269, -16.965570 - click and route

Small car park at Curral Das Freiras, GPS coordinates:
32°43’13.5″N 16°57’55.3″W
32.720410, -16.965365 - click and route

25. Miradouro Lombo to Mouro

If you miss it, you will pass this point or ... you will go off the road. The viewpoint is associated with a very sharp bend on which it is located. A lot of people take very nice pictures here, so if you feel like it, look for a piece of hard shoulder and stop for a few photos.

A piece of hard shoulder at Miradouro Lombo do Mouro, GPS coordinates:
32°44’02.0″N 17°03’11.1″W
32.733874, -17.053074 - click and route

26. Levada 25 Fontes
One of the waterfalls at the Levada 25 Fontes, Madeira

What is this levada is already said by the name. It is a walking path leading among 25 waterfalls that you pass along the way. Definitely one of the most picturesque levadas on the island. Fairly short and enjoyable. Willingly visited by tourists.

The beginning of the trail (Rabacal viewpoint), GPS coordinates:
32°45’16.7″N 17°08’01.3″W
32.754625, -17.133686 - click and route

End of trail 25 Fontes, GPS coordinates:
32°45’55.8″N 17°07’31.4″W
32.765506, -17.125378 - click and route

Trail length: 4,6 km (one way)
Walking time: 3 hours (one way)
Difficulty level: medium

27. Fanal Forestry
Fanal Forestry, Madeira

Have you ever been obsessed with hazy, magical pictures of a laurel forest? Such in a fairy-tale atmosphere, filled with mystery and fantasy mood. These photos are taken right here. The magical forest grows at an altitude of 1150 meters. As a result, it is very often shrouded in fog, and in fact in clouds. Clouds moving low in the sky roll slowly over the island, their fluffy bellies hooking on the land, which is visible to us as fog.
High humidity and favorable temperature make the laurel forest do great here, and everything is covered with a thick layer of moss. The place is insanely atmospheric.

Parking lot at Fanal Forestry, GPS coordinates:
32°48’32.7″N 17°08’38.8″W
32.809079, -17.144106 - click and route

28. Levada PR 11 Vereda dos Balcoes
Lewada PR 11 Vereda dos Balcoes, Madeira

Leading among laurel forests, PR 11 leads to a point called Balcoes. It is a vantage point on the exceptionally beautiful panorama of mountains and valleys. Levada is very easy, short, comfortable and flat.
I described it in detail (with a map) in a separate entry: Lewada PR 11 Vereda dos Balcoes - map, description, access, parking

Small parking lot near the trail, GPS coordinates:
32°44’06.4″N 16°53’11.4″W
32.735111, -16.886493 - click and route

A little bigger parking lot a few steps from the trail, GPS coordinates:
32°44’00.7″N 16°53’13.7″W
32.733538, -16.887135 - click and route

The beginning of the trail - levada PR 11, GPS coordinates:
32°44’07.7″N 16°53’11.1″W
32.735472, -16.886402 - click and route

Madeira - accommodation

The accommodation base in Madeira is large and diverse. The price range is also wide, so there is something for everyone.
Below are some interesting examples. Due to the fact that the entire sightseeing plan in this entry is presented as if the accommodation was in Funchal, below I present suggestions from this city. Clicking on a link or picture will take you to a page where, in addition to the selected accommodation, you will find several others similar to this one. So it's worth clicking and see if there is something interesting at a good price.

GuestHouse Vila Lusitania - [click]

Apartamentos Turisticos Atlantida - [click]

CBA Suites Madeira - [click]

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56 comments on "Madeira attractions, map, sightseeing plan, trips, the most beautiful places"

  • January 5, 2023 at 14:19
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    I'm going to Madeira this year, I want to organize everything myself, and here I have the quintessence of everything I need.
    Thanks a lot!!!!

