3-Day Local Adventure and Sightseeing with Friends in Madeira

Madeira, Portugal

3 days

Quinta Grande marina
North-east coast near Santana
Traditional house in Santana
Lagoa das 25 fontes
Funchal botanical garden

About Madeira, Portugal

Experience the enchanting beauty of Madeira, Portugal, a subtropical paradise known for its lush landscapes, vibrant gardens, and stunning coastline. Explore the capital city, Funchal, with its charming streets, historic sites, and bustling farmers' markets. Venture into the Laurisilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a hike or a picnic amidst ancient trees. Savor the local cuisine, particularly the famous Madeira wine and honey cake. Enjoy a thrilling ride on the traditional toboggans from Monte to Funchal. Visit the picturesque fishing villages and indulge in water sports like diving and sailing. Madeira's year-round mild climate makes it a perfect destination for any season. Discover the magic of Madeira, the 'Pearl of the Atlantic'.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Funchal and Monte


Start your day with a visit to the vibrant Mercado dos Lavradores, a traditional market where you can find a variety of local products, from fresh fruits and vegetables to flowers and handicrafts. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and get a taste of the island's rich agricultural heritage.


Enjoy a traditional Madeiran lunch at a local restaurant. Try the 'Espetada', a popular dish made of beef skewers grilled on laurel sticks, or the 'Bolo do Caco', a delicious garlic bread made with sweet potatoes.


After lunch, take a thrilling Toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal. This unique and fun mode of transport offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape. After the ride, explore the beautiful Monte Palace Tropical Garden, home to a wide variety of exotic plants and stunning views over Funchal.


For dinner, indulge in some fresh seafood at a local restaurant. Madeira is known for its excellent seafood, so don't miss the opportunity to try dishes like 'Lapas', grilled limpets, or 'Atum', fresh tuna steak.


End your day with a leisurely stroll along the Funchal Marina, enjoying the beautiful evening views of the city and the sea. The area is also home to a number of bars and cafes, perfect for a relaxing drink to wrap up your day.


Start your second day with a visit to the Cabo Girão Skywalk, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. The glass platform offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the southern coast of Madeira.


Have lunch at a local restaurant in Câmara de Lobos. Try the 'Peixe Espada Preto com Banana', a unique dish of black scabbard fish served with banana.


Spend your afternoon exploring the picturesque fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Visit the local fishing harbor, take a stroll along the seafront promenade, and enjoy the charming traditional houses.


For dinner, enjoy a meal at a local restaurant in Funchal. Try the 'Milho Frito', fried cornmeal, a popular side dish in Madeira.


Spend your evening exploring the nightlife in Funchal. The city offers a variety of entertainment options, from traditional live music performances to modern nightclubs.


On your last day, take a guided tour of the Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This ancient forest is home to a unique biodiversity and offers numerous hiking trails.


Have lunch at a local restaurant in Santana. Try the 'Cozido Madeirense', a hearty stew made with meat and vegetables.


After lunch, visit the traditional Thatched houses in Santana. These triangular houses, painted in bright colors, are a symbol of Madeira and offer a glimpse into the island's rural past.


For your last dinner in Madeira, enjoy a meal at a local restaurant in Funchal. Try the 'Prego no Pão', a traditional beef sandwich, a perfect way to end your culinary journey in Madeira.


End your trip with a visit to the Funchal Old Town, known for its narrow cobbled streets, historic buildings, and vibrant street art. It's a perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere of this charming city.

Attractions in Itinerary (8)

Mercado dos Lavradores

Mercado dos Lavradores

This lively farmers' market in Funchal offers a wide range of local produce, from fresh fruits and vegetables to fish, meat, and flowers. It's also a great place to try local delicacies and buy souvenirs.

Food and Drink
Toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal

Toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal

A traditional means of transport turned tourist attraction, where visitors can ride in a wicker sled down steep hills from Monte to Funchal.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

This beautiful garden in the hills above Funchal is home to a wide variety of plants, as well as koi ponds, Chinese-style pagodas, and a museum showcasing African and Zimbabwean stone sculptures.

Cabo Girão Skywalk

Cabo Girão Skywalk

One of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, featuring a glass-floored viewing platform.

