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Recommendations for Madeira

Just wondering your recommendations for things to do or see in Madeira. Only there for four days with a moderate budget. Any favorite spots ? Thanks !

Posted by
17165 posts

If you have good weather and no significant mobility issues, I suggest doing at least one walk along the levadas in the gorgeous countryside. You'll get lots of hits by Googling Madeira walks. You can go by yourself, but going with a group would solve the problem of how to get from Funchal to the starting point.

Just hopping on a bus to another town will allow you to see some lovely scenery. I liked the trip to Curral das Freiras.

There's a nice botanical garden, I think.

My last trip to Madeira was over 20 years; sorry that I don't remember more specifics.

Posted by
2525 posts

It’s a very pleasant island to just relax. The toboggan ride in a wicker affair, while overly touristy, is nevertheless fun. Employees have perfected milking tips from riders.

Posted by
409 posts

Below is what we did in 2010. We rented an apartment overlooking the ocean in the village of Santa Cruz. We also had a rental car for the week.:

July 18 Drove to Curral das Freiras, taking our time there and back. Dinner was back in Santa Cruz.
July 19 Drove to the Monte area, visited the church and the Botanical Garden next to the cable car station...some of our group took the round-trip cable car to Funchal...walked around there...then came back. The botanical garden could keep you there all day, it was that beautiful. Dinner in Funchal
July 20 Drove to the Grutas near Sao Vicent (underground caves) had lunch along the waterfront in Sao Vicent, then continued along the coast to Porto Moniz. Returned to Santa Cruz by the same route and had dinner in the apartment.
July 21 Spent the day in Funchal visiting the market, Cathedral, Castle, the town streets...dinner was in Machico...near our apartment.
July 22 Drove to the Eastern-most area near the wind turbines, then went to do a Levada Walk at Vareda do Balcoes (PR 11). Dinner was in downtown Funchal.
July 23 Some of our group went (walked) to the Water Park in Santa Cruz next to the apartment, and some of us drove to the Parque Tematico do Madeira. We were there for about 3 hours...amazing place! Then we drove to Santana...beautiful village!

There are walking levadas all over the island with different views and level of exhaustion...pick the ones that seem interesting to you...and bring a jacket as it can get cool. is a great website you need to plan with.