Taste of Madeira Family Adventure

Regions

Madeira

Starting Point

Funchal

Best time to travel

All year

Recommended Length

6 - 8 days

Best for

Family Adventure

Activity Level **

3/5

This 8 days family tour to Madeira is far from short of adventure! Travel around Funchal by cable car, feel the thrill on a traditional toboggan downhill ride, meet the friendly marine residents on an unforgettable swimming with dolphins adventure and learn more about Madeira's seafaring history on a cruise on a traditional Christopher Columbus style ship. All while experiencing the beautiful scenery of Madeira made of high mountains, deep lush green valleys and black steep sea cliffs.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ adventure jeep tour and visit to Porto Moniz lava pools
✓ travel up to Monte by cable car and sled down to Funchal on a traditional toboggan sledge
✓ swimming dolphins adventure and pirate ship cruise
✓ relax at the Fajã dos Padres beach after a thrilling canyoning adventure
✓ discover the beautiful lush green valleys and high mountains of Madeira

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - Funchal - overnight in Funchal
Day 2 - explore Funchal - Southern coast boat and swimming with dolphins tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 3 - central and Western Madeira Adventure jeep tour - Porto Moniz lava pools - overnight in Funchal
Day 4 - Levada hiking tour at Laurissilva Forest - free time - overnight in Funchal
Day 5 - cable car ride to Monte Palace Gardens - tobogganing to Funchal - overnight in Funchal
Day 6 - pirate ship tour on a Christopher Columbus ship - overnight in Funchal
Day 7 - canyoning and organic farm visit at Fajã dos Padres - overnight in Funchal
Day 8 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL TO FUNCHAL
Welcome to the island of Madeira. A transfer will take you from Funchal Airport to your hotel where you have the remaining day to settle in.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 2 - FUNCHAL & SWIMMING WITH THE DOLPHINS
Combine a sightseeing tour by boat along the South coast of Madeira with the magical experience of swimming with dolphins. The perfect kick off to your family adventure week. Starting from Funchal harbour, experienced guides will take you out on a boat and explain everything you need to know about the over 25 different species of cetaceans that can be found around the island. On your trip (depending on your route) you will pass Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs in Europe, and have some spectacular views onto the mountain range surrounding Funchal. Highlight of the tour is getting into the crystal clear water and swimming side by side with the friendly sea creatures. A truly unforgettable experience!
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 3 - 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.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 4 - HIKING LEVADA (TOUR SUGGESTION - NON GUIDED)
Set out on foot to explore Madeira‘s fascinating nature and wildlife in more detail. Start your walk at Queimadas Forest Park, 980m above sea level, and follow along the so called Levadas. Levadas are a system of aqueducts that are many kilometers long and used to transport water from different sources to its point of use. Embedded in a lush vegetation as part of the Laurissilva Forest, you will discover Madeira‘s huge variety of flora and fauna during this easy to moderate hike. Keep your eye out for rare bird species and endemic plants which there a plenty of. Unwind and learn about nature on this perfect family day out!
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 5 - MONTE CABLE CAR - MONTE PALACE GARDENS - TOBOGGANING (SUGGESTION - NON GUIDED)
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 maneuvered 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 6 - CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS SHIP
Ahoy and welcome aboard the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus! Did you always want to feel like a great explorer and head for the unknown? You will have your chance today in Cãmara de Lobos where a replica of the world famous ship can be visited. If you are brave enough head out onto the open waters with your crew of sailors and set sail for your big family adventure!
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 7 - FAJÃ DOS PADRES - CANYONING & ORGANIC FARM VISIT
Fajã dos Padres calls itself „The island within the island“ and is a true refuge from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Accessible via cable car, expect a deserted beach, a myriad of exotic fruit and vegetable as well as endless peace and tranquility. However this place is far from boring! Challenge yourself in one of your probably biggest adventures of the whole trip - canyoning. Down a waterfall with a vertical drop of 250m you will make your way towards the lagoon. Before you can reward yourself with a dive into the refreshing water, you have to conquer the steep decent in about 2 hours of abseiling. The afternoon will give you time to recover during a show-around on the organic farm where you will also get to taste some of the locally sourced produce.
Overnight in Funchal.

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE
Transfer from the hotel to your airport and departure.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels or guesthouses
- 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 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!

 

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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