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Your holiday in Madeira

 

A coastal paradise in the land of explorers

 

Portugal has earned its name as the garden of Europe. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, the exotic plants once brought back by explorers from the four corners of the world have now become indigenous to the entire Atlantic coast. Beyond its mild climate and varied plant life, Portugal is famous for its history, its sailors and explorers, who have endowed this wonderful country with the finest historical treasures.

Funchal

 

A floating garden in the middle of the Atlantic

 

The island of Madeira is a patchwork of different landscapes – from its coastline of deep greens and blues, to its rugged terrains and majestic valleys, it has earned the evocative nickname of the floating garden of the Atlantic. To fully appreciate its splendour, take a walk through the lush vegetation or along the levadas – irrigation channels that criss-cross the hiking trails. Don’t forget to stop at some of its charming hidden gems to taste the local flavours. If you want to have a swim, the neighbouring island of Porto Santo has a magnificent 9 kilometre-long beach!


Hotel areas

32.6669328, -16.9240554


Canico

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, located in the southeast of the island, is one of the oldest towns on Madeira. The Cristo Rei do Garajau viewpoint is magical, offering breathtaking views over the Garajau reserve, Caniço de Baixo and the Atlantic Ocean. You can even take a cable car directly from here to Garajau beach. Distance from the airport: 3 km.

 

Caniço

The municipality of Caniço is home to two tourist areas and a small picturesque town surrounded by fields of crops. Its shops, cafes and restaurants are all conveniently located around the central square. Caniço de Baixo and Garajau are two quiet residential areas that are mainly made up of villas, hotels and flats, with the exception of a few restaurants. Distance from the airport: 10 km.

Funchal

 

Funchal

Funchal overlooks a wide bay in the south of the island. In the past, sledges were used to carry vegetables up its steep ancient streets to the market. Nowadays, cars have to squeeze through the one-way streets and parking is almost impossible, so you might as well walk! The Sé cathedral dates from the end of the 15th century, and its modest exterior contrasts with the richness of its interior decoration. The São Lourenço fortress, the Palacio do Governo Regional, the Praça do Municipio and the Igreja do Colégio are also not to be missed when visiting Funchal. Most hotels are located in the west of the city. Distance from the airport: 21 km.

Calheta

 

 

Calheta

Located on the southwestern coastline, Calheta is home to a marina and the island's only two beaches. It also has a museum of modern art and a distillery which produces the white rum used in the typical Madeiran alcoholic drink, poncha. There are also many hiking trails to choose from starting from Calheta. Distance from the airport: 51 km..

Porto Moniz

 

 

Porto Moniz

The charming town of Porto Moniz, located in the north of the island, owes its name to one of Madeira's first settlers, Francisco Moniz. It is particularly popular for its natural pools formed over the years by lava, which fill up when the tide rises. It is also the ideal place to start off your hikes, or just enjoy the beautiful views. Distance from the airport: 65 km.

sao vicente

 

 

São Vicente

São Vicente embodies the character of a both small coastal town and a mountain village. The best way to explore it is with a walk along the 620 metre long promenade that links the neighbourhoods of Varadouro and Baía dos Juncos. The choppy ocean and excellent water sports facilities also make it an attractive place for surfers and other water sports enthusiasts. There’s lots more to be discovered here, including a baroque church, nearby caves and underground lava channels. Distance from the airport: 50 km.

Madeira santana

 

 

Santana

Santana is a beautiful village on the northern coast of Madeira, known for its traditional thatched houses. They were once inhabited by farmers and country folk and are often painted red. From Santana, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the rugged coastline which is typical of the north of the island and, of course, take advantage of a multitude of coastal hiking routes to discover the unspoilt landscape of the island's interior on foot. Distance from the airport: 22 km.


Must-do & Must-see - Our suggestions

 

Must-do

  • A walk along the irrigation channels (levadas) is undoubtedly the best way to discover Madeira's diverse landscape. Admire the panoramic view from Cabo Girão (580m) or from Pico do Arieiro (1,818m), pass by the natural pools of Porto Moniz, stop in picturesque villages like Câmara de Lobos and don't miss the traditional thatched houses in Santana!
  • Experience the thrill of a ride on a traditional wicker sled, operated exclusively by drivers known as the "Carreiros do Monte". A perfect activity to enjoy with family or friends!
  • Madeira is home to three excellent golf courses from which you can enjoy beautiful views whilst you play. There are also plenty of opportunities on the island to practice water sports or snorkelling.

 

Must-see

  • Admire the incredible variety of flowers and exotic plants at the Madeira Botanical Garden, which stretches over 35,000 square metres and has a view over the ocean!  
  • For a breathtaking 360° view of Funchal, take the "Teleférico do Funchal" cable car. Once you reach the top, a visit to the romantic little village of Monte is a must.
  • Before landing on the island, you might have spotted the Ponta de São Lourenço at its eastern end. It is clearly visible from the sky and contrasts with the rest of the island as it is devoid of vegetation. However, it actually has diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes.

Excursions

Excursions will allow you to discover your destination from all perspectives. LuxairTours offers a range of selected tours that will allow you to discover unmissable places, paradisiacal beaches, typical dishes... LuxairTours organises a range of quality excursions for you.

