Madeira in 3 days
If you are thinking about visiting Madeira and want to know what you can do in 3 days on the island, this is for you!
We are known as the Pearl of the Atlantic and we can say that any time is good to visit us, because we have a mild climate. There are many incredible places to discover, activities for all tastes and typical specialties to taste.
Take your car from Madeira Rent and hit the road, there is so much to discover!
Day 1: Explore Funchal and the West Coast
Funchal is the capital of Madeira Island and by itself deserves to be discovered to the fullest. There are many museums and historical places to visit. So, take the first day to explore this side of the island along with the west coast.
In the morning
Visit the Centre of Funchal: The Catedral da Sé, the Zona Velha with its super colourful alleys and the Zona da Barreirinha. Take a walk through the City Centre, every corner has something special to see. The Mercado dos Lavradores is another place you can't miss, let yourself fall in love with the smells, colours and flavours. It's a true relic in our city and the typical shopping place for Madeiran products. Also take the opportunity to go to Pontinha (more exactly the pontoon of Funchal Harbour), there you will have a different and beautiful perspective of the city; we recommend you park your car and walk around the city, all these places are close to each other;
Monte: To visit this place so well known for the "cestos" or "carrinhos do monte" - wicker carts that go down a big hill - there are two ways. You can go by cable car, which you can catch near the Zona Velha do Funchal, or you can go by car. We advise you to take the cable car as you will have a superb view over the city, literally walking in the middle of the hills and mountains;
Pico dos Barcelos Viewpoint: A high point in the city centre, where you can see all its magnitude at 360º. It is well worth the visit!
In the afternoon
Drive to the westernmost part of the island:
Ponta do Sol: Take your car and go and get to know this beautiful village. When you get to the centre of the village, and after walking around the village, get back in the car and follow the old road towards Madalena do Mar, halfway there you will find the Cascata dos Anjos. Nowadays it is one of the main tourist spots shared on Social Media;
Câmara de Lobos: Known for being the first place where João Gonçalves Zarco, the discoverer of Madeira, lived. We recommend you visit the town on foot, there's plenty to explore. Go to the quay, town centre, past the church and visit the Ilhéu. Everything is concentrated in the centre and you can easily get around on foot.
The Pico da Torre viewpoint is ideal to get to know the city from a different perspective. Both by day and by night, it has its charm to be visited and you can see the centre of Câmara de Lobos as well as part of Funchal. It's also known for being a fishing area and the place where the typical Madeiran drink, Poncha, was first made.
Take the opportunity to relax and visit it during the afternoon, who knows, you may end up in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos having a Espetada (typical food of the Island - beef cooked on a laurel spit. A real treat!)
2nd day: Discover the North and South of the Island - From the Mountain to the Sea
On the second day of this Madeira Island tour, take the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful areas we have to offer. Rich in natural landscapes. You will find mountains covered in green, bathed by the deep blue sea. As far as our Sierras are concerned, you never know what you might find. Depending on the time of year, sometimes it will be greener, more colourful or even more arid. Only by exploring will you find out!
In the morning
Serra d'Água: A place known for having several poncha houses, if you want to start the day trying some poncha and warm your throat a little, start here;
Encumeada: Climb up Encumeada, believe me you will fall in love with this side of the mountain. But if it is very cloudy, go straight ahead on the Via Rápida and you will quickly reach São Vicente;
São Vicente: Take some time to visit the village centre, go up to the chapel and let yourself be dazzled by the view. You will get to know a completely different São Vicente from the city centre. The view of the mountains and the sea is the perfect combination! On the way down, take a walk along the coast, one of the most beautiful roads of the island;
Seixal: Known for its black sandy beach, Seixal Beach. The beach is washed by a huge hillside and some say it's the Thailand of Portugal. One thing is for sure, it's a unique place on the island and in our country. In Seixal, you can also find Praia da Laje, known for its palm tree-lined road - another ideal place to collect photographic memories. The Véu da Noiva is one of the most acclaimed viewpoints in the area;
In the afternoon
Ribeira da Janela: A well-known tourist spot in these parts. Stop your car and get to know the rock that is very characteristic of the area;
Porto Moniz: Known for its natural pools, it is love at first sight for many visitors. The entrance fee is relatively cheap and you can enjoy it for as long as you like. However, if you just want to take a look, we also recommend the natural pools next to the Forte, it's free of charge and just as beautiful;
Paul da Serra: Go up through Porto Moniz towards Paul da Serra. A very popular place among the locals, for picnics or even espetadas. It's great to get to know and have a different view of what Madeira Island is all about;
Fanal: A real mystery on the Island, during the rainy season it creates a beautiful lagoon, during the summer it becomes a big green pasture. Whatever the season, it's always a good time to visit it, but beware: whenever you want to visit the island's mountains, check the webcams to make sure it's not foggy in the high areas. Fog cuts visibility, which does not allow you to have a 100% satisfactory experience. From the Serra, go down through Arco da Calheta and you will discover the south coast of the island;
Calheta: The place that is known for its golden sandy beach, the manufacture of sugar cane and rum. Great to try these and other specialities.
Day 3: Wake up early and get to know a bit more!
It's the last day you have to explore Madeira, so why not start the day early and watch the sunrise from one of the highest peaks on the island? Depending on the time of the year, find out what time the sun rises and organise yourself accordingly, believe me it's a unique experience! Ah... but don't forget, once again, to check the weather in the high areas for the following day. Especially if it's raining, we don't advise visits with a slippery floor.
In the morning
Pico do Areeiro: If you have already checked the weather and everything indicates that it will be fine, then prepare your backpack: take some warm jackets, prepare a coffee or hot chocolate and take some snacks. Go to Pico do Areeiro and enjoy the sunrise. It will be an amazing experience! If you are lucky you will be able to see the sunrise over the sea or above the clouds. Either way, we guarantee you won't regret it;
Cristo Rei: Drive down to Funchal and take the motorway, get off at Caniço to visit another typical place in Madeira: the Cristo Rei viewpoint;
Machico: After visiting the viewpoint go towards Machico, visit the village on foot and get to know another beautiful village of Madeira Island;
Ponta de São Lourenço: Immediately afterwards proceed in the direction of Ponta de São Lourenço. Besides being one of the tips of the island, it is the ideal place to see how diverse Madeira is. One moment you can see landscapes full of trees and the next you can count on a completely arid landscape, covered with leaves in pastel shades. We suggest two viewpoints you can visit, the Ponta de São Lourenço and the Ponta do Rosto viewpoint;
In the afternoon
Caniçal: It is a fishing village on the island, known for its gastronomy. It has several restaurants and taverns known for their food and is the ideal place to stop for lunch. It has Praia Natal and Prainha, both with a unique natural beauty. The former is located right in the centre of Caniçal and the latter closer to Ponta de São Lourenço, one of the most beautiful black sandy beaches of the Island;
Santana: the typical Madeiran place, where you can find the famous Madeira houses, little houses with triangular hay roofs. It is also in this locality that most of our levadas begin. Well known by tourists and locals, levadas are paths several kilometres long. They are located in our mountains and many of them pass through the Laurissilva, our forest, which is considered UNESCO heritage. In Santana there is also a theme park, where there are various activities related to the island;
Faial: Another charming little village. For those who are more adventurous, this is where we have our kart track;
Arco de São Jorge: known for its ruins, it is a place that, if you have time, you should consider visiting. Let yourself get lost in the narrow streets and ruins that bring together the rural and the sea view.
Follow this 3 days tour and believe you will get to know a good part of this Pearl of the Atlantic, we at Madeira Rent will be here to help you get to all these places!