Funchal
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Funchal Nature & Adventure

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

1. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of Madeira coastline and look for marine life on this catamaran cruise from Funchal. Snorkel through schools of silver fish with high-quality snorkeling gear. Look for dolphins while sipping on a drink purchased from the onboard bar. See dolphins, whales, and turtles playing in their natural habitat. Throughout the year Madeira has different aquatic mammals journeying through its blue waters. Whether you come in summer or winter, the chances are high you’ll see one of these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season or catch a glimpse of the world beneath the waves with the provided snorkeling equipment. Relax on deck with a refreshing drink from the onboard bar.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

2. Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

Arrive at Marina Nova Funchal 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time and board a luxury catamaran. Receive some safety information from the experienced crew. Choose to sit in the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and protection from the sun, and lounge chairs or outdoor hammocks. Afterward, sit back and relax as you sail towards the open sea. Although sightings of marine species can not be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often found in the waters around Funchal. Keep an eye on the movements in the water whilst the crew answers any questions about the variety of species. Continue up to the high cliffs of Cabo Girão, which rise 580 meters above sea level. Anchor the boat at Cabo Girão and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters to explore underwater marine life with a snorkel. Then, stroll at a leisurely pace around the Marina of Funchal, and marvel at the fantastic views of Madeira's landscapes. Return to Funchal Marina Nova for a quick landing process and continue to enjoy your day after the tour.

Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

3. Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

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. 

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

4. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

Hit the waters near Cabo Girão in search of dolphins and whales on a cruise trip from Funchal. Learn amazing facts about the animals from your guide. Take a dip in the water and use the snorkel provided, or relax with a drink in your hand before your catamaran docks back at the Funchal Marina. Set sail from the marina in Funchal, where you will board the yacht. Search for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in their natural environment.  As you keep an eye out for local wildlife, make a stop for snorkeling. Swim in the sea or use the snorkeling gear at Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe at 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. Alternatively, admire the towering cliffs and the scenic coastal landscapes from the boat while sipping on a complimentary drink served on board.

All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

5. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

Your 3-hour luxury catamaran tour begins at the docks of the new marina of Funchal. Board the catamaran and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before setting off. Sail into the ocean to find dolphins, whales, and turtles. Spot these creatures in their natural habitat. After sailing around spotting dolphins, whales and turtles enjoy a 30 minute stop next to Cabo Girão, the 1920 foot (586m) seaside cliff. Here you have a change o go swimming in the crystal clear waters. After a quick swim, you will get back on the boat where you can relax and enjoy the views of the coast of Funchal as you head back to the marina.

Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

6. Madeira: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel, start the day at Funchal Harbour where you will learn everything you need to know about kayaking before heading to the nature reserve. Upon arrival at Garajau, enjoy a 40-minute paddle towards Lazareto. Stop for a break on the beautiful pebble beach and take in the views of the surrounding rock features from times gone by. Afterwards, discover Madeira's native marine life as you snorkel through crystal-clear waters. In the event of poor weather conditions, you will have the opportunity to explore the sea from the safety of your kayak instead. Finish the day with a spot of cliff diving before heading back to your hotel for the evening.

Madeira: Half-Day Off-Road Buggy Tour

7. Madeira: Half-Day Off-Road Buggy Tour

Let the adventurer in you explore Madeira’s mountain landscape by off-road buggy with a professional guide. Start your experience with a pickup from your accommodation before arriving at the site of your exploration, the mountainous area near Cabo Girão. Explore Madeira’s dirt paths and mountain tracks in your secure buggy, with goggles and a guide to keep you safe and having fun (1 driver per buggy must have a license). Enjoy riding along some terrain that is otherwise inaccessible without a 4x4 vehicle.  Take mementos from your exploration home with you — your adventurous exploration into the country terrain includes stops at photogenic viewpoints and photos and videos from your accompanying GoPro.  Round off your day with a transfer back to your accommodation.

Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

8. Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Enjoy an affordable and comfortable transfer to Pico do Areeiro to enjoy a sunrise or morning Hike all the way to Achada do Teixeira (10 km). Don't worry about transportation and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Experience the nº 1 hike on Madeira Island, Pico Do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo (PR 1). This concept is specially designed for self-guided hikers, where you have the freedom to walk at your own rhythm. After the sunrise, the hike takes place. You will experience the most amazing views, in the middle of the highest mountains (up to 1800m). The end of the hike and pick-up location is at Achada do Teixeira, in the parking lot area. On the way back to your accommodation, you will pass through the city of Santana, which is famous for its triangular typical houses. It's very important to know that the weather conditions are very unpredictable in this part of the island, so your reservation could be canceled or postponed due to aggressive weather conditions. The sunrise is also not guaranteed, due to weather conditions that may occur. You will be contacted within 48 hours before the hike.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

9. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

On this relaxing sailing trip get the chance to see dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in its natural environment. Swim, snorkel or sit back and admire the views, and enjoy a complimentary adult beverage. Your journey begins at the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. There will be a stop to go swimming and snorkeling at Cabo Girão. Here, you can see the highest sea cliff in Europe, which towers 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. If you don't want to swim, you can simply admire the beautiful coastal landscapes from the boat. You will be offered one complimentary drink on board and be able to admire the beautiful sunset over the sea.

From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

10. 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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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,532 reviews

The whole experience was amazing. I was picked up on time from my hotel by Diogo and was given a warm welcome from the people in the jeep. Our group was in total 6 people and honestly was the best group could ask for. Diogo was continually explaining what we were going to see and where on the map we are and what follows. This tour is a must see but if you have Diogo as a guide you ll see even more, off beaten tracks and off road paths if you are up to an adventure, amazing spots for photos that you might not get to see with other guides. He knows the island well and loves what he’s doing and that surely made our experience unforgettable. We laughed so much on the off road as we were allowed to stand up on the jeep and watch the nature up close. He was checking on us every 1 minute (literally) to see if we are ok as we safely drove out of the forest. This tour is definitely 100% recommended as it covers many parts of the island. Will for sure come back!

Miguel was fantastic from picking us up in the morning to telling us about the places we visited and driving on the steep and winding roads. Our family of 8 basically had a private tour and it was a great experience. Loved swimming at the natural pools at Porto Moniz!

Picked up from the hotel by a Land Rover Discovery which wasn’t what I was expecting. Chuffed to bits and the day just got better.

The boat trip was amazing and the crew as well. Will for sure be repeating the experience!

Great service, excellent people. The hike was lovely