All around Madeira family adventure

Regions

Madeira

Starting Point

Funchal

Best time to travel

All year

Recommended Length

8 - 12 days

Best for

Family Adventure

Activity Level **

3/5

Discover Madeira with its beautiful scenery and all it's fabulous outdoor adventures. Base yourselves in Funchal, from where you will explore the North, West and central parts of Madeira. Guided adventure tours will bring you to explore stunning high mountains in central Madeira, discover the island's heritage and to meet some of the gentle giant residing in the waters around Madeira. Enjoy the beautiful nature to it's fullest on walking tours along lush green Levada routes and thrilling canyoning adventures. Of course, we will make sure that you will also have plenty of time to relax and to spend well deserved quality time with the family.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ explore the highlights of Funchal on a unique TukTuk tour
✓ cable car ride up to the Monte Palace garden and thrilling downhill ride on a traditional road sleigh
✓ dolphin and whale watching tour
✓ canyoning adventure in Madeira's beautiful mountains
✓ guided adventure tours to explore Madeira's beautiful North and West coast

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival to Funchal - overnight in Funchal
Day 2 - Tuk Tuk sightseeing tour Funchal - free time - overnight in Funchal
Day 3 - guided walking tour along the Levada do Norte - overnight in Funchal
Day 4 - free time - overnight in Funchal
Day 5 - adventure tour to Madeira's mountains and Santana - overnight in Funchal
Day 6 - cable car ride to Monte - visit to the Monte palace gardens - tobboganing - overnight in Funchal
Day 7 - whale and dolphin watching tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 8 - canyoning adventure in the Ribeira das Cales - overnight in Funchal
Day 9 - adventure jeep tour along the West coast and central Madeira - overnight in Funchal
Day 10 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL TO FUNCHAL
Welcome to the island of Madeira. A transfer will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 2 - FUNCHAL TUK TUK TOUR
Get to know Madeira‘s capital in a very special way today - by tuktuk. The little vehicles, also called pedicab or rickshaws, are a popular way of exploring the city in a comfortable and efficient way. There is a variety of providers offering different routes, round trips and even hop-on-hop-off tours. Your local driver will give you insider tips en route and show you Funchal‘s most beautiful spots and most iconic sites. Enjoy your first day in Madeira and gain a first impression of your surroundings. You will surely spot places that you might want to explore in more detail later on!
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 3 - LEVADA DO NORTE WALK
Despite its name the Levada do Norte walk will lead you to Madeira‘s stunning south coast, below the Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs in Europe. During the fairly easy 2-hour walk you will enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the lush green landscape and traditional Madeira buildings. The path partly follows along the Levadas dos Tornos as one of the most important in the island‘s Levada network. Levadas are a system of aqueducts that are many kilometers long and used to transport water from different sources to its point of use. Reaching Campanário and Ribeira Brava you will be rewarded with the most amazing views! Return to your hotel in Funchal. Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 4 - CALHETA BEACH OR CAVES OF SÃO VICENTE
Enjoy a relaxing day on Calheta Beach, one of the few sandy beaches on the island. Its sand was imported from the Western Sahara and officially opened in 2004. Attached to it is a modern marina and it offers a bunch of water sports and activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, paragliding and scuba-diving. About a 40 minute drive from the beach, on the north side of the island, are the Caves of São Vicente. The caves were formed around 890,000 years ago from a volcanic eruption that ran down the sea. Whilst the outside solidified rapidly due to lower temperatures, the lava on the inside continued to run forming a series of tubes which constitute the Caves of São Vicente. Framed by a lovely garden on the outside, the inside of the caves consists of a huge grotto with an underground pond. Learn more about its geology in the Volcanism Centre above ground after your tour.
Back to Funchal for your overnight stay.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 5 - SANTANA & THE MOUNTAINS OF MADEIRA
Your day starts off with a visit to Pico Ruivo, Madeira‘s third highest mountain with an altitude of 1818 meters. Take in the breathtaking views from up there before continuing on your journey towards Ribeiro Frio and the Laurissilva Forest. The next destination of today is Santana, known for its “Casas de Santana“ - traditional, triangular houses with thatched roofs. Further along the north coast, in Porto da Cruz, you will visit a rum factory and the city of Machico where the Portuguese first landed in 1419. Before you return to Funchal you stop off in Camacha, famous for its wickerwork. Conclude your day with a sailing trip and spot some whales and dolphin if you are lucky.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 6 - MONTE CABLE CAR - MONTE PALACE GARDENS - TOBBOGANING
An experience you should not miss out on is taking the cable car from Funchal to Monte. From the old town a 15-minute journey will take you high above the roofs of Madeira‘s capital with amazing panoramic views all the way to the picturesque village of Monte. When you get to Monte - another must-see for people coming to Madeira - head to the Palace Gardens. On 70.000sqm a collection of exotic plants awaits arranged around a majestic lake populated with swans and ducks. It also features a museum with sculptures and a unique selection of minerals. To spice up your afternoon, embark on a ride on one of the famous wicker sledges. During the so called tobogganing you will be manoeuvred down the hill by two traditionally dressed “drivers“ and reach up to 48km/h on the steepest parts. A family fun to remember! Why not make your way back to Funchal in the cable car again and enjoy those spectacular views once more.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 7 - DOLPHIN & WHALE WATCHING
Head out on a whale and dolphin watching experience today. After a quick security briefing and introduction to the species that can be found on Madeira‘s coast you board your boat at Funchal Harbour. It will take you along the magnificent south coast of the island and to several lookouts that almost guarantee the sighting of dolphins. Other animals you will most likely see are whales, seal monks and turtles. In between take in the incredible views of the breathtaking coastline and Madeira‘s mountain range. Starting from Funchal Harbour there is an exclusive dolphin experience available where you get to swim with the friendly sea creatures in the ocean.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 8 - CANYONING RIBEIRA DAS CALES
This beginner‘s canyoning experience is ideal to try out this extraordinary adventure for the first time. Starting at Chão da Lagoa in the Ecological Park of Funchal at 1500 m high, you begin conquering this beautiful waterfall by abseiling (rappelling), swimming and jumping. An amazing experience to test out your own physical limits in the safe hands of professional guides and to immerse yourself into Madeira‘s wild nature in a very special and fun way. Return to your hotel in Funchal to relax and unwind.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 9 - JEEP TOUR CENTRAL & WEST OF MADEIRA
Today your second adventure awaits on land. The jeep safari in an open roof land rover is a great way to discover the rugged northwest coast of Madeira and some of its most iconic natural sites. Starting in Funchal, your journey first takes you to Lugar de Baixo on the south coast from where you will continue to the plateau Paul da Serra, passing Lombo do Mouro and Bica da Cana. From here you can see the three highest mountains of Madeira - Pico do Areeiro (1818m), Pico das Torres (1851m) and Pico Ruivo (1862m). Afterwards you will head to Porto Moniz which is famous for its volcanic rock pools that were created millions of years ago. On your way back you will come through the Laurrissilva Forest. This type of subtropical forest is high in humidity and characterised by broadleaf tree species with evergreen, glossy leaves. It was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Heading back south will lead you through São Vincente and Serra de Água, famous for the typical drink Poncha. Take a quick photo stop at Cabo Girão with its glass skywalk viewing platform.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 10 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to Funchal Airport and departure.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels, farm stays, guesthouses and self-catering
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

Family Adventure Holidays

Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

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Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

Family Adventure Holidays

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 organized 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!

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Madeira, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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