Things to do in
São Vicente, Madeira

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Our most recommended things to do in São Vicente, Madeira

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

1. 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. 

Tour to the West of Madeira

2. 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.

From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

3. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

7. 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.

Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Safari Tour with Porto Moniz Natural Pools

8. Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Safari Tour with Porto Moniz Natural Pools

Uncover the beauty of the countryside of Madeira on a jeep tour from Funchal. Travel to locations like Cabo Girão cliff and the village of Lugar de Baixo. Take pictures of a viewpoint overlooking the valley of Encumeada. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Funchal. Sit back and relax on the way to the charming red-roofed town of Câmara de Lobos. Climb up to the cliff of Cabo Girão which is 580 meters above of sea level. View the island from a glass platform.  Continue to the sea village of Lugar de Baixo. Begin an ascent from sea level into the mountains along an ancient path. See how local people live and how they work the agricultural terraces of banana trees, vineyards, and various other crops.  Pass through the forest, mountains, and valleys until you reach the Loch of the Moor. Admire the magnificent view of the valley of Encumeada and Serra de Água. Head through the scenic countryside of Bica da Cana, Paul da Serra, and Fanal. Reach the village of Ribeira da Janela to see the northwest coast of the Island. Drive back down to sea level to visit the coast and take in ocean views. Have the chance to stop and purchase lunch in Vila do Porto Moniz.  After lunch, you can purchase entrance to the natural pools in Porto Moniz which were created by the porous shape of the volcanic rocks. Go to the Village of Seixal to visit the waterfall of the Véu da Noiva. Finish your tour with a drive through São Vicente before heading back to Funchal.

Madeira: Private Jeep 4x4 West Tour to Natural Pools

9. Madeira: Private Jeep 4x4 West Tour to Natural Pools

Experience a little bit of everything on this private Madeira jeep tour with a car is reserved only for you and your group. Customize the route of the tour to see the sea, mountains, and waterfalls, and swim in natural pools (western part of the island). Explore Madeira Island in a unique and active way by Land Rover 4x4. On your tour, you’ll see breathtaking views, visit hidden places which you can't reach by yourself, and collect memories you’ll never forget. Here is the example tour itinerary which you can adjust to meet your dreams: Departing from Funchal for Câmara de Lobos, then climb up to the cliff of Cabo Girão, 580 meters above sea level. Step onto a glass platform and view some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Island. Continue to Lugar de Baixo, where you’ll begin the adventure from sea level to the mountains, climbing through ancient paths where you can see how the local people live and how they work the terraces of banana trees and vineyards. Next, pass through the forest, mountains, and valleys until you reach the Loch of the Moor with its unbeatable view of the valley of Encumeada and Serra de Água. Go through Bica da Cana, Paul da Serra, and Fanal, with more views of the valleys and mountains. Upon reaching the village of Ribeira da Janela, see the northwest coast of the island. Descend to sea level to visit the coast and enjoy the ocean view. Then, go to Vila do Porto Moniz to stop for lunch and perhaps enjoy swimming in the natural pools. In the final part of the tour, leave Porto Moniz for the Village of Seixal and visit the waterfall of the Véu da Noiva. Continue to São Vicente before ending the day with drop-off back in Funchal.

Madeira: Private Weekend Wine Tasting in São Vicente

10. Madeira: Private Weekend Wine Tasting in São Vicente

Travel to the north of Madeira to the beautiful town of São Vicente for a private wine tasting experience with round-trip transportation. See the wine-growing crops all around the town and learn about the process. Get a taste of local flavors during tastings of different types of Madeira wines from dry to sweet. Enjoy a feast with some cheese and tapas aperitifs (appetizers) paired with your wine. Discover the latest technology utilized in wine production. See how every aspect of the wine production process is meticulously controlled to produce wines of exceptional quality. Learn about the different types of grapes grown and various flavor profiles. After a tour, taste 6 different wines to round off your visit.

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What people are saying about São Vicente, Madeira

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,504 reviews

Pedro, our guide was brilliant on every level. We had great confidence in his keep driving skills, his knowledge of nature and all sorts of useful information was fabulous. Pedro showed his passion for your beautiful island’s nature, climate and landscape and stopped off along the way to pick and give us sample of local herbs. The trip was so much better than I expected with being transported to so many diverse parts of the island. Pedro had a lovely sense of humour and was very caring - allowing good time for breaks and stops. Pedro is a wonderful asset to his firm and helped make my holiday to be a perfect and most enjoyable holiday!!!

What an amazing experience: on the back of a jeep we explored the north and west of the island. Diogo guided us through the day with fun facts and knowledge on the vegetation. Unfortunately, the volcanic pools were closed due to a rough sea. But instead Diogo added another short stop with an incredible view. In general, the tour with true spirit was the most best tour for me on Madeira!

Great day out. Comfortable journey and our guide Pedro was good fun and informative. We did not participate in the swimming, as it looked cold (weather not brilliant). The view points were good and the walk around the old trees. The lunch (pay extra for) was first class. We were given enough time at all the stops and not rushed. Great fun going through the waterfall.

Was a very nice tour, despite the rain! Above all, swimming in the volcanic pool at 18 degrees was very refreshing and beautiful! Our guide Bruno was great, thank you! Gladly again.

We managed to see a lot of things, had a great time, amazing nature.