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Things to do in Faial

Our most recommended things to do in Faial

Tour of Eastern Madeira

1. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Start with pick-up from the hotel and drive through Funchal's steep roads. Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters. The centenary Forest covered by the old trees (Laurisilva) is a must and a short walk along the Levada Madeiras water channels can be taken as an option. Taking the old road of Faial overlooking the eagles rock mountain, Santana will be the next stop. Visit the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Make a stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (with rum tasting) and explore the village. See the rough black sandy beach popular for surfers. In July and August, enjoy the chance to swim in the famous saltwater. Then, travel along the North Coast where sugar cane terraces are still visible. See the old capital of Madeira, Machico, where the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the 15th century, before heading to Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern point cape of the island.  The tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

2. Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

Terreiro da Luta - To start we take you to a viewpoint with a beautiful view above Funchal Bay. Pico Areeiro - We continue the tour to the magnificent Pico do Areeiro mountain at 1818 meters altitude. Ribeiro Frio - Here you will enjoy a small ( 30 - 40 minute) Levada Walk until a beautiful viewpoint. If you are not a walking person, you can enjoy this stop to visit the Trout nursery. Santana - This stop is the bigger one. You can take advantage of this 1h30m to 2h00 stop to lunch and visit the Santana village. Faial - At this viewpoint you can admire the wonderful northeast coast view. Porto da Cruz - At this small village the stop is around 20 to 30 minutes. Here you can visit the North Mills Distillary and taste the local rum. Ponta São Lourenço - The ponta do Rosto is a must see viewpoint. It's situated at the eastiest part of the Island and gives you astonishing views over the North and South Madeira Sea and sometimes also of Porto Santo Island. Machico - This astounishing day ends with a passage through Machico city.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

3. Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

This tour of the east side of Madeira island is designed to show guests how truly magical it is. Come and be awed by its spectacular beauty. To begin the day, pick-up is from the hotel at 8:00 to 9:00. The first stop will be at a viewpoint above Funchal. Continue to Camacha, famous for its beautiful wicker works, and stop to have a look around and then take a scenic drive up to Poiso where the start of the Laurissilva forest can be found. After this, make your way to the majestic views of Pico do Arieiro. Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island, standing 1818 meters. Next is what some consider to be the most beautiful spot on the island, Ribeiro Frio. Here you will visit a trout farm and do a levada walk to the Balcões. Following the walk, make your way to Santana to see its famous A-framed cottages and then continue along the northern coastal road to Faial. Stop for lunch in the northern part of the island. After lunch, carry on to the eastern part of the island, to the famous viewpoint of Pico do Facho. From here you will have incredible views of Ponta de São Lourenco, Machico and the airport. On a good day one can see the Desertas Islands as well Porto Santo, the small island adjacent to Madeira. The last stop will be a famous viewpoint above Machico. You will arrive back to Funchal by 17:00.

Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

4. Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

Explore Madeira Island in a unique and active way on this Land Rover 4x4 trip. Prepare to see breathtaking views, visit hidden places that you can’t reach by yourself, and collect memories you’ll never forget. Visit the Laurissilva Forest and Pico do Arieiro. Start your trip by departing from Funchal in the direction of Camacha Village, where you can visit the basketwork factory. Then, continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412 meters. Climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third-highest peak at a height of 1,818 meters. This is one of the most beautiful places in Madeira, with unbeatable views of the island. Stay here for a while and walk around. Later, descend to Ribeiro Frio and reach the Laurissilva Forest to visit the trout nursery. Continue the adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana where you’ll get to visit the typical straw houses (colmo). After this stop, descend to the village of Faial with views down to the sea, then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. This part of the Island is much drier and arid, but with a unique beauty due to its cliffs and colors. End your trip with drop-off back in Funchal.

