15 Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Looking for some free things to do in Madeira? You’re in luck!

This stunning island offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities for you to enjoy.

From hiking to breathtaking viewpoints like Pico do Arieiro and Cabo Girao, to exploring natural wonders like Ponta de São Lourenço and Pico Ruivo, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t miss the chance to visit cultural landmarks like the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and the lively Mercado dos Lavradores.

Get ready to have an unforgettable time in Madeira without breaking the bank.

1. Pico do Arieiro

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

If you’re looking for a breathtaking sunrise view, Pico do Arieiro is the place to be. As the third-highest peak in Madeira, reaching nearly 6,000 feet, this spot in Funchal, Portugal offers stunning panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

On a clear day, you can even see the neighboring island of Porto Santo, which is 30 miles away.

To make the most of your visit, arriving early is recommended as the peak tends to get crowded, especially in the morning. Sunrise is a particularly popular time to visit, and you can even join guided tours that start at this magical time.

2. Cabo Girao

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Visitors can explore the stunning lookout points and unique geologic formations at Cabo Girao. This popular tourist attraction in Camara De Lobos, Madeira offers breathtaking views and an opportunity to witness the impressive cliffs that drop over 1,900 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.

The lookout points provide panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes, allowing you to take in the beauty of the island. You can also marvel at the fascinating geologic formations that have been shaped by the forces of nature over time.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply seeking a memorable experience, Cabo Girao is definitely worth a visit. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the incredible sights that await you.

3. Ponta de São Lourenço

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Ponta de São Lourenço is a nature and wildlife area known for its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and cliffs. Located in Canical, Madeira, Portugal, this area offers spectacular and impressive scenery that will take your breath away.

The levada at Ponta de São Lourenço is even marked as a 5-star trail for its unbelievable views. There are plenty of activities to do and sights to see in this area.

You can explore the different ways to experience Ponta de São Lourenço, take part in tours and sightseeing activities, engage in outdoor activities like walking and biking tours, or join day trips and excursions to discover the area.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the nature and wildlife of Ponta de São Lourenço.

Unusual Things To Do in Madeira

4. Pico Ruivo

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

The hike to Pico Ruivo offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is highly recommended by previous travelers.

Located in Madeira, Portugal, Pico Ruivo is ranked #6 out of 454 things to do in Madeira. It is known for its mountains and scenic views, making it a must-visit destination.

The hike takes you on a 12km round trip, lasting about 6 hours. It is of moderate to hard difficulty level, so be prepared for a challenge. Along the way, you will encounter steep metal steps, some elevation to climb on the way back, and tunnels to be cautious of.

However, the stunning views from the top of Pico Ruivo make it all worth it. Don’t forget to bring water, suncream, a hat, warm clothes, and a flashlight for the tunnels. There is also a small cafe near the summit where you can grab a snack and use the restroom.

5. Valley of the Nuns

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Located in a crater of an extinct volcano, the Valley of the Nuns is a small village surrounded by mountains and offers breathtaking views. As you wander through this picturesque village, you’ll be captivated by the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you.

The Santa Clara Convent, a 16th-century landmark, stands as a testament to the valley’s rich history. Take a moment to explore the unique geologic formations and marvel at their beauty. For panoramic views of the village and the valley, head to the Miradouro viewpoint.

If you’re feeling adventurous, embark on the Nuns Path, a popular hiking trail that leads down the mountainside. As you make your way through the charming streets of the village, be sure to stop by the traditional restaurants and indulge in the local cuisine.

The Valley of the Nuns is a true hidden gem that will leave you in awe of its natural splendor.

6. Levada Caldeirao Verde

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

You can experience the beauty of Levada Caldeirao Verde by taking a guided walking tour or embarking on a self-guided hike. This levada walk in Santana, Madeira offers stunning views of waterfalls and viewpoints along a 13km path.

The route is flat but narrow and uneven, with levada walls and dark tunnels. Safety is ensured with cable fences along the way. To start the walk, you can park your car at a fee of 3 euros.

It is recommended to wear proper walking boots and waterproof clothing, as the area is wet and cooler than the coast. If you prefer, you can also join a guided tour.

In Santana, there are cafes and toilets available at the beginning of the walk.

7. 25 Fontes and Cascada da Risco

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Fontes and Cascada da Risco are two separate hiking trails that can be easily combined as they are linked together.

These trails, located in Rabacal, Madeira, Portugal, offer a fantastic outdoor experience for nature enthusiasts. The paths are well signposted, making it easy to navigate through the stunning landscapes.

You can start your adventure by parking your car at the trailhead or taking a bus from various villages to the car park. From there, a shuttle bus will take you to the start of the walk.

The Fontes trail will lead you to the beautiful 25 fountains and the Risco trail will take you to the cascading waterfall. You can expect to see breathtaking scenery, lush vegetation, and maybe even some wildlife along the way.

Combine these two trails for a memorable hiking experience in Madeira.

8. Parque de Santa Catarina

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

The park’s tranquil atmosphere and stunning views make it a must-visit spot in Funchal.

