Madeira, sitting off the northwest coast of Africa, is a subtropical paradise and draws visitors from all over the world every year. It’s known for its volcanic and luscious landscapes, as well as balmy seas and of course, the famous Madeira wine.

It makes a perfect holiday spot for couples. With plenty of options to choose from, you’ll be hard-pressed to decide between lounging on the gorgeous sandy beaches, taking in the views on a hike, or making the most of the water. Madeira encourages people to relax into the slow pace of island life, and enjoy each other’s company, which makes it ideal for a romantic getaway. 

But what activities are perfect for couples on your Madeira holiday? We take a look.

Madeira Coastline


If you’re both adrenaline-junkies, then you’re sure to want to take advantage of the rocky island cliffs and warm sea temperatures. Not for the faint-hearted, coasteering involves swimming, climbing, cliff-jumping and hiking all rolled into one high-energy package. Unless you’ve done this before, it’s a great chance to learn something new together and get your heart rate pumping!

It’s the perfect way to truly experience and appreciate all the natural wonders that Madeira has to offer, and booking on a group experience means that you can do it all safely. Who knows, you might even make some new friends who you can meet up with in the bar later for a celebratory drink. 

Person jumping off a cliff during coasteering

Diving and snorkelling

The water in Madeira is still warm, even into the autumn, meaning that divers and snorkelers can continue to get in the sea here, even when it’s cooling off at home. There are plenty of spots to satisfy both beginners and experienced divers, and the many dive schools on the main island offer taster sessions and lessons at reasonable prices. Expect to explore wrecks and stunning reefs – Madeira’s volcanic sea bed supports a range of eco-diversity.

If you’re looking to stay a bit closer to the surface, why not hire snorkelling gear? You can still get a glimpse of the local aquatic life, and you may even spot seals or dolphins. Snorkelling in Madeira is best in the summer, when the sea is at its warmest and clearest. Afterwards, get out your beach towels and dry off in the sun, cocktail in hand.

Snorkeling in Madeira

Boat trip

If you’re more into staying dry than diving into the North Atlantic Ocean, then why not take a boat trip in Madeira? This way, you and your partner can see all the delights of the ocean, including dolphins and whales, whilst remaining safely on deck. Some tours even offer a food and wine package, meaning that you can enjoy a sunset trip and sample a range of local delicacies.  

If you’re history buffs, then check out the pirate boat ride on the Santa Maria de Colombo. This boat is designed to replicate the ship that Christopher Columbus travelled on. It’s best to take part in this adventure in the autumn when the sea is smoother, unless you have a strong stomach!

Boat on the water at sunset

To sum up

There is plenty to do in Madeira for couples, especially if you’re looking to get in the water. Wherever you stay, you’re sure to be close to a gorgeous beach, but if you really want to get the most out of the island, be sure to hire a car. This will make it a lot easier to get around, and means that you can carry all your swimming gear in the boot, rather than having to lug rucksacks around.

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