Coasteering Madeira

A coasteering adventure in Madeira

By Fábio, CTO at SeaBookings, who fell in love with coasteering in the Algarve, and repeated the coasteering adventure in Madeira.

At SeaBookings, we like to visit the places where we operate so we can better understand what are the best things we can offer to our sea lovers. This adventure was in Madeira, a Portuguese gem in the Atlantic coast north of Africa.

Untouched Nature in Madeira

From the sky, right before landing, we could see that Madeira landscapes live to their fame. You have the feeling that everything is still very raw, very natural. The vegetation and vertiginous cliffs are spectacular, and one of the reasons almost all of its territory was considered a total preservation area and by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage. We could start to feel the excitement.

Even from the sky, you can already sense Madeira's wilderness

Even from the sky, you can already sense Madeira’s wilderness

From the Airport to the coasteering adventure

From the airport, you have multiple options to get to Funchal, the capital city of the island. By shuttle, by bus, by taxi or by car rental. If you truly want to discover Madeira and its nature, you will have to move around so we recommend you to rent a car, since you will be driving a little bit.

Having landed in Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo, we immediately started our adventure. We already had scheduled coasteering online so we had to get going. Luckily, the guides just picked us up at the Airport to help us make it on time.

All you need to bring is your sun screen, swimsuit and a towel, the rest is all sorted!

All you need to bring is your sunscreen, swimsuit and a towel, the rest is all sorted!

The preparation for the experience

After 20 minutes, we arrived at the eastern part of the island, close to Ponta de S. Lourenço. This trip was a pleasant collection of stunning landscapes and vivid colours. And it gave us time to get to know a bit about this tour operator and the guides who were going to take us coasteering. Once we arrived at the spot, we were provided with the proper equipment for coasteering: wetsuit, boots and a helmet. After a clear safety briefing by our guide Fabrício, we were ready for some epic coasteering in Madeira!

It's great to feel so close to nature!

It’s great to feel so close to nature!

The coasteering adventure

Moving down the path of a trail, we were approaching the sea and its blue turquoise colors. It’s hard to describe the sights with words. The panoramic wild environment is breathtaking. As soon as you get to the edge of the cliff adrenaline starts pumping and you feel it’s about to start!

You are in a natural reserve and everything around you so beautiful, natural and untouched. You can finally feel in complete symbiosis with mother nature.

And then…. You jump!

Just don't think to much!

Just don’t think too much!

You feel the mild water and you feel in total connection with the stunning surroundings of wild Madeira. Madeira is a volcanic Island and you will be able to see that on the cliff’s walls and in the several caves you will visit in this tour.

For the next 2 hours, you will swim, you will jump, you will climb and you will hit the repeat button many times. You simply can’t get tired of this. It’s you, your mates and the wild nature. You’ll have the chance to visit hidden beaches and caves that are only accessible via the sea. And since this is a natural reserve, you won’t find any motor boats.

There are jumps of many different heights and you can pick the ones that you can feel comfortable with. Everything jump is optional, so if you don’t think you can make it, you can skip it. The grand finale is a 15m high jump… if you have the courage!

For the photo addicts, the guides will have a camera and take pictures so that you don’t have to worry about carrying extra stuff and can fully enjoy this experience. If you really want a take a personal view of the adventure, we recommend you to take a GoPro or equivalent with you.

The colors are just incredible!

The colors are just incredible!

The last surprise

There is a surprise lurking for you at the end. When walking the last hill back to the carpark, please look around for a few minutes. There is a landscape with magical colours you won’t forget.

This is the time to breathe in and think about everything you have just experienced. You will feel fulfilled, wanting to come back. This was the beginning of our adventure in Madeira, and just by experiencing this, it was already worth it!

A GoPro is a fun idea for some unique sea-selfies!

A GoPro is a fun idea for some unique sea-selfies!

We’re sure that coasteering in Madeira is one of the best outdoor activities in Madeira Island. It’s the best way to explore the untouched uncrowded side of the famous Ponta de São Lourenço. If you want to know more about this experience or about the best things to do on Madeira, feel free to contact us any time!

Tipps für Euren Urlaub auf Madeira

Things to do on Madeira

Things to do on Madeira

Poncha Madeira

Madeira is a perfect holiday destination the whole year round. We’ll share the some tips to take the most out of your holidays on the island and enjoy the best things to do on Madeira.

Madeira is one of the archipelagos of Portugal. The archipelago is composed by two inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and a few islands where no people live on. The capital of this autonomous region is Funchal.

The islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are characterized by a warm subtropical climate all year round. Madeira is very popular for active travellers who like outdoor experiences like hiking or running in the mountains, playing golf or water activities like surf, SUP, kayak and boat tours.

Boat tours Madeira

We went to visit the Portuguese island to check out the best things to do on Madeira and share them with you.

Flights

Things to do on MadeiraReaching Madeira is very easy and affordable. The airport has only one terminal and you can easily find your way to the public transport or rent-a-cars.

Flights are very affordable. From Portugal, TAP has been doing some great discounts. Flights by TAP from Lisbon or Porto to Funchal start at €47.  If you’re flying from the UK, for example, there are several airlines that operate to Madeira: easyJet, British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Return flights from the UK from December to March will only cost you 65£ to 74£, while from June to September these fares can double.

Getting around

Seabookings in Madeira

At your arrival you can either chose to use public transport or rent a car. We decided to rent a car. We believe this is in fact the best way to explore the island. It allows you to be more flexible and to enjoy the best things to do on Madeira.

There are several rent-a-cars and prices start at about €15 per day. We used rentalcars.com and paid €76 for five days. It’s definitely worth it to hire a car.

