If you're planning a visit to Madeira, then you probably already have lots of fun things planned. But on the off chance that you need a little bit of extra assistance rounding out your travel itinerary, we're happy to assist. Check out our list of the best things to see and do in Madeira, Portugal.
Funchal's Quinta do Riacho takes visitors on equestrian adventures that they'll simply never forget. Whether you're a seasoned rider or you have never even seen a horse up close, you're more than welcome at Quinta do Riacho. The patient and knowledgeable guides here will have you riding like an old pro in no time at all, and the views that you'll see during your ride are simply breathtaking.
Pico do Arieiro may only be Madeira's third-highest peak, but at its summit, you'll feel like you're on top of the whole world. On cloudy days, you can see the nimbus drifting beneath you, and the view seems to go on forever. Just don't forget your jacket, because it gets quite chilly at the top.
Getting to the top is half the fun, however. It's a rigorous hike, and you'll certainly feel as though you've gotten your workout for the day. Those who are less interested in performing the physical feat that climbing the mountain entails will be happy to know that there's a road that goes all the way to the top, as well.
If you have the chance to catch the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra, then you certainly should during your travels. This ensemble plays a repertoire of light classics and popular hits for music lovers of all stripes, and the picturesque setting of the English Church adds to the unique charm of the performance.
The Lava Rock Pools of Porto Moniz are stunningly beautiful to behold. Here, at the edge of the island of Madeira, you can take a relaxing dip in one of several pools that were created when the lava that formed the archipelago met the crashing waves of the Atlantic. These days, they're so tranquil that it's hard to believe their formation was ever quite so dramatic.
The Monte Cable Car transports passengers from the city of Funchal to the parish of Monte, high in the hills. During the 15-minute ride, visitors will ascend more than 1,800 feet above sea level, passing gardens along the way, as the cityscape drifts away beneath them. At the top can be found Monte Palace Botanical Garden, the Church of Our Lady of the Mount, and several other attractions, but the ride is worth the price of admission on its own.
Horticulture enthusiasts have high praise for Funchal's Presidential Palace Garden. Here, the gardens are filled with pleasant little surprises, including waterfalls, sculptures, and panoramic views of the city, as well as the ocean beyond it.
On the grounds, you'll also find two very interesting museums: one showcasing African culture, and the other dedicated to precious gemstones and other mineralogical wonders.