Are you looking for the perfect vacation destination? If so, look no further than Madeira, Portugal.
This beautiful island is teeming with natural wonders and offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in hiking, swimming, or just relaxing on the beach, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Madeira.
It is truly one of the most beautiful islands in the world and we cannot wait to help you plan your trip!
In this article, you will discover the perfect Madeira 7-day itinerary. We will tell you everything you need to know to plan your week in Madeira.
This includes things to do, what to eat and tips to help you plan ahead.
So, let’s dive into this 7 days in Madeira itinerary, shall we?
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!
QUICK SUMMARY – 7 DAYS IN MADEIRA
- MUST SEE: Funchal, 25 Fontes, Pico de Ruivo, Porto Muniz, Santana
- BEST WALKING TOUR IN FUNCHAL: Old Town Walking Tour
- BEST HIKES: 25 Fontes and Pico Ruivo
- FUN THING TO DO: Swimming with dolphins
- BEST FOODS & DRINKS: Espetada, Limpets, Scabbard Fish and Poncha
- WHERE TO STAY: $ Casa dos Avós Apartments – $$ Terrace Mar Suite Hotel – $$$ Savoy Palace
How to get Madeira
If you are planning a trip to Madeira, the first thing you need to do is book your flights.
You can fly directly into Funchal Airport (which is actually officially named Cristiano Ronaldo Airport) from major European cities such as Lisbon, Paris, London and more.
Easyjet, Ryanair, TAPortugal and many other airlines fly there every day so you should be able to find a good deal and direct flights!
Click here to see the best fares.
Of course, as for any flights, try to book them in advance and avoid school holidays to get cheaper deals.
Where to stay in Madeira for a week
Once you have your flights booked, the next step is to choose accommodation.
There are many great places to stay in Madeira depending on your budget and preferences.
We would recommend staying in Funchal, the capital city, as it is centrally located and from there you can easily explore the rest of the island.
There is everything you need in Funchal and the weather is pretty much always amazing. Also, a lot of attractions are located in Funchal so it will be the most convenient location.
From there, you can book day trips or hire a car and you can get to the other end of the island in less than 2 hours.
Here are our recommendations for hotels:
The Savoy Palace is one of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in Funchal. If you are looking for a stunning 5-star hotel to spend your week in Funchal, this will be the perfect spot.
It’s very well located, near the Old Town and the waterfront and has all the amenities you may dream of.
Another amazing alternative is the Royal Savoy.
Terrace Mar Suite Hotel is located a bit further away from the old town of Funchal but is by far one of the best places to stay in Madeira for a week.
The hotel offers studios with a kitchen and balconies as well as access to the rooftop pool and spa.
All in all, it’s amazing value for money. Loads of things are included, you can park your car nearby and can go on foot to the natural pools.
Click here to see the latest prices.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, Casa dos Avós Apartments will be an excellent option.
It’s located about 15 minutes from the Marina and the old town of Funchal and offers well-equipped flats.
You will have a kitchen in the flat which means you can also save money on food and prepare it there.
Click here to see the latest prices.
Driving in Madeira: how to hire a car
If you are wondering whether you should hire a car in Madeira or not, the answer would be yes you should.
If you were only staying for 3 or 5 days, you could get around by booking tours but since you are spending a week in Madeira, a car would come in very handy.
The best way to explore the island is by car and having it will give you the flexibility to do what you want when you want it.
Also, it will work out cheaper than booking tours every day.
You can find many car rentals on the island. If you want to find the best fares, click here. Skyscanner will compare the prices and tell you exactly where to get the best deals!
PRO TIP: About parking, it’s important to know that the blue lines mean you have to pay at the coin machine. The white lines mean that it’s free so look for those!
The Ultimate 7-day Madeira Itinerary
Now that you know how to plan your trip, it’s time to discover exactly what you will be doing during your week in Madeira.
In other words, the fun part is about to begin!
