Exploring this enchanting part of the island is best enjoyed by car, as public transportation may not cover all the hidden gems in the area. To make the most of your adventure, you have two fantastic options: renting a car or joining a guided tour. However, if you find yourself without either, worry not! You can always reach out to me, and I'll be more than happy to share valuable local contacts for car rentals and tour guides.
To streamline your journey and ensure you don't miss any of the highlights, I've integrated Google Maps links with the tour's key destinations. Simply click on the numbered list below to access direct links that will guide you to your desired destination:
The history of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace, on the island of Madeira, dates back to 1917, during World War I. In that year, the city of Funchal was bombarded twice by German submarines. In response to these events, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace was erected as a monument of devotion and faith. This sanctuary is located in Terreiro da Luta, in the parish of Monte, in the municipality of Funchal, in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The marble statue of Our Lady of Peace, rising to a height of five meters, is a symbol of devotion and faith. The construction of this sanctuary was an act of resilience and devotion in a time of adversity, and over the years, it has become a place of pilgrimage and worship for the inhabitants of the island of Madeira. This monument is a significant part of the region's history and culture, representing the faith and devotion of the people of Madeira in challenging times.
Poiso, situated at a notable 1412m altitude on the beautiful Madeira Island, is a well-known spot among locals. This high-altitude location is favored by residents for its cozy offerings, making it a go-to destination for enjoying a warm cup of cocoa, savoring the traditional Poncha, or relishing a comforting bowl of hot soup. The elevation lends Poiso a distinct charm, and it's a place where one can find respite from the island's coastal climate. Whether you're seeking the warmth of a hot beverage or the taste of Madeira's famous Poncha, Poiso provides a delightful retreat for both travelers and locals alike.
Pico do Areeiro is a must-visit destination for travelers in Madeira, offering a breathtaking experience. As the third-highest peak on the island, it provides awe-inspiring vistas of jagged mountains and lush valleys. Pico do Areeiro is renowned for its magical sunrises, making it the perfect spot to start your day. Not far from Pico do Areeiro (30min walk) is the Ninho da Manta Viewpoint, which attracts tourists with its stunning views. This viewpoint offers a unique perspective of Madeira's northern landscapes. Both Pico do Areeiro and Ninho da Manta are excellent places for hikers, nature lovers, and photographers, as they provide unforgettable moments and an opportunity to connect with the island's natural beauty.
Ribeiro Frio in Madeira offers a captivating experience for travelers. The Levada walk of Balcoes is a must-do activity, taking you on a scenic journey to the Balcoes viewpoint, known for its stunning vistas. As you embark on this walk, you'll be immersed in the pristine Laurissilva forest, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This ancient forest is a remarkable treasure, home to diverse flora and fauna, providing a serene setting for nature enthusiasts. The Levada walk of Balcoes is an easy and family-friendly hike in Madeira. It takes approximately 3 kilometers to reach the viewpoint and then return, making it around a 3-kilometer round trip. The path is relatively flat and suitable for walkers of all ages. This makes it an excellent option for families with children, and even young kids can enjoy this beautiful walk, provided they are supervised.
One of the unique aspects of this area is the presence of trouts, which can be spotted in a trout farm just a few meters away from the path to Balcoes walk. These freshwater fish are cultivated in the region, adding to the area's charm. For travelers seeking a tranquil nature experience amidst lush greenery and the melodious sounds of flowing water, Ribeiro Frio and the Levada walk of Balcoes are an ideal choice.
There are restaurants in the area that serve delicious trout dishes, and trout is a local specialty. These dishes often feature fresh trout bred in the local trout farms. You can savor well-prepared trout in various forms, such as grilled, fried, or in traditional Madeiran recipes. Ribeiro Frio offers a culinary experience that includes tasting this local delicacy alongside other traditional dishes.
Miradouro do Guindaste, also known as Crane Viewpoint, is a popular spot located in Faial, municipality of Santana, Madeira. This viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.
Nestled in the heart of Madeira, Miradouro do Guindaste provides a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy the island's natural beauty. Tourists frequent this location to witness stunning sunrise and sunset views. The viewpoint is accessible daily, providing ample opportunities to capture the beauty of Madeira's landscapes and enjoy the tranquility of the island.
While there isn't a specific history associated with this viewpoint, its popularity among tourists is a testament to the natural wonders of the region. Travelers can relish the views of lush greenery, coastal cliffs, and the vast Atlantic Ocean. With its serene ambiance and breathtaking scenery, Miradouro do Guindaste is a delightful stop for those exploring the island of Madeira.
