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Madeira

Day Trips

Our most recommended Madeira Day Trips

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: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

2. 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 sailboat 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.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

3. 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: Garajau Nature Reserve Kayak and Snorkel Tour

4. 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.

Tour to the West of Madeira

5. Tour to the West of Madeira

Discover the highlights of Madeira's beautiful landscapes and charming towns on this guided tour in a comfortable vehicle, with pickup and drop-off included. Stop at Camara de Lobos, the Ribeira Brava and visit the village of São Vicente. 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. Admire the banana plantations and sugarcane on the steepy terraces that sometimes are difficult to get to. Visit Madeira's pride and Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second-highest in the world. Discover the breathtaking views over the mountains and sea and old agricultural terraces still planted today. Then, the route descends to Ribeira Brava, 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, where the oldest Laurel Trees and endemic vegetation that grows and embraces the long Rabaçal Valley, to Porto Moniz valley, well known for its natural volcanic pools in the summer. Spend 2 hours and in the winter 1 and half hours there. A stop for lunch or a light snack follows after (not included in the price). The tour continues along the north coast where waterfalls are visible. Drive through the village of Seixal, well known for its black natural volcanic beach and wine terraces which continues right through São Vicente. Appreciate Portugal's own little "Hawai" due to the high wave attraction in the winter and surfing attraction nature will escort up to the Encumeada Pass, where the North meets the South at 1007 meters above sea level (this stop will depend on the weather conditions). At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

6. 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

7. 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.

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

8. 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. 

From Funchal: Nuns Valley, Monte and Sleigh Ride Tour

9. From Funchal: Nuns Valley, Monte and Sleigh Ride Tour

Depart Funchal and journey to the Pico dos Barcelos to experience one of Madeira's unique viewpoints. Get a breathtaking view of all points of the island, before making your way up to Eira do Serrado. Admire the surrounding chestnut trees and eucalyptus plants of the natural wonderland. The ancient footpaths are still used by locals and tourists, and the narrow road and tunnels can still be seen.  From an altitude of 1,094 meters above sea level, see across to the Nuns Valley. Isolated from the rest of the island, the Nuns Valley is surrounded by lava rock and takes its name from the nuns that once inhabited the valley as they fled from pirate attacks during the 16th century. Try some traditional chestnut cake and pastries only found in the region, along with different traditional liquors. Then, go to Monte, one of Madeira´s old tourist stops, and visit the church where the tomb of the Emperor Charles I of Austria can be found.  Add a little adventure to the day and enjoy an unforgettable 2-kilometer toboggan ride down the old road of Livramento, where the bus will pick you up at the bottom.

Madeira: Half-Day Off-Road Buggy Tour

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Madeira Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Madeira?

The other unmissable things to do in Madeira are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Madeira

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What people are saying about Madeira

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,654 reviews

Amazing staff, no hassle with anything, Very knowledgable about surroundings, Couldn’t do enough to make excursion a pleasant experience

Driver/guide Diogo Pinto was brilliant Probably oldest jeep on the island but made it so much better

The walk is lovely, just a shame the waterfall is overcrowded. Charlotte was brilliant!

A beautiful experience framed and tuned to perfection by our wonderful guide, Tomas!

Diogo and Miguel were the best guides. The tour was wonderful!