If there is one thing that we can admit, it is that Madeira is a tourist destination that many envy, not only for its beauty, but also for tourist things that can be done. But how about we talk a little about each county on the island? Come find out the best of each city in Madeira Island!
Best of Funchal
At first glance, a cosmopolitan city that lacks nothing. History, Heritage, Luxury Hotels, Restaurants, Traditions, Good Weather and Friendly People. But you will notice that despite being well received, you will feel a shy air in this Portuguese capital, and only later will you see the charm of Funchal. The city is divided into 3 major zones, which are the centre, the hotel zone, and the periphery.
In the center, we will find the great commerce and most of the points of interest, whether cultural or historical, where we have churches, museums, fortresses, the traditional Mercado dos Lavradores and the beautiful Old Town, so artistic during the day and so lively at night.
It is also in the center where you can find the best traditional Madeiran products and some of the most elegant, beautiful, and chic restaurants and cafes like Prima Caju.
Best of Câmara de Lobos and Ribeira Brava
Câmara de Lobos must certainly be the best-known municipality in Madeira after Funchal due to its traditional Poncha and Nikita. It is always remembered as a fishing village where you can enjoy good fish. Very close is Cabo Girao, a Skywalk, with 580 m of height.
The fascinating Curral das Freiras in the middle of the giant mountains with the viewpoints that surround it. In the highest part there is Jardim da Serra and in the most coastal part there is Fajã dos Padres which can only be accessed by boat or cable car.
On the opposite side, we have Ribeira Brava which is perhaps one of the least visited, although that doesn’t mean anything, because to be sure of the charms of a place, you have to go there and see it. A very pleasant village, with a lot of exposure to the Atlantic Ocean and always keeping an eye on the waters of the streams. Founded in 1914, the village has the Museum of Ethnography of Madeira and if you want to go to the north of the island, you can do so along the beautiful road in Serra da Encumeada.
Best of Ponta do Sol and Calheta
These are warmer but very quiet areas, with a strong focus on agricultural activity. They are also open to the ocean, which some surfers like to enter. Through these areas, you can also go to the mountains, to the Paul da Serra plateau and the beautiful Laurissilva Forest.
Ponta do Sol is where you can find the hottest area of Madeira, where it houses two areas of interest for subtropical culture, namely bananas and sugar cane. Also is one of the most beautiful and well-kept villages on the island with quality hotels like Estalagem da Ponta do Sol and a very enriched cultural center. The Cascata dos Anjos is an unforgettable place, a waterfall is located in the site of Anjos.
From Ponta do Sol to Calheta it is quite fast, and without a doubt you will have to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Madeira. The municipality of Calheta, where it was re-established as a village, has more things to see, such as the villages of Jardim do Mar and Paúl do Mar where surfers can find first-class surf spots.
However, there is also Paul da Serra, the proud Madeira plateau as well as the fascinating levadas in the Laurissilva Forest. Finally, you should visit Engenho do Açúcar, a factory-museum with a bar that serves the traditional Honey cake and Poncha in a spectacular way.
Best of São Vicente and Porto Moniz
On the north coast there is an incredible vigor. Mountainous slopes with an intense sea, Laurissilva Forest in its splendor and enchanted villages. Literally the soul of Madeira in its purest state. Whoever visits the island without passing through the northern part, misses out on an authentic paradise.
If you go to São Vicente, you must go down to the center of the Earth, as there are Caves and the Center of Volcanism to show the geological origins of the island and the Rota do Cal where it shows the way to the old limestone mines, which in ancient times boosted the local economy.
In all of this, there is a small and peaceful village, almost like a crib in the middle of a rock, further down the waterfront exposes it to the harsh northern sea and the steep slopes. All the time spent in São Vicente is certainly not wasted time visiting the parishes of Boaventura and Ponta Delgada. What really stands out is the force of nature. One of the examples would be the Véu da Noiva an impressive natural waterfall over the sea.
But not all the attention goes to São Vicente, as Porto Moniz also stands out in the northern part, where the biggest attraction are the natural pools and there are other beautiful things there like the Aquarium and the Scientific Center of Ciência Viva.
From now on, stop by the village of Seixal, where there is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful beaches in Madeira, which is the beach of Seixal, with natural volcanic black sand, accompanied by a mild temperature of water and incredible views of the mountains.
Best of Santana, Machico and Santa Cruz
The typical houses in Santana is one of the hallmarks of Madeira. Santana acquired the status of Biosphere Reserve from UNESCO in 2011, as there are some of the most important points of the Laurissilva Forest, such as Ribeiro Frio and so many other levadas that you cannot miss. In the same places is Pico Ruivo, the highest peak in Madeira and the 3rd highest in Portugal, one of the best places to enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
On the other hand is Machico with the oldest population on the island, as it was there that Portuguese navigators in the 15th century landed, while Santa Cruz is the municipality of entries in Madeira. Machico is where there are records of the oldest population of Madeira.
You can’t also miss Caniçal, a village on the eastern end of the island, where one of the most touristic spots in Madeira is located, the Ponta de São Lourenço and Santo da Serra enjoyed the best cider on the island. Meanwhile in Santa Cruz, there is a lot of talk in the parish of Camacha, where it has a rich culture of handicrafts but for those who like the sea, the tern may be for you.
My name is Daniel Gonçalves, I’m 19 years old, and I’m a digital content creator. Social charismatic and self-motivated.