Best Restaurants & Things to Do Outdoors in Madeira, Portugal

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  • Portugal

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  • Food & Wine

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  • Nature Escapes

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

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Fora’s Take

We always like to celebrate special days in a new place. Madeira is a Portuguese island known for its year-round great weather, its nature, and of course Madeira wine. The island is stunning with an abundance of outdoor things to do and nature that you will only experience on the island. Madeira is heaven on earth - a paradise.

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Where to stay in Madeira, Portugal

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Reid's Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira

Experience timeless luxury and breathtaking views at Reid's Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira, where elegance meets tradition amidst the lush landscapes of Portugal's stunning island. Indulge in impeccable service and unparalleled relaxation, creating unforgettable memories in this iconic Atlantic retreat.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Royal Savoy

Set on tropical gardens, this refined hotel overlooking the harbor of Funchal features relaxed rooms and two pools.

The Vine Hotel

Set in the center of Funchal, this modern hotel boasts polished rooms, two restaurants and a rooftop terrace.

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Things to do in Madeira, Portugal

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  1. Explore the old town of Funchal where there are old Portuguese churches, mosaic-tiled sidewalks and fantastic food to be had.

  2. Visit Mercado dos Lavradores, the farmers' market, to get a taste of the many types of passionfruit that are grown on the island.

  3. Go find the best poncha in town. Poncha is the drink of choice on the island made with local rum, passion fruit juice or any of the other exotic fruits grown on the island.

  4. Head to Blandy's Wine Lodge and do a tasting of the many types of Madeira wine that's made on the island. One can also pair these tastings with local chocolates and cheeses!

  5. Walk along the promenade and visit the local beaches along the coastline.

  6. Take the cable car up from Funchal to Monte and then slide back down on a toboggan pushed down by two men. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  7. Visit the Madeira Botanical Garden, which has over 100,000 different plant species, many endemic to Madeira. You'll feel transported to another world.

  8. Go explore the nature Madeira has to offer. The island is known for its many levadas or water channels and a trip to Madeira is not complete until you've seen these amazing water transportation systems.

Day Trips from Madeira, Portugal

No trip to Madeira is complete without exploring some of the mountains and nature in the area. One should definitely do a few hikes while there to get a sense of the island and its nature. None of the hikes and walks are difficult and you will truly experience why Madeira is such a magical destination.

Places to eat & drink in Madeira, Portugal

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  • Kampo - This restaurant is part of a small group of restaurants owned by chef Julio Pereira. Try to get seats at the chef's counter so you can see all the kitchen action and food porn being made.

  • Akua - A sister restaurant to Kampo, Akua focuses more on fish and seafood. The dining experience and cuisine will not disappoint any foodie.

  • Gavino - Great service and tasty Portuguese food await at this restaurant located in the heart of the old city of Funchal. The food is beautifully presented and the prices are very reasonable.

  • Restaurant dos Combantentes - This is a small popular family-owned Portuguese restaurant that serves very traditional Portuguese and Madeiran food. Try the many homemade desserts if you still have room after eating the very generous portions.

  • UauCacau - This shop sells handmade chocolates that use local ingredients to make the yummiest chocolates. Try the passion fruit ones and the poncha-flavored ones. You will want seconds and thirds!

  • Restaurante Do Forte - For a special dining experience, one must have dinner at the Restaurante Do Forte, which is inside the old fort in the old town. Enjoy local seafood dishes while enjoying the sunset in a very romantic setting.

  • The Ritz Madeira - This is the oldest grand cafe in Madeira. Whether you stop by for a coffee or a full meal, make sure you sit outside to enjoy the local vibe that downtown Funchal has to offer.

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.