As you enter Parque de Santa Catarina, you will be greeted by the serene surroundings and the beauty of nature.

Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways lined with tropical trees and flowers, and marvel at the sculptures scattered throughout the park.

Don’t forget to visit the picturesque pond, where graceful swans and ducks gracefully swim.

As you explore, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the port of Funchal.

It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find peace and relaxation.

Whether you’re a garden lover or just looking for a peaceful retreat, Parque de Santa Catarina offers a unique and enjoyable experience.

9. Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Once you reach Monte, don’t forget to visit Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte, a significant pilgrimage site with stunning architecture and historical significance.

This church, located in Madeira, is the most important pilgrimage site on the island.

During the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin in August, pilgrims climb the steps to the church on their knees to pay homage to the statue of the Virgin.

Inside, you will be awed by the beautiful paintings, historical boards, and the magnificent organ.

The architectural features behind the main altar are framed with gilt, and the ceiling boasts an inspirational painting in a 19th-century style.

As you explore the church, you will also be treated to breathtaking views from the top.

10. Caravel Art Center

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

You can explore the Caravel Art Center, the biggest international art center, gallery, and art shop on Madeira island. Here, you’ll find unique artworks and contemporary ceramics. The center serves as an art residence for both Portuguese and foreign artists, representing their interests beyond the island.

They also collaborate with Portuguese ceramists to showcase contemporary ceramics. The artworks available at the center are one-of-a-kind and come with original certificates of authenticity.

The Caravel Art Center is open every day except Sunday. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, temporarily from 10 am to 5 pm. They offer worldwide delivery for those interested in purchasing their artworks.

If you want to learn more about the artists, visit the ART RESIDENTS page on their website or check out their BLOG for updates.

11. Santa Maria Street

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

If you’re exploring Funchal, don’t miss Santa Maria Street. Known for its scenic walking areas, it is ranked #17 out of 211 attractions in the city. With its charming atmosphere and picturesque surroundings, this street offers a delightful experience for visitors.

Take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone pathways and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings that line the street.

Stop by the local shops and cafes to sample some delicious Madeiran specialties and immerse yourself in the area’s vibrant culture.

Santa Maria Street has something for everyone whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or a lively atmosphere. So, put on your walking shoes and discover the charm of this enchanting street in Funchal.

12. Miradouro Eira do Serrado

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Visitors can’t help but be captivated by the breathtaking views from Miradouro Eira do Serrado. As you stand on the viewing platform, high above the valley, you are treated to a unique perspective of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The scenery is truly awe-inspiring, with panoramic vistas stretching out before you. It’s a sight that will leave you in utter amazement. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture these unforgettable moments.

The viewpoint, located at an altitude of approximately 1,094 meters, offers a truly remarkable experience for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike. So take your time, soak in the beauty, and enjoy the pure fresh air that surrounds you.

Miradouro Eira do Serrado is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Madeira.

13. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, located in Funchal, Portugal, is a magnificent Gothic structure that showcases Portugal’s impressive Gothic architecture. Built in the 1400s, this cathedral is a must-see attraction in Funchal.

As you step inside, you’ll be amazed by the Gothic and Manueline period architecture. The cedarwood ceiling with Moorish coffering is truly a sight to behold. The exquisite altars and side chapels add to the grandeur of the cathedral. Don’t miss the marble pulpit donated by Manuel I.

While the exterior may seem plain, the interior is ornate and breathtaking. Despite ongoing renovations, the cathedral is definitely worth visiting. Remember to be respectful during mass and appreciate the impressive altar area and ceiling.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is truly more impressive on the inside than outside.

14. Mercado dos Lavradores

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

One way to experience the lively atmosphere of Mercado dos Lavradores is by taking a walking or biking tour.

These tours allow you to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the market, as you stroll through the bustling aisles and witness the colorful array of fresh fish, vegetables, exotic flowers, and local crafts.

As you explore the upper floor, you’ll be captivated by the tropical fruits, vegetables, and spices on display. On the lower floor, the fish and meat market will amaze you with its variety and skillful sellers.

While touring, you might encounter some aggressive vendors, but don’t let that deter you from trying the free samples and considering purchasing unique souvenirs.

Overall, a walking or biking tour of Mercado dos Lavradores is a must-do experience in Funchal.

15. Avenida do Mar

Free Things To Do In Madeira (Portugal)

Avenida do Mar is a bustling and vibrant boulevard in Funchal, Madeira. It offers beautiful views of the sea and surrounding area. As you stroll along this lively avenue, you’ll be captivated by the stunning palm trees and colorful flower beds that line the way.

The avenue stretches for 1,300 meters along the waterfront, providing ample space for walking, jogging, or simply taking in the sights.

You can also explore the various attractions and landmarks nearby. These include the Funchal Marina and the Teleferico Cable Car, which takes you to Monte and the Botanical Gardens.

With its well-maintained and clean surroundings, Avenida do Mar is a delightful place to visit and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Funchal.

And while you’re there, don’t miss out on the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and the vibrant Mercado dos Lavradores.

Enjoy your time in Madeira!