Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed on Madeira! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Madeira’s most important sights.
1. ZONA VELHA
Funchal’s Old Town district with its restored houses and rustic restaurants is the absolute number one – night and day.
2. PICO DO ARIEIRO
In the area around Madeira’s highest peaks, the Pico do Arieiro and the Pico Ruivo, the island’s raw beauty is absolutely overwhelming.
A hill village that resembles an enchanted fairy-tale park with lush vegetation and magical art.
4. PORTO MONIZ
One highlight of a visit to this pretty holiday town is a dip in the cool water lapping between the black lava cliffs.
5. CURRAL DAS FREIRAS
The view from Eira do Serrado down into the Nun’s Valley is absolutely breathtaking.
6. RIBEIRO FRIO
One of the best places to go to explore Madeira’s famous laurel forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is Ribeiro Frio (Cold Stream). A walk to the Balcões (Balcony) viewpoint takes you into the midst of this green splendour.
7. QUINTA DAS CRUZES
This venerable 18th century mansion is not only home to an impressive array of art treasures, it also showcases typical island architecture. The garden, which is full of archaeological gems, is a veritable oasis of calm in the town.
Madeira’s second largest town – after the capital of Funchal – boasts historic churches and fortresses as well as a golden yellow, albeit artificially created, sandy beach. Beach time!
9. SÃO VICENTE–PORTO MONIZ
Between Sao Vincente and Porto Moniz a road carved into the cliffside tunnels its way from one spectacular view to the next. Admire the unique coastal panorama at, for instance, the Véu da Noiva viewpoint not far from Seixal.
10. ADEGAS DE SÃO FRANCISCO
Madeira’s most valuable asset is a liquid asset: its golden Madeira wine, which is produced in, among other places, Adegas de São Francisco. You can try this fine wine in the former Franciscan monastery.
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