Madeira Itinerary Day 1: Funchal and Monte
You will start your week in Madeira by discovering the main town: Funchal.
Funchal is a beautiful and charming town and there are a lot of things you can do here. It’s also a great place to learn about the history of the island.
Morning: Funchal Walking Tour
We recommend starting your day with a walking tour of Funchal.
This is the best way to discover the main highlights and learn about the history of the town. It’s also great value for money and will allow you to get loads of tips to start your holiday on the right foot.
You will meet your guide near the Jesuit’s College of Funchal and walk all around the Old Town.
Funchal Old Town is incredibly pretty. It’s very charming, with all its restaurants and bars, as well as very colourful.
A lot of doors are painted and the houses are pretty colourful as well.
During the tour, you will get to see the farmer’s market, the Campo Almirante Reis, the Cathedral, the Fortress of St. James and more.
The walking tour lasts for 2 hours.
Don’t want to walk? If you want to do something a bit different and unique, or simply don’t want to walk that much, you can opt for the TukTuk tour of Funchal.
This is a bit different since you won’t spend as much time in the old town but will get to discover more of Funchal.
The guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you all around the city. You will get to see the landmarks mentioned before but also others such as the Marina, the statue of Princess Sissi and more.
The guide will tell you everything you need to know about the history and culture of Madeira and will even take you to a good spot to get your first Poncha, Madeira’s typical drink!
Click here to see the latest prices.
Lunch: Casa do Bolo do Caco
After your morning exploring Funchal, it will be time for lunch.
And what better place to have it than at Casa do Bolo de Caco?
This is a very traditional sandwich shop where you can try the most typical bread of the island: bolo do caco.
Bolo do caco is a Madeiran bread that is usually served with garlic butter. It’s incredibly delicious!
The traditional way to get it is just with the garlic butter but this might not be the best option for lunch (it’s better as a starter at the restaurant).
Instead, you can get the ham and cheese sandwich made with the bolo de caco
If you want to try something else, they also have other sandwiches such as the prego (steak sandwich) which is also a typical food from Madeira.
Casa do Bolo de Caco is a very popular place and for good reason, it’s delicious and they make everything by hand.
Also, it’s very cheap! A sandwich will cost you between 3 and 5 euros!
Afternoon stop 1: Cable Car to Monte
After lunch, it will be time to go up to Monte.
Monte is a suburb of Funchal, located up the hill. It’s a very pretty area with great views of the city and the sea.
It’s also one of the most touristy places in Madeira since there are a lot of attractions up there. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth visiting!
The best way to get there is by taking the Cable Car.
The Cable Car is located near the Jardim do Almirante Reis, by the water and it will take you all the way up to Monte.
The ride takes around 20 minutes and the views are simply incredible!
Tickets for the cable car cost 12.50 euros (one way) and can be booked online or directly at the front desk.
Once you’re at Monte, you can visit the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens.
Afternoon stop 2: Tropical Gardens
The Monte Palace Tropical Gardens are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madeira.
And for good reason! The gardens are simply beautiful and very well kept. It’s home to hundreds of species of plants, lakes and even peacocks!
They were open to the public in 1991 and feature one of the most impressive collections of tiles in the whole of Portugal.
They are located near the Cable Car station, so you can easily get there once you arrive in Monte. You simply need to walk for a minute and you will be at the entrance.
The gardens are open every day from 9 am to 6 pm.
PRO TIP: No matter what, make sure to visit the gardens before doing the toboggan otherwise you will have to go all the way back up!
You can buy your ticket at the entrance of the gardens. It costs 12.50 euros and will give you access to the gardens.
Alternatively, you can book a tour of the Gardens of Funchal which includes both the Tropical and Botanical gardens.
Afternoon stop 3: Monte Church Sanctuary and Parque do Monte
Once you’re done exploring the gardens, it’s time to walk around Monte and discover a bit more about this cute neighbourhood.
From the gardens, walk along the main road and turn right to the church. It was built in the 18th century and it’s one of the most beautiful churches in Madeira.
