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What to see in Madeira

Madeira Attractions


It is the very remoteness of the Madeira archipelago that makes the islands enchanting, yet there is still surprisingly a lot to do and see. Although there are no real beaches to behold on this rocky outcrop of islands, at least not of the golden sand variety, there are many interesting activities and cultural attractions that draw visitors to its shores, such as exploring the colourful old town, visiting one of the many museums or cathedrals, browsing some of the famous markets or taking an exhilarating 20 minute ride down the highway to Funchal from Monte in nothing but a wicker basket chair, steered by carreiros ​dressed in white and only using their rubber soled shoes as brakes, in what is known as the Monte Toboggan run.

And if a hair raising experience is what you are after, one of the main attractions and best ways to see the island of Madeira, is the exciting cable car trip that gives its visitors fantastic panoramic views of Funchal and its surroundings, before ending at the beautiful Monte Palace Tropical Garden. But if speeding down the highway in a wicker chair or flying high on the cable way is not for you, visitors can also explore the island with a boat trip around the coast, where there is the chance of sighting whales and dolphins, or alternatively, one hop on a ferry to visit nearby islands such as Porto Santo, which provide a pretty picture with its colourful Mediterranean houses decorating the coastline.


Frederico de Freitas Museum

Named after the Madeiran lawyer who amassed the fascinating collections on display as a hobby, the Frederico de Freitas…

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Funchal Cathedral

In the heart of the historic part of Funchal stands the cathedral (Sé do Funchal) which is the most impressive…

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Madeira Cable Car

One of the favourite diversions in Madeira's capital, Funchal, is to ride the cable car from the Parque Almirante Reis…

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Porto Santo

Madeira's sister island, Porto Santo, lies 24 miles (39km) northeast of its larger sibling and was actually discovered…

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Sao Vicente Caves

Formed 890 thousand years ago, the São Vicente Caves are among the first caves of volcanic origin to be opened…

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