Madeira 2 Full-Day & 1 Half-Day 4x4 jipe Special Tour Combo

5. Madeira 2 Full-Day & 1 Half-Day 4x4 jipe Special Tour Combo

Get the most out of your time in Madeira with this special combo experience, featuring 2 full-day tours of east and west Madeira and 1 central half-day trip. Explore Pico do Areeiro, Seixal, São Vicente, Porto Moniz, and more. Visit a sugar cane rum factory, taste drinks at a local bar, and join a levada walk. East Tour (Mondays and Thursdays)During the east tour, go to one of the highest mountains on the Island, Pico do Areeiro, then go to Ribeiro Frio and take a 45-minute walk along the levada to the Balcões viewpoint. Back to the jeep, travel through Roque do Faial, Cruzinhas, and Lombo Galego. Arriving at Cova da Roda through alternative roads and off-roads, pass through Pico das Pedras right in the middle of the natural park. Heading towards Santana, you’ll see typical local houses and take a break for lunch (not included). In the afternoon, drive towards Faial, heading to Porto da Cruz. Visit the local sugar-cane rum factory, then end the day with a visit to Ponta de São Lourenço, a natural reserve with rock formations and panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean. West Tour (Tuesdays and Fridays)Depart from Funchal towards the village of Ribeira Brava. After a short stop for sightseeing, start climbing towards Paúl da Serra, a plateau in the center of the island with memorable views. To arrive, you’ll drive off-road and go through Ponta do Sol and Canhas, two picturesque villages. Potentially take another short levada walk (approximately 20 minutes), then, in Paúl da Serra, at 1500 meters, start the descent through Fanal, an area with laurel forest classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrive at a viewpoint in Ribeira da Janela with breathtaking views. At Porto Moniz, be greeted with the unique scenery built by the natural swimming pools. These pools were created by volcanic lava and have crystal-clear waters thanks to the sea. Here, you’ll stop for a lunch (not included). After recharging from lunch, carry on near the coast towards Seixal and São Vicente. Finish off the day at 1007-meters high at the Encumeada Viewpoint, next to a mountain range that allows for views over the deep valleys of Ribeira Brava (south coast) and São Vicente (north coast). End your second tour with a return to Funchal. Central Tour (Wednesdays)Leaving Funchal, venture towards Nuns Valley (Curral das Freiras) to a small visit and a villa with a unique geographic location on Madeira Island, situated in a deep valley that resembles a volcano crater. The resemblance is due to strong erosion. After this stop, travel to Boca dos Namorados, a viewpoint at 1100 meters over Nuns Valley, allowing viewers to behold from above the one-of-a-kind scenery. Continue off-road through a trail to feel nature in its purest state. Then, make a short stop in a typical Madeiran bar to try the famous Poncha, a traditional drink made of sugar cane rum, orange juice, lemon juice, and fresh lemon (costs not included). 

From Funchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Houses

6. From Funchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Houses

Discover more of Madeira with a 4x4 excursion to the eastern part of the island. Travel from Funchal to see sights like Pico do Areeiro peak and Ponta de São Lourenço natural reserve. See how rum is made with a visit to a sugar cane factory. Be picked up from your hotel in Funchal and drive to the Pico do Areeiro to see the views from the third highest peak on the island. Continue to the charming Ribeiro Frio village. Take a leisurely walk to Balcões viewpoint in the lush heart of the Laurissilva forest. Jump back in the jeep and drive through São Roque do Faial parish, Cruzinhas viewpoint, and the mountain village of Lombo Galego. Take the off-road trail Cova da Roda. Pass through Pico das Pedras right in the middle of the Ponta de São Lourenço reserve. Head towards Santana, where you can go get lunch. Visit the Porto da Cruz sugarcane rum factory. Finish with panoramic views of the Atlantic at the reserve.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

7. Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

Head out from Funchal on a full-day tour of Madeira’s north-east. Leaving the town behind, stop in São Vicente, and take in amazing 360-degree views. Marvel at the contrast of colors from the vineyards. Enjoy a drive along serpentine roads and through forests. Discover the unique scenery of the area from an open-top 4X4 vehicle. Before lunch, visit a water mill and see the traditional thatched houses of Santana. Stop to enjoy lunch in idyllic surroundings, and later visit a sugar cane and rum factory, where you can taste the local rum. Finish your tour in Caniçal, where you’ll have spectacular views of Ponta São Lourenço – the eastern part of the island.