It features a unique black and white facade.
You can walk inside (it’s free) and will discover a beautiful painted ceiling.
PRO TIP: There is a café at the bottom of the stairs. They serve delicious cakes and drinks for a good price (as in, it’s not more expensive than in town even though the spot is touristy). Their terrace is just above the street where the Toboggans are so the views are great.
From the church, walk down the stairs on the lefthand side to the park. The parque do Monte is a very pretty park with many different plants, flowers and even a river!
It’s the perfect place to relax for a bit and enjoy the lush surrounding. Also, it’s free!
As a matter of fact, if you don’t want to pay for the tropical gardens, this can be a good free alternative.
It’s not as good of course but it’s still amazing for a space that is free to enter.
Afternoon stop 4: Toboggan ride
From the Parque do Monte, head back to the Toboggans!
This is the ultimate thing to do in Madeira. This iconic activity is so unique and there is no other place in the world where you can do it!
But what are the toboggans exactly? Basically, you will be going on a ride down the road in a traditional wicker basket while being pushed by two Carreiros.
Don’t worry, it’s not as dangerous as it sounds and it’s actually a lot of fun!
Initially, these wicker baskets were used to carry food and stones up and down. Soon enough, some people discovered they could go all the way down to Funchal Old Town by sliding in them.
Fast forward a few decades later, this is now the most fun activity in Funchal!
The toboggans are located near the park and the church, at the corner of Caminho do Monte and Largo da Fonte.
HOW TO GET A TICKET? You can book directly at the kiosk in front of the toboggan however, the queue can be very long so you need to be ready for that.
Another option is to book a tour of Monte which includes the toboggan ride. This is a great way to discover the area and skip the line at the toboggans.
The toboggans start about halfway between Monte and Funchal Old town. From there, you can get a bus down or walk. It takes about 20 minutes.
Madeira Itinerary Day 2: 25 Fontes Levada Walk
On the second day in Madeira, you will go on a bit of a hike! The 25 fontes levada is the most famous levada walk in Madeira and a must-do!
What is a levada? A levada is an irrigation channel that brings water from the mountains to the farms. It is unique to the island of Madeira and something you can’t miss!
There are over 1000km of levadas and most they make the best spot for walking, while being a great way to discover the island’s stunning landscapes.
The 25 fontes levada walk is located in the valley of Rabaçal. It’s a 9km walk return that takes about 3 hours to complete.
The best thing about this walk is that it’s not just about the levada.
You will also discover 25 different waterfalls and many different landscapes along the way.
The walk is very well maintained however, it’s important to note that it’s very narrow and since it’s a popular walk, it can be a bit of a hassle to circulate.
For this reason, we would highly recommend you get there early!
There are two ways you can explore this famous Madeira landmark.
The first one is by yourself. If you’ve hired a car, then head to Rabaçal and start the walk from there.
You can leave your car in the carpark at the top and start the way down.
Initially, you will be walking on the road, before taking a path and eventually getting to the Levada. The final point is the Risco waterfall.
It’s the highest and the most beautiful waterfall on this walk (if not in Madeira!). There are a lot of rocks here so it’s a good spot to have a bit of a picnic.
PRO TIP: Make sure to get a sandwich before starting your walk since there are no facilities there.
You will then have to make your way back up to the car (this is the hard part).
Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour of 25 fontes.
This is perfect if you don’t have a car, don’t want to go back up or want to get more information about the Levada and the flora in Madeira.
You can easily book your guided tour of 25 Fontes here.
It’s very easy to do so and you can pay with your bank card.
Once it’s done, the guide will arrange to pick up from your hotel (super convenient) and will drive you and your group to Rabaçal where you can start your walk.
GOOD TO KNOW: The guide will stop in a café where you can get a coffee and take some food for lunch. It’s very practical as well as affordable.
You will then walk all the way down to the levada with your guide who will stop to give you loads of information about the flora.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about Madeira. The guides are very knowledgeable and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the island.