Laurissilva Forest

Laurissilva Forest

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient subtropical rainforest covers 20% of the island and is home to a unique collection of plants and animals.

Cultural Experiences
Thatched houses in Santana

Thatched houses in Santana

Traditional Madeiran houses with triangular thatched roofs, offering a glimpse into the island's rural past.

Cultural Experiences
Funchal Old Town

Funchal Old Town

The historic heart of Funchal, filled with narrow cobbled streets, old buildings, and vibrant street art.

Cultural Experiences
Câmara de Lobos fishing harbor

Câmara de Lobos fishing harbor

A picturesque fishing village known for its charming harbor, traditional fishing boats, and vibrant local life.

Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)



A popular dish in Madeira, Espetada is a skewer of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, marinated in Madeira wine, then grilled over wood or charcoal.

Bolo do Caco

A traditional Madeiran bread made with sweet potatoes, Bolo do Caco is typically served with garlic butter and is a staple at local meals.



Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink of Madeira, made from aguardente de cana (rum made from sugar cane), honey, sugar, and lemon or orange juice.

Peixe Espada Preto

A unique fish to Madeira, Peixe Espada Preto is a black scabbardfish often served with banana and passion fruit sauce.

Milho Frito

Milho Frito

A popular side dish in Madeira, Milho Frito is deep-fried squares of polenta, often served with Espetada.


Picado is a popular Madeiran dish, typically made with beef or pork, served in a wine and garlic sauce, often accompanied by fries.

Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine is a fortified wine produced in the Madeira Islands, known worldwide for its unique winemaking process and distinctive flavors.



Lapas, or limpets, are a popular seafood dish in Madeira, typically grilled and served with a garlic and butter sauce.

Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata

A famous Portuguese dessert, Pastel de Nata is a creamy egg tart pastry that is also popular in Madeira.

Sandes de Atum

A typical Madeiran sandwich, Sandes de Atum is made with local tuna, often served with a salad.

Broas de Mel

Broas de Mel are traditional Madeiran honey cookies, often enjoyed during Christmas season.


Nikita is a popular Madeiran drink made with beer, ice cream, and pineapple, often enjoyed on hot summer days.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Madeira, Portugal, is generally between April and November. During these months, the weather is warm and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, sightseeing, and beach visits. However, if you're interested in the famous Madeira Flower Festival, you should plan your visit in April or May. For wine enthusiasts, the Madeira Wine Festival takes place in late August to early September. Despite this, Madeira enjoys a mild climate year-round, so it's a great destination any time of the year.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 13


Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day

March 19


St. Joseph's Day (Santarém)

March 29


Good Friday

March 31


Easter Sunday

April 16


Our Lady of Mércoles (Castelo Branco)

April 25


Liberty Day

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 9


Ascension Day (Beja)

May 12


St. Joana's Day (Aveiro)

May 20


Azores Day (Azores)

May 22


Leiria Day (Leiria)

May 23


Portalegre Day (Portalegre)

May 30


Corpus Christi

June 10


Portugal Day

June 13


St. Anthony's Day (regional holiday)

June 24


St. John's Day (regional holiday)

June 29


St. Peter's Day (Évora)

July 1


Madeira Day (Madeira)

July 4


St. Elizabeth's Day (Coimbra)

August 15


Assumption of Mary

August 20


Our Lady of Sorrows (Viana do Castelo)

August 22


Our Lady of Graces (Bragança)

September 7


Faro Day (Faro)

September 15


Birth of Bocage (Setúbal)

September 21


St. Matthew's Day (Viseu)

October 5


Republic Day

November 1


All Saints' Day

November 27


Foral of Sancho I (Guarda)

December 1


Restoration of Independence

December 8


Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Madeira, especially for those who want the freedom to explore the island at their own pace. There are several car rental companies available at the airport and in the city centre. Remember, driving is on the right side of the road in Portugal.

Madeira's public bus system, known as Horarios do Funchal, services Funchal and its surrounding areas. There are also SAM buses that cover the eastern part of the island and Rodoeste buses for the western part. Buses are reliable and relatively frequent, but routes can be complex and may require transfers.

