9. From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour
Explore the wonders of Madeira on this guided minibus trip from Funchal to the east side of the island. Visit Camacha, Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, Faial, Machico, and more. Enjoy a long stop in the village of Santana to see local life and have time for lunch.
Enjoy a great start to the tour by visiting Camacha, one of the most rural and rustic villages in Madeira where folklore is still hugely in practice. Camacha makes Madeira world-renowned for its industry of wicker and cane.
The next stop is Pico do Areeiro, the third highest peak on the island with an altitude of 1818 m, where you can take in unbeatable 360-degree island views. Often, rocky formations can be seen to be piercing through the clouds creating one-of-a-kind visuals and photo opportunities.
Next, move on to Ribeiro Frio (meaning cold river). Ribeiro Frio is a small village situated in the heart of the Laurissilva forest. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest in the world and is believed to be 90% primary forest.
In this classified UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, you can enjoy a variety of plants and species in their natural habitat. Get the chance to also observe a trout farm made up (as naturally as possible) of stone enclosures and fresh flowing levada water, set against a backdrop of pure nature.
The tour continues to Faial, where you can view the imposing rock of Penha de Águia, which separates Faial from Porto da Cruz.
With a lengthy stop at the village of Santana next, you will have ample time for lunch and to see Madeira’s world-famous typical thatched roved triangular houses, painted in happy primary colors.
Pass by Portela en route to Ponta São Lourenço, which is situated in the most eastern part of the island. Take in the unique landscape characterized by the fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature.
Your final stop is the larger city of Machico, the first area of the Island that the Portuguese navigators came across. Later, return round-trip to your pickup location in Funchal.