Madeira is a destination for nature lovers. This tropical paradise has unique flora and fauna. You will be dazzled by the colour and scent of the tasty exotic fruits on the stalls of traditional markets. You will swim in natural pools classified among the most beautiful natural pools in Europe. You will live experiences and adventures in the heart of unspoiled nature in Madeira, the paradise for nature lovers. This will be the trip of a lifetime!
Levada do Caldeirão Verde
Here dandelions are huge and lilies of the valley are more like bushes. Discover the exceptionally rich and luxuriant nature of Madeira’s green lungs in the Parque Florestal das Queimadas.
Located a few minutes’ drive from Santana and its traditional houses ranked among the best instagrammable spots of Madeira, Queimadas is a must-see for nature lovers and families.
Plan to get there in the morning as the road is very narrow and not easy for passing cars. Your walk begins with the discovery of incredible houses with thatched roofs. One houses a tiny café that offers delicious homemade cakes, the other is a museum of traditions. There are also miniature reproductions of typical houses in Santana with their geese and ducks for children to enjoy.
Walk just 200 m and penetrate the forest to leave civilization and discover the best of Madeira. As a family, you can walk a few km and retrace your steps if the road is too narrow or difficult for your children. Others can walk on to Caldeirao Verde. Watch the weather before you decide to go. Better to discover this exceptional place on a sunny day than in the mist.
A walk of almost 7km (allow 5 hours of walking) will take you from the “Parque Florestal das Queimadas” to Caldeirao Verde at an altitude of almost 1000m. It is a perfect trail for lovers of exotic flora and fauna. Many endemic plants of the island can be observed on this trail.
After 4 tunnels and a bit of walking, you will discover Caldeirao Verde and will keep memories of it for a lifetime.
This botanical garden, located on the heights of Funchal, is a true haven of peace for nature lovers. This sublime tropical garden was previously owned by one of the wealthiest families on the island, the William Reid family. Did you know that William Reid is the founder of the famous “Belmond Reid’s Palace”, one of the most beautiful 5 stars in Europe and one of the most famous in Madeira?
Endemic plants but also sublime palm trees, medicinal plants or incredible succulents can be observed in this garden which also houses a bird park. Come and discover the most beautiful plants of the island but also cockatoo and macaw parrots in this garden accessible by cable car from Funchal. The garden is open daily from 9.00 a.m until 6.00 p.m.
Levada dos Cedros
This walk will take you from Faial ranked among the best instagrammable places in Madeira to Ribeira de Janela. Your walk starts amid ferns, giant heather and wild blueberries (come in August or September to taste these delicious fruits). Little by little, you enter the primary forest of laurels that are as incredible as they are spectacular. Green walls, waterfalls of rare beauty, breathtaking views… 2 hours of unforgettable walks await you.
You can do this walk on your own by renting a car and driving to Fanal. The easiest way is to hire a specialist guide company for advice and a transfer that picks you up at the end of your ride, so you don’t have to walk back to your car. We highly recommend Madeira Adventure Kingdom. Fabio picks you up from your hotel and takes you on the island’s most beautiful roads to immerse you in Madeira’s green lungs. A native of Madeira, he knows every corner of the island and the best anecdotes and addresses to share.
Ponta de São Lourenço
Discover the easternmost point of Madeira. You can go by car and stop at the parking lot of the “Ponta de Sao Lourenço” viewpoint and its magnificent views of these wild hills.
If you plan on doing this walk, take sunscreen and good shoes with you. It is relatively accessible even for amateur athletes. The good news is that a little “Casa do Sardinha” café restaurant awaits you at the end of the promenade. There is also the possibility, for those who are tired, to take the boat back to Canical. Allow 2 hours for a return walk from the car park to the café restaurant.
Lagoa do Vento
On the trail “Levada das 25 fontes” you can stop for a few moments and enjoy this exceptional natural spectacle “Lagoa do Vento“. If for physical reasons or because you are accompanied by young children you cannot do this trail, choose the nearby “Alecrim Levada” trail instead, which is much easier. You will be able, on your way, to make a small detour to discover Lagoa do Vento, it really is worth it.
Praia do Porto do Seixal
With its many beaches and natural pools, Seixal is a must- see for nature lovers. This little green paradise is located in the Northwest of the island near two other jewels of Madeira: Porto Moniz and Ribeira da Janela.
Easy to reach by car (40 min from Funchal) or on an excursion, Seixal is the ideal stop after exploring the volcanic pools of Porto Moniz and the traditional houses of Santana. The “piscinas naturais do Seixal“, Seixal natural swimming pools and the “Praia do Porto do Seixal” are only 5 minutes by car from one of the most beautiful miradouros in Madeira, the “Miradouro do Veu da Noiva”.
As you can see, this part of the island is really made for nature lovers with its breathtaking landscapes and green tourism. It will also be perfect for travellers who have kept their childlike soul and Instagrammers looking for unique places in the world.
Reserva Natural do sítio da Rocha do Navio
Do you long for nature, silence and large green spaces? Take a packed lunch with you and your good shoes and off you go to the natural reserve of Rocha do Navio.
The cable car, which seems to brush against the cliffs, is the start of this adventure during which you will discover many waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes.
This is a must-see for nature lovers. The nature reserve is located in the Northeast of the island. Parking is available near the Rocha do Navio cable car. Allow 5 euros for the cable car. Enjoy!
Madeira Tropical Garden
Awarded as one of the best places in Europe to propose marriage, Monte Palace Garden is also one of the best Instagrammable spots in Madeira.
This exceptional garden, built on several levels, offers you a wide variety of exotic flowers and trees, endemic or from all over the world, as well as artistic installations made to measure for this exceptional place. A museum of African statues and an incredible museum of minerals complete the offer of this peaceful and incredibly photogenic place.
Fanal Laurel Trees Forest
Fancy a digital detox and a real change of scenery? Want to disconnect from stress, work, social media and reconnect with yourself and nature? Fanal is for you. Little known to tourists and ranked among the best instagrammable spots of Madeira, Fanal is also classified by the “Parque Natural da Madeira” as a “Reserva de Repouso e Silencio”, a reserve for rest and silence.
Listed as a natural world heritage site by UNESCO, the laurel forest is still the original ancient forest which can be found on the entire island. Magnificent laurels, some twisted and of rare beauty, make up this forest with a unique atmosphere. Sometimes surrounded by a mist which adds a mystical character to this unique place in the world, the Lauriferous Forest of Madeira is also home to endemic species such as the trocaz pigeon, a very beautiful pigeon with a blue-purple coat.
Fanal is located on the concelho do Porto Moniz, between Ribeira da Janela and the plateau “Paul da Serra”. You can park your car near the forest or, for the more athletic, take the PR13 – Vereda do Fanal trail or the PR14 (route) Levada dos Cedros.
Before leaving for an excursion to the 4 corners of Madeira, plan a lunch as delicious as it is rich in vitamins and local fruits and vegetables by ordering from Vantastic. The van is usually located in front of the Jardim Municipal de Funchal. It was by far the best lunch we have ever had on a press trip.