A mild year-round climate and laurel forests that are a World Heritage Site – Madeira’s nature is a sight by itself. The island is also known as the “Island of Flowers” or the “Island of Eternal Spring”. Madeira belongs to Portugal and lies in the Atlantic Ocean just off the northwest coast of Africa.
A sea of blossoming flowers and plants makes nature on the island so unique. Even the Austrian Empress Sisi used the mild temperatures to recover from a serious illness. Tropical parks and botanical gardens, a levada hike over breathtaking springs, or a visit to Madeira’s capital Funchal. I’ll show you the most beautiful sights on Madeira Island.
But no holiday without a great hotel ;). Staying at the TUI BLUE Madeira Gardens is a dream. The Adults-only hotel is located on a hillside with a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean and the capital Funchal.
I’ll tell you about the most beautiful sights in Madeira and give you my personal travel tips.
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One of the most popular hikes and a beautiful sight in Madeira is the levada hike. If you are good on foot, you can complete the demanding terrain in about three hours. The special thing about this hike are the individual water channels (levadas) that you have to cross during the hike. The water channels supply banana plantations and vineyards with water. Now you know how the lush vegetation comes about ;). You can marvel at the flora and fauna along the way. Passing forests, tunnels and small caves, this tour almost has something of a fairytale about it. You can easily start from Madeira’s capital Funchal.
Wine Museum in Funchal
Trying a glass of Madeira’s own fortified wine is a MUST for any holidaymaker. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical at first, but the aroma is really fabulous. Fittingly, I come to another Madeira sight. The Wine Museum on the outskirts of Madeira’s capital, Funchal. Here you can learn all about the beginnings of the wine industry and see impressive collections dating back to the 16th century. I wouldn’t have thought that wine production has changed so much over the years.
Botanical Garden in Funchal
The Botanical Garden is one of the most remarkable places in Funchal. Simply unwind and enjoy a magnificent view over the city and the bay. The garden offers you a peaceful place for leisurely walks and a delicious picnic. Flowers, exotic plants, streams and ponds are set amidst an impressive maze of paths. Discover the many little niches that surround each path. A beautiful sight and green oasis in the middle of busy Funchal.
Grutas de Sao Vicente
Now it’s getting dark and mysterious with my next Madeira sight. More than 890,000 years ago, the Sao Vicente caves were formed by a volcanic eruption in Paul da Serra. At almost 6 metres high, the winding passages of the lava caves are a real eye-catcher. In the enormous grottos with crystal-clear water, you can hear every drop of water individually. At the end of the tour, you will reach an information centre that tells you all about volcanism in Madeira. The caves are located in the north of the island, about 35 kilometres from Funchal.
A visit to the Mercado dos Lavradores
A visit to Funchal’s farmers’ market is one of Madeira’s top sights and a to-do for real foodies. Colourful fruit, fresh fish and hearty spiced meat skewers will make your mouth water. A little tip: It’s best to visit the market in the morning, then you can still see the big tunas and won’t find any tables sold out yet. The different prices are as huge as the selection of fruit. Don’t get ripped off and compare prices before you buy. No inspiration yet on what to eat? The black scabbardfish is a real speciality. Freshly caught and super tasty ;).
Basket sleigh ride from Monte to Livramento
A sleigh ride in shorts? Believe me, even something like that is possible in Madeira.
Pasture baskets on skids used to be used by farmers to better deliver their produce to the valley. To this day, this means of transport is a popular excursion on which you can see other sights on Madeira. We start from the church of Nossa Senhora in Monte. By the way, you can easily reach the village above Funchal by cable car. Now there’s a bit of a breeze. Guided by traditionally dressed men, you’ll travel about two kilometres through narrow curves to Livramento. The toboggans travel at around 48 km/h and transport you safely to your destination. Fun guaranteed!
Well, have I made you curious about my beautiful sights in Madeira?
Discover the fascinating flora and fauna of this region and explore the island of eternal spring. Why not get a taste of Portuguese cuisine at home? Because as the saying goes? As they say, anticipation is the best joy.
Still not sure about your hotel choices? The TUI BLUE Madeira Gardens is the perfect starting point.