Azure blue waters, rugged coastline, and no shortage of natural scenery are what you’ll find on this Portuguese island. Since the coastline is rocky, Madeira isn’t an ideal spot for a beach holiday. However, the island is packed with adventure for those who don’t want to lounge on the beach anyway. If you’re planning a trip to Madeira, here are the best things to do.
Visit the Cabo Girão Skywalk
This cliff walk stands at 589 meters, making it Europe’s highest cliff skywalk, and the world’s second-highest. The platform was built in 2012 and has a glass floor so that visitors can see the ocean beneath them. It sees nearly 2,000 visitors each day, making it one of Madeira’s top tourist attractions.
Watch for Dolphins and Whales
Madeira is one of the top dolphin-watching destinations in the world. Out of 80 species, 29 can be seen here throughout the year. Visitors are told that they will have a 90 percent chance of seeing at least one dolphin species on their visit. A boat tour can take you out to some of the best spots for dolphin spotting. Occasionally, visitors will see whales too.
The valleys and cliffs make Madeira the ideal destination for paragliding. The southern region of the island has particularly suitable spots for landing and taking off. There are a handful of quality companies that offer paragliding experiences for guests who want to see the island from a new vantage point.
Natural Ocean Pools
Visitors to the northwest region of the island will find plenty of natural swimming holes. Porto Moniz village is one of the best spots for finding them. The collection of volcanic rocks here helps to form the pools and keep the cool water in. They are perfect for hot days when you just want to cool off and chill out.
Hike on The Levada Trail
A Levada is an irrigation channel that brings water down from the mountains. They are lined with dense vegetation, making them great hiking trails to follow. The Levada trail goes through Laurisilva forest, the largest laurel forest in the world. It’s also a World UNESCO Heritage Site and has plenty of coastal views.
Scuba Dive at The Madeira Aquarium
Their saltwater diving pool is 500,000 liters and is home to sharks, morays, rays, and hundreds of fish. Visitors will have a scuba diving lesson in a smaller pool to learn how to use the equipment first. For those who don’t want to take their chances with the sharks, they can view their friends and family diving through the aquarium window.
Pico do Ariero
This is the third highest peak on Madeira and is considered the most beautiful by many. It’s about 1818 meters and has some of the best views on the island. Trekkers and photographers both love this destination.
If you’re visiting Portugal and want to catch some time on the island, Madeira has what you need. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will have their work cut out for them when visiting this beautiful, Portuguese island. Get started on your travel checklist by booking your transfer from Madeira Airport.