Funchal
Volcano Activities

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Our most recommended Funchal Volcano Activities

Madeira: West Tour with Porto Moniz and Volcanic Pools

1. 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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Funchal: Arieiro Peak, Nuns Valley 4x4 Tour & Dolphin Watch

2. Funchal: Arieiro Peak, Nuns Valley 4x4 Tour & Dolphin Watch

Visit Nun's Valley and learn about its interesting history and admire the spectacular panoramic views from Pico do Arieiro, at 1,818 meters above sea level. Later you’ll head out to sea on a catamaran and be on the lookout for whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The 7-hour tour begins in Funchal, and the first stop will be at Pico dos Barcelos, where take in sweeping views of Funchal’s bay. Afterward you’ll visit the famous Nun’s Valley, known for its historical importance and its unique location, isolated from any population center. Head to the majestic Pico do Arieiro, where you’ll take in the magnificent landscapes and stunning views over the north and south coast of the island, Ponta de São Lourenço and Paul da Serra. The last stop of the land tour is Santo da Serra, surrounded by the Laurissilva Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and other exotic plant species. You’ll then be dropped off at the Funchal harbor to begin the dolphin and whale watching a segment of the tour. Board the catamaran for a relaxing trip along the south coast of Madeira. The boat trip takes 3 hours and there’s a strong possibility that you’ll spot dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. During the summer months there’s also the possibility of swimming below the Cabo Girao cliff. During the trip the crew will provide detailed information about the species that you are likely to see. This trip ends in Funchal’s Harbor.

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Madeira West Island Full-Day Tour with Levada Walk

3. Madeira West Island Full-Day Tour with Levada Walk

Start your West Island Tour with hotel pick-up between 8:00 and 9:00. Your first stop will be at the famous fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, where the famous Sir Winston Churchill spent his days painting when he visited the island of Madeira. Continue to Cabo Girão to view the highest sea cliff in Europe. The tour's next stop is at Ribeira Brava, where you will make a quick visit to the church there. You will then discover Ponta de Sol. This name literally means "point of the sun," an apt description for the most beautiful village on the island. Next enjoy a scenic drive through the Laurissilva Forest up to the plateau of Pául da Serra. Stop for a short, flat, easy walk along a levada (an irrigation channel unique to Madeira). The tour proceeds to the northwest side of the island where you can visit the Porto Moniz, famous for its volcanic rock pools. If it's not crowded, the tour will stop here for lunch and quick swim. You could also continue down the scenic coastal route to Seixal for lunch and a swim. After lunch you will travel the coastal road, taking in the famous waterfalls en route to São Vincente. Then discover Encumeada Pass. The views here are breathtaking. Enjoy a final stop at a famous bar where the proprietors make "Poncha," a traditional spirit drink mixed with honey and orange juice. Return to the hotel at around 17:00.

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From Funchal: The Peaks Quest Running Tour (Moderate-Hard)

4. From Funchal: The Peaks Quest Running Tour (Moderate-Hard)

Go on a 12-kilometer moderate-to-hard guided run through the mountains of Madeira. You’ll be picked up by your guide and taken to start your excursion on the third-highest peak of Madeira, Pico Arieiro, which stands at a height of 1,818 meters. Start on the trail northwards towards Pico Ruivo and admire the sight of looking down at the world around you. If the weather is right, you may even find yourself looking down at the clouds.   Cross steep trails with lots of steps through this scenic central mountain range, passing the second highest peak (Pico das Torres at 1,851 meters), jogging through tunnels, and climbing to the top of the island at Pico Ruivo, at 1,862 meters.   On the way back, you’ll go by the same route in the opposite direction, which will offer up entirely new views and experiences.

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From Funchal: Eastern Peninsula Running Tour (Easy-Moderate)

5. From Funchal: Eastern Peninsula Running Tour (Easy-Moderate)

This 9-kilometer guided trail running experience is the best way to get to know the São Lourenço Peninsula. Always surrounded by the sea, this peninsula offers beautiful views of the water and of the volcanic formations and cliffs. If the weather is right, it also helps to have a swim halfway through to cool down.   Your track begins at the end of Caniçal Road (ER214) and follows a trail between the cliffs that make up the peninsula. Arrive in Casa do Sardinha and climb to the Pico do Furado, where you can catch an amazing view of the Baia d’Abra, as well as the islands of Porto Santo and Desertas.   On the descent, if the weather is good, you can dive into the clear waters of the Cais do Sardinha before returning to the starting point by the same trail.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 66 reviews

Hugo was a great tour guide - a well thought out - if not speedy tour. Might have liked to shout STOP once in a while when I saw something fascinating - but to be fair not everyone would be interested in a bracket fungi or unusual plants. The off road drive was brilliant - could do that all day long - hold on to your stomach contents as very hairy in places. And it was my lucky day - pilot whales and dolphins spotted - couldn't have asked for more. Crew of the catamaran even came and explained what we were seeing and told us some useful info. Of course they can't guarantee you will see anything but they are well armed with info before heading out. Really recommend this day out

A very recommendable tour that leads to the best places in Madeira. The guide was very patient, friendly and was able to score with useful information about the area. I would definitely do the tour again!

It is worth it! Beautiful places. Take your bathing suit to enjoy the natural pools of Porto Muniz! Try the swordfish with banana for lunch.

Great ride with our guide Richard, he taught us a lot about Madeira and its surroundings! I highly recommend !

A really good way to know the island, plenty of things to see and our guide was really nice and friendly.