Things to do in
Porto da Cruz

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Our most recommended things to do in Porto da Cruz

Tour of Eastern Madeira

1. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Immerse yourself in the history of Madeira. Starting with pick-up from the lobby of your hotel, make your way to the Camacha Wickerwork Factory, (Closed at the moment due to Covid). Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests into the black forest of Madeira overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters.  Taking the old road of Faial, Santana will be the next stop, where you can see the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue on to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (includes rum tasting) and the village, where the rough black sandy beach is appealing to all surfers. 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 where the rock formations will astound you. Your tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

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From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

2. From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

Begin this full-day 4x4 tour with a pick-up at your hotel in Funchal and travel deep into the southeast of Madeira. You’ll come to Machico town and the line that divides the north and south of the island. Take in breathtaking views of the Eagles Rock from Portela. Drive down, stopping in Porto da Cruz, which is the next must-see point. Visit a sugar cane factory, continue to the Faial coastline and then up to see the typical houses of Santana. These small straw-thatched triangular houses are emblematic of Madeira and intricate in their construction. Head down into the valley and through the forest to Riveiro Frio at an elevation of 1818 meters, the third-highest peak on the Island.

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Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

3. 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.

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Funchal: Madeira Island Group Surf Lesson

4. Funchal: Madeira Island Group Surf Lesson

Join a surf lesson in the clear Atlantic waters off Madeira Island, and learn the fun sport for the first time or hone your surfing skills with an expert instructor. Enjoy the ease of a hotel pickup from Funchal, and be directly dropped off at the best surfing spots on the island. Kick-start your lesson with a warm up and a technical demonstration on the beach before hitting the water to catch some waves. Feel the cool waters beneath your gliding board, and the adrenaline course through you after catching your first wave. Enjoy the top surfing spots for beginners on Madeira Island, including Praia do Seixal, Praia de Machico, and Porto da Cruz, where your instructor will bring you to make sure you get the best experience possible.

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Madeira: Private Half-Day Guided Gardens Tour

5. Madeira: Private Half-Day Guided Gardens Tour

Embark on a half-day tour dedicated to the Madeira's gardens, one of the island's greatest treasures. Visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden and be impressed by its beauty and diverse culture. See traces of Portugal's history since the reign of its first king, D. Afonso Henriques. Wander through the Monte Palace, which occupies an area of 70.000 square meters and houses an exotic collection of plants from different regions in the world. Watch swans and ducks floating on the lake as well as peacocks and chickens walking freely in the main areas of the property. Visit the museum inside the palace that houses a unique collection of minerals and gems.  The tour ends in the Botanical Garden, founded in 1960 by a Madeiran Botanist. Find more than 2500 species of plants from different parts in the world, all brought together in the “Garden of the Atlantic.”

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Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike

6. Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike

Once having been collected from your Madeira accommodation, drive through the mountains before arriving to Ribeiro Frio. Following a short but grandeur walk through the beautiful Laurisilva Forest, arrive to the fabulous Balcões’ belvedere. From this belvedere it’s possible to contemplate the many peaks of Madeira Island, from which Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro stand the highest. Pico do Gato, Pico das Torres, and the well-known Penhad’Águia also constitute part of this breathtaking scenery. This area is also ideal for bird watching, due to the fact that it is home to a huge variety of different species. These birgs include the firecrest, the chaffinch, grey wagtails, blackbirds, robins, buzzards, and the very rare Madeira's long-toed pigeon.

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Madeira: Private North Island Tour

7. Madeira: Private North Island Tour

Begin your tour by heading north along the old roads and admire the breathtaking scenic views of the sea along the way as you travel through north east Madeira. You will arrive at Santana next, home of the island’s famous thatched houses that have existed here for many years, having become synonymous with Madeira. Continue the tour onto Faial and stop by a local viewpoint to marvel at the majestic landscape of the valley, then head to Porto da Cruz and learn about the emblematic sugarcane mills here that are still in operation today. Visit a stunning viewpoint in Ponta de São Lourenço next and see the separation between the north and south of the island. The final stop of the tour takes you to Pico do Facho to relax in front of the incredible views across the bay of Machico, the first city of Madeira.

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From Funchal: 4x4 Tour of Eastern Madeira

8. From Funchal: 4x4 Tour of Eastern Madeira

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.

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Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

9. Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

Start the day with a convenient pickup from your accommodation or the cruise port of Funchal and depart with your private guide to the first stop of tour at São Vicente, where you'll see a beautiful sight over the valley. Continue along the north coast as you go to Chão da Ribeira, another beautiful spot where you can appreciate more of the valley within the Laurisilva of Madeira, the largest surviving area of laurel forest on the island. Advancing toward the north end of the region, you’ll reach the viewpoint of Ribeira da Janela where you can appreciate the contrast betweens the mountains with the sea. Finally, visit Achadas da Cruz, a place that marks the transition between the north coast and the south of the island. If you wish, you can ride the cable car and visit one of the most beautiful and quiet places on the island constructed from landslides and lava flows.

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Madeira: Private 6-Kilometer Alecrim Levada Hike

10. Madeira: Private 6-Kilometer Alecrim Levada Hike

Once having been collected from your Madeira accommodation, your day out in nature will begin. At the beginning of the descent to the house of Rabaçal, you will discover the entrance to this magnificent journey. It is a short walk of 6 kilometers, which is accessible to anyone. Throughout the hike you can enjoy fantastic views over the Rabaçal. As you hike towards the beginning of the levada, you can enjoy the vast vegetation composed mainly by the Urze and the Uveira da Serra, as well as several species of local fauna of which various birds and cows are the highlights. Enjoy the walk to the beautiful lakes and waterfalls that emerge along the way, where the wonderful Lagoa Dona Beja stands out. Complete with a waterfall that feeds the Lagoa do Vento, you will be able to take pictures of the lagoon before making your way back to the hike's start point. At the conclusion of your hike, you will be returned back to your accommodation.

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Frequently asked questions about Porto da Cruz

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What people are saying about Porto da Cruz

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 226 reviews

Lucy was a fun, knowledgeable and very competent guide. By the 3nd of the tour we felt we were parting as friends more than clients. Would most definitely use her again. Thank you Lucy for a fantastic day.

Schöne Tour im klimatisierten Minibus. Man hat eigentlich alles gesehen. Es wird auch einfach so Mal angehalten, wenn es zB was interessantes am Strassenrand gibt.

Amazing! Loved every second of it! Monica and the surf instructors were so kind and helpful. Could’t get enough of it! Would highly recommend to anyone in Maderia

Fantastic in all ways, really recommend this trip! One full day of adventure, & we were lucky to experience all kind of weather & different climate zone.

Top Erlebnis, die alten Straßen von Madeira Offroad zu befahren. Viele Sehenswürdigkeiten und auch "lokale" Stops Abseits der Tourimassen.