  • First, you will head from Funchal to the authentic fishing village Câmara de Lobos, before heading to the Cabo Girão lookout point to enjoy exceptional views over south-east Madeira. Cabo Girão is also famous for its glass platform built into the cliff edge, from which you can enjoy a stunning view of the ocean from a height of 580 metres. The picturesque Ribeira Brava, with its beautiful baroque church and Manueline baptistery, is the next stop on your journey. After that, you will head to São Vicente via the Encumeada Pass. From the north coast, the panoramic views only get more spectacular, punctuated by the occasional waterfall and the breathtaking spectacle of the ocean raging over the jagged coastline. At the next stop, Porto Moniz, you can marvel at its distinctive shoreline dotted with natural pools formed over the years by volcanic activity and erosion. After a lunch break, the tour will continue towards the nature reserve of the Paul da Serra plateau, before heading back to your hotel.

  • This tour will take you to the highest points of the island where you can enjoy exceptional views, especially from the Pico do Arieiro, the island’s third highest peak at 1,818 metres. The tour continues towards Ribeiro Frio, known for its trout farming, and then follows the coast northwards through Faial before reaching Santana, a village famous for its small thatched houses, where you will stop for lunch. In the next stage of the tour, you will cross landscapes characterised by terraced crop fields to get to Porto da Cruz and its famous Eagle Rock. Then, you will cross the Portela Pass towards the Ponta de São Lourenço, the easternmost part of the island, where the view of the Desertas Islands is unbeatable.

  • This tour will start at the Pico dos Barcelos viewpoint, 350 metres above sea level, where you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the bay of Funchal and the Desertas islands in the distance. You will then continue towards the Valley of the Nuns, nestled in an ancient crater between several vertiginous peaks, before climbing to the top of Eira do Serrado, 1,904 metres above sea level. The last stage will take you to Monte, a small parish linked to Funchal by a cable car. Here, you can visit the church housing the tomb of the Austrian Emperor Charles I, visit the Quinta Jardins do Imperador, his last home, or explore the paths of the tropical garden where dozens of varieties of exotic plants, indigenous species and works of art can be found side by side. If you wish, you can end the day in style by taking a ride down to Funchal on a wicker sled guided by two carreiros dressed in traditional white costume (optional activity).

  • Hop into a Jeep and enjoy the ride to some of the most secret and inaccessible places of the ‘island of eternal spring’. Your driver will take the most picturesque routes through the island’s rich countryside, and you will have the chance to stop at various viewpoints to take in the breathtaking panoramic views.

  • A trip to Madeira wouldn’t be complete without a stopover in its capital! Once a strategic point in trade relations, Funchal bears the traces of its rich history, but also boasts an unexpected cultural dimension. On this tour, you can admire different architectural styles, visit the Sé Cathedral, and stroll through Funchal’s most beautiful squares and narrow streets. You can also immerse yourself in Madeira's culture with a visit to the Mercado dos Lavradores and take a walk in the botanical garden. The trip is topped off with a Madeiran wine tasting!

  • Levadas are ubiquitous in Madeira and can be found on all its hillsides. They are an irrigation system that allows rainwater and spring water to be redirected from the mountains to the most dry or remote areas of the island. They are mainly used for terrace cultivation and today cover over 2,150 kilometres. Numerous hiking trails run along these levadas. In cooperation with our partners at the destination, Luxair offers hiking routes of all lengths and adapted to all levels of experience, which allow you to discover Madeira’s beautiful landscapes and learn how this ingenious irrigation system works.

  • This tour takes you to the small, 42 square kilometre island of Porto Santo, located about 40 kilometres north of Madeira. The topography of the island is much less pronounced than that of its bigger sister, with the Pico do Facho as the highest point at 517 metres. Similarly, its barren landscapes and its golden beach stretching along 7 kilometres of the south coast are a stark contrast to Madeira's landscapes. Here, you can bask in the gentle way of life, the mild climate and meet the locals, most of whom earn a living from fishing, growing cereals, tomatoes, melons, watermelons, figs and producing very sweet white wine.

     

    Departure times:
    Winter:
    • Departure from Funchal port at 8:00 (Friday 7:00)
    • Return from Porto Santo: 18:00 (Friday 22:30)
    Summer:
    • Departure from the port of Funchal: 8:00 (Friday: 7:00)
    • Return from Porto Santo: between 19:00 and 21:00 (Friday 22:30)
    Duration of the journey: 2h30
    There is the option to book an excursion including transfers and a guided tour every day except Tuesday and Friday. This excursion must be booked 2 to 3 days in advance and is based on the following itinerary:
    • 7:00: Transfer from the hotel to the port of Funchal
    • 8:00: Boat departure
    • 10:45: Arrival in Porto Santo. After a tour of the island, enjoy a free afternoon on the beach of Porto Santo (beach towels not provided).
    • 18:00 to 21:00: Transfer to the port of Porto Santo, transfer by boat to Funchal and then by bus to the hotel.

  • This trip on board the caravel Bonita da Madeira will take you to most charming and unspoilt spots on the island. If you love wildlife and the great outdoors, then this is the trip for you! You will have the opportunity to swim in the unspoilt waters of Abra Bay or go diving. A delicious lunch will also be served on board. 
    Duration approx. 5 hours. Transfer to the port included.

For more information and bookings, please contact your LuxairTours guide on site.


Important information

 

Tourist tax must be paid locally during your stay.



Our brochures and offers for your summer holiday

Our brochures and offers for your winter holiday


Our partners

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