Our tourist maps
Discover the islands of Madeira, a natural paradise where the sea and mountains meet. Here are 4 new maps of Madeira for you to print, to help you plan your stay on these exceptional islands, blessed with a mild climate all year round. Discover our maps to plan your trip in the best possible way.
A volcanic island, Madeira's countryside mixes rugged mountains, cultivated terraces, vertiginous cliffs, volcanic rocks and the sandy beaches of Porto Santo. Renowned for its subtropical climate and luxuriant vegetation where numerous tropical trees thrive, it's Madeira's natural beauty which attracts so many. It has been referred to as the "floating garden" and the "pearl of the Atlantic." The Madeiran archipelago is formed of several islands of which Porto Santo and its big sister Madeira are inhabited. Madeira is the largest of the islands and should be visited at any cost!
Overview of 4 tourist regions
Between the sea and Madeira's magnificent terrain, there is so much to do. Above all, there is walking and hiking along more than 70 safe trails. After a good walk, imagine yourself paddling in a natural pool or lounging on the rocks. For the less athletic, in search of relaxation, Porto Santo's fine sand beach is enchanting. And don't miss Funchal's cathedral, museums, gardens and tropical parks, its traditional market, and walks along the sea front with breathtaking views.
Routes and distances maps
Direct flights from the UK to Funchal take around 4 hours. Indirect flights often stopover in Lisbon. Flights from Lisbon to Funchal take around one and a half hours. Public transport and the bus network are not well developed, so car hire is the best way to discover the island. There are car hire firms at the airport. And if you don't want to miss Porto Santo's beaches, there is a daily crossing from Madeira. Booking ahead is essential during the summer.
Pauline and Pascal's hidden Madeira
Generally, our favourite places are in the west of the island.
The village of Jardim Do Mar is one of the most authentic, welcoming, lively and flower-filled on the island. Despite all of its attractions, the village has not been a victim of mass tourism. At the ocean's edge, you can relax for hours in the bars and restaurants admiring the Atlantic stretching out before you. The coast of the west and south is wilder.
Seixal Beachis one of the most beautiful on the island. The fine black sand is rare on the island, where pebble beaches are more common. The bay breaks the waves, which can be coonsiderable here, making the beach accesible to all, children included. To cap it all, the beach is overlooked by dizzying verdant cliffs and waterfalls. There is a marina and a pleasant bar too.
Fanal is located on the high plateau in the west central region. You can find the island's oldest trees there, planted when the island was colonised in the 16th century. This magical, captivating setting is now protected by UNESCO. Often bathed in clouds, vegetation dominates the area where mosses and lichens cover the forest giants.
The 25 Fountains and the Risco Waterfall is a trail departing from Rabaçal on the island's western plateau. This walk is an opportunity to discover the 'Laurisilva', the unique endemic forest protected by UNESCO, along 'levadas', Madeira's famous irrigation channels. The trail leads to two magnificent waterfalls: Cascada de Risco is notable for its height, and the 25 Fountains for its panaoramic view.
Ponta da Sao Lourenço to the east of the island is notable for its desert-like dry climate, unique to the island, although it does resemble the other inhabited island, Porto Santo. The visible strata of the indomitable, untamed rocks give the area its charm.
Ponta do Pargo offers a breathtaking view of the west coast. The 300 metre cliffs support a lighthouse which can be visited.
Porto Moniz, Porto Moniz on the north coast is a seaside town famed for its natural volcanic pools. The free, more rugged pools can be found on your right as you arrive in the town. However, the pools which charge a fee do have facilities and may be a good choice for children. Porto Moniz is home to the island's only aquarium, where Madeiran coastal species of fish can be seen.
Pico Ruivo and Pico Areeiro are the two highest points on the island with only 50 metres separating Areeiro from the higher Ruivo. Hiking between the two peaks is possible, but a good level of fitness is required. The effort won't be in vain, as the trail gives a splendid panorama of the whole island throughout the 6 hour walk.
Funchal, the capital of Madeira is a warm, lively and artisitic city. Rua Santa Maria in the historic centre has numerous beautifully painted doors. Strolling along the marina towards the fort you will come to Bar Barreirinha which regularly puts on concerts.
Of course, we also recommend Funchal's 'tourist classics' including the cable car which will take you to the botanical and tropical gardens (they are also accessible by car). Allow half a day for each. NB : Close to Funchal (there is a sign on the highway), is Cabo Girao. Don't hesitate to stop at this magnificent mirador (one of the highest in the world) - a glass platform 589 metres high