Things to do in
São Vicente, Madeira

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Our most recommended things to do in São Vicente, Madeira

Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

1. Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

Depart from Funchal and head towards San Vicente along the north coast. Visit one of the most famous viewpoints, where you can look out to Porto Santo Island in clear weather. You will also be able to see the waterfall resembling a bride's veil, named Veu da Noiva. Next, stop at the natural volcanic pools in Seicxal, where you can swim in crystal waters. Also visit Porto Moniz's lava pools and Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau on the island at nearly 1500 meters high. This beautiful place provides stunning views and is an ideal spot for lunch. Visit Fanal, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal filled with centenary trees. As the last stop, go to Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Try out the suspended glass floor viewpoint. Finally, return to your accommodation. 

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From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

2. From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Funchal on a full-day scenic tour of the west of Madeira. Admire the unspoiled natural beauty of the area and visit the charming villages of Câmara de Lobos and Porto Moniz. Following pickup from selected hotels in Funchal, pass through the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Continue to Cabo Girão Skywalk, Europe's highest cliff skywalk at 589m. Next, head towards the Ribeira Brava and go north through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra D'Água. Upon arrival at Encumeada, enjoy an incredible view of the south and north coast of the island. Cross a mountain pass, and witness the rugged beauty of the north coast, where Atlantic rollers deposit white surf on the cliffs. Traverse Madeira's highest plateau, and enjoy more spectacular panoramas. Continue to São Vicente on Madeira’s north coast. Visit the beautiful village of Porto Moniz and take 1 hour for lunch, as well as time to admire the volcanic swimming pools. Finish your tour at Paul da Serra to see one of the biggest natural reserves in the world.

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Tour to the West of Madeira

3. Tour to the West of Madeira

After pick-up from your hotel, make your way to Camara de Lobos where beautiful landscapes were painted by Sir Winston Churchill in the 1950s. The drive takes you along the old narrow roads of Estreito de Camara de Lobos, where the vines were first introduced and still exist today. Visit Madeira's pride and Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Then, the route descends to Ribeira Brava so you can visit old monuments including the church. Continue the drive through to Paul da Serra Madeira´s popular flat plateau at 1500m above sea level. Embrace the beautiful laurel forest views through Madeira´s little green Scotland. Arrive at Porto Moniz, natural volcanic pools, where it's time to take a break and have a swim. You will also have the chance to buy lunch here. The tour continues along the north coast where waterfalls are visible. Drive through the village of São Vicente where nature will escort you up to the Encumeada Pass, where the North meets the South at 1007 meters above sea level. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.

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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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Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

5. 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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Western Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour

6. Western Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour

This jeep safari tour will start in Funchal City and then you will visit several unique places in Lugar de Baixo, Lombo do Mouro, Bica da Cana, Paul da Serra, Santa, Porto Moniz, Seixal, Serra d´água, and Funchal. Explore the fascinating landscapes along the rugged North coast of Madeira. Appreciate the crystal clear air and mysterious wilderness as you head into the indigenous Laurissilva forest at Santa, before descending in to the impressive villages along the outstanding Northern coast. For example, go to Seixal to see its many different waterfalls. Next up, travel to Porto Moniz, known for its natural saltwater pools composed of volcanic rocks, which are some of the most beautiful natural swimming pools in the world. Finally, go to the stunning Serra de Àgua valley to see the South Coast, Encumeada, Ribeira Brava, and Campanário. On Mondays you can explore the west and north of Madeira Island.

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Madeira: West Tour with Porto Moniz and Volcanic Pools

7. 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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Northwest Madeira: Open Top 4x4 Tour

8. Northwest Madeira: Open Top 4x4 Tour

Get off the beaten track in an open top 4x4 vehicle driven by an experienced guide. Explore the rugged Northwestern side of Madeira and learn about local traditions, culture, and history while encountering the natural wonders of the area. Taste local food and drinks like poncha and swim in the natural seaside, volcanic lava pools at Porto Moniz or Seixal. Go for an easy 15 minute walk along a levada and learn about the unique aqueduct system that continues to supply the island with water and energy today. Explore a small segment of a vast levada network stretching over 2,000 km and admire the beautiful views of the countryside these canal walkways provide. Check out the fauna and flora in Fanal Forest, including the native Ocotea foetens trees, some of which are over 500 years old. This tour passes through Serra d'Água, Ginjas, Estanquinhos, Paúl da Serra, Fanal, Ribeira da Janela, Porto Moniz, Seixal, and São Vicente.

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Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

9. Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

Head out from Funchal on a full-day tour of Madeira’s north-east. Leaving the town behind, stop in São Vicente, and take in amazing 360-degree views. Marvel at the contrast of colors from the vineyards. Enjoy a drive along serpentine roads and through forests. Discover the unique scenery of the area from an open-top 4X4 vehicle. Before lunch, visit a water mill and see the traditional thatched houses of Santana. Stop to enjoy lunch in idyllic surroundings, and later visit a sugar cane and rum factory, where you can taste the local rum. Finish your tour in Caniçal, where you’ll have spectacular views of Ponta São Lourenço – the eastern part of the island.

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Western Madeira: Private Island Tour

10. Western Madeira: Private Island Tour

This tour of the west, begins in the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos. Then you will journey up to Cabo Girao, which is the highest cape in Europe, and the second highest in the world. Take in the breath taking views, of both the sea and the island. After being on top of the world, continue to the charming rock Encumeada to see the bountiful view of Serrad’agua valley. Head to São Vicente, where you get the best perspective of the Laurisilva forest. This forest covers largest parts of the island, and is famous for the caves carved long ago, from volcanic activity. Continuing north, go to Porto Moniz, known worldwide for its natural lava pools. There will be plenty of time to swim in these unique formations, if you are up for it. Finally, arrive at a well kept secret point called, the window to Porto Moniz, Ribeira da Janela. Here you can finish the day in Lameiros, while looking over the amazing São Vicente valley.

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Frequently asked questions about São Vicente, Madeira

What top attractions are a must-see in São Vicente, Madeira?

The must-see attractions in São Vicente, Madeira are:

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Which tours in São Vicente, Madeira are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These experiences in São Vicente, Madeira are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

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What people are saying about São Vicente, Madeira

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,252 reviews

Marco was great! Very knowledgeable about the islands, cautious about Covid, and helping us out of the van, which had a long step down. Seems he knew all the dogs along his route and always smiled at them and was very caring towards them. Gotta love a guide that loves dogs!

The trip was amazing. Our tour guide was Ruben. Great guide, real pro. He did the tour fascinating, full of interesting fact and jokes. It was my second tour with Ruben and I definitely can say that you will have a great time if you are in his group :)

our day trip was amazing. Diogo our guide was so insightful and friendly and took time to explain points of interest around the isalnd. pick up and drop off went well and we had no issues with the trip.

Great experience with Diogo who went out of his way to restructure the trip due to a poorly passenger. His driving was exciting and fun with rollercoaster rides through the puddles.

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