Funchal
National Parks

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Our most recommended Funchal National Parks

Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

1. Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

The sun rises over your hotel as you set out on your walking tour adventure. Leaving from the comforts of your room in Funchal on the Madeira Islands, we'll drive you up to the third highest peak in Madeira - the magnificent Pico Arieiro. You'll sip coffee or a drink on your way up to the base of the peak, looking out at all the stunning beauty this place has to offer. As we head from sea level up to the base at 5,964ft (1818m), you'll pass beautiful flora and fauna. Finally, we'll begin our mighty walk up the mighty Pico Arieiro up to the highest point on the island, the Pico Ruivo peak at 6107 ft (1862m). Finally, we'll walk down to Teixeira where you'll be comfortably transferred back to your hotel. And of course, no day of hiking is complete without a drink at a traditional bar, so we'll make sure to stop at one with a spectacular view to enjoy the closing of your day!

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Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

2. Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel, start the day at Funchal Harbour where you will learn everything you need to know about kayaking before heading to the nature reserve. Upon arrival at Garajau, enjoy a 40-minute paddle towards Lazareto. Stop for a break on the beautiful pebble beach and take in the views of the surrounding rock features from times gone by. Afterwards, discover Madeira's native marine life as you snorkel through crystal-clear waters. In the event of poor weather conditions, you will have the opportunity to explore the sea from the safety of your kayak instead. Finish the day with a spot of cliff diving before heading back to your hotel for the evening.

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Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

3. Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

Explore the stunning landscapes of the Curral da Freiras (Nuns Valley) on a scenic half-day tour from Funchal. Journey to the center of Madeira to find dramatic, cloud-topped mountains and verdant valleys. Board the minibus in the center of Lido, and make your way to Eira do Serrado for one of the most beautiful views in Madeira. Continue down to Curral da Freiras, traveling past forest bushes and the quaint houses typical of the Madeiran countryside. Once in Nuns Valley, see a small village nestling between almost perpendicular mountains. How the huge cauldron in which the Nuns Valley formed is open to debate. Some people say it was the result of erosion, while older theories maintain it was a result of volcanic activity. What is beyond dispute is that the village is very isolated. The locals mainly live off what they cultivate, including the delicious chestnuts that are the centerpiece of the annual Chestnut Festival. Return to Funchal, stopping at the fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, where Winston Churchill painted his beautiful landscapes. Try some of the legendary Poncha drink before you leave.

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From Funchal: Enchanted Terraces and Porto do Moniz Tour

4. From Funchal: Enchanted Terraces and Porto do Moniz Tour

Depart Funchal and travel by 4WD vehicle towards Madeira's northwest coast, passing a stunning green landscape to locations such as Serra de Água. Journey along forgotten and enchanted old roads and get a glimpse into the island's everyday life. Go to Encumeada, where one of the island's famous walking trails leads to Madeira's highest peak. Pass through the laurel forests of Chão dos Louros and marvel at the mountains and valleys from Ginjas and Paul da Serra. Continue to Fanal in the middle of the Laurissilva Forest and then proceed to Porto do Moniz, famous for its natural swimming pools. If weather permits, enjoy the warmth of the sea or continue to Seixal known for its black sand beach. Stop for lunch (optional and not included) in Seixal, before continuing to the coastal town of São Vicente. Make your way back to Funchal at the end of the tour.

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Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

5. Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

From Funchal, head to Serra d'Agua, a valley at the center of the island. Afterward, go to Encumeada viewpoint with its great views over north and south of the island, a high point that connects Ribeira Brava, São Vicente, and Paúl da Serra. After passing Chão dos Louros Forest Park, whose name comes from the abundance of laurels trees, take a nice off-road drive with fantastic views over Porto Moniz, Ribeira da Janela, Paul da Serra, and São Vicente. Then, have a fabulous experience with a very important wine producer in Madeira, enjoying a guided tour through the vineyards, followed by wine tasting. Enjoy a professional explanation about traditions, wine culture, and wine production given by an oenologist. Finally, move on to Cabo Girão, the highest cliff in Europe and second in the world at 589 meters, known for its suspended glass floor balcony that offers a spectacular panoramic view over the Atlantic, Câmara de Lobos, and Funchal.

