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Things to do in Porto da Cruz

Our most recommended things to do in Porto da Cruz

Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

1. Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

Discover the diverse landscapes of Madeira on a day-long tour. Wander charming towns, enjoy panoramic views and learn about the area from your expert guide. Depart from the meeting point at Funchal's Lido or take advantage of a free hotel pick-up in selected areas. The first stop is at the beautiful viewpoint of Terreiro da Luta, located a few kilometers outside Funchal. Next, drive toward the mountain of Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1,818 meters, the third highest peak on the island offers breathtaking views. Once you've been to the highest drivable peak in Madeira, head back down through the forest on the way to the coast. Admire some of Madeira's emblematic straw-roof houses, pass pretty villages and get stunning seascape views. Arrive at the very eastern point of the island for some superb panoramas of the north and south coasts. Discover the popular start point for the levada walks, Ribeiro Frio, on the northern slopes of the island. See interesting trout pools and original vegetation. Madeira was once completely covered by laurissilva forest, a relic from prehistoric times. Stop for lunch in Santana, characterized by its small, thatched triangular houses. Past Portela go towards Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island. This is a place where a fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature combine. The last town to be visited is Machico, a viewpoint where you can look over the bay and the golden sandy beach.

Tour of Eastern Madeira

2. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Start with pick-up from the hotel and drive through Funchal's steep roads. Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters. The centenary Forest covered by the old trees (Laurisilva) is a must and a short walk along the Levada Madeiras water channels can be taken as an option. Taking the old road of Faial overlooking the eagles rock mountain, Santana will be the next stop. Visit the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Make a stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (with rum tasting) and explore the village. See the rough black sandy beach popular for surfers. In July and August, enjoy the chance to swim in the famous saltwater. 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.  The tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

3. Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

Terreiro da Luta - To start we take you to a viewpoint with a beautiful view above Funchal Bay. Pico Areeiro - We continue the tour to the magnificent Pico do Areeiro mountain at 1818 meters altitude. Ribeiro Frio - Here you will enjoy a small ( 30 - 40 minute) Levada Walk until a beautiful viewpoint. If you are not a walking person, you can enjoy this stop to visit the Trout nursery. Santana - This stop is the bigger one. You can take advantage of this 1h30m to 2h00 stop to lunch and visit the Santana village. Faial - At this viewpoint you can admire the wonderful northeast coast view. Porto da Cruz - At this small village the stop is around 20 to 30 minutes. Here you can visit the North Mills Distillary and taste the local rum. Ponta São Lourenço - The ponta do Rosto is a must see viewpoint. It's situated at the eastiest part of the Island and gives you astonishing views over the North and South Madeira Sea and sometimes also of Porto Santo Island. Machico - This astounishing day ends with a passage through Machico city.

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.

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

5. 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.

Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

6. Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

Explore Madeira Island in a unique and active way on this Land Rover 4x4 trip. Prepare to see breathtaking views, visit hidden places that you can’t reach by yourself, and collect memories you’ll never forget. Visit the Laurissilva Forest and Pico do Arieiro. Start your trip by departing from Funchal in the direction of Camacha Village, where you can visit the basketwork factory. Then, continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412 meters. Climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third-highest peak at a height of 1,818 meters. This is one of the most beautiful places in Madeira, with unbeatable views of the island. Stay here for a while and walk around. Later, descend to Ribeiro Frio and reach the Laurissilva Forest to visit the trout nursery. Continue the adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana where you’ll get to visit the typical straw houses (colmo). After this stop, descend to the village of Faial with views down to the sea, then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. This part of the Island is much drier and arid, but with a unique beauty due to its cliffs and colors. End your trip with drop-off back in Funchal.

Madeira 2 Full-Day & 1 Half-Day 4x4 jipe Special Tour Combo

7. Madeira 2 Full-Day & 1 Half-Day 4x4 jipe Special Tour Combo

Get the most out of your time in Madeira with this special combo experience, featuring 2 full-day tours of east and west Madeira and 1 central half-day trip. Explore Pico do Areeiro, Seixal, São Vicente, Porto Moniz, and more. Visit a sugar cane rum factory, taste drinks at a local bar, and join a levada walk. East Tour (Mondays and Thursdays)During the east tour, go to one of the highest mountains on the Island, Pico do Areeiro, then go to Ribeiro Frio and take a 45-minute walk along the levada to the Balcões viewpoint. Back to the jeep, travel through Roque do Faial, Cruzinhas, and Lombo Galego. Arriving at Cova da Roda through alternative roads and off-roads, pass through Pico das Pedras right in the middle of the natural park. Heading towards Santana, you’ll see typical local houses and take a break for lunch (not included). In the afternoon, drive towards Faial, heading to Porto da Cruz. Visit the local sugar-cane rum factory, then end the day with a visit to Ponta de São Lourenço, a natural reserve with rock formations and panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean. West Tour (Tuesdays and Fridays)Depart from Funchal towards the village of Ribeira Brava. After a short stop for sightseeing, start climbing towards Paúl da Serra, a plateau in the center of the island with memorable views. To arrive, you’ll drive off-road and go through Ponta do Sol and Canhas, two picturesque villages. Potentially take another short levada walk (approximately 20 minutes), then, in Paúl da Serra, at 1500 meters, start the descent through Fanal, an area with laurel forest classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrive at a viewpoint in Ribeira da Janela with breathtaking views. At Porto Moniz, be greeted with the unique scenery built by the natural swimming pools. These pools were created by volcanic lava and have crystal-clear waters thanks to the sea. Here, you’ll stop for a lunch (not included). After recharging from lunch, carry on near the coast towards Seixal and São Vicente. Finish off the day at 1007-meters high at the Encumeada Viewpoint, next to a mountain range that allows for views over the deep valleys of Ribeira Brava (south coast) and São Vicente (north coast). End your second tour with a return to Funchal. Central Tour (Wednesdays)Leaving Funchal, venture towards Nuns Valley (Curral das Freiras) to a small visit and a villa with a unique geographic location on Madeira Island, situated in a deep valley that resembles a volcano crater. The resemblance is due to strong erosion. After this stop, travel to Boca dos Namorados, a viewpoint at 1100 meters over Nuns Valley, allowing viewers to behold from above the one-of-a-kind scenery. Continue off-road through a trail to feel nature in its purest state. Then, make a short stop in a typical Madeiran bar to try the famous Poncha, a traditional drink made of sugar cane rum, orange juice, lemon juice, and fresh lemon (costs not included). 

From Funchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Houses

8. From Funchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Houses

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.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

9. 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.

Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

10. 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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What people are saying about Porto da Cruz

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,368 reviews

It was an amazing Christmas Eve day with our tour guide Lucy. She is so welcoming and fun, while She has so much knowledge about Madeira. We saw some of the most beautiful parts of the island and Lucy made the whole day an experience to remember forever. Highly recommended !!

Great tour. You get to see all the best and most interesting sites on eastern part of the island. Our guide/driver Nuno was very professional and provided courteous and impeccable service. Highly recommended!

a very interesting route to some of the main sights. Mr. Vítor, the driver, was also an excellent tour guide. The seven-seater car is modern and very comfortable. I recommend.

Excellent views but little bit windy on the top. Guide was very knowledgeable and expensive. Will definitely use the service again.

Fantastic excursion! Recommended! Madeira is a beautiful island