Gorgeous sights of Madeira!
Glistening with lush, rolling green hillsides and colourful floral gardens Madeira truly is befitting of its name, the “Floating Garden of the Atlantic”. It’s rugged coastline hides pretty coves whilst traditional cobbled-stoned villages slowly reveal the islands many treasured secrets. The popular South coast is the first (and sometimes only) stop for Madeira’s many visitors, however, explore further afield and some truly awe-inspiring sights await.
Here we’ve chosen our favourite sights in Madeira, some with helpful links to gorgeous 360 degree panoramas and the exact coordinates of these locations on Google Maps.
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Pico de Arieiro
Voted the number 1 attraction on TripAdvisor, Pico de Arieiro is Madeira’s 3rd highest peak at over 1,800 metres and gifts incredible views of the neighbouring island of Porto Santo (30 nautical miles away). Relatively easy to access, hire a car and wind your way through the mountain passes to reach the summit – a great way to explore this part of the island. Upon arriving at the peak you will find a wonderful little restaurant to recharge your batteries whilst taking in the breath-taking scenery. Geo Coordinates: 32.734868, -16.930348
Soaring to 1861 metres at the heart of the Island is the Pico Ruivo, Madeira’s highest peak. Elevating you above the clouds and gifting incredible panoramic views the peak is only accessible on foot but those willing to travel to the top will be richly rewarded. Collecting TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence (2015) this is a truly wonderful sight not to miss! Geo Coordinates: 32.758873, -16.943889
Camara de Lobos
Discover the traditional fishing village of Camara de Lobos, close by to the Pestana Grand Hotel in Funchal, so named because of the sea lions (lobos) which were living there at the time. Stepping back to the Pico da Torre you will find the best views of the bay whilst overlooking the bananas and cherry plantations in the fields below. Don’t forget to sample some of the local delicacies including “poncha”, a mix of lemon juice, honey and sugar-cane spirit that is truly refreshing in the summer sunshine. Geo Coordinates: 32.658638, -16.986188
These naturally occurring volcanic lava pools are an inspiring spectacle to explore in the North-West of the island. Held in high regard by TripAdvisor reviewers and awarded the Certificate of Excellence (2015) this sight is ideal for soaking up Madeira’s rugged charm. A favourite amongst many previous visitors is the Restaurant Cachalote where a dish of grilled limpets act as the perfect accompaniment to the sweeping coastal vistas. Geo Coordinates: 32.867972, -17.170323
2km to the West of Camara de Lobos are the lofty sea cliffs of Cabo Girao, within easy reach from the Porto Mare Residence. Certainly not for the feint hearted, the floor of the viewing terrace is made of glass providing direct views down to the Atlantic Ocean 589 metres below! Another TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2015) winner this enchanting location is surrounded by lush laurisilva and floral beauty creating a real tropical hillside haven. Geo Coordinates: 32.656612, -17.003846
Miradouro dos Balcoes
The “Viewpoint of the Balconies” soars high into the mountain ranges offering a stunning outlook over the Ribiera da Half and Cordillera Central. Discover this hidden gem along the ‘Path of the Branches’ Levada Walk winding your way through the lush greens of the rolling hillside. Here is also a great chance to spot local wildlife such as the beautiful Firecrest and dainty Madeiran Chaffinch birds fluttering through the air. Geo Coordinates: 32.710579, -16.966126
Monte Palace and Gardens
Experience a true birds eye view of Funchal with a cable car ride, located nearby to the Royal Savoy Resort, to the stunning Monte Palace and Botanical Gardens. Wander through the gardens of exotic plants from all over the world keeping an eye out for the swans and peacocks that may join you along the way. Explore the contemporary Zimbabwean sculptures of the 1960’s in the “African Passion” exhibit to the interesting minerals at “Mother Nature’s Secrets” display. Geo Coordinates: 32.674010, -16.902197
Miradouro do Véu da Noiva, Porto Moniz
Heading along the North-West coast from the town of Seixal you’ll be struck by the cascading waterfall pouring from the cliff-face. Acting as the perfect backdrop this is a prime photo opportunity for anyone returning from the lava pools at nearby Porto Moniz. Stop and cool off with a swim at the local Praia de Jamaica Beach, a true hidden cove, where black sands meet deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Geo Coordinates: 32.816156, -17.095229
Ribeiro Frio to Portela Levada Walk
Begin your day at the Ribeiro Frio trout farm before setting off along this wonderful walk, take care as the walk can be quite tricky. Wind your way through the Laurisilva Forest past gorgeous mountain flora stopping occasionally to admire the simply breath-taking vistas stretching out before you. Birdsong will fill your ears throughout the day whilst you may also spot Trout swimming in the cool Levada waters beside your feet. Geo Coordinates: 32.737392, -16.873892