Things to do in
Machico

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Our most recommended things to do in Machico

Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

1. Madeira: Scuba Diving Experience

Your scuba diving adventure will begin with a short theory lesson about the practice of diving before doing a trial dive in the shallow waters of the swimming pool.  Once you feel comfortable and know how to handle the equipment, you’ll be ready for the real deal. Your diving instructor will take you for an exhilarating dive out in the sea to explore the spectacular underwater world of Madeira. The dive itself will last about 45 minutes at a maximum depth of 12 meters. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a certificate of participation to make your next underwater adventure an absolute breeze.

Tour of Eastern Madeira

2. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Immerse yourself in the history of Madeira. Starting with pick-up from the lobby of your hotel, make your way to the Camacha Wickerwork Factory, (Closed at the moment due to Covid). Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests into the black forest of Madeira overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters.  Taking the old road of Faial, Santana will be the next stop, where you can see the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (includes rum tasting) and the village. See the rough black sandy beach popular with surfers. In July and August, enjoy the chance to swim in the famous saltwater pool. Then travel along the North Coast where sugar cane terraces are still visible. See the old capital of Madeira, Machico, where the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the 15th century, before heading to Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern point cape of the island where the rock formations will astound you. Your tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

Madeira: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour from Machico

3. Madeira: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour from Machico

Start you tour with a safety briefing and instructions by a marine biologist on how to swim with dolphins. Receive your safety vests and wind breakers, and start your boat adventure.  From the boat, observe marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea birds, turtles, and jelly fish. If you group spots common or spotted dolphins, and the sea conditions permit it, feel free to take a swim with those adorable creatures. With 29 species, Madeira is one of the best places in the world to observe whales and dolphins and the rate of success is very high.

Madeira: 1-Way or Round-Trip Shared Airport Transfer

4. Madeira: 1-Way or Round-Trip Shared Airport Transfer

Enjoy a safe and comfortable transfer from the Madeira airport to your hotel on this 45-minute service. Book in advance and arrive in Madeira with no worries about finding transportation. This shared transfer is available for hotels located in Central Funchal, Machico, Santa Cruz, Câmara de Lobos, and Caniço village. Up to 8 passengers can be accommodated in the mini-bus. When you arrive, look in the exit area for the driver, who will be carrying an envelope for each of the passengers for the service. Inside the envelope is general information about Madeira and other services provided by the operator. If you are booking a round-trip transfer, you must confirm the pick-up time at your hotel.

Madeira: Half-Day Pico Arieiro Jeep Tour

5. Madeira: Half-Day Pico Arieiro Jeep Tour

This Jeep tour will show you Madeira’s third-highest peak, which sits at 1,818 meters. You'll also discover Santo da Serra, renowned for its famous farms and cider drink which you will have the opportunity to taste. You can also take the opportunity to enjoy a short levada walk in the mountain, which will last about 20 to 30 minutes. Once having concluded your walk, you'll proceed onward to the Portela viewpoint. You'll stop by the Portela viewpoint, overlooking Porto da Cruz in the north of the Island, where you will go off-road in the middle of the Laurissilva Forest to the town of Machico. Machico was the first place found when they discovered Madeira Island, and once you are done discovering its features, you will return to your hotel.

Madeira: Full-Day of Activities at Ponta de São Lourenço

6. Madeira: Full-Day of Activities at Ponta de São Lourenço

Arrive at Ponta de São Lourenço and discover the unique wonders of this nature reserve through a variety of fun activities. First, do some kayaking along the coast and observe beautiful caves up close. Take beautiful photographs of the volcanic slopes of Baía D'abra. Next, get your snorkel gear and be amazed by the fantastic underwater world at Cais do Sardinha. See beautiful species of fish, maybe even octopus and cuttlefish, beautiful algae, and sponges. If you're lucky you'll also be able to observe the very rare Monk Seal. Enjoy a light lunch of sandwiches made with traditional Bolo do Caco bread and a selection of fresh fillings. Then, embark on a boat tour along the coast. Sail to the farthest point of Ponta de São Lourenço and enjoy fantastic views of the oldest lighthouse of Madeira, before returning to Marina da Quinta do Lorde.

From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

7. From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

Begin this full-day 4x4 tour with a pick-up at your hotel in Funchal and travel deep into the southeast of Madeira. You’ll come to Machico town and the line that divides the north and south of the island. Take in breathtaking views of the Eagles Rock from Portela. Drive down, stopping in Porto da Cruz, which is the next must-see point. Visit a sugar cane factory, continue to the Faial coastline and then up to see the typical houses of Santana. These small straw-thatched triangular houses are emblematic of Madeira and intricate in their construction. Head down into the valley and through the forest to Riveiro Frio at an elevation of 1818 meters, the third-highest peak on the Island.

Madeira: Guaranteed Whales or Dolphins Watching Tour

8. Madeira: Guaranteed Whales or Dolphins Watching Tour

Board a boat custom-made for whale watching with seats that fit a maximum of 12 passengers per trip. Learn about whales and dolphins from the crew and keep your eyes open for all kinds of wildlife, including turtles and different species of bird. Madeira Island is known by the scientific community as the area with the highest concentration of cetacean in Madeira. With 98% of tours resulting in successful sightings, you are guaranteed to see a wide variety of different animals. After more than 1 hour and 30 minutes out at sea learning about these fascinating mammals, you’ll return back to the pier, marking the end of your whale and dolphin watching experience.

From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

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. 

East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical Houses

10. East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical Houses

Discover more of Madeira with a 4x4 excursion to the eastern part of the island. Travel from Funchal to see sights like Pico do Areeiro peak and Ponta de São Lourenço natural reserve. See how rum is made with a visit to a sugar cane factory. Be picked up from your hotel in Funchal and drive to the Pico do Areeiro to see the views from the third highest peak on the island. Continue to the charming Ribeiro Frio village. Take a leisurely walk to Balcões viewpoint in the lush heart of the Laurissilva forest. Jump back in the jeep and drive through São Roque do Faial parish, Cruzinhas viewpoint, and the mountain village of Lombo Galego. Take the off-road trail Cova da Roda. Pass through Pico das Pedras right in the middle of the Ponta de São Lourenço reserve. Head towards Santana, where you can go get lunch. Visit the Porto da Cruz sugarcane rum factory. Finish with panoramic views of the Atlantic at the reserve.

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What people are saying about Machico

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 616 reviews

Nicolas has been an amazing instructor with my friend and I. It was my friend’s first time diving, and he was stressed about breathing underwater. Nicolas has been patient, king, educative and attentive which helped my friend to dive properly and to really enjoy his first dive. Thank you so much Nicolas !

The guide explained everything well and took his time. After some practice in the pool we went into the open sea. You saw a lot of fish and the guide always indicated what was where. Thank you for this great experience.

Richard is a nice, polite fellow who tries to satisfy his clients. We saw the northeastern part of Madeira Witze the beautiful triangle houses and the mystic woods. IT was great. Many thanks! Monika & Ingrid

Absolutely unforgettable experience, i literally wanted to return the next day but they weren't open. 10/10

Very pleasant drive with the car and a nice travel companion who took care of everything.