  • January 13, 2023 at 10:52
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    Probably the best and most accurate plan for a week-long trip I've found so far. I had an outline, and here's the detail. Thank you

    • January 21, 2023 at 22:41
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      super! We are now on day 3 and we are implementing as planned! Thanks to you our private guide!

      • January 21, 2023 at 23:38
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        Well, I feel like I was there with you 🙂

      • 14 August 2023 about 19: 23
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        A great compendium of knowledge: factual, practical, simply brilliant. We are in Madeira for the second time, so most of the attractions were already known to us, but, for example, encouraged by the description, we visited levada no. 16 and for us it was a hit! I admire this precise information about each place (in this case, for example, the length of one of the tunnels). Thank you very much for this guide and I recommend it to everyone BEFORE flying to this charming island!

  • January 13, 2023 at 13:13
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    Thank you. Enormity of work knowledge - respect. Thank you again.

    • 14 August 2023 about 10: 27
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      I just came back from Madeira, which delighted me! Thanks to this blog, I was able to easily plan my sightseeing by choosing some of these beautiful places, because I was with my 13-year-old daughter and I didn't want to overdo it with the intensity. We stayed in the center of the old town of Funchal, which was a great choice for us. The island is wonderfully connected with tunnels and you can easily get to the other end in an hour. Great elaboration Mr. Jacek, directions invaluable! Our top 3 attractions are levada 25 and to Risco fontes (the second time I would go by bus both ways, because the trail to the springs is quite long and we ran out of time), Las Fanal with Miradouro da Ribeira da Janela beach right next to it and the trail from Pico to Areiro do Pico Ruivo, although all the places were magical and I'm glad that I still have so much to see! I will definitely use your guides again 🙂

      • 14 August 2023 about 10: 37
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        I'm really glad. I like reading such positive reports and it's nice that I had a small part in it.
        Thank you and best regards!

  • January 13, 2023 at 20:47
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    Ready to use material. Solid work. Thank you very much. I will use it in January!

  • January 17, 2023 at 11:43
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    I'm going to Madeira in a few days and I think I'll take advantage of the plan and the proposed attractions.
    Thank you : 0

  • January 19, 2023 at 22:19
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    A properly prepared detour route through the island, I visited almost all the described points.
    From myself, I can add a viewpoint in Funchal with a beautiful view of the whole city and the sunset straight to the ocean - Pico dos Barcelos 355m above sea level

  • January 23, 2023 at 11:38
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    amazing, the best travel blog i've ever seen!!!

  • January 25, 2023 at 17:55
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    Great blog, great guide!
    Thank you 🙂

    • February 11, 2023 at 18:15
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      Jack, great job.
      We are in Madeira right now (February 11.02.23, 7) and we are visiting according to your guide. In exactly 1 days, we visited the vast majority of places mentioned by you. It was intense, but we like it that way. There is PRXNUMX left, which we have to give up due to weather conditions ... it's always an excuse to come back 😀.
      And thank you for the guide.

  • January 25, 2023 at 18:46
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    nice collection of the main attractions of Madeira.

  • January 27, 2023 at 23:15
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    great description, I will use it in 2 weeks (February 2023)

  • January 29, 2023 at 12:41
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    Very interesting and comprehensive post. Madeira is the most interesting natural island in that area.

  • February 4, 2023 at 19:15
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    A sensational plan, very precisely described, logistically correct, all plans by this author deserve 6 plus 🙂 I have already used the published plans and I am waiting for other places 🙂 Thank you 🙂

  • February 5, 2023 at 14:42
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    Hello Mr. Jack. My wife and I are going to Madeira at the end of March. Please tell me if there are places to visit on the "loops" designated by you, where you can have a lunch/hot meal or rather a supply of food and water in your backpack and on the way?
    Best regards and thank you in advance for your answer.

  • February 5, 2023 at 17:32
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    quick question, where to be stationed? Can all these attractions have a base in Funchal? so, on average - what places do you recommend?
    Of course I'm renting a car

    • February 5, 2023 at 18:00
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      Fast response. Even faster than the question, because it is in the entry: "While working on my routes, I made the assumption that you are staying near Funchal."
      There are a few more comments to this general statement, I invite you to read the link.
      We lived in a different, northern part of the island.