Santana, a charming village in Madeira, is renowned for its traditional triangular-shaped houses, known as "Casinhas de Santana." These iconic houses have a rich history and provide an authentic experience for travelers. The unique triangular design, with straw-covered roofs, is not just an architectural quirk; it serves a practical purpose. The triangular shape and thatched roofs are designed to protect against the region's frequent heavy rainfall and strong winds. They are constructed from wood, which is both abundant and cost-effective in the area, helping to maintain comfortable temperatures inside.
When visiting Santana, travelers can explore these charming houses, some of which are still in use today. These houses offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life on the island and the architectural ingenuity of the locals. Santana's historical houses are not only picturesque but also a testament to the island's cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Madeiran experience.
Porto Da Cruz is a picturesque town on the northeast coast of Madeira, known for its small sandy beach and excellent surfing conditions.
Surfing in Porto Da Cruz: If you're a fan of surfing, Porto Da Cruz is a regional reference for extreme sports lovers. The town offers ideal conditions for surfing, attracting surf enthusiasts from all around. You can catch some waves and enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
Promenade Walk: Strolling along the beach promenade in Porto Da Cruz is a delightful experience. It's a quiet and secluded place where you can take a leisurely walk and enjoy the sea breeze. You'll find hotels and restaurants along the promenade, making it convenient for a break or a meal while enjoying the view.
Whether you're a surfer or simply looking to unwind by the beach, Porto Da Cruz has something for everyone. It's a lovely destination to enjoy both water sports and tranquil coastal walks.
Miradouro da Portela, also known as Portela Viewpoint, is a stunning point in Madeira, nestled between the towns of Porto da Cruz and Machico.
Miradouro da Portela offers unrivaled panoramic views of Madeira's lush landscapes and the majestic Atlantic Ocean. The vantage point provides a perfect backdrop for breathtaking photos and is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
The area surrounding Miradouro da Portela features hiking trails, including the popular Levada da Portela, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of Madeira on foot. The walking routes are well-marked and offer a chance to immerse in the island's stunning scenery.
You can reach Miradouro da Portela by car, and it's well-connected to the road network on the island. There are also public transit options to get to this viewpoint, making it accessible to a wide range of travelers.
Whether you're looking to enjoy breathtaking views, capture memorable photos, or explore the natural beauty of Madeira through hiking, Miradouro da Portela is a fantastic destination that won't disappoint.
Machico, a picturesque town on Madeira Island, is steeped in historical significance. It holds the distinction of being the first place where the discoverers of Madeira, led by Portuguese navigator João Gonçalves Zarco, landed in 1419, marking the beginning of the island's exploration. Machico was also the inaugural capital of Madeira before the capital was later relocated to Funchal.
Today, Machico's history can still be glimpsed in its charming streets and historical sites. Visitors can explore the town's roots and wander along its golden sandy beach. The natural beauty that surrounds the town offers hiking opportunities, making it a destination for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its rich historical heritage and scenic landscapes, Machico is a captivating stop for travelers seeking to delve into Madeira's past while enjoying its natural beauty.
10- Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, located on the eastern coast of Madeira, plays a pivotal role as the host of the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (Madeira Airport). For travelers arriving on the island, this town in Santa Cruz welcomes them with its vibrant oceanfront landscape. Not only is it a vital entry point for visitors, but Santa Cruz also offers a touch of history. The airport itself, named after the renowned Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, is a testament to Madeira's global significance. Established in 1964, it stands as a symbol of the island's modern infrastructure development and accessibility. As you explore Santa Cruz and its coastal charms, you'll be reminded of the convergence of tradition and contemporary convenience that characterizes Madeira's unique identity.
Santa Cruz also offers a stunning promenade and a pebble beach where locals and visitors alike come to enjoy leisurely walks and refreshing swims. It's a perfect place to soak in the local culture and natural beauty while taking in the tranquil atmosphere of this charming coastal town.
11- Cristo Rei Viewpoint in Ponta do Garajau
The Cristo Rei Viewpoint in Ponta do Garajau is a captivating destination for travelers visiting Madeira. Cristo Rei, the iconic Christ the King statue in Madeira, holds a special place in history as the very first of the Cristo Rei statues to be built. This magnificent statue was constructed in 1940, designed by architect Edmundo Tavares. It predates the more famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the Cristo Rei statue in Lisbon, Portugal. The statue stands as a symbol of faith and offers stunning panoramic views of Madeira and the surrounding landscapes from its elevated position at the Cristo Rei viewpoint. Visitors can admire the breathtaking scenery and appreciate the historical significance of this landmark, which paved the way for the creation of other Cristo Rei statues worldwide. The viewpoint provides an excellent vantage point to take in the breathtaking landscapes of Madeira. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views, making it a popular spot for photography and taking in the natural beauty of the island. The surrounding area also features a beautiful pebble beach and a cable car ride, enhancing the experience for travelers. It's a place to connect with nature, enjoy the coastal beauty, and capture memorable moments.