Funchal
Activities

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Our most recommended Funchal Activities

Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

1. Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

Take a scenic sail in a catamaran along the Madeira coast.  See dolphins, whales, and turtles playing in their natural habitat. Throughout the year Madeira has different aquatic mammals journeying through its blue waters. Whether you come in summer or winter, the chances are high you’ll see one these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season, and make use of the complimentary snorkeling equipment. Bar service is also available.

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Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching by Luxury Catamaran

2. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching by Luxury Catamaran

Make your way to Funchal Marina at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time to board a luxury catamaran. Once the group has gathered and all questions have been addressed, take a short walk to your boat for a safety briefing from the crew before boarding. Choose from the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and sun and wind protection, or the outdoor sun beds and trampoline nets. Then, sit back and relax as you sail out to sea and look back at the marina. Although sightings of the marine life cannot be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often seen in the waters around Funchal. Keep a look out as you cruise across the water while the crew is on hand to answer any questions about the variety of species you may encounter. Then, head to the towering cliffs of Cabo Girão, looming 1,902 feet (580 meters) above the sea. Drop anchor at Cabo Girão and take a dip in the waters to explore the sea life below the surface with your complimentary goggles and snorkel mask. Then, cruise at a leisurely pace back to Funchal Marina, sailing along the coastline for fantastic views of Madeira’s landscapes. Arrive back at Funchal Marina for the speedy disembarking process so that you can continue with your day unimpeded.

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Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

3. Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

The sun rises over your hotel as you set out on your walking tour adventure. Leaving from the comforts of your room in Funchal on the Madeira Islands, we'll drive you up to the third highest peak in Madeira - the magnificent Pico Arieiro. You'll sip coffee or a drink on your way up to the base of the peak, looking out at all the stunning beauty this place has to offer. As we head from sea level up to the base at 5,964ft (1818m), you'll pass beautiful flora and fauna. Finally, we'll begin our mighty walk up the mighty Pico Arieiro up to the highest point on the island, the Pico Ruivo peak at 6107 ft (1862m). Finally, we'll walk down to Teixeira where you'll be comfortably transferred back to your hotel. And of course, no day of hiking is complete without a drink at a traditional bar, so we'll make sure to stop at one with a spectacular view to enjoy the closing of your day!

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All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

4. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

Your 3-hour luxury catamaran tour begins at the docks of the new marina of Funchal. Board the catamaran and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before setting off. Sail into the ocean to find dolphins, whales, and turtles. Spot these creatures in their natural habitat. After sailing around spotting dolphins, whales and turtles enjoy a 30 minute stop next to Cabo Girão, the 1920 foot (586m) seaside cliff. Here you have a change o go swimming in the crystal clear waters. After a quick swim, you will get back on the boat where you can relax and enjoy the views of the coast of Funchal as you head back to the marina.

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Madeira Island: Swimming with Dolphins

5. Madeira Island: Swimming with Dolphins

In the crystal clear waters of Madeira Island, swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. With assistance from an expert team of guides and divers, learn about the specific approach techniques needed to interact with these amazingly intelligent creatures. Madeira's regulations for swimming with wild dolphins are quite strict in order to preserve the subtle natural balance that these magnificent animals deserve. It may be possible to swim with 2 species of dolphins: Common Dolphins and Spotted Dolphins. As you enter the water, you remain safely connected to the boat at all times. Glide along the waters and swim with the dolphins in front, below and next to you as you admire these beautiful mammals in their natural habitat and make unforgettable memories. 

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Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

6. Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

Depart from Funchal and head towards San Vicente along the north coast. Visit one of the most famous viewpoints, where you can look out to Porto Santo Island in clear weather. You will also be able to see the waterfall resembling a bride's veil, named Veu da Noiva. Next, stop at the natural volcanic pools in Seicxal, where you can swim in crystal waters. Also visit Porto Moniz's lava pools and Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau on the island at nearly 1500 meters high. This beautiful place provides stunning views and is an ideal spot for lunch. Visit Fanal, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal filled with centenary trees. As the last stop, go to Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Try out the suspended glass floor viewpoint. Finally, return to your accommodation. 

