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Adventure Holidays in Madeira

A Slice of Paradise for every Explorer

Nestled in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago, is a hidden gem for adventure enthusiasts. This lush, subtropical haven offers a diverse range of outdoor activities, rich cultural experiences, and family-friendly adventures. Whether you seek thrilling outdoor pursuits, local immersion, or a memorable escape with your loved ones, Madeira is a destination that caters to all. Characterized by a diverse vegetation, Madeira is also called “Flower Island“. If you have a love for grand sceneries, love being active outdoors and enjoy exploring local traditions and customs, Madeira is the island for you.

Our Madeira Adventure Holidays

Find inspiration in our complete adventure holiday packages to Madeira or let us know your wishes and we will be happy to plant your perfect adventure holiday to Madeira with you!

Places to go ...

Things to do ...

Madeira's adventure holidays blend outdoor excitement, cultural immersion, and family-friendly pursuits to create a memorable vacation. As you traverse the island's lush landscapes, indulge in its gastronomic delights, and connect with the warm-hearted locals, you'll be enchanted by the beauty and charm of Madeira. Whether you're seeking a family retreat, daring escapades, or cultural experiences, this Portuguese paradise promises an adventure to remember. So pack your bags and set your sights on Madeira - an adventure like no other awaits in this island paradise.

For families

For families

Adventure fun for the whole family

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures

Discover the great outdoors

Local experiences

Local experiences

Local gems, gastronomy and traditions

Outdoor Adventures - from the high mountains to the rugged coastline

Madeira's dramatic landscapes are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a multitude of thrilling adventures.
One of the unmissable highlights of every adventure holidays to Madeira is a good hiking adventure along one of the many trails along Madeira's unique irrigation channels, known as levadas. These waterways wind through enchanting forests, revealing stunning vistas of the island. Suitable for all skill levels, levada hikes are a great way for families to experience Madeira's natural beauty.
If you are looking for a more demanding adventure, hiking to the highest peak on Madeira, Pico Ruivo, makes for a more challenging adventure. This moderately challenging trail takes you away from the crowds and into the island's untamed heart nd will reward you with breathtaking views.
Madeira's Laurissilva Forest is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, which boasts ancient trees, moss-covered rocks, and an atmosphere of serenity. Guided hikes through this enchanting forest are perfect for those who want to venture off the beaten path.
For those seeking a fun and thrilling adventure, canyoning through Madeira's ravines is an unforgettable experience. Accompanied by experienced guides, you can rappel down waterfalls and jump into crystal-clear pools. Thanks to it's rugged mountaineous terrain, Madeira offers plenty of canyoning opportunitites in nearly every part of the island.

Family Adventures - thrilling adventures paired with quality time

Madeira is a fantastic destination for family adventures, providing a wide range of activities suitable for all ages.
Explore the lush botanical gardens in Funchal, where you can encounter a fascinating collection of exotic plants and flowers. These gardens offer a leisurely and educational experience for families. And the best part - the gardens can be reached via cable car, making this trip even more exciting.
If you are not in the mood for a cable car or walking down from Monte to Funchal, a traditional toboggan ride might just be the thing for you. Experience a thrilling ride on a traditional wicker sledges in Monte. The exhilarating descent through the winding streets is sure to be a highlight for children and adults alike.
Madeira may not be known for its sandy beaches, but it offers picturesque pebble and rocky beaches ideal for sunbathing and swimming. Prainha de Caniçal is a family-friendly option with calm, crystal-clear waters. and perfect for a relaxed break and some quality family time.
Marine life is rich in the waters around Madeira and you can make close encounters while embarking on a water adventure to witness the enchanting marine life around the archipelago. Dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures abound in Madeira's waters, creating a thrilling experience for families and wildlife enthusiasts.

Local Experiences -flowers, festivals and local gastronomy

Immersing yourself in Madeira's culture and heritage is a must during your adventure holiday.
Visit bustling markets such as Mercado dos Lavradores in Funchal. Here, you can discover Madeira's vibrant food culture and taste local fruits, spices, and traditional snacks.
If you are looking to taste some of Madeira's famous fortified wines in a more peaceful and scenic environment, you can take a tour of the island's historic vineyards and indulge in tastings of this exquisite libation.
Residents and visitors to Madeira alike love festivals and you will encounter a full festival calendar including flower, spring or walking festivals throughout the year. Further, you can experience the island's rich cultural heritage through traditional folklore performances, which showcase Madeiran music and dance. These shows provide a delightful window into the island's traditions for the whole family to enjoy.

