Funchal
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Funchal Off the beaten track

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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Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

2. Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

Meet your guide at Jesuit's College of Funchal, Madeira University to begin this 2-hour guided walking tour of Funchal. Learn how the history of Madeira and Funchal shaped the city centre as you visit the most important points of interest. Travel down the 19th century public walkway between the Municipal Theatre and the Cathedral, where sugarcane was first planted in Madeira, during the 15th century. Explore the city’s medieval heart dating from the Golden Age of Sugar and discover the beautiful 17th century religious monuments. Visit the ruins of the old Pilory Square and other remnants from past floods and the area damaged by the Great Fire of Funchal in 1584. This tour helps to support students at the University of Madeira who are facing financial difficulties.  

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Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

3. Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

The tour will start at your hotel, cruise port, or guest house, taking you to Serra d'Água, where you will have the opportunity to learn about the island of Madeira. At the North side you will see Ginjas village. Then continue on, using the old roads and some forest roads where its only possible to go with a 4X4. Head to the top at 1500 meters at Paúl da Serra. Explore the natural beauty of this island, meet the people, and explore the cultures, traditions, and local food and drinks. Enjoy the expertise of a multilingual driver, who will take you on this full day journey to Encumeada, Ginjas, Estanquinhos, Paúl da Serra, Fanal, Ribeira da Janela, Porto Moniz, Seixal and São Vicente, with additional opportunities to see and swim in the volcanic lava pools.

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From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

4. From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

Begin this full-day 4x4 tour with a pick-up at your hotel in Funchal and travel deep into the southeast of Madeira. You’ll come to Machico town and the line that divides the north and south of the island. Take in breathtaking views of the Eagles Rock from Portela. Drive down, stopping in Porto da Cruz, which is the next must-see point. Visit a sugar cane factory, continue to the Faial coastline and then up to see the typical houses of Santana. These small straw-thatched triangular houses are emblematic of Madeira and intricate in their construction. Head down into the valley and through the forest to Riveiro Frio at an elevation of 1818 meters, the third-highest peak on the Island.

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Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

5. 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: Full-Day 4x4 Eastern Tour

6. Funchal: Full-Day 4x4 Eastern Tour

On this tour, see the best views of the eastern side of Madeira, a unique experience passing by the non-touristic villages. Start with a visit to Machico, where Portuguese captains landed for the first time. Move on to Portela for an experience with the amazing countryside of Madeira, overlooking Eagle Rock (Penha D'Aguia), known as the human face. Enjoy the view over the rocks and the coast. Afterwards, continue to the sugar cane and rum factory in Porta da Cruz. Taste the local rums and learn about the local production of rum. Travel down the serpentine roads to the village of Santana to visit the traditional thatched houses, and enjoy a delicious lunch during your stay in Santana. In the afternoon, visit the 3rd highest peak of Madeira. At 1818 meters you will have a 360° view over the surroundings, passing by Ribeiro Frio Village.

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From Funchal: Sunday Market and Santo da Serra Half-Day Tour

7. From Funchal: Sunday Market and Santo da Serra Half-Day Tour

Experience everyday life on the island of Madeira with a visit to the Sunday markets of Santo da Serra. Marvel at the surprising assortment of food and other goods available to purchase at very cheap prices. Then, stroll among the blooming camellias are other plants in the Santo da Serra Gardens. Encounter the local animals, such as deer, horses and goats. End in the village of Santa Cruz, and enjoy a light promenade walk by the sea before the return journey to Funchal. End in the village of Camacha, Madeira's willow craft industry center before the return journey to Funchal.

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Funchal: Christmas Lights Sightseeing Night Tour

8. Funchal: Christmas Lights Sightseeing Night Tour

On this night tour, after pickup at your hotel or accomodation in Funchal, you head dowtown to the main avenue near the sea. Passing through the old town, city hall, main cathedral, city court, farmers market, municipal garden, central square, and the hotel area, you can enjoy the beautiful way the streets and buildings are decorated for the holiday season. After the tour it is possible to drop you off back at your hotel or in the city center. This tour takes about 1h30 and in some spots it is possible to stop to take pictures. This tour will take place in a VW Beetle cabriolet with the top down or in a VW bus/kombi.

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From Funchal: Sea Cliffs and Wine Tasting 4WD Tour

9. From Funchal: Sea Cliffs and Wine Tasting 4WD Tour

Depart Funchal by open 4WD vehicle and journey to one of the island's most impressive views. Go to Cabo Girão on the southern coast, where a glass-floored viewing platform was installed in October 2012 and the Cabo Girão Skywalk is the highest in Europe. Marvel at hues of intense depth and clarity, enhanced by the constant light of a warm and inviting sun. Travel along the island's steep and serpentine roads and enter an exotic part of Madeira known only to a few. Benefit from the services of a local guide as you get uninterrupted views from your open-top 4x4 vehicle and visit Câmara de Lobos, where Sir Winston Churchill was inspired to paint the landscape. We will stop at a local bar, where you can try some local/traditional drinks and the famous, "poncha."

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Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

10. Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

On this full-day catamaran trip to the Desertas Islands you’ll sail along the south coast of Madeira Island. On arrival you’ll disembark in clear waters onto a beach of volcanic origin, where you’ll have a chance to enjoy a swim. Covering an area of 12,586 hectares the Natural Reserve of the Desertas Islands comprises all islands and islets (Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande, Bugio, and adjacent islets) and all of the surrounding marine area. It has been designated a nature reserve for over 25 years, and is now internationally known for its monk seal conservation efforts. Today this protected area can be visited by sea. Deserta Grande is the only island where visitors can disembark, and you’ll enjoy a guided walk to the conservation center to learn about the monk seal protection efforts and also about endemic flora and fauna.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 953 reviews

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.

Fantastic in all ways, really recommend this trip! One full day of adventure, & we were lucky to experience all kind of weather & different climate zone.

A great tour through an indescribable nature. Sergio was a fantastic guide who catered to everyone.

Very good tour with a professional tour guide. Highly recommended!

Fantastic day out. Up high on of the old mountain roads