Taxis are readily available throughout Madeira, especially in Funchal. They are metered, but it's also possible to negotiate a fixed price for longer journeys or tours of the island. Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked by phone, or picked up from taxi ranks.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in Madeira, particularly in Funchal. This can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially if you're traveling in a group. However, availability can be limited in more remote areas of the island.

The cable car in Funchal is a popular way to get up to the Monte area, offering stunning views over the city and the bay. From Monte, you can also take the traditional toboggan ride down to Funchal.

Many of the attractions in Funchal are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore on foot. However, be prepared for steep hills. For hiking enthusiasts, Madeira offers a network of 'levadas' (irrigation channels) with paths alongside, providing access to the island's beautiful and rugged interior.

A ferry service operates between Funchal and the nearby island of Porto Santo. The journey takes about 2.5 hours. This is a great option if you want to explore the beautiful beaches of Porto Santo.

There are numerous tour operators in Madeira offering a variety of tours, from city sightseeing and wine tasting to off-road adventures and whale watching. This can be a convenient way to see the sights, especially if you're short on time or prefer not to drive.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC 0

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone112

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Madeira, Portugal as a first time visitor


Madeira is an archipelago, consisting of the main island of Madeira, the smaller island of Porto Santo, and two groups of uninhabited islands.


The official language is Portuguese, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.


The currency used in Madeira is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have some cash on hand.


Madeira has a subtropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Average temperatures range from 64°F (18°C) in winter to 75°F (24°C) in summer.


Madeira is in the Western European Time Zone (WET, GMT +0; GMT +1 in summer).


The island is known for its unique levada walks. Levadas are irrigation channels or aqueducts specific to Madeira.


Madeira has a rich culinary scene. Try local dishes like 'espada com banana' (black scabbard fish with banana) or 'bolo do caco' (a traditional sweet potato bread).


Madeira wine is a must-try. This fortified wine comes in several varieties, from dry to sweet.


Public transportation is reliable and affordable. Buses are the main form of public transport, but taxis and car rentals are also available.


Madeira is generally safe for tourists, but like anywhere, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions.


The island is mountainous, so pack comfortable shoes if you plan on hiking or walking a lot.


Madeira has a rich tradition of festivals and events, such as the Madeira Wine Festival and the New Year's fireworks. Check the local calendar for events during your visit.


Tipping is customary in Madeira. It's common to leave a 10% tip in restaurants and round up to the nearest Euro for taxi drivers.


Madeira has a unique flora and fauna, with many species that are endemic to the island. Respect the environment during your visit.


The island has a strong tradition of embroidery and wickerwork. These make for great souvenirs.


Madeira has a good healthcare system. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders can access necessary healthcare services for free or at a reduced cost.


The electrical current in Madeira is 230 volts, 50 Hz, and the plugs are Type F (two round pins). If your devices use different plugs, you'll need an adapter.


Tap water is safe to drink in Madeira, but bottled water is widely available if you prefer.


Madeira is not a beach destination. While there are a few pebble and black sand beaches, the island is more known for its mountains and nature.


The dress code is generally casual, but it's respectful to dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

Basic Portuguese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving someone


Por favor

Por fa-vor

Making a request

Thank you



Expressing gratitude




Agreeing with someone




Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me



Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry




Do you speak English?

Fala inglês?

Fala in-glesh?

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Não entendo

Nown en-ten-doo

Expressing confusion

Where is...?

Onde está...?

Onde es-ta?

Asking for directions


Casa de banho

Kaza de ban-yo

Looking for a bathroom




In need of assistance




Looking for food




Looking for water




Ordering a beer




Ordering wine

Check, please

A conta, por favor

A con-ta, por fa-vor

Asking for the bill

How much does it cost?

Quanto custa?

Kwan-to kus-ta?