Get inspired - travel bonanza, tours and stories

About Madeira

Situated about 400 km off the coast of Morocco and 850 km southwest of Lisbon, The Autonomous Region of Madeira is, besides the Azores, the second autonomous region of Portugal. Madeira is an archipelago consisting of 8 islands and various small islets. Only Madeira and its neighboring island Porto Santo are inhabited. The island of Madeira is about 57km long and 22km wide and its highest point is Pico Ruivo (at 1,862m). Madeira is known for its natural beauty, including rugged coastlines, lush greenery, and scenic mountain views. The island has a subtropical climate, with mild temperatures and is often referred to as the "Island of Eternal Spring”.

Madeira is home to mix of mountains, canyons, valleys and forests with a huge variety of flowers and plants and a pre-historic laurel forest which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a true paradise for nature lovers and any kind of outdoor adventure like canyoning, kayaking, coasteering, and or exciting whale-watching tours. Also, Madeira has a network of trails that offer breathtaking views. The Levada walks are particularly popular, following the island's ancient irrigation channels.

The North coast of Madeira is rugged with cliffs, secluded bays and coves and here you find natural pools (the most famous in Porto Moniz) which are created in lava formations by the ocean, absolute amazing places for swimming surrounded by a wonderful landscape.

Funchal is the capital and the largest city on the island Madeira. Funchal is a vibrant city with a rich historical and cultural heritage, inviting you to visit its museums, beautiful gardens, charming streets and historic landmarks and also its famous Lavradores market where you find Madeira’s local products including colorful excotic fruits. Don't forget to try the famous Madeira wine on a vineyard tour.
Apart from Funchal, Madeira has several charming towns and villages, each with its unique character and history. Some notable examples include Santana, Camara de Lobos, and Machico. Here you might join local festivals, listen to folklore music or watch the traditional “bailinho“ dance, and other authentic experiences.

Travel Tips

When to travel
The best time to travel Madeira is from April to October. During these months it is mostly dry with temperatures around 25 degrees. However during the summer Leste - a hot dry wind from the Sahara - can affect the island and might bring temperatures up, but rarely over 32 degrees. The rain period kicks in from November and is most prevalent throughout January and February with temperatures around 17 degrees. The Atlantic Ocean reaches a temperature between 18 degrees in the winter and 22 in the summer. Some activities such as canyoning for example is only possible during the winter months in some places as there won‘t be enough water or none at all during the warmer months. Hence adventurers should plan carefully what they are intending to do in Madeira and what the best time for it is to avoid disappointment.
How to travel
The easiest and quickest way to reach Madeira is by plane arriving into Madeira International Airport in Santa Cruz, about 20 minutes from the capital Funchal on the south coast of the island. Funchal is also a good base for exploring the island as distances to most sites and natural highlights are short and comfortable to reach. Funchal has a harbour as a starting point for boat trips around the island or whale and dolphin watching trips. Within Madeira you can choose between many different means of transport. There are plenty of private companies offering jeep safaris, tuk-tuk tours or even cable car rides. There is also a public bus services that connects the rural areas and caters most of the major tourist attractions. The most convenient way to get around and discover the remote places on your own is to hire a car. The taxi company “Bolt“ offers rides that are cheaper than the traditional taxi services and can easily be hired by an app through your smartphone.

Travelling with Children
Madeira is a great destination for families with children. Due to its variety of activities it has to offer, short travel distances and moderate temperatures, even younger children will enjoy the island. There are many hikes through Madeira‘s amazing nature that are suitable for children and where they can learn so much about nature and endemic species. Watching dolphins and whales in their natural habitat or camping in the wild are only two of the thrilling adventures that are enjoyed by the whole family. There are also several special interest museums such as the Volcanism Centre & Caves at São Vicente. It might not be the fun park-type of vacation, but definitely the best of both worlds to enjoy for adults and children alike.

What to bring
No matter if you are big into hiking or not, during your stay in Madeira you will eventually walk some of the paths through Madeira‘s forests or along rock formations. Therefore bring good hiking or walking equipment:
- hiking shoes/boots
- walking sticks (might come in handy on longer walks on uneven terrain)
- warm jacket for walking the mountains (frost and snow can occur during the winter); even in the sommer months temperatures drop with altitude
- rain gear (like on every small island weather can change quickly from sun to rain or vice versa)
- sun screen, sun cover/hat and shades
- swim gear
- snorkel gear (on most organised trips it is provided though)
Obviously don‘t forget your personal stuff and your camera/phone with extra storage as you will be taking lots of incredible photos!

Adventure Holidays Destinations

Click below for more useful and practical information on traveling to Madeira.

Adventure Holidays Destinations

Adventure  Holidays Destinations

Fjord and Mountains view | The Small Adventure Company | Travel Agency for Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual adventure holiday just for you.

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