Madeira Itinerary: Seeing the Best Places in a Week (+ Map!)

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Are you looking for the best way to spend 7 days in Madeira? This Madeira itinerary has you covered – keep on reading!

Are you planning your trip to Madeira last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Madeira last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🌊  Top Experiences and Tours in Madeira:

  1. Catamaran dolphin and whale watching excursion (top tour in Madeira!)
  2. Luxury Catamaran whale-watching tour from Funchal
  3. Best of the West of Funchal (tour of western side of island)
  4. Best of the East of Funchal (tour of eastern side of island)
  5. Nuns Valley 1/2 day tour from Funchal

🛌   Top Hotels in Madeira:

  1. The Vine Hotel (luxury)
  2. Pestana CR7 (luxury)
  3. Hotel do Carmo (mid-range)
  4. The Marketplace by Storytellers (mid-range apartment)
  5. Madeira Happy Hostel (budget hostel)

🚗   Visiting Madeira independently? Be sure to book your rental car ahead of time to ensure availability!

On this 7-10 day Madeira itinerary, we break down each day of your trip with the best things to do on the island! 

From visiting the best viewpoints Madeira has to offer (and trust us, there are plenty!) to where to eat, we cover it all!

Madeira itinerary - how to spend 7 days in Madeira (or more!)
Madeira itinerary – how to spend 7 days in Madeira (or more!)

Did we miss any of the essential things to do in Madeira in this guide?

Let us know how you’d like to spend a week in Madeira (or more!) in the comments!

How to Use this One Week in Madeira Itinerary (+ Map!)

This itinerary for Madeira is broken up day by day with details for each day of your trip!

Since this is merely a suggested itinerary, feel free to include whatever else your heart desires along the way! We leave enough time on each day that you can tailor your Madeira trip the way you’d like!

If you have more than 7 days in Madeira, we will include some additional things to do at the end of the guide (enough to fill up 10 full days!).

To add this map to your Google Maps account, click the ‘Star’ icon next to the map name. You can then view it on your cell phone or computer by heading to your Google Maps account, click the menu and add it to ‘Your Places’.

How to Get Around Madeira

Madeira is a large island so naturally, the best way to get around is by rental car.

Discover Cars are our go-to for rental cars, and you’ll find some fantastic deals on this website.

Madeira also has a public transport system that’s serviced by four different operators; EACL, Horários do Funchal, SAM, and Rodoeste.

These operators cover different parts of the island, and it’s a very economical way to get around.

Driving on a Madeira road trip
Driving on a Madeira road trip

Taxis are another great option but be prepared to haggle the price down. You can also use BOLT, which is more affordable and often more convenient.

If you’re looking to explore the best of this island in a short amount of time, then there are some fantastic guided tours.

All the transport and logistics will be covered, and the prices tend to be extremely reasonable.

Madeira Road Trip Overview

  • Day 1: The Old Town of Funchal, Funchal Cable Car, Toboggan sled ride, Dinner in Funchal
  • Day 2: Madeira Botanical Gardens, Dolphin/whale watching cruise, afternoon tea at Belmond Reid’s Palace, Monte Palace
  • Day 3: Farol da Ponta do Pargo, Miradouro da Santinha, Porto Moniz natural swimming pools, dinner in Porto Moniz
  • Day 4: Valley of the Nuns, Miradouro Eira do Serrado, Pico do Arieiro
  • Day 5: CR7 Museum, Cape Girão, Lunch in Câmara de Lobos, Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos
  • Day 6: Pico Ruivo hike, Walk part of Sao Jorge coastal path, dinner in Sao Jorge
  • Day 7: Porto Santo island
  • Day 8 (Extra): Garajau Nature Reserve (kayak!), Cristo Rei, Santa Cruz
  • Day 9 (Extra): Wine tour, dinner in Ribeira Brava
  • Day 10 (Extra): Praia de Machico, Ponta de São Lourenço, Santana

Day 1 in Madeira

The Old Town of Funchal 

To start this Madeira Itinerary, you’ll be spending some time in the island’s capital.