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Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

6. Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

This tour of the east side of Madeira island is designed to show guests how truly magical it is. Come and be awed by its spectacular beauty. To begin the day, pick-up is from the hotel at 8:00 to 9:00. The first stop will be at a viewpoint above Funchal. Continue to Camacha, famous for its beautiful wicker works, and stop to have a look around and then take a scenic drive up to Poiso where the start of the Laurissilva forest can be found. After this, make your way to the majestic views of Pico do Arieiro. Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island, standing 1818 meters. Next is what some consider to be the most beautiful spot on the island, Ribeiro Frio. Here you will visit a trout farm and do a levada walk to the Balcões. Following the walk, make your way to Santana to see its famous A-framed cottages and then continue along the northern coastal road to Faial. Stop for lunch in the northern part of the island. After lunch, carry on to the eastern part of the island, to the famous viewpoint of Pico do Facho. From here you will have incredible views of Ponta de São Lourenco, Machico and the airport. On a good day one can see the Desertas Islands as well Porto Santo, the small island adjacent to Madeira. The last stop will be a famous viewpoint above Machico. You will arrive back to Funchal by 17:00.

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Small Group Walks Rabaçal 25 Fontes

7. Small Group Walks Rabaçal 25 Fontes

The Rabaçal 25 Fontes walk starts in the Rabaçal, a walk through the middle of the Laurissilva forest, through the irrigation canals that reach the lagoon from the 25 Fontes. The origin of the name of the Levada of the 25 Fontes is due to the fact that there is a lagoon with 25 springs at the end of Levada, it is the most beautiful point of the whole walk with a large waterfall falling into a small lagoon. Throughout the tour you have an immense variety of species of flora and fauna  to gaze at on the island of Madeira. This Levada has a small passage from the north coast to the south coast, with a very interesting history due to its origin and the way it was built. It is one of the most famous of all the islands because of the unforgettable landscapes and sensations along the whole walk.

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Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

8. Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

Rabaçal is a nature reserve on the island of Madeira that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It is an area of intense natural beauty, brimming with waterfalls and unique flora and plant life, all of which you can experience on this wonderful guided walk. The 25 Fountains Walk starts by heading down the biggest valley of Madeira towards the Rabaçal reserve. Along the way you will walk along two of the oldest Madeira levadas each boasting a remarkable evergreen landscape with beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout. The 25 fountains refer to the 25 natural springs you will discover on the walk. Each spring falls into a small crystal clear lake surrounded by dense vegetation. Once you arrive here you may never want to leave! In this paradise-like oasis you'll be immersed in beautiful surronds, listening to the murmuring sounds of the water and the quiet chanting of the birds. For nature lovers this walk is an invitation into a unique and awe-inspiring slice of heaven. Rabaçal is a paradise of waterfalls, lakes and enchanting fountains and there is no better way to experience it than on a guided walk.

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Funchal: Whale and Dolphin Watching Speed Boat Tour

9. Funchal: Whale and Dolphin Watching Speed Boat Tour

Start with a short briefing from your biologist guide, which will provide information on the various types of wildlife you will search for on the tour. Set out in a speed boat with a capacity for 12 people. Admire the beautiful coastline of the island of Madeira while searching for various marine species. With a skilled crew, embark on a search for various species of dolphin and whales which are found in the waters surrounding the island. You are guaranteed to catch sightings of cetaceans while on the tour. If any species are not found, you will be offered a second trip for free.

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Madeira: West Tour with Porto Moniz and Volcanic Pools

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 842 reviews

We were delighted to be guided by Sara for the second time this week. The walk is less popular than the others, which is an advance as a smaller group and less other groups all trying to see the same thing at the same time. This walk took us to several lagoons and stunning waterfalls as we made our way around the valley. We would book more trips with Lido tours as they are located near our hotel so easy to access. A wider variety of walk options would definitely be a welcome addition for our next trip to Maderia.

A great and varied day, full of laughter, good food and insider information. Lucy never hurried us(we got back well after six) and always seemed to have another little surprise up her sleeve. The lunch in Santana (included) was excellent value and really tasty. Lucy was a mine of information and it is very clear she loves her island, and passes this love on to her guests. Thank you Lucy. Elizabeth

Well organised, and operated. We had perfect weather for our day with clear views above the clouds and not too hot or cold. Stunning views, not to be missed. The toilets at the cafés are 50c, but easily avoided at least for men. The path is well made up, lots of steps, but no scrambling involved. Although marked as hard it's not a struggle for generally fit people.

Great tour with spectacular views and a friendly driver. Highly recommended!

A good little half day tour with a lot packed in. Worth the effort.