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  • Sara Alduk

8 Must-Visit Destinations on Madeira

Nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is an archipelago of breathtaking beauty, captivating history, and vibrant culture. Known as the "Pearl of the Atlantic," this Portuguese gem offers a myriad of attractions for every traveller. Not only is Madeira renowned for its stunning landscapes and charming villages, but it's also the birthplace of one of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo. From exploring the picturesque streets of Funchal to hiking the dramatic peaks of Pico do Arieiro, there's something for everyone on this enchanting island. Let's explore eight must-visit destinations that will enchant you on this captivating island:

1. Funchal

Begin your journey in Funchal, the capital city of Madeira. Funchal is a vibrant city bursting with historic charm, beautiful gardens, and bustling markets. Start your day with a stroll along the seafront promenade, where you can soak in stunning views of the harbour and the surrounding mountains. Explore the picturesque streets lined with colourful houses and don't miss a visit to the Mercado dos Lavradores, the city's famous market, where you can sample local produce and browse handmade crafts.


2. Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Located in the hills above Funchal, this botanical garden is a true oasis of calm. Explore the garden's winding pathways and discover a stunning collection of exotic plants and flowers from around the world. Be sure to take in the breathtaking views of the city and the ocean below from the garden's many vantage points.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

3. Cabo Girão

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, head to Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs in the world. Stand on the glass skywalk and marvel at the dizzying views of the ocean and coastline below. If you're feeling brave, you can even try paragliding from the top of the cliff for a truly unforgettable experience.

Cabo Girão

4. Pico do Arieiro

Experience the dramatic landscapes of Madeira by visiting Pico do Arieiro, the third-highest peak on the island. Take a scenic drive through winding mountain roads and hike to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the neighbouring island of Porto Santo. Don't forget to stop at the mountain hut for a warm drink and a bite to eat before you head back down.

Pico do Arieiro

5. Santana

Step back in time and visit the charming village of Santana, known for its traditional thatched-roof houses. Explore the narrow streets lined with colourful cottages and learn about the island's rich cultural heritage at the Madeira Theme Park. Don't miss the opportunity to sample traditional Madeiran cuisine at one of the village's cosy restaurants.


6. Levada Walks

No trip to Madeira is complete without exploring the island's famous levadas. These irrigation channels crisscross the island and are surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning scenery. Embark on a guided hike along one of the levada trails and discover hidden waterfalls, ancient forests, and panoramic viewpoints along the way. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a casual stroller, there's a levada walk for everyone.


7. Porto Moniz

Visit Porto Moniz and marvel at its natural volcanic pools, formed by ancient lava flows meeting the sea. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and soak up the sun on the surrounding volcanic rocks. Afterwards, explore the town and enjoy fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. Don't forget to visit the nearby aquarium to learn more about the fascinating marine life that inhabits the waters around Madeira.

Porto Moniz

8. Madeira Wine Tasting

No visit to Madeira would be complete without sampling its famous fortified wine. Visit one of the island's many wineries and enjoy a guided tour and tasting session. Learn about the winemaking process and sample a variety of Madeira wines, from sweet to dry, while enjoying stunning views of the vineyards. Don't forget to pick up a bottle or two to take home as a souvenir of your trip.

From its dramatic landscapes and charming villages to its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, Madeira is a destination like no other. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Madeira has something for everyone. So pack your bags and prepare to be enchanted by the beauty and charm of this captivating island paradise.

To continue discovering more hidden gems and captivating destinations, stay tuned for more articles on our website. Follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on new releases and join us as we embark on new adventures. We will be back soon with a new article! If you're visiting Lisbon, make sure to try our Fado, Food, and Wine tour!

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