3 Days in Madeira: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, December 2013

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The scenic coast of this tiny island offers visitors plenty to do and see. Whether its time spent enjoying the outdoors, hiking through beautiful landscapes, or exploring quaint villages and historic museums, a trip to Madeira offers unique opportunities to experience the region’s present and past from outdoors and in.

Day 1: Hike the Levadas

Pack a lunch, a flashlight and some warm clothes before heading out to one of Madeira’s famous levadas. These historic irrigation channels wind through more than 1,300 miles of countryside, offering visitors numerous options for exploring the landscape. Start your journey on Vereda do Pico Ruivo, a mountain pass that travels up the island’s tallest peak. This well-traveled aqueduct also connects to three other trails, which makes for easy access to western Madeira and the second-highest peak on the island.

Day 2: Travel Back in Time

Begin the day on a morning cruise aboard a replica of the famous Santa Maria. Tour the coast and stop for a dip in the chilly Atlantic before warming up with glasses of Madeira wine and slices of sweet honey cake. After the cruise, head to the Madeira Story Centre, where the island’s past is laid out in a chronological multi-media display that includes interactive games and audio tours.

Day 3: Enjoy the Countryside

Take island’s famous cable car high above the hillside for an aerial view of the lush landscape Madeira is known for. Afterwards, wander the paths of the Madeira Botanical Gardens, where indigenous plants and local trees are just part of the attraction. Round out the day with a visit to São Vicente Caves and Volcanism Centre, where visitors can explore dark tunnels and learn about the geology, volcanic activity and natural history that make the island so unique.

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