Asking for the price

Good night

Boa noite

Bo-a no-i-te

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Swimwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Pajamas

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Basic first-aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Contact lenses and solution (if needed)

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other ID

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash in local currency

  • Hotel and car rental confirmations

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Universal power adapter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel guidebook for Madeira

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

  • Ziplock bags for storing and organizing items

  • Umbrella or lightweight rain jacket

Weather Conditions

Madeira, Portugal, is known for its mild, subtropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, there are some weather-related tips and guidance that can enhance your visit. The island experiences its warmest weather between May and October, with average temperatures ranging from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). This is the best time for beach activities and water sports. However, it's also the busiest tourist season, so be prepared for crowds. From November to April, temperatures slightly drop to an average of 59°F to 68°F (15°C to 20°C). This is the rainy season, especially from November to February, so pack a raincoat or umbrella. Despite the rain, this period is excellent for hiking and exploring the island's lush vegetation and beautiful landscapes. Madeira's mountainous terrain can cause significant temperature variations across the island. The north tends to be cooler and wetter than the south, so pack layers if you plan to explore different areas. The island is also known for its strong winds, especially on the coast. If you're planning on doing any boating or sailing, keep an eye on the weather forecast and sea conditions. Lastly, remember that Madeira is known for its "four seasons in a day" weather. It's not uncommon to experience sun, rain, clouds, and wind all in one day. So, always carry a light jacket or sweater, even if the day starts off warm and sunny. In conclusion, Madeira's weather can be unpredictable, but with the right preparation, it's a fantastic destination any time of the year.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


19° / 13°

January is the coldest month in Madeira, but it's still quite mild with temperatures ranging from 13 to 19°C. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.


19° / 13°

February is similar to January with temperatures between 13 and 19°C. It's the perfect time for indoor activities like wine tasting and exploring local museums.


20° / 14°

In March, temperatures start to rise slightly, ranging from 14 to 20°C. It's a great time for hiking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Madeira.


21° / 15°

April sees temperatures between 15 and 21°C. The island starts to bloom, making it a wonderful time for nature lovers.


22° / 16°

May is pleasantly warm with temperatures ranging from 16 to 22°C. It's an ideal time for outdoor activities like whale watching and diving.


24° / 18°

June marks the beginning of summer with temperatures between 18 and 24°C. It's a great time to enjoy the beaches and outdoor festivals.


26° / 20°

July is one of the hottest months in Madeira with temperatures ranging from 20 to 26°C. It's perfect for sunbathing and swimming in the sea.


27° / 21°

August is the peak of summer with temperatures between 21 and 27°C. It's the busiest time of the year, so book your accommodations in advance.


27° / 21°

September remains quite warm with temperatures ranging from 21 to 27°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer a less crowded time with still great weather.


25° / 19°

October sees temperatures between 19 and 25°C. It's a good time to visit for those who prefer milder weather and fewer tourists.


23° / 17°

In November, temperatures start to drop slightly, ranging from 17 to 23°C. It's a good time for hiking and exploring the island's natural beauty.


21° / 15°

December is a festive time in Madeira with temperatures between 15 and 21°C. It's a great time to experience the island's Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

Did you know?

Did you know that Madeira, Portugal is known as the 'Island of Eternal Spring' due to its mild climate year-round?

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Places near by Madeira, Portugal

Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo Island

Known for its sandy beaches and clear, warm waters. It's a perfect place for relaxation and water sports.

74 km / 46.0 mi
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Desertas Islands

Desertas Islands

A group of three uninhabited islands, known for its wildlife, particularly the endangered monk seals.

25 km / 15.5 mi
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São Vicente Caves

São Vicente Caves

A series of lava tubes and caves formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.

31 km / 19.3 mi
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Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro

Third highest peak in Madeira, offering stunning panoramic views of the island.

27 km / 16.8 mi
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Levada do Caldeirão Verde

Levada do Caldeirão Verde

A beautiful and adventurous hiking trail through the lush greenery of Madeira.

25 km / 15.5 mi
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Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

A charming town known for its beautiful churches and beachfront promenade.

18 km / 11.2 mi
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Camara de Lobos

Camara de Lobos

A traditional fishing village known for its picturesque bay and Winston Churchill's favorite viewpoint.

9 km / 5.6 mi
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Curral das Freiras

Curral das Freiras

A small village located in a deep valley, also known as the 'Nuns Valley'.

23 km / 14.3 mi
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Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz

Known for its natural volcanic rock pools that are filled by the tide with crystal clear water.

60 km / 37.3 mi
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Ponta de São Lourenço

Ponta de São Lourenço

The easternmost point of Madeira, offering a beautiful hike with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

37 km / 23.0 mi
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