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Funchal: Yacht Tour with Dolphin and Whale Watching

7. Funchal: Yacht Tour with Dolphin and Whale Watching

You tour will start from the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. On this relaxing sailing trip you will be seaching for dolphins, whales and sea turtles up to 3 miles form the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in its natural environment.  You will stop to go swimming and snorkeling at Cabo Girao, the highest sea cliff in Europe at 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. If you don't want to swim, you can admire the beautiful coastal landscapes from the boat. You will be offered some drinks on board before heading back to the marina. 

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Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

8. Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel, start the day at Funchal Harbour where you will learn everything you need to know about kayaking before heading to the nature reserve. Upon arrival at Garajau, enjoy a 40-minute paddle towards Lazareto. Stop for a break on the beautiful pebble beach and take in the views of the surrounding rock features from times gone by. Afterwards, discover Madeira's native marine life as you snorkel through crystal-clear waters. In the event of poor weather conditions, you will have the opportunity to explore the sea from the safety of your kayak instead. Finish the day with a spot of cliff diving before heading back to your hotel for the evening.

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Funchal 3 in 1: 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

9. Funchal 3 in 1: 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Discover the extraordinary beauty of Madeira at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the yellow hop-on and hop-off sightseeing bus. Jump off at the sites in the capital of Funchal that interest you most, and get access to its surroundings, including the panoramic viewpoints of "The Pearl of the Atlantic." Jump off at any of the 30 stops along a route that takes you through Funchal’s quaint, cobblestone streets. Enjoy breathtaking views from observation points, such as the one at Pico dos Barcelos. Discover landmark monuments such as Town Hall Square and the Cathedral. Marvel at pretty gardens, and hop off at the Madeira Wine Museum to enjoy a glass of the island’s famous wine! The 3-in-1 ticket also provides access to the picturesque fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, thought to be the original landing point for the Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco. Gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean from Europe’s highest cliffs at Cabo Girão on a shuttle bus service from Câmara de Lobos.

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Botanical Garden Cable Car Ticket

10. Botanical Garden Cable Car Ticket

Climb aboard the Botanical Garden cable car and ride to the mountains surrounding the city of Funchal. Botanical garden cable car is situated between 10-12 minutes (by car) from Funchal city center. Start out near the Botanical Garden, located about 3 kilometers from the center of Funchal. The Botanical Garden was created in 1960 and quickly became one of the major attractions on the island of Madeira. The cable car will take you over the Valley of João Gomes Ribeira, passing forest-covered mountains. Take some spectacular photos of the Bay of Funchal, the surrounding mountains, and the sea. The ride takes approximately 15 minutes. Your trip ends at the village of Monte, at an elevation of 1,025 meters above sea level. Monte is a small village that was initially a health resort for the upper classes in the early 20th century. Today it is one of Funchal’s main attractions and the site for trying a toboggan ride down the hill. Depending on the option selected you can end your journey in Monte or take the cable car back to the Botanical Garden. The cable car was designed and operates in accordance with the most strict European and international security standards, ensuring that you can focus on enjoying the ride.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

Want to discover all there is to do in Funchal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Funchal

We were delighted to be guided by Sara for the second time this week. The walk is less popular than the others, which is an advance as a smaller group and less other groups all trying to see the same thing at the same time. This walk took us to several lagoons and stunning waterfalls as we made our way around the valley. We would book more trips with Lido tours as they are located near our hotel so easy to access. A wider variety of walk options would definitely be a welcome addition for our next trip to Maderia.

A great and varied day, full of laughter, good food and insider information. Lucy never hurried us(we got back well after six) and always seemed to have another little surprise up her sleeve. The lunch in Santana (included) was excellent value and really tasty. Lucy was a mine of information and it is very clear she loves her island, and passes this love on to her guests. Thank you Lucy. Elizabeth

Great to see dolphins in the open sea and guide explanation of the different species

Very good tour with a professional tour guide. Highly recommended!

Fantastic day out. Up high on of the old mountain roads