Funchal
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Funchal Outdoor Activities

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

1. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of Madeira coastline and look for marine life on this catamaran cruise from Funchal. Snorkel through schools of silver fish with high-quality snorkeling gear. Look for dolphins while sipping on a drink purchased from the onboard bar. 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 of these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season or catch a glimpse of the world beneath the waves with the provided snorkeling equipment. Relax on deck with a refreshing drink from the onboard bar.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

2. Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

Arrive at Marina Nova Funchal 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time and board a luxury catamaran. Receive some safety information from the experienced crew. Choose to sit in the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and protection from the sun, and lounge chairs or outdoor hammocks. Afterward, sit back and relax as you sail towards the open sea. Although sightings of marine species can not be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often found in the waters around Funchal. Keep an eye on the movements in the water whilst the crew answers any questions about the variety of species. Continue up to the high cliffs of Cabo Girão, which rise 580 meters above sea level. Anchor the boat at Cabo Girão and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters to explore underwater marine life with a snorkel. Then, stroll at a leisurely pace around the Marina of Funchal, and marvel at the fantastic views of Madeira's landscapes. Return to Funchal Marina Nova for a quick landing process and continue to enjoy your day after the tour.

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!

Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

4. Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

Rabaçal is a nature reserve on the island of Madeira that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It is an area of intense natural beauty, brimming with waterfalls and unique flora and plant life, all of which you can experience on this wonderful guided walk. The 25 Fountains Walk starts by heading down the biggest valley of Madeira towards the Rabaçal reserve. Along the way you will walk along two of the oldest Madeira levadas each boasting a remarkable evergreen landscape with beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout. The 25 fountains refer to the 25 natural springs you will discover on the walk. Each spring falls into a small crystal clear lake surrounded by dense vegetation. Once you arrive here you may never want to leave! In this paradise-like oasis you'll be immersed in beautiful surronds, listening to the murmuring sounds of the water and the quiet chanting of the birds. For nature lovers this walk is an invitation into a unique and awe-inspiring slice of heaven. Rabaçal is a paradise of waterfalls, lakes and enchanting fountains and there is no better way to experience it than on a guided walk.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

5. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

Your journey begins at 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 searching for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in their natural environment.  There will be a stop to go swimming and snorkeling at Cabo Girão. Here, you can see the highest sea cliff in Europe, which towers 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. If you don't want to swim, you can simply admire the beautiful coastal landscapes from the boat. You will be offered one complimentary drink onboard and be able to admire the beautiful sunset over the sea.

All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

6. 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.

Madeira Day Trip: Levada Walk in the Rabaçal Valley

7. Madeira Day Trip: Levada Walk in the Rabaçal Valley

Depart Funchal and journey to the start of your walk, where you will follow the routes of the "levada" irrigation system developed in the 16th century by Madeira's first settlers. Descend from the plateau of Paul da Serra to the Rabaçal guesthouse and walk to the waterfall of the Levada do Risco. Continue towards the Levada das 25 Fontes, dominated by moorland at its highest point. Walk until you reach a small lagoon at the bottom of an enormous cliff, and marvel at the sight of 25 natural springs cascading into the lake. Return along a different path, passing through a tunnel that carries water to the south of the island. Admire a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna along the way.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

8. 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.

Funchal: Yacht Tour with Dolphin and Whale Watching

9. 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. 

Madeira: Half-Day Coasteering Tour

10. Madeira: Half-Day Coasteering Tour

"Coasteering" is a sports activity that allows one to progress along the coast, whether along a beach or a cliff. Along the way you can make use of swimming, diving, snorkeling, climbing, traveling through caves or tunnels, and jumping into the water. Madeira has excellent conditions for this sport due to its lava and rocks shores, allowing visitors to swim in the crystal clear warm water. The waters form pristine views, with the mountain flowing almost into the sea. These activities take place in the southeast coast of Madeira, specifically in Baia d’Abra (Caniçal), a natural park of breathtaking beauty. The jumps, which are all optional, are between 1 and 10 meters high. Coasteering can be done by families, groups, or individuals of all ages, providing they can swim. Throughout the whole route, participants will be led by the guides and instructors who will assist everyone in terms of safety techniques and all procedures.

Frequently asked questions about Funchal Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in Funchal?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

This trip is fabulous. Leanna was a fabulous guide, setting the expectation about the walk clearly at the beginning and at regular intervals throughout the walk. Along the way she gave a host of really interesting information about the route, surrounding nature and Madeira. The wal itself and views are epic. I'm not an avid walker, but am of decent fitness and found it okay, but the 400 steep stairs towards the end are a challenge. You get an hour at the peak to spend as you like and lunch above the clouds is sublime. I read a couple of reviews before booking saying they felt rushed - I couldn't disagree more. The pace of the walk was very moderate and understanding of all walking abilities, especially the second half which is pretty much all uphill. I didn't feel rushed once. You can take as many pictures as you like and catch up, no questions asked. Would definitely recommend.

Nice 11km walk next to the Levadas. Not too much training needed as it was mostly going down or flat. Last part through a tunnel. Not advisable for people with extreme fear of heights or claustrophobia. All our group (18 people) enjoyed a lot. One person from another group had to return because of fear of heights - this was taken care of very professionally with an alternate route and I think the person enjoyed also in the end.

Nicolas has been an amazing instructor with my friend and I. It was my friend’s first time diving, and he was stressed about breathing underwater. Nicolas has been patient, king, educative and attentive which helped my friend to dive properly and to really enjoy his first dive. Thank you so much Nicolas !

Such a lovely tour, the staff are so friendly and knowledgable. Great day out and way to see the island

Fun and relaxing trip with the crew of the Pearl. Dolphins swimming with the boat, amazing.