Best outdoor activities in Madeira

Madeira is an island of volcanic origin, with dramatic rock formations, large valleys and mountains, waters in beautiful shades of blue, and an intense green that covers the entire island. In fact, the greenery there is so exceptional that part of the native vegetation, known as the Laurissilva Forest, was declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity Site by UNESCO in 1999.

The sun shines throughout the day, interspersed with a few clouds, and the variation of the climate - its unique microclimates, also depends on the geography of the island.

In Funchal we can find several cheerful and inviting spaces, such as the Quintas, beautiful manor residences that over the years have become tourist and summer resorts, surrounded by lush vegetation and with fantastic views of the green mountains, or the blue ocean.

The Madeiran Quintas began to receive travelers in search of the “Change of Air” of the Island. They were also the preferred accommodation for rich merchants, when calling at Madeira on the Atlantic Route.

Its architecture is English-inspired, given the Brits' predilection for this small paradise island. The walks along colorful pebble paths, with camellias or magnolias, among centennial trees, discovering lakes, or the elegant terraces with views over the ocean, are some of its attractions. The scenery is tranquil and romantic, inspiring calm and happiness... Here you breathe sensuality, elegance, and beauty. The stays are of great refinement and are also true trips in History, given the antiquity of these farms that can take us back to the XVII century.

Discover the beautiful gardens in Madeira

All around Funchal we can also find gardens, like the Panoramic Garden, the Botanical Garden, or the tropical Monte Palace Garden;

The Panoramic Garden is in a popular bathing area, the Lido, and it's from there that the beautiful maritime promenade begins, known as the Lido Promenade. With its mosaic or basalt sidewalk, vegetation, and the immense Atlantic Ocean, it is a beautiful promenade that continues all the way to Praia Formosa.

The Botanical Garden, is one of the most beautiful gardens in the Region, with wonderful views over the city of Funchal. It covers an area of 80,000 m² and houses a fascinating collection of plant species from all continents, and a research/conservation area. Besides all these attractive features it also has a Natural History Museum and a cable car that connects it to the parish of Monte.

It is one of the most famous Funchal’s postcards.

Already high up in the city, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden has endemic flora, but also from many other parts of the world, so it transports us to various places, in one place. During the visit, we find unique collections of tiles, harmoniously inserted in the abundant exotic vegetation, where various birds such as swans, peacocks, ducks or chickens coexist. You can buy a Yellow Bus and cable car combination to get there, while flying over the terraces of the houses from other angles of the city, in a journey full of adrenaline and great beauty.

Take a Madeira Toboggan Ride on Traditional Wicker Basket Sledges

And if emotions are running high, there is nothing like going downhill in the famous Basket Carriages, a traditional and lively way to return to the city - downhill! A ride full of adrenaline as the carts go up to 30 km / h. Adapted to a wicker basket cart mounted on wooden skates. Just don't forget to peek at the truck tire shoe soles of the Carreiros - the men who drive them.

Get adventurous and discover Nature at its fullest.

Get out of the cosmopolitan side and awaken your senses with the island's enormous potential: the richness in nature, landscapes and a constant contact with marine life, there is a wide variety of sports and outdoor activities, to enjoy to the fullest what Madeira has to offer. For golfers, there is a large offer and always inserted in paradisiacal sceneries, with calm views over the immense ocean.

And since the ocean is a constant presence, why not go for a canoeing, windsurfing or SUP (Stand up Paddle) adventure. Near the Lido bathing complex, there are several programs you can explore. Or even embark on a sea journey in search of whales and dolphins? It's exciting when you find them free at sea - always keep your eyes open and your cameras ready! Marine life always surprises us, so we never refuse a snorkelling trip, and we won't let go our camera - in a waterproof case, so as not to miss anything.

With nature always surrounding us, the will to explore is enormous, and we can always go on an off-road vehicle tour - we recommend that you always take warm clothing for the mountain tours as the temperature differs greatly, depending on the altitude.

Explore the "levadas" and "veredas" in Madeira

Going to Madeira and not hiking a levada or a vereda means missing out on one of the most fascinating experiences the island has to offer. But beware, it is always recommended to organize a route with a local guide, because there are different difficulty levels, and nobody wants to get lost on the way.

Madeira is famous for its trails that encircle the entire island and allow you to see the exuberant nature up close. There are more than 2 thousand kilometers of trails that can be walked or biked, including some that border the channels through which water flows all over the island, called "levadas" - created with the purpose of carrying water from the mountains to the sugar cane plantations, and to the local populations.

Some levadas are very famous and attract many visitors, such as the 25 Fontes or Caldeirão Verde. The common trails (which are not on the banks of the channels) are called "veredas" and lead to spectacular landscapes, such as the top of Pico Ruivo (the highest point in Madeira) and Ponta de São Lourenço (eastern edge of the island). Both levadas and veredas offer wonderful experiences.

Taste the Gastronomy of Madeira

There is nothing like enjoying a relaxing moment at the various terraces; and if you want to keep the Madeiran spirit, look for the taverns - spaces that have not changed over the time and keep the tradition of those who, at the end of a day's work, used to gather to socialize and have a drink. There are many different taverns here, whether you want to taste the local seafood, or to enjoy the famous Poncha da Madeira, always accompanied by lupins or Bolo do Caco with garlic butter, or to try Bolo de Mel, the most typical sweet of the island.

Don't forget to taste the madeira wine! Enjoy the free tasting at Blandy’s Wine Lodge with your Yellow Bus ticket. Enjoy!

Find out what to visit in Madeira with Yellow Bus

Always remaining "out in the open", our panoramic buses make sure there is nothing left to see, and even take you a little further; Being 3 meters high, be curious and have a look at the Madeiran gardens, either from a private house, a farm or a hotel. Besides you have all the time in the world to come and go as you please: either because a sense awakens you or because you are curious to visit a recommendation. From the picturesque bay of Câmara de Lobos, populated by colorful fishing boats, sun-dried fish and restaurants of local gastronomy; and from there to the viewpoint on a glass platform "Skywalk" at Cabo Girão, it is a short trip, but really worth it! From the top of one of the highest cliffs in Europe, the view is impressive - even for those who are not afraid of heights!

Guarantee this and all the other thrills with the 3-in-1 Hop-on Hop-off Bus Combo ticket.