There’s a lot to see in Funchal, but your first stop should be the Old Town! 

Funchal Old Town
Funchal Old Town

This 2-hour walking tour will show you the best attractions and you’ll get to learn all about the area’s history.

Funchal Cable Car

Undoubtedly one of Madeira’s most popular attractions, the Funchal Cable Car will take you up to the Parish of Monte.

The journey takes between 15-25 minutes and the views are simply astonishing! It really is one of the top things to do in Madeira!

Funchal cable cars
Funchal cable cars

Along the way, you’ll get spectacular views of Funchal, the city’s surrounding valleys, and the Atlantic Ocean. Just buy a single ticket – you’ll soon see why.

Take a Toboggan Sled Ride

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Madeira, then go on a toboggan ride!

From Monte, you’ll get to travel all the way down to Funchal on a wicker sled that’s guided by runners.

The journey takes around 10 minutes and you can reach speeds of up to 48 km/hr! It’s an adventure for sure so don’t miss out on this activity. 

Have Dinner in Funchal 

After spending a day exploring the city, you’ll want to find somewhere for dinner.

Here are some great restaurant options:

Day 2 in Madeira

Madeira Botanical Gardens

Covering an area of around 8 hectares, Madeira Botanical Gardens is rather impressive.

It’s home to five landscaped areas, over 2,000 exotic plants, a Natural History Museum, and a Herbarium so there’s a lot to see. 

Madeira Botanical Gardens
Madeira Botanical Gardens

From the gardens, you’ll also be treated to stunning views of Funchal as there are a variety of viewpoints here.

Dolphin and Whale-Watching Luxury Cruise 

This dolphin and whale-watching cruise is a must for any Madeira itinerary!

For the purpose of this itinerary, you’ll depart at 11 am on a luxury catamaran and will be out on the water for around three hours.

Dolphin watching off of Madeira
Dolphin watching off of Madeira

Drinks and snacks are included, and you’ve got a great chance of spotting marine life.

Have Afternoon Tea at Belmond Reid’s Palace

Reid’s Palace offers a fantastic afternoon tea experience.

For starters, you’ll be sitting out on a terrace area where you’ll be treated to striking ocean views. 

Historic Belmond Reid’s Palace - Achim Wagner - Shutterstock
Historic Belmond Reid’s Palace – Achim Wagner – Shutterstock

The food is absolutely delicious too, and the staff will continuously check on you to see if you’re having a great time.

They’ll often even ask if you want any extra cakes!

Monte Palace Madeira 

To finish today’s itinerary, you’ll head to Monte Palace Madeira. It’s a tropical garden that covers an impressive area of 70,000 sq meters.

Home to a huge collection of exotic plants and with peacocks roaming the grounds, this place really is magical.

Monte Palace Madeira
Monte Palace Madeira

You’ll also find the Monte Palace Madeira Museum here, which is home to three floors. 

Address: Caminho das Babosas 4 e 4A, 9050-541 Funchal

Day 3 in Madeira

Farol da Ponta do Pargo

Your first stop on day three of this Madeira itinerary is Farol da Ponta do Pargo.

It’s one of the most popular viewpoints on the island as it offers panoramic vistas over the Atlantic Ocean.

Farol da Ponta do Pargo
Farol da Ponta do Pargo

Here, you’ll find Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse which has been around since 1922, and a small museum.

Miradouro da Santinha

Miradouro da Santinha is another fantastic viewpoint! It offers stunning views of Porto Moniz village, the natural swimming pools, Ilhéu Mole, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Make sure you take plenty of photographs here!

To reach the viewpoint, just head along ER101 from Farol da Ponta do Pargo. In total, it takes around 30 minutes to travel between the two.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools

After admiring the views, head down to the Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools.

They’re one of the island’s main attractions as you can relax in the water while admiring the panoramic sea views.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools
Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools

There are plenty of amenities here too including changing rooms, sunloungers, a first aid post, and a playground. There’s even a children’s pool!

Have Dinner in Porto Moniz

After relaxing in the pools, allow some time to get dry and then head out for dinner.