From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

8. From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

Explore the wonders of Madeira on this guided minibus trip from Funchal to the east side of the island. Visit Camacha, Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, Faial, Machico, and more. Enjoy a long stop in the village of Santana to see local life and have time for lunch. Enjoy a great start to the tour by visiting Camacha, one of the most rural and rustic villages in Madeira where folklore is still hugely in practice. Camacha makes Madeira world-renowned for its industry of wicker and cane. The next stop is Pico do Areeiro, the third highest peak on the island with an altitude of 1818 m, where you can take in unbeatable 360-degree island views. Often, rocky formations can be seen to be piercing through the clouds creating one-of-a-kind visuals and photo opportunities. Next, move on to Ribeiro Frio (meaning cold river). Ribeiro Frio is a small village situated in the heart of the Laurissilva forest. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest in the world and is believed to be 90% primary forest. In this classified UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, you can enjoy a variety of plants and species in their natural habitat. Get the chance to also observe a trout farm made up (as naturally as possible) of stone enclosures and fresh flowing levada water, set against a backdrop of pure nature. The tour continues to Faial, where you can view the imposing rock of Penha de Águia, which separates Faial from Porto da Cruz. With a lengthy stop at the village of Santana next, you will have ample time for lunch and to see Madeira’s world-famous typical thatched roved triangular houses, painted in happy primary colors. Pass by Portela en route to Ponta São Lourenço, which is situated in the most eastern part of the island. Take in the unique landscape characterized by the fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature. Your final stop is the larger city of Machico, the first area of the Island that the Portuguese navigators came across. Later, return round-trip to your pickup location in Funchal. 

Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

9. Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

Journey from the center of Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio, two of the main points of interest on Madeira Island, visited not only by tourists but also by residents. Walk through a forest road passing by the Trout Fishing Park, where you can relax for a while, having a tea or simply enjoying the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the amazing nature at the Levada, enjoying every step while you appreciate the wide variety of endemic flora and fauna of Madeira Laurisilva. Discover open areas that offer magnificent views of the valley and peaks of the island. Continue walking along the levada, enjoying the energy of all this pure nature surround you.

From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

10. From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

Discover the best of Madeira Island with this Jeep safari tour. Customize the route to see the Sea, Mountains, Cliffs, and Laurissilva Forest (North-East part of the island). Leave Funchal in the direction of the village da Camacha where you can visit the basketwork factory. Continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412m and climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro at a height of 1818m for mesmerizing panoramic views. Then, descend to Ribeiro Frio in the Laurissilva Forest and visit the trout nursery. Continue your adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana to explore the typical straw houses (Colmo). Descend to the village of Faial for amazing views down to the sea and then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. Finish off with a transfer back to Funchal.

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What people are saying about Faial

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 91 reviews

It was an amazing Christmas Eve day with our tour guide Lucy. She is so welcoming and fun, while She has so much knowledge about Madeira. We saw some of the most beautiful parts of the island and Lucy made the whole day an experience to remember forever. Highly recommended !!

If you want to go and see the city of Santana, this is the right experience. There are many very interesting intermediate stages (as described). The included meal is very filling and of excellent quality!

a very interesting route to some of the main sights. Mr. Vítor, the driver, was also an excellent tour guide. The seven-seater car is modern and very comfortable. I recommend.

Excellent views but little bit windy on the top. Guide was very knowledgeable and expensive. Will definitely use the service again.

Fantastic excursion! Recommended! Madeira is a beautiful island