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The seven best things to do in Madeira

Crowned Europe's Leading Island Destination 2019

Famed for its incredible backdrops with mountain peaks appearing lost in the clouds, extraordinary flora covering its botanical gardens and natural volcanic pools offering idyllic saltwater dips – there’s no wonder Madeira has been likened to Hawaii. Alongside its scenic charms, it’s also adored for its colonial architecture, wicker sled rides and afternoon tea tradition.

So, if you’re thinking of jetting off to this European gem, here are the best things to do while you’re there, and some of them are mind-blowing.

Levada Walks

One for keen hikers, this walking trail alongside a watercourse winds around Madeira’s incredible sloping terrain and promises a unique trekking experience. Collecting rainwater and carrying it to all four corners of the island, this network of channels dates back to the 15th century. Take on this unique landscape solo or join a guided tour – the choice is yours.

Cabo Girão

Feeling brave? Then, this skywalk rising for 580 metres is nestled on some of the highest cliffs in Europe. With a glass platform positioned at the top and offering jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic, this is certainly not one for the faint-hearted.

Whale watching

Believe it or not, Madeira is a great place to spot wildlife, in particular whales. With a number of species spotted in its Atlantic waters including the humpback, you can catch a glimpse of these giant marine mammals all year round. However, April to October is the best time to see them and boats tours are highly recommended.

Porto Santo Island 

Over on the island of Porto Santo, sweeping golden sands await your arrival, which is ideal for sun-seekers in search of tranquil beach days. With nine kilometres of coastline to call its own, retreat to this extended shore and bathe beside emerald waters. The hotspot is also home to a Christopher Columbus Museum and a world-class golf course if the seafront doesn’t cut it.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Found in the capital, where you’ll also find some of the best hotels in Madeira, Monte Palace Tropical Garden is a must-visit attraction. High up in the hillside overlooking Funchal, the cable car ride to Monte is just as impressive. Once there, walk this natural masterpiece designed in the 1990s and marvel at its 100,000 plant species, oriental sculptures and water fountains.

Porto Moniz Lava Pools

Hidden away among its rugged coastline, you’ll come to the natural pools of Porto Moniz. Formed by volcanic lava and filled with saltwater, prepare for a unique bathing experience with the Atlantic providing the backdrop. This complex also comes with a children’s pool as well as a range of amenities from loungers to changing facilities, a snack spot and lockers, ensuring days on the rocks are comfortable.

Wicker sled rides 

Dating back to the 19th century, there’s something exhilarating about flying through Monte village in a wicker basket with traditionally dressed men pushing you through its steep streets. This sled ride has become a must-try during any holiday to Madeira.

Want to see what all the fuss is about and experience some of these adventures for yourself? With over 70 years’ experience booking holidays and specialists in all things Madeira, Broadway Travel has some amazing deals with staff always on hand to provide that in-depth knowledge.

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