      • February 5, 2023 at 18:09
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        In slightly larger (as for Madeira of course) towns, such as Sao Vicente, Canical or Porto Monitz, food will be found. So if there is such a place on the route, it will not be a problem. It's worse if most of the day is spent, for example, on a levada walk. Then you know that for a few hours there will be nothing to eat. The general rule is simple: ALWAYS have something with you on a rainy day.

  • February 26, 2023 at 19:48
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    Such a description is a CHAMPIONSHIP, I WILL USE IN 3 DAYS. Jack, you are brilliant.

    • February 28, 2023 at 09:04
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      Madeira is awesome!
      Have a great trip and many impressions!
      Thank you and best regards!

  • March 24, 2023 at 17:48
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    An amazing mine of knowledge!!! A lot of work! Thank you for letting me use it, it will be an adventure of a lifetime!

    • March 24, 2023 at 21:13
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      rock it!

  • March 29, 2023 at 14:03
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    Great guide, I'm going to Madeira, your guide is a lot of knowledge and saves time. thanks a lot

  • 2 April 2023 about 20: 37
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    Mr. Jacek, thank you for a great and professional description. I admire you, I never want to be so meticulous in descriptions myself, but thanks to your work, including the given coordinates, we visited the entire island in early March without any problems and stress. Thanks again and respect!

    • 2 April 2023 about 21: 00
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      Excellent! The pleasure is all mine!

      • 6 July 2023 about 23: 41
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        The best guide I've found so far. Thanks to Teoj's description, I have the whole stay planned. Many thanks for your work!

  • 27 April 2023 about 22: 42
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    Mr. Jacek, very useful information because I collected it, I read various guides, I am planning a trip with my friends at the end of November and this information on various forums plus guides is massaa here everything is served on a platter. I just have a question, what are the weather conditions at the end of November and beginning of December on the PR1 route? Is the route icy or snowy? Because in Poland it's already winter conditions in the mountains. Of course, we are dealing here with the geographical location of Madeira, but still the peaks reach over 1800 meters above sea level ...

    • 27 April 2023 about 22: 57
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      On Pico do Areeiro and on the surrounding trails, it happens that there is snow temporarily in winter. It's not a common situation and it doesn't last long, but it does happen. In the shop located on Pico do Areeiro you can buy postcards presenting the peak in a snowy version (I know, because I have it and bought it) … so if you are unlucky (or lucky, because some people really want to see snow here 🙂 ), then you can get the same aura.

      • 30 May 2023 at 23: 54
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        I join the words of delight ... the guide is very well written. A little note, the road to Miradouro do Bom Jesus ends at this viewpoint (still closed).

      • 5 July 2023 about 05: 19
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        Thank you for the ready sightseeing plan! 😍. I will use it after a little modification and share my impressions 😊

  • 9 June 2023 about 01: 03
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    Mega guide - we based all our sightseeing planning on it. Thanks a lot! We had everything from A to Z worked out to see as much as possible during a 4-day stay. Unfortunately, our plans were pretty much thwarted by the cyclone with the grateful name Oskar ... We are now in Madeira, a miracle that we managed to land ... some roads are impassable, some trails are closed 🙁 The Volcanic Center in Sao Vicente is also closed until further notice (it's probably regardless of the cyclone ... ) and probably because of this the town froze - today we met max 5 people on a walk in the center ... We recommend checking the weather forecasts and local news before leaving 😉

  • 11 July 2023 about 00: 25
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    After Sicily, Madeira is another island that we get to know thanks to your wonderful descriptions and precise directions for getting there and stopping. We appreciate your huge contribution to such a useful "tool" thanks to which we can easily find all the places we are interested in and learn interesting historical or moral facts. Great professional job!!!! Thank you Mr Jack!!