You will go all the way to the Risco waterfall where you will have lunch.
After that, you will make your way back via another path (which means you don’t see the same things twice).
There are some steps going up but all in all, this way is much easier than going back up.
You will also go through a tunnel which is quite cool.
Once you reach the end, you will be picked up by your driver and head back to Funchal.
Why should you choose a guided tour?
- The walk is easier since you don’t have to go back up
- You don’t have to walk back the way you came
- You will learn plenty about Madeira
- You will be picked up and don’t have to worry about a thing
Click here to book your guided tour.
Want to stay off-the-beaten path? Then you should consider doing the Lagoa do Vento walk instead. This is another levada walk featuring stunning waterfalls.
It’s nowhere as famous as the 25 fontes which means it’s not packed with tourists but it’s very scenic as well.
You can start this walk from the same carpark than 25 fontes. You need to walk down the road and will find a sign indicating a path going up (named Lagoa do Vento).
This is a harder walk. It’s 6.5 km loop that takes about 4 hours to complete.
Once you are done with the 25 fontes walk. You should be back in Funchal around 4PM. I would recommend not to plan another activity on this day since you will be a bit tired and you need loads of energy for tomorrow!
If you want to do something, you can go to the Lido Poente, which is a swimming bassin where you can do some jumps.
After that, you can head to SCAT Funchal Music Club & Restaurant which is only 1 minute walk from the swimming area. They serve delicious passion fruit ponchas for 4 euros!
Madeira Itinerary Day 3: Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro
Today will be a bit of a tiring day because it involves a lot of walking but trust me, it will be worth it.
You will go to the highest point of Madeira which is Pico Ruivo (1862m) and walk all the way from Pico de Areeiro (3rd highest peak on Madeira).
This is the most scenic hike in Madeira and one of the best in the world!
It’s important to note that it’s not an easy walk, this a bit of a hard hike but it’s so incredibly beautiful. For this reason, it’s important to include it in your itinerary.
If you are not much of a hiker, don’t worry, we will include some alternatives to make it easier.
If you have a car, then drive to Pico do Areeiro in the morning. It takes about 45 minutes from Funchal.
Try to get there early-ish so you don’t struggle to find a parking spot.
Once you parked, walk up to the point at the top of Pico do Areeiro. It’s a fantastic viewpoint and it boasts fantastic views.
From there, you will see the signs to the path.
It’s called PR1 Vereda do Areeiro and is a 12.2 km walk return.
It’s important to note that this is not a loop, so basically, you have to walk 6.1km to Pico Ruivo and then 6.1km back.
PRO TIP: Before getting started, make sure you have water, food and snacks. In terms of clothing, it’s recommended to take sunscreen and a rain jacket. The weather is pretty unreliable on these mountains and you may need both.
This is a ridge walk which means that it’s very scenic but also not ideal for people with fear of heights.
The first part of the walk is on the ridge and you will then start going down the stairs. After that, it’s a bit flatter and you’ll find a few tunnels.
You will then walk up some steep stairs and arrive to a café at the intersection with the PR1.2 walk. From there, it’s only 500 metres to the top!
Once you get to the top, you will discover stunning views over the mountains of Madeira. It’s so incredibly beautiful!
Please note that it’s often cloudy at the top but it doesn’t mean you should stop and not go. The clouds come and go so it’s not because you are walking in the cloud that it will be like that at the top.
Also, if you get to the top and it’s cloudy. Make sure to wait for a bit. Again, the weather changes quickly and 10 minutes can make a big difference.
Once you are done, you can start making your way back to Pico do Areeiro via the same path. This is actually the difficult part since you’ve been walking for quite a while now.
What to do if you don’t want to do the way back?
While doing the hike yourself is the cheapest option, it’s also the hardest one since you have to walk there and back.
If you find that too hard and want to opt for an easier alternative, there are 2 things you can do.
