9. Madeira: West Tour with Porto Moniz and Volcanic Pools
Just over three miles from the city of Funchal, the first stop is the famous, quaint fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, a favorite painting spot of the late Winston Churchill. Afterwards, travel up to the magnificent 1,902-feet high, glass balcony view point of Cabo Girão, famous for being the highest in Europe and second-highest cliff in the world.
Traveling along the coast of the island, arrive shorty at the village of Ribeira Brava, where you can visit a church dating back to the 15th century. Next, make your way to the 3,303-feet high viewpoint, Encumeada, to enjoy beautiful views over both the north and south coasts of the island, as well as the valleys of Ribeira Brava and São Vicente.
From an altitude of between 4,200-4,900 feet, find the tourist attraction Paúl de Serra and it's several levada walks that connect to different points of the island through the Laurissilva forest, such as Rabaçal, Risco, and the 25 fountains. Stop then for lunch (not included) and extra time at the seaside town of Porto Moniz, home to the largest volcanic natural pools of Madeira.
On the descent toward the town, enjoy fantastic views, especially those of the volcanic pools in their entirety. In the good weather it is possible to take a dip, so come prepared. Next, enjoy a brief stop overlooking the black sandy beach and natural rock pools of Seixal village. Along the way, you'll have the pleasure of passing several waterfalls, most notably the famous and stunning Bride's Veil.
Staring up at the water pouring down the mountain, you can see how the rock-face has been delicately sculpted by the wind and rain over millions of years to form what can only be described as the perfect art form. Following, visit the picturesque neighboring village of São Vicente, where you can check out a beautiful church dating from the 17th century before returning to Funchal.