Madeira Island - Activities

Madeira Island

Madeira, officially designated as Autonomous Region of Madeira, is a Portuguese territory with political and administrative autonomy granted by the Estatuto Político Administrativo da Região Autónoma da Madeira (Political - Administrative Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira), due to the Constitution of The Portuguese Republic. Madeira Island is part of the European Union due to the statute of the ultraperipheral regions of the territory of the Union, in accordance with article 299.º-2 of the Treaty of the European Union (EU).

The archipelago was discovered by the Potuguese sailors Tristão Vaz Teixeira and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, who named the island Madeira (wood) because of the abundance of wood on the island. Before that, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira discovered Porto Santo island in 1418. Then, in 1419, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco discovered Madeira.

Machico City

In July 1419, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão “das ilhas” docked in the beautiful beach of Machico. This was the beginning of the glorious epopeia of the Portuguese Discoveries. It was in Machico that the Franciscans that came along in the expedition celebrated the first Mass on the island on Saint Isabel´s Day (July 2), to express their thanks for the joy of the discovery.

There are many stories about the origin of the name Machico. The most famous one, and yet polemical, is the romantic tale of the English lovers Robert Machim and Anna d´Arfet. The city is said to have been named as such after the name Machim.

Walks & Levadas

Madeira Island is undoubtedly a “floating garden” , a true paradise for botanic lovers. As you walk through the primitive forest, along the levadas, you can find unique species, no longer existing throughout Europe ever since the glacial period, which are still preserved here due to the mild subtropical weather. You can walk along the pleasant paths covered with hydrangeas, orchids and Estrelicias, and the steep mountainsides planted with corn and wheat, and walk through the tunnels laboriously excavated in the rocks in order to carry the water across the levadas. You can also surprise yourself with the great variety of vegetation along the footpaths.

As you reach the top of Pico Ruivo, you will have a breathtaking view of the wild rocky landscape and “hear” the silence of the fresh open air. Then, you can walk along the paths of the mountain in the tranquility of the meadowlands and the wild flowers.

You can walk the lonesome paths of Ponta de São Lourenço enjoying the spectacular landscape of the rocky cliffs that plunge towards the ocean. There, you can go swimming in the small bays of clear water.

Mountain Biking

Come and discover Madeira on wheels, riding an all-terrain bike or motorcycle along levadas, unpaved roads and obstacles in the island's forest!

If you're the kind of person who enjoys life on wheels, we invite you to discover Madeira in this way - literally!

Discover the pleasure of driving an all-terrain bike or motorcycle, along levadas, unpaved roads and obstacles in the forest of the island! You can rent a bicycle or motorcycle on Madeira and Porto Santo islands and discover the pleasure of riding over the rugged dirt tracks.

The Downtown Funchal competition is held annually in the city centre, and is very exciting to watch.

Christmas and New Year 

The arrival of the decorative lights in the streets of the city centre of Funchal, during the month of December, sets the beginning of the Madeira Christmas and End of the Year Festivities programme.

These festivities culminate with the famous fireworks show, officially recognised in 2006 by the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest fireworks show in the world.

These commemorations consist of a rich and extensive programme of cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic manifestations that take place throughout the entire month of December, an event that culminates on January 6th.
Find out more about what to expect from Christmas and New Year Festivities in Madeira, taking place between December 1st, 2019 to January 6th, 2020.

Flower Festival

Floral species originating in many parts of the world bloom in Madeira, as the island meets specific climatic conditions that allow species from both tropical and cold regions to flourish. 

The Flower Festival is a tribute to spring, and the celebration of metamorphosis and rebirth, fertility and the abundance of the flowers that colour, perfume and inebriate the surrounding environment and that give value and take the good name of this tourist destination across borders. Find out more about what to expect from the Madeira Flower Festival, which will take place between the April 30th to May 24th.

The Flower Festival is also a cultural event. Tradition is particularly associated with the event, whether through the performances of folk groups, or through the construction of the beautiful floral carpets. At the same time, homage is paid to flowers at the magnificent Flower Exhibition and the city is animated with music concerts and variety shows.

Carnival Festivities

Madeira Carnival festivities offer a variety of activities you can choose from, with the option to enjoy them as a simple spectator or as an active participant.

In Madeira, the Carnival season is experienced in a constant festive atmosphere, both with official initiatives and those of a more spontaneous character, deep-rooted in Madeiran tradition, with joy and cheerfulness prevailing in the streets, establishments and private homes, normally between February 19th and March 1st.
Avenida América, nº 43 - Matur
9200-232 Água da Pena
Machico, Madeira

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Telef: (+351) 291 96 57 89
Telm: (+351) 927 353 376

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