Madeira, the island of pensioners? That’s what I heard a lot after telling my friends, that I’m planning a trip to the island of eternal spring. Forget about that! Madeira is all about wild and blooming nature, rough coasts, adventures and so much more…
Here comes my favorite things to do and to explore on the colorful island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean!
Have a poncha or three
Poncha is Madeira’s national drink made with boozy sugar cane rum, honey, sugar, orange/lemon juice and other fruit juices, all fresh from the island. Apparently, locals say that if you drink three poncha, you’ll be able to speak fluent Portuguese – give it a try 😉
Take a picnic to Santa Catarina Park
Santa Catarina Park is the meeting place in Funchal and you can enjoy some lovely views all over Madeira’s capital Funchal while sitting in the grass and enjoying the sun. Tip: Vantastic offers fantastic picnic with healthy bowls, fresh pressed juices, vegan brownies and so much more. Taking your picnic date to a whole new level!
Go on a 4×4 tour to explore the island
Madeira is best explored off-road, as the most beautiful hidden spots are in the middle of the volcanic peaks and beyond crazy steep roads. And a little adventure never hurt! Btw, the tours are really affordable (about 40 Euros per person for a whole day (!) trip) and the drivers have the most fun facts and stories to share.
Enjoy the unique coast line
Madeira’s coast line is truly one of a kind. You can see the signs of the volcanic island not only at the black sand beaches but also at the steep cliffs, instant Jurassic Park feelings included! My must sees:
Praia de Laje: Maybe the most beautiful black sand beach of Madeira, also known as Praia da Jamaica Beach (and that says it all, doesn’t it).
Natural Pools of Porto Moniz: Huge, natural salt water swimming pools made up of volcanic rock. Tip: Maybe 5 minutes walking distance next to the ones you have to pay entry at, there are free to access pools which are even more impressive as these are completely pristine – but watch out, it can get crowded here (just as whenever something is free) so you better be early!
Ponta de São Lourenço: The eastern cape of Madeira, with the finest views of the sunrise and it’s said to be one of the last untouched places on earth. Make sure to wear your hiking boots!
Take the ferry to Porto Santo for the most stunning beaches
Only a two hour ferry ride away, you will find the smaller island of Porto Santo – just a few miles from Madeira Island you will enter a whole different universe! 9 km sandy beach line and turquoise blue waters will make you feel like you just arrived in the Caribbean. Make sure to enjoy the stunning sunset while having dinner at Ponta da Calheta (try the typical snails with butter and garlic called Lapas) and go on a boat trip around the island – if you are lucky, you can see lots of Dolphins in the area!
Just leave me here!