4 days in Madeira: road trip through the island by car
Have you ever dared to explore a paradise island, as much to see? Adventurer, this article is for you! Madeira Island has lovely cities, towns and beaches to explore. We're sure you'll love to spend a few days of rest or adventure here, whether with friends or family. Centauro Rent a Car has a branch at Madeira Airport, located about 20 minutes from the island's capital, Funchal. And that's exactly where we're gonna start our course.
Day 1: what you can't miss in Jardim Funchal City
Funchal is in a bay, surrounded by mountains and volcanic peaks. It has a Mediterranean climate, with mild temperatures all year round, with regular rainfall from October to April and little rainfall from May to September. Besides the fantastic gastronomy, which should be well explored, this capital is full of cultural and leisure activities to entertain. We highlight the essentials, so you can continue on your journey.
First of all, we suggest that the Plaza del Municipio, where the church of the Jesuit College is located, and climb the tower, which has a unique view. Also take the opportunity to discover the Museum of Sacred Art, where you can admire a large collection of Flemish Art
Pass by the Cathedral of Funchal, built in 1514, which is still today one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The roof and the gilded woodwork, from the Manueline period, stand out in its interior.
In the Funchal Cable Car, challenge the altitude and have a unique perspective on Funchal, making a journey from the downtown to the top of the parish of Monte. The route is just over 3 km long and takes 15 minutes.
If you're up for another challenge, travel back to Funchal in the Carros de Cesto, which have existed since 1850. A kind of wicker sleigh, they go down sloping streets at high speed and are guided by experienced drivers whose boots serve as brakes. We're sure you'll have fun!
Day 2: Explore the views and beaches of Machico and Caniçal and the charming Houses of Santana
From Funchal, following the VR1 road, in 30 minutes you will reach Machico, the second most populated city in Madeira. Discover the impressive views, visiting Ponta de São Lourenço and the Miradouro da Portela, and sunbathe on the beautiful Machico beach. A 12 minute drive also by VR1, you will find the small village of Caniçal, where you can visit the famous Prainha and the port with colourful fishing boats. It's worth it!
A visit to the Madeira Theme Park, where you will find the famous Casas de Santana, is a must-see on this route through the island. About 20 minutes from Machico, along the VE1 road, you will find the traditional two-water triangular houses, with thatched roofs and over a wooden structure (clown), colored with the typical Madeiran colors: white, blue and red. At 312 meters of altitude, you will have a wonderful panorama over the island and the Atlantic coast, as well as unforgettable views over the Laurissilva Forest, classified by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage. Here you will have an excellent opportunity to do some trekking along the Balcony Footpaths as well.
Day 3: Porto Moniz and its many natural pools
After exploring the green, we return to the blue of the sea! Almost crossing one end of the island to the other, by VE1, in a little over an hour you will arrive in Porto Moniz. First of all, it is imperative to visit the natural saltwater pools. If you can get out of the water and want to explore more places, we suggest the village of Cais da Ribeira and the Veil of the Bride Cascade. We know you'll want to enjoy every second of this amazing place, so relax, relax among family and friends. Tomorrow there are more roads to travel!
Day 4: Before returning to the capital, discover enchanting villages
By ER210 and ER110, in about 45 minutes will be in the municipality of Calheta. Here you can explore incredible parishes like Estreita da Calheta, Ponta do Pargo, Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar
In the final straight, almost back to Funchal, the last stops on the VE3 road are the municipalities of Ribeira Brava and Câmara de Lobos. In the first location, it is worth visiting the Ribeira Brava Mother Church, the Miradouro and the São Bento Fort. In Câmara de Lobos, Cabo Girão is a popular observation point. At 500 metres, it is the seventh highest cable in Europe. Before you finish this route, prepare your camera and capture the impressive landscapes! Now it's time to return to Funchal!