The first one is to do the PR1.2 walk from Santana. It’s much quicker (2hours) and not as hard as the PR1. It will lead you to the café and then the end of the walk is the same for both routes.
This is a great option if you want to do a free walk but it’s important to note that the views are not as spectacular during the walk.
The best alternative to get the best of both worlds is to book a guided tour.
It works exactly like for the 25 fontes walk.
The guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at Pico de Areeiro. From there, you will start the hike to Pico Ruivo with your guide.
This walk includes a lot of breaks since the guide will stop to talk and give you information about what you see. This includes facts about the vegetation, the wildlife and of course, the volcanic history of Madeira.
The guide also adapt his pace to the group. They are used to do it with all sorts of fitness level so don’t worry, they will be very kind and won’t rush you.
But the thing that truly makes this walk easier is the fact that you won’t have to walk back to Pico do Areeiro after. You will actually go down to Teixeira and be picked up by your driver here.
This means that you don’t do twice the same thing and don’t actually have to go back up. Once you reach the top of Pico Ruivo, it’s very easy from there.
Click here to book the guided tour of Pico Ruivo.
Madeira Itinerary Day 4: Dolphin and whale watching + Natural Pools
Today is going to be a fun day and all about water activities so make sure to pack your bikini, and towel and wear sandals.
Morning: Dolphin and whale watching (or swimming)
Madeira is a paradise when it comes to aquatic life. You can find many dolphins and whales around the island and that’s why dolphin and whale watching is such a popular activity here.
It’s also one of the rare places in the world where you can go swimming with dolphins in an eco-friendly and respectful way. For this reason, I highly recommend booking the swimming with the dolphins tour.
It is slightly more expensive than the dolphin-watching tour however, if you don’t get to swim with the dolphins, they will refund you the difference between the two tours.
You can easily book your tour here.
It will be starting at the marina where you will find your speedboat with the skipper and the guide.
The team on the boat works with a team of spotters in order to find the dolphins and whales.
Whales are usually less common so it’s more unlikely you’d get to see them but some groups are lucky and get to see several of them.
The most common type of whale you can find around Madeira is the sperm whale.
For the dolphins, the most common ones in the area are the bottleneck dolphins however, you can’t swim with them.
The two species with whom you can swim are the common dolphins and spotted dolphins.
If you get to see them, the guide will ask you to sit on the side of the boat and get ready to jump in the water.
You will need to take the rope and hold onto it while you sleep. This is a Madeira regulation for safety while swimming in open waters.
When you jump, make sure to make as smoothly as possible so you don’t scare the dolphins away.
This tour is by far one of the best things to do in Madeira. It’s so incredible and unique.
While we appreciate that you can see dolphins and whales in many places in the world, it’s very rare to be able to see them that close. Swimming with them in such a natural environment is also incredibly rare.
For this reason, I can promise you one thing. You are going to love it!
What should you wear?
The best thing to wear is a bikini.
Make sure to put sunscreen on. With the wind, you won’t feel like you are getting sunburnt but I assure you, you will!
You can pack all your belongings in a backpack and keep it on the floor. If it’s a nice day and not raining, it shouldn’t get wet.
If the weather is not entirely nice, you may want to put your clothes in a plastic bag instead.
Finally, if you have a GoPro, make sure to take it! You will make good use of it.
Lunch: Taberna Madeira
Located in the old town of Funchal, the Taberna Madeira is one of the best-rated restaurants in Madeira and for good reason, it’s absolutely delicious!
They serve traditional Madeiran food but in a bit of a fancier environment than usual.
I particularly recommend ordering the scabbard fish here. It’s so well cooked and feels like it’s melting on your tongue!
Afternoon: Doca do Cavacas Natural Pools and Praia Formosa
This afternoon will be all about relaxing and swimming!
From the old town head to Praia Formosa and walk to the natural pools of Doca do Cavacas.
As the name may suggest, these rock pools are natural but stairs have been added to make them more easily accessible.
