Discovering Madeira: A Scenic Road Trip Through Portugal’s Island Gem

Embarking on a road trip through Madeira offers an exceptional way to experience the island’s stunning landscapes, from rugged coastlines to lush mountainous interiors. This guide provides a route that captures the essence of Madeira, ensuring travelers make the most of their visit.


Starting in Funchal

The adventure begins in the lively city of Funchal, where visitors can explore historic sites, vibrant markets, and botanical gardens. Before setting off on the road trip, arranging your vehicle and parking is essential. Even though it can get somehow complicated to find a parking in Funchal you will always find one in a few minutes if you’ll prepare for this in advance. Whether it’s visiting the colorful Mercado dos Lavradores or enjoying a cable car ride to Monte, Funchal offers a rich tapestry of experiences.

Journey Along the Southern Coast

From Funchal, head west along the southern coastline. The drive itself is picturesque, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Stop at the fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, a spot famously painted by Winston Churchill. Here, you can taste the local specialty, Espetada (beef skewers), and enjoy some Poncha, a traditional Madeiran drink.

Explore the Rugged North

Continuing your journey, venture towards the northern side of the island, known for its dramatic cliffs and lush greenery. The route through São Vicente offers stunning sea views and leads to Porto Moniz, renowned for its natural volcanic swimming pools. These pools provide a unique swimming experience, blending natural wonders with ocean water.

Mountain Adventures

No trip to Madeira would be complete without exploring its mountainous heart. Drive up to Pico do Arieiro, where at 1,818 meters, you can witness breathtaking views across the island. For the more adventurous, a hike connecting Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo presents an exhilarating challenge with rewarding vistas.

Concluding in Funchal

Return to Funchal to relax after your island exploration leave your car somewhere safe using Auto Jardim parking and explore more of what the city has to offer at your leisure. Enjoy a sunset stroll along the harbor or dine at one of the city’s top restaurants to reflect on your Madeiran journey.


A road trip across Madeira is an incredible way to discover the island’s diverse attractions, from coastal drives to mountain hikes. Each turn and climb reveals new sights and sounds, making Madeira a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore Portugal’s natural beauty and cultural richness. With practical solutions for parking and navigating, your trip will be as smooth as it is memorable.

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