Madeira RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Outdoor Adventures in Madeira

By Viator, February 2018

5 112 Reviews | Add your review

Sitting in the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Portugal, the island of Madeira is a paradise for outdoor lovers, thanks to its unusual sub-tropical forests, rich volcanic soil, and pristine coastal waters. See below for your outdoor adventure options.


Hiking
The rugged, volcanic beauty of Madeira is best seen on foot, and walking routes cover the island, from windy walks along the clifftops at Cabo Girão to challenging treks up the highest peaks. The island's laurisilva forest is traversed with irrigation channels called levadas, which make perfect pathways for hikers. If stomping through the undergrowth is not for you, admire the exotic blaze of color at the Monte Palace Tropical Garden or Funchal's Botanical Gardens instead.

Sailing and Dolphin Spotting
The three-island archipelago of Desertas lies off Madeira's southeast coast and is still little marked by mass tourism. Travelers can really get back to nature with a day's return sail to Desertas and get the chance to spot dolphins, whales, and thousands of seabirds along the way. Other boating options for seadogs around Madeira include private yacht charters, sunset cruises from Funchal marina, and eco-friendly boat trips out to look for the more than 20 species of dolphin and whale that have been sighted in the Atlantic waters around Madeira. You're most likely to see curious bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales between April and October.

Canyoning
Widely considered one of the best spots in Europe for canyoning thanks to its lush rivers and canyons formed by volcanic activity, Madeira's mountainous Funchal Ecological Park (Parque Ecológico do Funchal) offers kid-friendly canyoning with gentle abseils for beginners, as well as challenging tests of mettle leading downriver over a severe waterfalls and rapids. Safety gear and full instruction are provided.

4x4 Touring
Open-top Jeep safaris head off across Madeira for trips to isolated inland villages such as Curral das Freiras or to viewpoints high up on Pico Arieiro for panoramic views. Other routes take in the natural rock pools at Porto Moniz on the northern coast or wind through the Ribeiro Frio Natural Park (Parque Natural do Ribeiro Frio) and vineyards to the fishing settlement of Machico, Madeira's former capital and home of the island's oldest church.

Tours & Tickets

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Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching on a Luxurious Catamaran, Funchal, null
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Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching on a Luxurious Catamaran

4.5 star rating: Recommended 55 Reviews

Sail along the coast of the island of Madeira to Cabo Girão, one of Europe's tallest sea cliffs, on this romantic, 2,5-hour to 3-hour tour on a luxury ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $29.84
Levada do Rabacal 25 Fountains Walk and Jeep Tour, Funchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
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Levada do Rabacal 25 Fountains Walk and Jeep Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

Rabaçal is a unique and magical place, full of waterfalls and fountains. The “25 Fontes” Levada Walk is one of the most visited in Madeira and Cabo ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $53.71
Catamaran Sunset Cruise from Funchal, Funchal, Walking Tours
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Catamaran Sunset Cruise from Funchal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Enjoy a unique setting with the beautiful colors of a sunset reflected in the sea, accompanied by the peaceful melody of the ocean. Get also the chance to spot ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $41.78
Canyoning in Madeira Island, Funchal, Catamaran Cruises
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Canyoning in Madeira Island

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Madeira Island offers exceptional conditions for the practice of canyoning, due to its geological, climatic, hydrological, touristic and natural ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $71.62
Catamaran Day Cruise to Desertas Islands from Funchal, Funchal, Other Water Sports
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Catamaran Day Cruise to Desertas Islands from Funchal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Enjoy a Catamaran cruise visiting one of Madeira's natural reserves. Stop at Desertas Islands, take a short tour on the island and swim in the crystalline ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $95.49
Madeira Levada Walk - Rabacal Lakes and Fountains, Funchal, Catamaran Cruises
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Madeira Levada Walk - Rabacal Lakes and Fountains

4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

The levada walk will allow hikers to enjoy the evergreen and luxuriant Rabacal valley situated within the natural park of Madeira, in the North West of the ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.95
Madeira's Cliffs and Valleys Jeep Tour from Funchal, Funchal, Walking Tours
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Madeira's Cliffs and Valleys Jeep Tour from Funchal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

Discover the natural beauty of Madeira on this Jeep tour that begins at your hotel in Funchal. See Boca dos Namorados viewpoint,  the landscapes of Jardim da ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $41.78
Half-Day Madeira Village Safari from Funchal, Funchal, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours
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Half-Day Madeira Village Safari from Funchal

Join this half-day safari, where you will spend half your journey in an off-road vehicle to Fajã dos Padres. The open-roof of the jeep will give you ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.20
Caldeirão Verde Levadas Walk in Madeira, Funchal, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours
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Caldeirão Verde Levadas Walk in Madeira

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Explore the Levada do Caldeirão Verde, one of the best walk in Santana. Learn about the 'levadas', irrigation channels originally constructed to carry ...  Read more

Location: Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.95

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