TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN MADEIRA ISLAND
After visiting Madeira 4 times this is my recommendation of my 12 favorite places in Madeira Island.
Camara de Lobos
At the time of the discovery of the Madeira island, loads of sea lions were sighted at a cove that still retains the same configuration. Currently these animals appear only occasionally on the south coast of the island, with a colony preserved in the Desert Islands.
Cabo Girão is the highest cape in Europe, at an elevation of 580m, and is famous for its suspended glass platform. The Cabo Girão viewpoint offers a vertiginous view of the fajãs of Rancho and Cabo Girão, which are small areas of cultivated land at the foot of the cliff, as well as magnificent panoramic views over the ocean and the municipalities of Câmara de Lobos and Funchal.
Faja dos Padres
Fajã dos Padres is a little part land under a big cliff, accessible only by boat or by a cable car. The pebble beach has easy access to the sea and great transparency of the water. There is a restaurant as well as showers and cabins. The cable car of Fajã dos Padres offers a route with views of the slopes of huge cliffs and the coastline. It provides a 3 minutes journey descending 300m with views over the south coast of Madeira and the small bay of Fajã dos Padres.
Panorama Pousada Dos Vinháticos
In my opinion, one of the most impressive views of the island with all the terraces and peaks. To find it just walk around the Panorama Pousada Dos Vinháticos Restaurant.
Paul da Serra
Getting to Paul da Serra seems to be in other island, the nature and environment totally change with a long plain without hills.
Levada dos Balcões
Levadas are small irrigation canals where you can walk through, allowing you to reach many wonderful places of the island where you will encounter breathtaking landscapes. Their total extension is approximately 3.000 km. The use of levadas in Madeira resulted from the need to bring large amounts of water from the north-facing springs where it is abundant, to the south side of the island.
Santana typical houses
These colorful and curious houses are typical from Madeira, built of natural stone and thatched with straw. You will find them around the island but the best place to see them is in the village of Santana.
Ponta de Sao Lorenço
Ponta de Šao Lourenço is a peninsula with volcanic origin, mainly made of basalt, although there are also some limestone sediment formations, and classified as a natural reserve. The semi-arid climate and its exposure to north winds have sculpted the low vegetation and explain the lack of trees, which distinguish this area from the rest of the Island. You can do trekking by 8km, go and return, with a moderate difficulty in around 2h30mins.
Pico do Arieiro
1818 meters high is the third highest peak in Madeira after Pico Ruivo y Pico das Torres. There are impressive trekkings to do around this area. Easy accesible as you can get with the car and there is a parking nearby.
São Vicente Caves
The São Vicente Caves were formed 890.000 years ago by a volcanic eruption. The outer part of the lava that was exposed to lower temperatures, solidified rapidly while the inside remained liquid with lots of gases, forming a series of lava tubes. It is not usual to find volcanic caves, generally the caves use to be from limestone, karst caves with stalactites and stalagmites. The caves may be visited by following an underground route running for over 1.000 meters.
Ilheus da Rib
One of the most popular symbols of north Madeira, these rock formations looking like emerging out of the ocean.
Wonderful natural pools to enjoy when the sea is calm, one of the most popular attractions of Madeira.