Here are some great restaurant options:

Day 4 in Madeira

Valley of the Nuns

Day four of this Madeira itinerary will see you explore Curral das Freiras.

Often referred to as the ‘Valley of the Nuns’, this remote village is famous for its natural beauty. 

Valley of the Nuns
Valley of the Nuns

Interestingly enough, nuns actually fled to Curral das Freiras from Funchal in 1566 due to pirates. Today, one of the main attractions tends to be the annual Chestnut Festival.

Miradouro Eira do Serrado

While in this area, you’ll want to visit Miradouro Eira do Serrado.

This popular observation deck offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, and Curral das Freiras down below.

Miradouro Eira do Serrado
Miradouro Eira do Serrado

For the best experience, allow some time up here to just relax.

However, keep in mind this place may not be suitable for those with a fear of heights.

Have Lunch at Valley of the Nuns

After you’ve spent the morning exploring, grab something to eat at Valley of the Nuns.

Here are some great restaurant options:

Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro is the third-tallest mountain on Madeira at an impressive 1,818 meters high.

Although you can hike to the top, it’s also easily accessible by car which you may be glad to hear.

Pico do Arieiro
Pico do Arieiro

Once you’ve parked up, it’s just a 2-minute walk to the peak’s viewpoint. Trust me, the vistas will take your breath away – especially at sunset!  

Day 5 in Madeira

CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum

There’s no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers the world has ever seen.

As he was born in Funchal, the CR7 Museum depicts his early life and career through a variety of exhibits. 

CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum - F8 studio - Shutterstock
CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum – F8 studio – Shutterstock

In fact, some of his most famous trophies are found at this museum. That includes the golden boot and Ballons d’Or trophies he’s won over the years.

Address: Praça CR7, Av. Sá Carneiro Nº27, 9004-518 Funchal

Cape Girão

Thought to be the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest across the world, Cape Girão is a must-visit. At 580 meters tall, these cliffs are quite a sight.

There’s a glass skywalk and observation platform at Cape Girão, where you’ll get to see right below your feet. Even better, you’ll be treated to panoramic ocean views.

Have Lunch in Câmara de Lobos

Just a 10-minute drive from Cape Girão is Câmara de Lobos, which is where you’ll want to grab lunch.

Camara de Lobos - LuisPinaPhotography - Shutterstock
Camara de Lobos – LuisPinaPhotography – Shutterstock

Here are some great restaurant options:

Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos

To finish off day five, you’ll want to visit Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos.

It’s an observation deck sitting at 355 meters above sea level, so the views are absolutely stunning! 

Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos
Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos

From this viewpoint, you’ll get breathtaking vistas of Funchal, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Desertas Islands.

There are also facilities up here including restaurants and shops.

Day 6 in Madeira

Pico Ruivo Hike

You’ll want to make an early start today as you’ll be hiking up Pico Ruivo which is Madeira’s highest peak at 1,862 meters above sea level. 

There are two hiking trails; PR1 which covers around 15 km and takes 4-6 hours, and PR1.2 which only takes around 2 hours. The latter has a total length of 5.6 km.

Walk Part of the Sao Jorge Coastal Path

If your legs aren’t too tired, then make sure to walk along part of the Sao Jorge Coastal Path.

You’ll be walking right along the cliff on a boardwalk so the views are undeniably beautiful. 

Sao Jorge Coastal Path
Sao Jorge Coastal Path

Just make sure you take your time and watch where you’re stepping. I’d also recommend avoiding the last section as it looks very unsafe! 

Have Dinner in Sao Jorge

After a long day of walking, it’s time to refuel so make sure you order plenty of food! 

Here are some great restaurant options:

Day 7 in Madeira

Visit Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo Island is famous for its pristine golden beaches, turquoise waters, and mild temperatures all year round.

Daily ferry crossings are available to and from Madeira, and the journey takes at least two hours.

For the best experience, you’ll want to get up early to allow enough travel time! Many people opt for a day tour so they don’t have to sort the logistics.