The great thing about these pools is that you get to swim in the seawater and can also jump on the other side directly in the ocean.
You will also find a concrete area with sunchairs where you can relax, work on your tan or read a book.
The entrance to the pools costs a couple of euros but it’s worth it.
Once you had enough of the pools, you can walk along the path and through the tunnel to Praia Formosa.
This is one of the most famous beaches in Madeira as well as the largest.
Unfortunately, it’s not made of sand but rocks so if you have swimming shoes, they will come in very handy!
You can sit there for a bit and enjoy some time in the water.
I also recommend to go to the beach bar at the end of the beach. The location is amazing and it’s a great place to get a poncha or a beer.
Also it’s very affordable which is surprising for a beach bar.
Dinner: Doca do Cavacas
If you are a fan of seafood and want to enjoy the beautiful sunset while you eat, the restaurant Doca do Cavacas will be perfect for you.
They have a wonderful terrace at the top, with beautiful views over the beach, the natural pools and the cliffs at the back.
They specialise in fish and seafood which means that you really can’t get it wrong here however, I would particularly recommend the grilled octopus. It’s absolutely delicious.
Madeira Itinerary Day 5: Seixal and Porto Muniz
Today we are going to explore a bit more of the island and head to the northwest.
If you have a car, it will take you about 1 hour to get to the first stop. Alternatively, you can book a jeep tour. It includes pick up and all the activities during the day.
Morning: Seixal Black Beach and Natural Pools
We will start by visiting the town of Seixal which is known for two things: its natural pools and black beach.
The first stop will be the black beach, Praia do Porto do Seixal. This is one of the rare beaches made of sand.
As you may have noticed by now, most beaches in Madeira are pebble beaches. While they are very pretty, they are not the most comfortable.
In Seixal, you will get to enjoy an actual sand beach. Also, it’s particularly unique since the sand comes from volcanic rocks (hence being black).
You can park by the beach but please note that it’s pretty limited so it’s better to get there early.
You will also find facilities such as showers and toilets which is handy.
Once you’re done, it’s time to head to the Seixal Natural Pools. It’s only 5 minutes drive or 15 minutes on foot.
These natural pools have been formed over the years by lava flows and are a great swimming spot.
It’s also one of the best places in Madeira to take photos since the pools are located underneath a rock arch, making it such a beautiful sight.
After that, it will be time to head to Porto Moniz and have some food!
Lunch: Restaurante Cachalote
This restaurant is located in the town of Porto Moniz, right next to the natural pools. It offers fantastic views over the sea and they serve delicious seafood.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy a good meal after swimming and exploring the area.
I would recommend trying their scabbard fish with banana dish. It’s a traditional dish from Madeira!
Afternoon: Porto Moniz Natural Pools
After lunch, we will go and explore the natural pools of Porto Moniz. As you exit the restaurant, you will be facing the pools (Piscinas Naturais Velhas).
There are several different pools and you can even swim from one to the other. Please be careful though as the rocks can be slippery.
You can take any of the paths around and find a comfy spot to leave your belongings while you swim.
It’s also a great photo spot since you can go near the edge and can see the other pools and the town from there.
The great thing about these pools is that they are free, making it a great alternative to the Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, located on the other side of the bay.
That having been said, I would also recommend heading there. It takes about 10 minutes on foot so it’s worth checking out!
You will have to pay a few euros to enter these pools. This is because they include more facilities and there are some concrete areas where you can put your towel or even take a sunchair.
If you are travelling with kids, they will be a better option.
Madeira Itinerary Day 6: Canyoning
The next day, we will go on a canyoning adventure!
Canyoning is a great way to explore Madeira’s nature and get your adrenaline pumping.
It’s such a great thing to do and chances are that it will be the highlight of your week in Madeira!
Firstly, it’s important to note that even complete beginners can do it. I had never tried canyoning before this and I loved every second of it.
The tour operators offer different routes depending on your level so you can either pick a beginner tour or a more experienced one.
