Top 10 places to visit in Madeira Island: From stunning beaches to breathtaking viewpoints

May 20, 2023 | Activities

Madeira Island, located in the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal. Known for its lush landscapes, mild climate and rich history, the island attracts visitors from all over the world. If you are planning a trip to Madeira Island and want to know which are the best places to visit, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to highlight the 10 best places to visit in Madeira, from stunning beaches to breathtaking viewpoints.

Places to Visit in Madeira: Beaches and Boat Trips

Bonita da Madeira boat

1 – Porto Santo Beach

Located on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, this beach of fine white sand stretches for nine kilometres, offering plenty of space to relax and sunbathe.

The clear, warm waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and other water sports such as paddle boarding and windsurfing.

There are several options for restaurants and bars nearby, as well as options for renting umbrellas and sun loungers.

2 – Calheta Beach

Calheta is one of the jewels of the island of Madeira. Located on the south coast, the beach is a popular spot with tourists and locals alike. With its crystal clear waters and golden sand, it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

The beach offers excellent support facilities for bathers, including nearby bars and restaurants for a quick meal or a relaxing cocktail. The nearby Marina provides boat trips for visitors, making Praia da Calheta an even more attractive destination.

3 – Desertas Island

The Desertas Islands are a group of islands located southeast of the Madeira archipelago, in Portugal. Consisting of three islands (Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio) and adjacent islets, these islands are of volcanic origin and are surrounded by a vast surrounding marine area.

The reserve is also an ideal location for hiking and boat trips, which allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region. Would you like to take a boat trip to the Desert islands? Book now!

Places to Visit in Madeira: Viewpoints

Pico do Areeiro | Photo by VisitMadeira

4 – Pico do Arieiro

Located at 1818 meters above sea level, Pico do Arieiro offers one of the most spectacular views on the island of Madeira.

The panoramic view of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean is breathtaking, especially at sunrise or sunset.

It is possible to access the viewpoint by car or by trail, and there is a restaurant at the top of the mountain.

5 – Cabo Girão

With a height of 580 meters, Cabo Girão is the second-highest cliff in the world and offers panoramic views of the ocean and the south coast of Madeira.

A glass platform suspended over the cliff offers an even more impressive view.

The viewpoint is easily accessible by car or bus, and there are several restaurants and bars nearby.

6 – Viewpoint of Ponta do Sossego

Located on the north coast of Madeira, the Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego offers spectacular views of the mountains, ocean and local villages.

Also, it is a peaceful and secluded place, surrounded by beautiful gardens and a small chapel.

There is a cafe nearby where you can enjoy a snack or drink while admiring the view.

7 – Viewpoint of Pico dos Barcelos

Situated 355 meters above sea level, the Miradouro do Pico dos Barcelos offers a panoramic view of the city of Funchal, the south coast and the surrounding mountains.

It’s a popular spot to watch the sunrise or sunset and a restaurant and bar at the top of the mountain.

The viewpoint is easily accessible by car or bus.

Places to Visit in Madeira: Natural Parks

Photo by VisitMadeira

8 – Madeira Natural Park

The Madeira Natural Park is a protected area covering about two-thirds of the island.

It offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking trails, bird and wildlife watching, boat trips, among others.

Visitors can explore the lush forests, impressive waterfalls and unique rock formations that characterize the island’s landscape.

9 – Funchal Ecological Park

Funchal’s Ecological Park is a beautiful botanical garden with more than 500 different plant species.

Visitors can walk along manicured trails and enjoy views of the park’s flowers, trees, shrubs, and lakes.

It is also possible to visit a small zoo within the park, which is home to a variety of local animals such as monkeys, birds and reptiles.

10 – Ribeiro Frio Natural Park

The Ribeiro Frio Natural Park is a natural reserve that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna endemic to the island.

Also, visitors can walk along the well-marked trails and admire the beauty of the laurel forests, the crystalline water of the creeks and the impressive waterfalls.

The park is also a popular starting point for hikes towards the mountains in the centre of the island.


Madeira Island is a real treasure for nature lovers and those looking for beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities. Throughout this article, we highlight the 10 best places to visit on the island.

Each of these locations offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to the island. From stunning beaches to breathtaking viewpoints and stunning natural parks, there is something for everyone on Madeira Island.

We hope this article has been helpful to anyone planning to visit the island. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore these incredible places and enjoy everything Madeira Island has to offer with the convenience of a car. Rent a Car with 7M Rent a Car!

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