Santana
Outdoor Sports

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Our most recommended Santana Outdoor Sports

Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

1. Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Enjoy an affordable and comfortable transfer to Pico do Areeiro to enjoy a sunrise or morning Hike all the way to Achada do Teixeira (10 km). Don't worry about transportation and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Experience the nº 1 hike on Madeira Island, Pico Do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo (PR 1). This concept is specially designed for self-guided hikers, where you have the freedom to walk at your own rhythm. After the sunrise, the hike takes place. You will experience the most amazing views, in the middle of the highest mountains (up to 1800m). 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, you will pass through the city of Santana, which is famous for its triangular typical houses. It's very important to know that the weather conditions are very unpredictable in this part of the island, so your reservation could be canceled or postponed due to aggressive weather conditions. The sunrise is also not guaranteed, due to weather conditions that may occur. You will be contacted within 48 hours before the hike.

East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical Houses

2. East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical 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.

Madeira: Full-Day Laurel Forest Guided Walking Tour

3. Madeira: Full-Day Laurel Forest Guided Walking Tour

Experience the magic of Portuguese forests on an adventurous trail hike. Madeira is known for its "levadas", a system of aqueducts, popularly used as hiking trails. Drive to the quaint town of Santana and up to Queimadas Forestry Park to journey through one of the famous levada walks. Deep in the Laurel forest, find a typical thatched house, which serves as a park landmark and creates a fairytale setting to begin your journey. This magical trail runs through the Serra de São Jorge and wanders through an emerald green paradise. Take in outstanding views of the valleys and villages that lie below, until finally reaching the magnificent Caldeirão Verde waterfall. Make contact with the lush greenery as you walk along this historical levada in the company of your experienced guide.

Madeira: Ponta São Lourenço Hike

4. Madeira: Ponta São Lourenço Hike

Your walk starts at Ponta de São Lourenço car park, and follows a 3.5-kilometer trail to the eastern most point of the island. Along the way it will be possible to enjoy fabulous seascapes, as well as the contrast between the calm south sea and the rough sea of the north. There are short but steep climbs and descends along this magnificent but windy trail, where amazing samples of endemic fauna and flora can be seen. It will be possible to see volcanic rock formations and understand the volcanic origin of the island. After arriving at Cais do Sardinha House, it will be possible to take a break and enjoy a snack. You can also go down to the sea and enjoy the quiet and relaxing coastline, before returning to the car.

From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

5. From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

Explore the wonders of Madeira on this guided minibus trip from Funchal to the east side of the island. Visit Camacha, Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, Faial, Machico, and more. Enjoy a long stop in the village of Santana to see local life and have time for lunch. Enjoy a great start to the tour by visiting Camacha, one of the most rural and rustic villages in Madeira where folklore is still hugely in practice. Camacha makes Madeira world-renowned for its industry of wicker and cane. The next stop is Pico do Areeiro, the third highest peak on the island with an altitude of 1818 m, where you can take in unbeatable 360-degree island views. Often, rocky formations can be seen to be piercing through the clouds creating one-of-a-kind visuals and photo opportunities. Next, move on to Ribeiro Frio (meaning cold river). Ribeiro Frio is a small village situated in the heart of the Laurissilva forest. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest in the world and is believed to be 90% primary forest. In this classified UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, you can enjoy a variety of plants and species in their natural habitat. Get the chance to also observe a trout farm made up (as naturally as possible) of stone enclosures and fresh flowing levada water, set against a backdrop of pure nature. The tour continues to Faial, where you can view the imposing rock of Penha de Águia, which separates Faial from Porto da Cruz. With a lengthy stop at the village of Santana next, you will have ample time for lunch and to see Madeira’s world-famous typical thatched roved triangular houses, painted in happy primary colors. Pass by Portela en route to Ponta São Lourenço, which is situated in the most eastern part of the island. Take in the unique landscape characterized by the fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature. Your final stop is the larger city of Machico, the first area of the Island that the Portuguese navigators came across. Later, return round-trip to your pickup location in Funchal. 

Caldeirão Verde Hiking Tour

6. Caldeirão Verde Hiking Tour

Walk through the stunning greenery of the Laurisilva forest to the 100m high waterfall Caldeirão Verde. A green cauldron is what you’ll find at the end of this marvellous walk - the waterfall crashing down along intense green rocks. This walk starts at Queimadas, in a lovely forest, from where the levada will lead you through the mountains to the end of the trail: the beautiful Caldeirão Verde. Go through a jungle of vegetation, enjoying great views of the village of São Jorge and the immense mountains that surround this area. Enjoy the silence you can only find when immersed in nature. The only sound you will hear will be waterfalls crashing down. The levada follows the curves of the mountain, in a constantly changing scenery, green walls covered with moist rock faces, constantly dripping with streams of water. Walking from Queimadas to Caldeirão Verde and back will cover around 12 km. On the trail you will encounter short tunnels, where you will need to use a flashlight.

Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike

7. 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.

From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

8. From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

Discover the best of Madeira Island with this Jeep safari tour. Customize the route to see the Sea, Mountains, Cliffs, and Laurissilva Forest (North-East part of the island). Leave Funchal in the direction of the village da Camacha where you can visit the basketwork factory. Continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412m and climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro at a height of 1818m for mesmerizing panoramic views. Then, descend to Ribeiro Frio in the Laurissilva Forest and visit the trout nursery. Continue your adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana to explore the typical straw houses (Colmo). Descend to the village of Faial for amazing views down to the sea and then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. Finish off with a transfer back to Funchal.

Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

9. Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

Journey from the center of Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio, two of the main points of interest on Madeira Island, visited not only by tourists but also by residents. Walk through a forest road passing by the Trout Fishing Park, where you can relax for a while, having a tea or simply enjoying the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the amazing nature at the Levada, enjoying every step while you appreciate the wide variety of endemic flora and fauna of Madeira Laurisilva. Discover open areas that offer magnificent views of the valley and peaks of the island. Continue walking along the levada, enjoying the energy of all this pure nature surround you.

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.

Frequently asked questions about Santana Outdoor Sports

What are other things to do than Outdoor Sports that are worth visiting in Santana?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santana

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What people are saying about Santana

Absolutely amazing trip - could not recommend it more. Logan and Filipe were absolutely amazing hosts - so organised, friendly and passionate, as well as incredibly knowledgeable about Madeira. We saw the sunrise above the clouds and had an amazing hike between the peaks. Filipe then kindly stopped at Santana so we could see some of the traditional houses. Amazing day !

Our hike was led by Jorge from Madeira Mountain Tours. He was the perfect guide and even trained as a mountain guide. We were picked up at the hotel on time. The hike was very impressive, an absolute highlight on Madeira. Jorge told us a lot about Madeira and the geography and geology. An absolute recommendation for this tour!

The trip was perfect. This hike is amazing with jungle vibes, stunning waterfalls and adventurous trails. Our guide was well-prepared and nice, with great knowledge. We had a great time with Jorge and our group. Absolutely recommended.

Amazing experience, breathtaking views, great guide. Special thanks for our guide George for returning our jacket left in the car

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