What to do if you’re scared of heights or water? There will be some abseiling. If you opted for the beginner tour, the highest cliff to abseil down is about 15 metres.
Most people get used to the height very quickly. It will be a bit scary when you get to the first one but then it’s just fun.
That having been said, if you truly have a bad fear of heights, then it may not be the best activity for you.
In terms of water, there will be a couple of jumps but the water is never deep so it should be fine. Also, if you don’t want to jump, you don’t have to. Just let the instructors know.
Now that we talked about the practical aspect of things, it’s time to dive into what you will be doing.
Firstly, the instructors will pick you up from your hotel in Funchal between 9AM and 10AM. You will then be heading to the mountains and stop in a carpark near Pico de Areeiro where you can put your wet suits and helmets on.
All the equipment will be provided.
It’s also not necessary to bring a camera or a GoPro since the instructors both have a GoPro and will be taking photos all along.
They will send you via email a file with all the photos later on in the day.
At first, you will be given some safety instructions and will then start canyoning.
This includes some gorge walking, a bit of jumping and abseiling.
While the first 5 minutes might be a bit scary, you will soon realise you are in very good hands.
Canyoning is so much fun and it will definitely be the highlight of your trip.
If you chose the beginner course, you will be walking for less than a kilometre and it will take about 3 hours.
Once you are done, you will walk back to the carpark where you can change again and head back to Funchal (or somewhere else).
Click here to book your canyoning experience.
Please note that since the experience takes about 5 hours altogether, you will still have time to do an activity in the afternoon however, you may be tired.
While the course doesn’t seem that long, it is still quite sporty and you will probably want to chill by the pool in the afternoon.
Madeira Itinerary Day 7: Santana and Sao Jorge
For your last day in Madeira, we will be heading to one of the most beautiful villages in Madeira.
Santana is located in the north of Madeira. It takes about 45 minutes to get there.
It’s famous for its traditional houses with thatched roofs (Casas Típicas de Santana).
In fact, Santana is one of the few places in Madeira where you can still find these houses. They are very charming and make for great photo opportunities!
The village is small but there’s a lot to see and do. You can leave your car in town and start walking around. It’s a great place to take your time and just enjoy the beauty of Madeira.
Once you are done, go back to your car and drive to Cabo Aéreo Café.
This café is located near the ruins of Sao Jorge. It’s a lesser-known area of Madeira (perfect for people who like discovering hidden gems).
There is a free carpark where you can leave your vehicle while you eat and go hiking.
Lunch: Cabo Aéreo Café
The Cabo Aéreo Café is not just a good parking spot. It’s also one of the best on the island.
It boasts fantastic views of the cliffs and is a great photo spot.
If you can, make sure to eat outside so you can enjoy the views while you eat.
This traditional café is known for its grilled food. They cook the meat and fish traditionally, on a stick.
For a real Madeira experience, opt for the Espetada or the grilled tuna. It’s absolutely delicious.
They also serve sandwiches which is a good option if you are on a budget.
Afternoon: São Jorge Ruins hike
Once you are done with your meal, you can start walking. Leave your vehicle where it is and start walking up the road.
The best hike in the area is Ponta de S. Jorge – Ruins of São Jorge hike. It’s a 6.1km loop that takes about 3 hours to complete.
While you can go down to the ruins straight away, it is recommended to do this loop because it will take you through the village and you will get to see the typical houses of Sao Jorge before getting to the ruins.
The ruins themselves are fairly underwhelming however, the scenery during the hike is exceptional.
You will walk along the cliffs and discover the coastal views as well as the layers of volcanic rocks.
Once you get to the ruins, you can walk on the beach and go for a walk in the natural pool before heading back up.
From Sao Jorge, it will take you another 50 minutes to get back to Funchal where you can enjoy your last evening on Madeira.
We hope that this itinerary for a week in Madeira was helpful and that you will have a great time on this beautiful Portuguese island. Have fun!
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