Funchal
Outdoor Sports

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Our most recommended Funchal Outdoor Sports

Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

1. 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

2. 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.

Madeira Day Trip: Levada Walk in the Rabaçal Valley

3. 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.

From Funchal: Madeira Peaks Mountain Walk

4. From Funchal: Madeira Peaks Mountain Walk

Hike through the three highest peaks in Madeira. See rock formations that look like giant sculptures stretching towards heaven. Get breathtaking views on almost every step of your journey. Discover a profusion of unique plants and fragile flowers in their natural habitat, and be dazzled by the myriad colors in the springtime. Walk through Madeira's oldest heather forest near Pico Ruivo, and see ancient trees that were alive when Zarco landed on Madeira for the first time. Admire the peak of Pico Ruivo, famous as the highest point on the island and known for its views from coast to coast.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

5. 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: Half-Day Coasteering Tour

6. 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.

Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

7. Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

Your scuba diving adventure will begin with a short theory lesson about the practice of diving before doing a trial dive in the shallow waters of the swimming pool.  Once you feel comfortable and know how to handle the equipment, you’ll be ready for the real deal. Your diving instructor will take you for an exhilarating dive out in the sea to explore the spectacular underwater world of Madeira. The dive itself will last about 45 minutes at a maximum depth of 12 meters. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a certificate of participation to make your next underwater adventure an absolute breeze.

From Funchal: Ponta de São Lourenço/Caniçal Full-Day Hike

8. From Funchal: Ponta de São Lourenço/Caniçal Full-Day Hike

Join a tranquil walk along a trail at the eastern end of the island in Caniçal, part of the Natural Park of the island. On this full-day walk, take the opportunity to see both the north and south coasts of Madeira. Discover and enjoy the unique fauna and flora, including hundreds of species, or take a moment to explore the curious rock formations, created as a result of the volcanic origin of the island. Witness the rocky and contrasting alternative to the evergreen levada paths. Enjoy magnificent views over the Desertas islands in the south, and Porto Santo to the north, excellent sights which are present all through your walk.  At the end of the walk, take the chance to go for a swim in the clear ocean, making your tour a unique and memorable experience.

Madeira Island: Caldeirão Verde Levada Walk

9. Madeira Island: Caldeirão Verde Levada Walk

Caldeirão Verde means green cauldron in Portuguese and well describes the environs of this 6.5-kilometer walk. This half-day levada walk takes you through the highest area of Santana. A levada is an aqueduct or irrigation channel that is unique to the island of Madeira. This is without doubt one of the most beautiful levadas on Madeira. Located in the Laurissilva forest the highlights of the trail include fantastic views of São Jorge and a series of tunnels of natural basaltic rock. Start out in the emerald green Queimadas rainforest and enjoy scenic views over villages as you follow alongside the winding levada and through 5 short natural tunnels. When you arrive at Caldeirão Verde you’ll marvel at the majestic waterfall.

From Funchal: Skywalk & Rabacal 25 Fountains Levada Walk

10. From Funchal: Skywalk & Rabacal 25 Fountains Levada Walk

Depart Funchal and journey west to the Paul da Serra viewpoint in Calheta. Upon arrival, embark on a hike of the famous Levada das 25 Fontes e Risco walk and encounter the amazing waterfalls that give the nature trail its name. Then, go to Pico da Urze for lunch in a typical restaurant at your own expense. Continue off-road to the village of Ponta do Sol to see the stunning south coast of Madeira. Get bird's eye views from the coastal town of Ribeira Brava. Make your way to the highest cliff in Europe at Cabo Girão for stunning vistas 580 meters above sea level.

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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 !

Thanks to Charlotte for her kindness and joy ! We really like the hiking through Madeira. Beautiful landscapes and paths. Thank you!

Very pleasant drive with the car and a nice travel companion who took care of everything.