Porto Santo Island
Porto Santo Island

Have Lunch in Vila Baleira

Vila Baleira is the main town on Porto Santo Island, so this is where you’ll want to grab some food.

Here are some great restaurant options:

Day 8 in Madeira

Explore Garajau Nature Reserve by Kayak

Garajau Nature Reserve is a marine reserve that’s located off the coast of Madeira.

It covers an area of six miles and is famous for its biodiversity when it comes to marine life.

This kayak and snorkeling tour lasts for around 3 hours and is a great way to explore the nature reserve.

Cristo Rei

Also known as ‘The Sacred Heart of Jesus’, Cristo Rei Viewpoint is a must for any Madeira itinerary!

Cristo Rei
Cristo Rei

It’s a statue of Jesus Christ (similar to the iconic Christ Redeemer), and from here, you’ll get panoramic views of Funchal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. 

If you can, time your visit when the skies are clear so you get the best views.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the oldest village on Madeira and it dates back to the 15th century.

You’ll find some great beaches nearby and there’s also Pico do Facho which is another of the island’s fantastic viewpoints. 

The architecture is pretty impressive in Santa Cruz too as there are some beautiful churches found here.

Have Dinner in Santa Cruz

After exploring the town, it’s time to grab something to eat! 

Here are some great restaurant options: 

  • Taberna do Petisco – One of the most popular restaurants in Santa Cruz! 
  • Confeitaria Los Nietos – A charming cafe known for its delicious food. 
  • Adega Moniz – Offers incredible dishes and has an extensive wine menu.
  • Bilheteira – A cozy family-run restaurant that’s known for its good food and large portions.

Day 9 in Madeira

Full-Day Madeira Wine Tour 

Day 9 of this Madeira itinerary will see you appreciate the island’s vineyards. This full-day wine tour lasts for 8 hours and includes transport, entrance fees, and lunch.

Madeira wine tour is a must!
Madeira wine tour is a must!

You’ll get to meet a local wine producer, learn about wine pairings when you have your meal, and visit the famous Blandy’s Wine Lodge.

Have Dinner in Ribeira Brava

Ribeira Brava is just a 30-minute drive from Funchal, so I’d recommend having dinner here tonight and exploring the area.

Here are some great restaurant options:

Day 10 in Madeira 

Praia de Machico

The last day of this itinerary will see you visit Praia de Machico.

It’s a man-made beach and is one of the only beaches on the island so it’s certainly worth a visit. 

Praia de Machico
Praia de Machico

With golden sands, scenic surroundings, facilities, and free parking, Praia de Machico has everything you could think of. 

Ponta de São Lourenço

Ponta de São Lourenço offers some of the wildest and most rugged landscapes on the island.

Here, you’ll find dramatic cliff edges, huge rocks, and outstanding sea views along this headland.

If you’re looking to escape the crowds, then this is your place! The hike to Ponta de São Lourenço takes around 2-3 hours.


This incredible destination is known for its cultural heritage and has even been recognized as a ‘Biosphere Reserve’ by UNESCO.

Santana is most famous for its thatched triangle-shaped houses as they’re incredibly charming.

Famous houses of Santana
Famous houses of Santana

Thanks to these structures, Santana is one of the most picturesque places on the island. 

Have Dinner in Santana

To finish off your Madeira itinerary, you’ll have dinner in Santana.

Here are some great restaurant options: 

Where to Stay in Madeira

We definitely recommend finding a place to stay in Funchal and if you’re looking for the perfect lodging for you, here are some of our top picks!

Did we miss any magical places on this Madeira itinerary?

Let us know how you would spend 7 days in Madeira in the comments below!

More Madeira Travel Guides

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Are you looking for the best way to spend 7 days in Madeira (or more!)? This Madeira itinerary covers it all from where to stay, etc! Map included! | Itinerary Madeira | things to do in Madeira | What to do in Madeira | Madeira road trip | One week in Madeira | 10 days in Madeira | Madeira 7 day itinerary | Madeira sightseeing | Places to visit in Madeira | Madeira tours

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