Add dates
Things to do in

Madeira

Local wine in the sun beckons between volcanic expeditions, hikes, and coastal trips on this island paradise.

Our most recommended things to do in Madeira

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.

Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

2. Madeira: Level-1 Canyoning Adventure

Madeira island is one of the top 5 places in the world for the practice of canyoning/canyoneering, and this is your opportunity to experience it first hand. Following pickup from your hotel, you'll head up to the mountains where you will receive your canyoning gear. After being decked out in your gear, it will be time for a small hike through some of the most impressive and exclusive nature that Madeira has to offer. As soon as your safety briefing concludes, it will be time to rappel down paradisaical waterfalls, where the mountain spring waters are always flowing. Along the canyon you'll also encounter natural swimming pools which you can swim in and even jump into. In some of the canyons you may also have the opportunity to slide down natural water slides. Once the activity ends you'll change back into your regular dry clothes, following which you'll be returned back to your accommodation.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

3. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

On this relaxing sailing trip get the chance to see dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in its natural environment. Swim, snorkel or sit back and admire the views, and enjoy a complimentary adult beverage. Your journey begins at the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. 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 on board and be able to admire the beautiful sunset over the sea.

From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

4. From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Go green with the #1 dolphin and whale watching experience in Madeira Island! Cruise on our brand new purpose-built eco-friendly catamaran and enjoy a comfortable cruise along the south coast of Madeira Island. Watch out for wonderful whales and dolphins jumping and splashing nearby. When sea life arrives our electric engines engage for silent emission free cruising which helps keep the cetaceans very happy! On this tour we will sail a few miles out of Funchal looking for all kinds of wildlife such as dolphins, whales, turtles and endemic birds. We often spot these animals jumping and splashing nearby and it’s always a great sight that never gets old!! Our certified guides will provide you with informative commentary and fun facts about the cetaceans and different species that you may find on your trip and in Madeira Island. On our way back, we sail close to the coast passing by many points of interest such Cabo Girão where you will enjoy stunning views of one of the highest sea cliffs in the world! Camara de Lobos Bay – a traditional fishing village; the world famous Reid’s Hotel where Winston Churchill used to stay during his visits to Madeira Island and much more! You will be able to sit back and take in the beautiful views of the south coast of Madeira Island. Magic Dolphin Eco is the only purpose built catamaran for dolphin and whale watching in Madeira Island. It was carefully developed to assure our passengers a safe, comfortable and unforgettable cruise! It is the only ecological catamaran with hybrid-electric engines for dolphin and whale watching, making it the best experience not only for our guests, but also for our beloved cetaceans! Bar service (2x) with drinks and snacks available; Toilets (2x) on deck wheelchair accessible; Two decks for better sightseeing; Fantastic upper deck providing 360° panoramic views! Great bridge deck shade area; Large nets and sea life observation area; Seating for everyone inside and out; Fast Catamaran – up to 20 knots; Modern safety construction 2022; Stable and comfortable cruising. We are one of very few companies to work with professional sealife spotters on land, providing the best possible chances of seeing them in their natural habitat and high quality observation! We are all about responsible dolphin and whale watching, and love sharing our knowledge with you! Join us and observe sealife the right way, in the wild! Note: The cetaceans in Madeira are wild and free, and it is simply not possible to guarantee their sighting. We observe cetaceans every day, however not always every trip. We will always do our best to find them, however if you are unlucky we will do our best to make you happy! Note: Please arrive to our office in Funchal Marina 30 minutes before departure. If you miss the boat, you will be refused a refund. Note: Cancelations/ Booking Changes must be made 24h prior to departure time.

Transfer Pico do Arieiro–Pico Ruivo Self-Guided Hike

5. Transfer Pico do Arieiro–Pico Ruivo Self-Guided Hike

Enjoy an affordable and flexible transfer to Pico do Arieiro to enjoy the famous hike all the way to Pico Ruivo. Trek up to the highest and second-highest mountains on Madeira at your own pace and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Instructions will be given by the host, regarding schedules and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, you will receive the exact pickup time and a weather forecast, in order for you to be as prepared as you can be. Get picked up at your accommodation in Funchal and dropped off at the entrance to Pico do Arieiro to begin your self-guided hike. Experience the most amazing natural scenery as you walk from mountain to mountain on the #1 hiking trail on Madeira Island. Once you're finished exploring, the end of the hike and pick-up location is at Achada do Teixeira, in the parking lot area. On the way back to your accommodation, pass through the city of Santana for close-up views of the traditional triangular homes and you will have a tasting and the end of the hike, produced by locals.

