These activities can be on land, in the sea or in the air. We asked Pedro Alexandre, from Madeira Best, to give us seven of the most spectacular, original and unforgettable ways of exploring the island’s natural beauty. This platform offers a variety of services that give you a chance to enjoy your holidays to the maximum. “There is no other place as small, with the same diversity and quantity of tourist activities that Madeira has to offer.”
The Levadas, footpaths that line the water channels are characteristic of Madeira. They come in different sizes and degrees of climbing difficulty. “For me, the walkways are number one because they are unique”, explains Pedro Alexandre, who recommends, in particular, the Rabaçal and 25 Fontes walkways. “Beautiful walks of around 45 minutes that let you come face to face with the Laurisilva Forest and the nature of the island of Madeira.”
Tours around the island
Visiting Santana’s typical houses and Porto Moniz’s natural pools is already quite spectacular in itself. But if it is preceded by the sunrise at Pico do Areeiro, then it becomes a mystical experience. You need to start the climb while it is still dark to reach the peak above cloud level, in order to see our Star in all its splendor.
More than just watching them, Pedro finds it amazing that you are actually able to swim with the dolphins. But for those who love the sea, there are even more activities to enjoy: diving, surfing, stand-up-paddle or bodyboarding.
Cruise to Porto Santo and the Desertas Islands
The Madeira archipelago consists of seven islands and a variety of islets. From Funchal you can spend a day sailing to the golden sands of Porto Santo, where Columbus lived; and to the Desertas Islands Nature Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the fur seal and an important nesting ground for seabirds.
By plane or paraglider
With the wind on Madeira, it is better to have an engine to control your experiences in the air. “Paragliders are used much more mostly due to the price,” explains Pedro Alexandre, who points to Calheta as one of the most beautiful places to fly. But trips in the small planes from the Madeira Aviation Club are also much sought after by those curious to take a trip around the island.
“We have many couples and young people who rent bicycles, especially in summer. Mountain biking is relatively recent in Madeira, but it is a sport that is clearly growing.” The development of new trails and international competitions is contributing to this activity’s success.
Any rope-based sports
This is where the adrenaline rush begins! There are activities that are not for everyone, as they require some previous experience, and you need to be in good physical shape. You can choose from canyoning on untouched parts of the island, coasteering to explore its cliffs and caves, or climbing its amazing basalt cliffs.