Funchal
Outdoor Sports

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Our most recommended Funchal Outdoor Sports

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 Day Trip: Levada Walk in the Rabaçal Valley

2. Madeira Day Trip: Levada Walk in the Rabaçal Valley

Depart Funchal and journey to the start of your walk, where you will follow the routes of the "levada" irrigation system developed in the 16th century by Madeira's first settlers. Descend from the plateau of Paul da Serra to the Rabaçal guesthouse and walk to the waterfall of the Levada do Risco. Continue towards the Levada das 25 Fontes, dominated by moorland at its highest point. Walk until you reach a small lagoon at the bottom of an enormous cliff, and marvel at the sight of 25 natural springs cascading into the lake. Return along a different path, passing through a tunnel that carries water to the south of the island. Admire a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna along the way.

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From Funchal: Madeira Peaks Mountain Walk

3. From Funchal: Madeira Peaks Mountain Walk

Hike through the three highest peaks in Madeira. See rock formations that look like giant sculptures stretching towards heaven. Get breathtaking views on almost every step of your journey. Discover a profusion of unique plants and fragile flowers in their natural habitat, and be dazzled by the myriad colors in the springtime. Walk through Madeira's oldest heather forest near Pico Ruivo, and see ancient trees that were alive when Zarco landed on Madeira for the first time. Admire the peak of Pico Ruivo, famous as the highest point on the island and known for its views from coast to coast.

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Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

4. Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

Your scuba diving adventure will begin with a short theory lesson about the practice of diving before doing a trial dive in the shallow waters of the swimming pool.  Once you feel comfortable and know how to handle the equipment, you’ll be ready for the real deal. Your diving instructor will take you for an exhilarating dive out in the sea to explore the spectacular underwater world of Madeira. The dive itself will last about 45 minutes at a maximum depth of 12 meters. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a certificate of participation to make your next underwater adventure an absolute breeze.

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Madeira: Canyoning Ribeira do Cidrão

5. Madeira: Canyoning Ribeira do Cidrão

The beautiful Ribeira do Cidrão canyon lies in the middle of the island of Madeira, within the valley that the nuns from Santa Clara Convent fled to when Funchal was attacked by pirates in 1566, giving it its name as the Nun's Valley. After a walk of approximately 20 minutes on a dirt road and along a levada, the canyoning adventure begins. Along the way, get ready to conquer six rappels, the highest being 15 meters. Discover a series of refreshing pools that you can jump and slide into, and take in the beautiful mountain views which serve as a constant backdrop. After the canyon, walk another 20 minutes back up.

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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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Madeira Island: 5-Hour Guided Mountain Bike Tour

9. Madeira Island: 5-Hour Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Start out your 5-hour mountain bike ride with a quick briefing by your guide before heading down the mountains toward the sea. You’ll have plenty of opportunities along the tour to stop and take in the incredible Madeiran landscapes. Admire the wide range of flora and fauna that is found only in the Macaronesia area, of which Madeira is a part. Madeira’s laurel forest is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the cycling tour you’ll head deep into the laurel forest. There are many options for your ride. If you’re an a experienced rider, your guide could take you on technical single-tracks, and if you’d rather just enjoy the scenery and the ride, you’ll follow an easier route. On some routes it’s possible to end the tour at your hotel. If that isn’t possible, you’ll be transferred back to the hotel by van.

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Funchal: Nuns Valley Private Half Day Tour

10. Funchal: Nuns Valley Private Half Day Tour

On this picturesque private half-day trip, you will be driven from Pico dos Barcelos to Nun's Valley. Pico dos Barcelos has an observation point on the edge of Funchal, 1165 ft above sea level. It is an excellent way to view Funchal from the sea to the mountains, and Islas Desertas directly across can be spotted on a clear day. This belvedere at Eira do Serrado has a spectacular rock ledge that overlooks “Curral das Freiras,” a horseshoe-shaped valley below. This valley has three sheer sides that cut into the serrated peaks of Madeira. Make your way down to the Village of Nuns Valley (Curral das Freiras). See where the nuns of the Monastery of Santa Clara once sought refuge from French privateers. It is one of the most spectacularly situated rural settlements on the island, in a huge natural amphitheater surrounded by Madeira’s highest mountain peaks. Finally, you will be dropped back at your original pickup point.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

Want to discover all there is to do in Funchal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Funchal

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.

Well organised, good introduction, friendly guide. Great walk. Booked another tour with Lido-Tours on our return.

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