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

6. Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

When you’re in Portugal make sure to experience this exciting catamaran boat to Deserta and Farol islands that will take you through the spectacular nature of the Ria Formosa. Come see why this region was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Depart from the Marina of Faro sailing slowly through the channels of the Ria Formosa to fully enjoy the beautiful landscape. Along the tour you will see birds like the Grey Heron, the White Stork and many other birds that use this area as a feeding habitat. As you approach the islands and beaches you see the lighthouse of Culatra Island where you make our first stop. Looking around, one can observe the hard work of the people in the oyster and clam farms. A closer look towards the coastline and you will notice the market of the city of Olhão - an important fishing town. And off toward the ocean you can glimpse one of the most important sea entrances of the Ria Formosa. The next stop is Farol Island. Here, you can enjoy a walk around the streets of this small but friendly community. When passing by the lighthouse, go on until the very end to admire an extensive beach of fine white sand washed by calm warm waters. Leave the Farol Island and make your second stop at Deserta Island. This island is also known as Barreta Island. Here lies the most southern point of Portugal - the Santa Maria Cape. In this second stop you can choose to explore the fauna and flora of the island by an easy walk or simply enjoy the sunshine and bathe in the clear waters of the beach.

Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

7. Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Experience the most amazing natural scenery as you walk from mountain to mountain on a hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo. Walk at your own pace with total freedom as you enjoy the fantastic views. Start with pickup from your accomodation. Before your hike, receive instructions from your host regarding schedules and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, you will receive the exact pickup time and a weather forecast, in order for you to be as prepared as you can be. On the way back to your accommodation, pass through the city of Santana for close-up views of the traditional triangular homes and you will have a tasting and the end of the hike, produced by locals.

Madeira Canyoning Adventure - Intermédio (Nível 2)

8. Madeira Canyoning Adventure - Intermédio (Nível 2)

Start with pickup from Funchal, Canico or Câmara De Lobos and drive to the canyoning location. Meet your guides and receive all your equipment for the activity. Take a 20-minute walk to the entrance of a stream where the first safety briefing will take place. Along the way, abseil down breath-taking waterfalls, jump and swim in beautiful natural pools, always surrounded by incredible landscapes. With natural water slides, abseiling, and jumps into natural rock pools the canyons are sure to make your heart skip a beat. The beginning of the stream has some vertical challenges (20m), small walking sections, and many play areas. The river will be flowing by the entire time with several optional jumps. The challenge continues following a quick snack break with waterfalls. Guides will take pictures and videos of your experience throughout the day, to be sent to you afterward. At the end of the trip, there will be transportation to bring you back to the park where you began your adventure.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

9. 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.

Madeira: New Years Eve Fireworks Catamaran Cruise

10. Madeira: New Years Eve Fireworks Catamaran Cruise

Depart from Funchal Marina at 11:00 PM and take a short cruise along the coastline of Madeira to see the beautiful Christmas lights. Return to the bay in order to find the perfect location to watch the fantastic firework display. Ring in the New Year with a toast with champagne and Madeira wine on board. Enjoy a firework display that was once awarded the best in the world. After enjoying the celebrations, return to the marina at 1:00 AM.

Other Sightseeing Options in Madeira

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

What people are saying about Madeira

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9,272 reviews

Diego was an excellent tour guide who managed to make 3 very different couples feel at ease. He broke the ice with his humour bringing much joy to the trip. His knowledge of the very beautiful Madeira was prolific and enlightening swinging from English to Portuguese with great ease. It was a long day and the off road travel was exhilarating but you will need to hold on tight!! We seemed to cover a great deal of the island my favourite being Camara de Lobos fishing village... Porto Moniz was a bit too touristy for me but overall the tour provided a good idea of the essence of the island. My daughter and I had a wonderful time and would heartily recommend it.

We were a bit unlucky with the weather because it rained almost the whole time, but it was still a very nice and unforgettable experience that we were able to have with our guide Miguel. He told us a lot on the way and after the hike he also let us make a small poncha stop! We recommend :)

Really enjoyed this tour, fab day out and Diego our guide was great, giving us all information on the beautiful island of Maderia. Highly recommend this tour. Tip, bring a sweater or Jacket, can get a bit chilly up the mountain but only for a short time.

Such a fun way to see so many great places on the west side of Madeira! From the 4x4 jungles ride, to the narrow old roads, to the refreshing natural seawater pools in Porto Moniz and the landscape of the Hobbits, I can really recommend this trip.

Great hike to start. Transport and guide was excellent. Highly recommended.