We do recommend you to hire a car with some power. Madeira is very hilly and the least powerful cars may not be able to climb up the highest peak of the island when they are full. Be careful when signing the rental contract and make sure you’ve got the right insurance for your needs. Our contract was to give in the car with an empty deposit.  During the five days, where we used the car a lot, we used a full deposit.

Hilly Madeira Things to do

Using the bike to get around the island is not recommendable as there are no paths for bikes and Madeira is super hilly. Biking is one of the best things to do on Madeira if you like sports, so you can go on a biking tour if you wish. But as means of transportation, we truly recommend the car.

Stay

The best things to do on Madeira are a bit all over the island. Staying in the capital, Funchal, is nice if you wish to enjoy some more culture or nightlife. If you’re fonder of nature and want to avoid the most touristic places you can also stay at other towns. In the end, everything is nearby by car.

Prices per night at local “hospedarias” in Funchal start at €20 for a twin room. For the luxury lovers, you can stay at a “Quinta” of more than €150 per night. There are places to stay for all budgets.

Things to do Madeira

We stayed at an apartment via AirBnB. It was located at Ribeira Brava. Ribeira Brava is a small coastal town about 20km west from Funchal. From the airport, Ribeira Brava is about 36km. It’s a nice place to stay. Ribeira Brava has got some good restaurants, a beach and supermarket.

Given the size of the island, the best thing to choose the location of your stay is by taking into consideration the things you want to do on Madeira. Another factor is your budget. In fact, you can stay anywhere as the island is not that big and if you’ve got a car you can go from one side of the island to the other within one hour.

Things to do in Madeira

There are many things to do on Madeira Island. There are activities for all tastes and ages. Of course, we are more into water activities like dolphin and whale watching on Madeira. Other people may be more into playing gold or tasting the local culture and wild nature.

boat trips Madeira

For the ocean-lovers, Madeira is a true paradise in terms of activities. Our four favorite things to do on Madeira Island are:

Boat tours in Madeira

Madeira is home to many species of cetacean (dolphins and whale species) and there are several boat tours to observe them. This is one of the most popular things to do on Madeira as it’s suitable for all ages and can be done all year round.

These trips may take between two and three hours. There are different options regarding the vessel. You can go for a big stable catamaran, a typical Portuguese sailing ship or a fast rigid inflatable boat.

whale watching madeira

The whale and dolphin watching trips on Madeira are more than just watching. With marina biologists and local skippers on board, you’ll get to know a lot about the wild life and about the Island itself.

SUP tours:

SUP in Madeira - Around Freedom

Join a small group of watersport lovers or bring your friends and family and learn how to Stand-up Paddle on Madeira! SUP is the new worldwide booming sport. This experience will give you and your friends or family a different perspective of the Madeira Island.

SUP allows you to access the local nature and lush landscape where other vessel types cannot reach. You can enjoy marine reserves where abundant marine life can be appreciated to the fullest. SUP is very dependent on weather conditions. As on the Island of Madeira the weather and ocean conditions vary a lot, there is almost always a good spot to SUP.

Surf in Madeira

Surfing is a very popular activity on Madeira. The lessons are given on the beaches of volcanic sand, usually in the north-eastern part of Madeira. Surf classes are suitable for all levels of experience. Just like SUP, surfing is rather dependent on weather and ocean conditions. The instructor will always search for the best alternative to guarantee the complete enjoyment of the surf activity. On Madeira, the villages of Paul do Mar, Jardim do Mar and Ponta Pequena are the most popular surf spots. Lugar de Baixo and São Vicente are also becoming popular surf spots.

  • Scuba diving:

Also for scuba divers Madeira is a paradise. The all year round mild climate and water temperatures of 18 to 23°C make Madeira one of the warmest scuba diving spots of Europe. Scuba divers chose Madeira as a holiday destination because of the crystal clear waters and the chance of encountering species like barracudas, monkfish, dolphins, rays and even mantras. Madeira hosts several diving schools, mainly in Funchal and Caniço de Baixo. Diving on Madeira is suitable for all levels of experience.

hiking madeira

In addition to these water-related activities on Madeira, the island is also very popular for walking, hiking and trail running. Madeira is very rich in walking routes. The routes are all very well signaled by the local government. The routes vary from 2 to 12km and the levels of difficulty also very a lot. All the information is explained on the Visit Madeira website.

We highly recommend you to bring good walking or running shoes and to bring some water and food supplies along your walking adventure. We also suggest you to check out the weather forecast to not be surprised by the variable island climate and avoid dangerous situations. If you prefer, you can also join a walking tour.

Running in Madeira

Things to eat in Madeira

For the food-lovers, there are several things you must do while on Madeira Island. Madeira, as well as the Azores, is very well known for its meat.

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We recommend you to enjoy a delicious “Prego em bola do caco”. Prego is veil meat and it’s served on a typical local type of bread. The bread is kind of sweetish and very soft. It makes a delicious combination with the meat. Also, having this “bola do caco” bread as a starter with garlic butter is too delicious to be true.

Milho frito Madeira

Another must-eat on Madeira is the “espetada”, a meat skewered. Typically this skewered is served on the stick of bay. The meat is extremely juicy and served with fried corn cubes and salad. We recommend you to ask how big the portions are because sometimes they’re big enough to serve too.

These dishes may very well be accompanied with a local Madeira wine. Be aware that Madeira wine is very different to normal wine. As a desert, order a passion fruit mousse or any local fruit like the bananas and other tropical fruit.

madeira

We’re Madeira fans and would be happy to help you to plan your holidays on this beautiful island. Feel free to contact us for other tips, questions or request booking information.

Enjoy Madeira!