Best of Madeira

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago of four islands off the northwest coast of Africa. Its mild year-round climate and picturesque mountains offer visitors a lot of choice to discover the islands' beautiful trails and paths, like those of the Laurissilva Forest. The cosmopolitan ambience of Funchal's streets offers a chance to purchase unique souvenirs, including the famous Madeira embroidery, wine, or wickerwork.

On a first visit to Madeira, there are several must-see sites to check out. Start with a walk along one of the many levadas (an irrigation system of channels), an immersive experience in nature that showcases beautiful waterfalls and stunning views. Additionally, the local wine and poncha cocktails are a must-try for visitors looking to sample the island's unique culture. For those who love the sea, boating and whale watching offer the opportunity to get up close to marine life.
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View of Câmara de Lobos in southeast Madeira
Map of Self-Drive Adventure in Madeira - 8 Days
Self-Drive Adventure in Madeira - 8 Days

This relaxed road trip introduces you to the Portuguese island of Madeira, whose volcanic landscapes and natural beauty make it a popular getaway from the mainland. Discover the charming Old Town and botanical gardens of its capital Funchal. Hike between Madeira's two highest peaks of Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo, then decompress by taking a ferry to the island of Porto Santo—beaches renowned for their healing properties.

Experience the volcanic beauty of Madeira
Map of Luxury Portugal Escape: Lisbon & Madeira - 7 Days
Luxury Portugal Escape: Lisbon & Madeira - 7 Days

Get a taste of Portugal on this luxury, weeklong escape. Touch down in the vibrant capital, Lisbon, where you'll take a private city tour before jetting to the "Garden Island" of Madeira. Stay at a lavish ocean-view hotel, enjoying sunset cruises and a 4WD tour of the volcanic island, from mountain viewpoints to rum distilleries. The adventure ends with a guided hike along the famous 25 Fontes Trail, which takes you through emerald laurel forests dotted with waterfalls.

The magnificently situated town of Seixal on Madeira
Map of Explore the Beauty of Portugal: Lisbon, Madeira & São Miguel - 14 Days
Explore the Beauty of Portugal: Lisbon, Madeira & São Miguel - 14 Days

This captivating two-week trip through Portugal unlocks the diverse wonders of Lisbon, Madeira, and the Azores. Start in Lisbon to delve into the city's vibrant atmosphere, exploring hidden gems and the local way of life. Fly to Madeira, where 4WD safari tours unveil dramatic landscapes and enchanting terraces. End on the Azorean island of São Miguel, discovering geothermal wonders at Furnas, marveling at the beauty of Sete Cidades, and whale watching, horseback riding, and canyoning.

Cruise along the cliffs of Madeira at sunset via private catamaran
Map of Luxury Portugal Escape: Lisbon, Serra da Estrela & Madeira - 10 Days
Luxury Portugal Escape: Lisbon, Serra da Estrela & Madeira - 10 Days

Experience Portugal's cities, mountains, and volcanic islands on this luxury 10-day trip. Discover the capital, Lisbon, with private city tours and fado performances, then drive yourself to a retreat in Serra da Estrela Geopark, home to glacial valleys and Portugal's highest mountains. Finally, fly to the tropical island of Madeira, where you'll sail the coast in a lavish catamaran, travel across the rugged interior by 4WD, and hike UNESCO-listed laurel forests on the famous 25 Fontes Trail.

Madeira's lush coastline
Map of Lisbon, Porto & Madeira - 9 Days
Lisbon, Porto & Madeira - 9 Days

This 9-day itinerary starts in Lisbon, where you'll savor local treats and traditional music as you explore the capital by foot and tram. Hit the road and head north to Porto, where world-class wine cellars and riverside views await, then hop over to Madeira to end your adventure among the verdant, volcanic landscapes of Portugal's "Island of Eternal Spring."

Views of the Serra da Estrela (photo courtesy of Casa de São Lourenço)
Map of Luxury Portugal Escape: Porto, Douro Valley, Serra da Estrela, Lisbon & Madeira - 14 Days
Luxury Portugal Escape: Porto, Douro Valley, Serra da Estrela, Lisbon & Madeira - 14 Days

Escape to Portugal for a luxurious two-week tour of the country's diverse highlights, staying at 5-star retreats along the way. You'll visit UNESCO-listed gems, from Sintra's fairy-tale palaces to the grooved terraces of the Douro Valley, and explore natural wonders with outdoor adventures in Serra da Estrela and Peneda-Gerês National Park. Enjoy a dose of city sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto, then jet to the volcanic island of Madeira for sunset cruises and private 4WD tours.

Sunset colors on Madeira
Map of Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 15 Days
Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 15 Days

With just over two weeks to spare, you can combine the best of mainland Portugal with the lush valleys and volcanic beaches of "the Island of Eternal Spring." Start with cycling and culinary tours of Lisbon, wine tasting in the Douro Valley, and a deep dive into the history of colorful Porto. Then it's time to jet off into the North Atlantic for four days on Madeira, before returning to the mainland for some downtime at the chic coastal resort of Cascais.

Madeira's colorful coastline
Map of Discover Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 13 Days
Discover Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 13 Days

Portugal was once considered the "end of the world" and still feels like the earth's edge with its wild landscapes and expansive ocean views. It also reflects life beyond its borders with its mix of histories, cultures, and cuisines. Explore the mainland and island of Madeira, beginning with a tour of historic Lisbon. Sip port wine by the Douro River in Porto, then fly to Madeira to experience its pristine scenery, and finally return to the mainland and the seaside resort of Cascais for some relaxing beach time.

Explore the island of Madeira on your own and in a 4WD vehicle
Map of Explore Mainland Portugal & Madeira Island - 16 Days
Explore Mainland Portugal & Madeira Island - 16 Days

Immerse yourself in Portugal's rich culture, natural beauty, and culinary delights on this 16-day tour. Explore Lisbon by traditional boat, tuk-tuk, and helicopter, then pick up your rental car and drive to the coastal town of Nazaré and the historic city of Porto. Sample local wine and enjoy a river cruise in the Douro Valley, then explore an ancient forest in Coimbra before flying to Madeira. Spend four days discovering the island's lush green landscapes, and finish back in the capital with a fado performance.

Madeira Island's northern coast
Map of Explore Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, & Madeira Island - 14 Days
Explore Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, & Madeira Island - 14 Days

This epic Portugal tour highlights two cosmopolitan cities and a stunning mid-Atlantic island—part of an autonomous region—known for its tropical foliage and eternal spring-like weather. You'll kick off in Porto, home of centuries-old wine production and colorful architecture along the Douro River. Then fly to Madeira Island for secluded beaches and untouristed villages waiting to be discovered. Last but not least is Lisbon's friendly, up-and-coming capital—a striking city built on seven hills.

Other popular travel destinations in Portugal
Lisbon · Porto · Algarve · Alentejo · Évora · Douro Valley · Lagos · Sintra · Coimbra · Cascais · Nazaré · The Azores · São Miguel Island · Tomar · Braga · Funchal · Óbidos · Tavira · Sagres · Marvão · Guimarães · Peneda-Gerês National Park · Batalha · Mértola