Madeira in 3 days: A Soothing, Refreshing Destination Among Canico do Baixo Hotels
The Island of Madeira is one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe visited by thousands of tourists each year in search of its unique and striking scenery.
Thanks to its warm climate throughout the year, the island has developed its own flora and fauna which can only be seen here. Vast beaches, lush forests, picturesque villages, majestic cliffs, natural pools and steep mountains make this destination an ideal place to spend your vacation.
This small island in the Atlantic hides nature parks, protected reserves, exotic gardens and an endless number of activities and sports you can take part in together with your family, partner or friends. Here are a few suggestions to help you organize your time while you enjoy all of the conveniences and services of Hotel Riu Palace Madeira's.
Day 1: The Best of Funchal
When you arrive on the island you will immediately want to explore its coast. To do so, we recommend you head to Caniço do Baixo, beach right in front of your Riu Hotel, and take a walk along the promenade which runs next to it. You will see that it is a rocky beach which opens out into the Atlantic Ocean. Straight away you will want to discover more of Madeira, so we recommend you pay a visit to the capital, Funchal.
Once in the city, you can meander through the old city, the city's oldest neighborhood, where you can go into the Sé Cathedral. While you walk through the city, admire the traditional Portuguese cobblestone streets which depict beautiful geometric designs. This is a bohemian neighborhood, inhabited and frequented by artists who have their workshops and art galleries here. Enjoy details such as the beautiful paintings on the walls of many establishments, particularly as you walk down Rúa de Santa María. Do pay a visit to some of the city's parks, such as Santa Catarina Park where you will find an impressive view out over the city's bay; or Quinta do Boa Vista a park dedicated to orchids and which many consider a must see while in the city; or the small, charming and central Sao Francisco Garden. However, if you want something more original, take the cable car which goes from the lower portion of the historic district to the city's highest point where the botanical garden and the Monte Municipal Park are located.
If you dare, to return you can descend the hill inside a wicker carriage with wheels driven by a “carreiro”, an activity not for the faint-hearted which you can embark on from the area surrounding the Church of Nostra Senhora do Monte.
At lunchtime we encourage you to try some of the island's specialties, such as a delicious swordfish, grilled limpets, or some calamari if you like fish, or grilled skewers if you prefer meat. In the afternoon, a good option is to immerse yourself in the traditional culture of Madeira by visiting some of its small museums. The Story Centre Museum is the most comprehensive, illustrating the development of the region with interesting and interactive exhibits; one of the most visited is the Wine Museum, in the city center inside an old winery and also the Embroidery Museum and the Sugar Museum.
Day 2: The Best Excursions through Madeira
On your second day in Madeira, we suggest you explore its famous Laurisilva Forest, declared a World Heritage Site because of its ecosystem which is unique in the world, by taking one of its famous levadas, channels which have been used since antiquity to bring water to the island's lower end. Have a hearty breakfast at the Hotel Riu Palace Madeira and immediately hop on transport which will take you, for example, to the town of Rabaçal. From here you can begin your excursion towards the Casa de Abrigo, where the impressive trail towards the Cascada do Risco begins. Then continue on towards the Levada das 25 Fontes. Traveling along this channel you will pass through areas with unbeatable views, dense vegetation, small waterfalls and lagoons. It is a route often taken by tourists which you cannot miss.
The excursion will have taken up the entire morning. We recommend making the most of your return, using the afternoon to visit the fishing village of Cámara do Lobos. Stroll among its colorful boats and then experience the dizzying height of the scenic view over the Cabo Girao cliff, one of the highest in the world.
Your day will have been full of excitement, so bring it to a close with a pleasant evening at one of your hotel's theme restaurants.
Day 3: Places to Visit in Madeira
Madeira's northern portion offers marvelous spots you should not miss. Drive through to discover the famous triangular homes of Santana and make the most of your trip by visiting the village plaza where the church is located. Here you will find miniature versions of these peculiar buildings with their gabled, thatch roofs which almost touch the ground. Santana is the starting point of many hiking trails and, therefore, if the day before left you with a thirst for more, from here you can take one of the most well-known trails such as the trail which leads to the Pico Ruivo (the highest point on the island) or to the Levada do Caldeirão Verde or to the Balcón de Ribeiro Frio. Some of these excursions are short and simple and others are much longer and more difficult, so chose well depending on your willingness and desire to walk.
If you prefer, from Santana you can take the road which borders the coast until Porto Moniz, where some of the island's most famous natural pools are located. Do not forget to stop midway at São Vicente and visit its famous grottos. If you like water sports, this is the perfect spot as São Vicente offers the best conditions for them.