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Steep coasts & flower gardens

As the ‘flower island’ and known for its species-rich flora, Madeira presents itself year-round as a dream destination for ambitious hikers. Diverse paths, sometimes narrow and winding lead over this mountainous island. A good basic condition is needed. But the versatile island will reward you for your physical effort every day. In the dry east at Porto da Cruz you can relax on the black sandy beach. In the north, near Porto Moniz, the view sweeps over the entire north coast, in the mountainous region shady laurel forests await. The abundance of flowers is ubiquitous, even in and around the capital, Funchal. Madeira is like a breathtaking botanical garden.

Our most popular hiking tours in Madeira

Around Madeira

Get to know the unique island in a one-week holiday? We have packed all places worth seeing into an 8-day individual hiking trip. Taste a ‘poncha’ and grab a toboggan and enjoy a speedy ride as a crowning finale.

Around Madeira with charm

Our Madeira trip with charm offers the ‘extra’ comfort. You spend the night in a room with a sea view everywhere except in Sao Vicente. Our charming hotels are carefully selected and impress with their own black rocky beach, enchanting gardens and the constant sound of the sea.

Useful information about hiking holidays in Madeira

Geographical information about Madeira

The Madeira archipelago is of volcanic origin and consists of five islands. Madeira, the main island is the largest island and almost all of the 300,000 inhabitants live there. Because Madeira is closer to Africa than Portugal, it is geographically part of Africa, but politically part of Europe. Forces of nature formed the island, which rises steeply out of the Atlantic and it is enthusiastically visited by numerous guests. Rivers and streams cut deep gorges and steep cliffs were created by the constant beating of the waves. A thermal spring discovered near Funchal is the last witness of the volcanic pre-history. Madeira has only a few black, coarse grained beaches that are not so inviting for swimming. That is why rock bathing facilities have been created in many places, making use of the natural conditions, which make bathing possible.

Hiking paths in Madeira

Madeira is the ideal hiking island. The Lavada trails are almost without any hills and along narrow irrigation channels. In addition, there are the old routes from place to place, which the people of the island used until only a few years ago. And last but not least, the lonely mountain paths of the goatherds open up almost every corner of the island. You are spoiled for choice between easy hikes in the middle of countless terraced fields and shady forests, dizzying levadas or adventurous coastal paths. Many routes lead through tunnels, so pack a torch and waterproof shoes.

Cuisine in Madeira

On a typical Madeira menu you will find these regional dishes:

Starters: Bolo do Caco com Manteiga de Alho – typical bread with garlic butter

Meat: Espetada – grilled beef skewer, Cozido portugesa – various types of meat with sausage and vegetables, Picado – sliced beef with fries, Prego no bolo do Caco – beef steak in typical bread, Carne vinha de alhos – pork marinated in wine

Fish/Seafood: Bacahlhau – salted dried fish in different variations, Espada – black swordfish in different variations, Tuna – tuna in different variations, Lapas – mussels, Camarao – shrimp in different variations, Caramujos – small sea snails, Ovos de Epada – fish eggs

Dessert: Bolo de mel – honey cake, Pastel de nata – vanilla tarts, Bolo de berlin – vanilla donut

Drinks: Poncha – cane sugar schnapps with lemon/orange and honey, Nikita – beer, white wine and pineapple or vanilla ice cream, Sangria – white wine or red wine, Brisa – regional carbonated juices (speciality: passion fruit, apple, lemon), Coral Bier – regional beer

Small Portuguese dictionary

The national language in Madeira is Portuguese, but in more rural areas the language is characterised by regional dialects and idiomatic expressions. Basically, the Portuguese appreciate it very much if visitors make a little effort during their stay and acquire a few everyday words to use. Many Portuguese speak English. Here are a few helpful words and sentences.

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  • I need help: Preciso de ajuda.
  • How much is this?: Quanto custa?
  • Cash: Dinheiro
  • Credit card: Cartao de credito
  • Excuse me, could you help me please?: Desculpe, pode-me ajudar?
  • Where is…?: Onde fica...?
  • How do I get there?: Como posso la che gar?
  • Do you speak English?: Fala Ingles?
  • Lady/Woman: Senhora/mulher
  • Mr/Man: Senhor/homem
  • Please: por favor
  • Thanks: obrigado (if you are a man) or obrigada (if you are female)
  • Fruit: Fruta
  • Bread: Pao
  • Fish: Peixe
  • Meat: Carne
  • Dessert: Sobremesa
  • Water: Agua
  • Juice: Sumo
  • Beer: Cerveja
  • Wine: Vinho
  • Coffee: Café
  • Could I have the bill please?: Traga-me a conta por favor.

Questions and answers about hiking holidays in Madeira

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Due to the mild temperatures all year round, the beautiful flower island of Madeira is ideal for a hiking holiday 365 days a year.

  • Discover the most beautiful year-round hiking holidays in Europe on our Eurohike HikingBlog.

Whether on the impressive north coast, on the Königslevada, through the mystical laurel forests, in the coastal town of Porto Moniz with the typical natural swimming pools made of lava rock, on the Paul da Serra plateau or along the south-west coast – when hiking in Madeira you experience a multi-faceted adventure like hardly anywhere else. The exotic flora and fauna, as well as the wonderful hiking paths, ensure wonderful hiking moments to dream of.

We offer these individual hiking holidays with luggage transfer on Madeira:

Find out more about Hiking with Charm here.

Portugal is home to a total of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On Madeira there is the laurel forest Laurisilva, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 with its subtropical plant species.

There are plenty culturalculinary and scenic highlights waiting for you when hiking in Madeira. Experience on our multi-day hiking holiday around Madeira:

  • the panoramic Levada do Norte, the longest and widest levada in the south,
  • the Cabo Girao, the highest cliff in Europe,
  • the botanical garden in Funchal with 35,000m2,
  • the Paul da Serra plateau with the laurel forests, part of the UNESCO World Heritage,
  • the coastal town of Porto Moniz with its popular natural pools made of lava rock,
  • the Cathedral Sé and the market in Funchal with exotic fruits
  • and the wonderful culinary delights and typical specialties of the island.

Further popular hiking regions in Portugal

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