    • 16 July 2023 about 14: 37
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      Cool! I am glad that you are using my works! Kind regards!

  • 16 July 2023 about 10: 48
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    Thanks to Jacek for a great guide to Madeira. Just got back today and the whole trip was based on your tips.
    Regards and see you (I hope) at the next 5b rally.
    Krzysiek B

    • 16 July 2023 about 14: 29
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      That's the shit of Krzychu! 😀

  • 21 July 2023 about 11: 19
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    Great thing, thanks a lot for such detailed information and especially the places to stop, everything like clockwork :-) One small correction - Cabo Girao has already been organized and the entrance is not free, only for 2 EUR.

    • 21 July 2023 about 11: 20
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      Thanks for the information.
      I will update soon.

  • 26 July 2023 about 09: 14
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    Good morning, very factual and specific tips, we are going to Madeira next year and I am looking for various information, this was especially helpful. However, I have a question about organized transport, because we are unlikely to decide to rent a car. What is it like on the island? It is very poor, but is it possible to get to at least some of the attractions? We will definitely not be leaving with an organized group, so some optional trips are out of the question.
    Thanks in advance for the tip

    • 26 July 2023 about 10: 52
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      Good morning,
      Please see separate, more detailed descriptions of the attractions. There (if possible) I tried to put more information about the possibilities of getting there. In general, visiting Madeira by bus will be very difficult and time-consuming.
      Alternatively, the nearest surroundings of Funchal can be visited by HO-HO buses – more information in the entry about Funchal - [click]

      • 26 July 2023 about 11: 38
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        Thank you very much for your prompt reply, best regards

  • 30 July 2023 about 19: 02
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    Cool !!!!! The trip is ahead of us, but plans to explore the island according to your tips.
    Good job !!!!

  • 4 August 2023 about 10: 40
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    Perfect article, very useful before holidays in Madeira 🙂

  • 13 August 2023 about 02: 41
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    I read, read and read. I'm trying to figure out what to visit in the three days I rented a car for. It's 1:30 and the car is waiting outside the hotel. In the morning at 10:00 I sign the contract and follow the instructions. Ponta del Gada - a trip to the east - "there must be some civilization there". The order on this site is impressive.

  • 13 August 2023 about 23: 40
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    Incredibly helpful description. Pop, pop, pop and points 9 to 2 passed. I didn't even try to deviate from the routes. The time will come, the time will come…

    • 14 August 2023 about 10: 39
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      I like the most: "Pyk, pop, pop..." 🙂

  • 15 August 2023 about 02: 52
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    12 more points today. South and West. The wildest moment is the drive up to the upper car park in Camara de Lobos. I didn't know the roads could be so steep and narrow. I got there bypassing the traffic ban to the indicated parking lot. In fact, distances in kilometers mean nothing. It is difficult to plan the time, especially when there is a car breakdown in the tunnel (an extra hour). We got to Farol da Ponta do Pargo just before sunset. The climate of the end of the world with people who sit in silence looking at the sun - unusual. Unforgettable colors on return. We also stopped at the vantage point at the Boa Morte chapel, where the sun disappeared completely (here in complete solitude, except for the cow watching us. Just like yesterday: pop, pop, pop.

  • 24 August 2023 about 22: 21
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    Revelation!!! Many thanks for the cooker

  • 17 September 2023 about 18: 31
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    Great respect!!! A lot of work. I admire and thank you!

  • 17 September 2023 about 21: 48
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    I'm currently planning a trip to Madeira in October and I'm so glad I found this blog! 🙂
    It's rare to find so much substantive information in one place. Great job :) I will definitely use this information when I'm in Madeira :)

  • 20 September 2023 about 11: 15
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    Thread to thread... this is the shortest way I would describe discovering Madeira with your guide... from renting a car to the sightseeing itself... everything perfectly described, parking places marked, the route...
    Madeira delighted us, and thanks to your hard work we were able to enjoy it to the fullest...
    Thank you!!!


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