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Porto da Cruz

Viewing points

Our most recommended Porto da Cruz Viewing Points

Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

1. Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

Discover the diverse landscapes of Madeira on a day-long tour. Wander charming towns, enjoy panoramic views and learn about the area from your expert guide. Depart from the meeting point at Funchal's Lido or take advantage of a free hotel pick-up in selected areas. The first stop is at the beautiful viewpoint of Terreiro da Luta, located a few kilometers outside Funchal. Next, drive toward the mountain of Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1,818 meters, the third highest peak on the island offers breathtaking views. Once you've been to the highest drivable peak in Madeira, head back down through the forest on the way to the coast. Admire some of Madeira's emblematic straw-roof houses, pass pretty villages and get stunning seascape views. Arrive at the very eastern point of the island for some superb panoramas of the north and south coasts. Discover the popular start point for the levada walks, Ribeiro Frio, on the northern slopes of the island. See interesting trout pools and original vegetation. Madeira was once completely covered by laurissilva forest, a relic from prehistoric times. Stop for lunch in Santana, characterized by its small, thatched triangular houses. Past Portela go towards Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island. This is a place where a fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature combine. The last town to be visited is Machico, a viewpoint where you can look over the bay and the golden sandy beach.

Tour of Eastern Madeira

2. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Start with pick-up from the hotel and drive through Funchal's steep roads, heading to the mountains and through the national park, black forest (Schwarzwald). Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters. The centenary Forest covered by the old trees (Laurisilva) is a must and a short walk along the Levada Madeiras water channels can be taken as an option.  Taking the old road of Faial overlooking the eagles rock mountain, Santana will be the next stop. Visit the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Make a stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (with rum tasting) and explore the village. See the rough black sandy beach popular for surfers. In July and August, enjoy the chance to swim in the famous saltwater. Then, travel along the North Coast where sugar cane terraces are still visible. See the old capital of Madeira, Machico, where the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the 15th century, before heading to Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern point cape of the island.  The tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

3. From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

Begin this full-day 4x4 tour with a pick-up at your hotel in Funchal and travel deep into the southeast of Madeira. You’ll come to Machico town and the line that divides the north and south of the island. Take in breathtaking views of the Eagles Rock from Portela. Drive down, stopping in Porto da Cruz, which is the next must-see point. Visit a sugar cane factory, continue to the Faial coastline and then up to see the typical houses of Santana. These small straw-thatched triangular houses are emblematic of Madeira and intricate in their construction. Head down into the valley and through the forest to Riveiro Frio at an elevation of 1818 meters, the third-highest peak on the Island.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

4. Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

Head out from Funchal on a full-day tour of Madeira’s north-east. Leaving the town behind, stop in São Vicente, and take in amazing 360-degree views. Marvel at the contrast of colors from the vineyards. Enjoy a drive along serpentine roads and through forests. Discover the unique scenery of the area from an open-top 4X4 vehicle. Before lunch, visit a water mill and see the traditional thatched houses of Santana. Stop to enjoy lunch in idyllic surroundings, and later visit a sugar cane and rum factory, where you can taste the local rum. Finish your tour in Caniçal, where you’ll have spectacular views of Ponta São Lourenço – the eastern part of the island.

Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

5. Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

Explore Madeira Island in a unique and active way on this Land Rover 4x4 trip. Prepare to see breathtaking views, visit hidden places that you can’t reach by yourself, and collect memories you’ll never forget. Visit the Laurissilva Forest and Pico do Arieiro. Start your trip by departing from Funchal in the direction of Camacha Village, where you can visit the basketwork factory. Then, continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412 meters. Climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third-highest peak at a height of 1,818 meters. This is one of the most beautiful places in Madeira, with unbeatable views of the island. Stay here for a while and walk around. Later, descend to Ribeiro Frio and reach the Laurissilva Forest to visit the trout nursery. Continue the adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana where you’ll get to visit the typical straw houses (colmo). After this stop, descend to the village of Faial with views down to the sea, then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. This part of the Island is much drier and arid, but with a unique beauty due to its cliffs and colors. End your trip with drop-off back in Funchal.

Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

6. Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

Start the day with a convenient pickup from your accommodation or the cruise port of Funchal and depart with your private guide to the first stop of tour at São Vicente, where you'll see a beautiful sight over the valley. Continue along the north coast as you go to Chão da Ribeira, another beautiful spot where you can appreciate more of the valley within the Laurisilva of Madeira, the largest surviving area of laurel forest on the island. Advancing toward the north end of the region, you’ll reach the viewpoint of Ribeira da Janela where you can appreciate the contrast betweens the mountains with the sea. Finally, visit Achadas da Cruz, a place that marks the transition between the north coast and the south of the island. If you wish, you can ride the cable car and visit one of the most beautiful and quiet places on the island constructed from landslides and lava flows.

From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

7. From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

Discover the best of Madeira Island with this Jeep safari tour. Customize the route to see the Sea, Mountains, Cliffs, and Laurissilva Forest (North-East part of the island). Leave Funchal in the direction of the village da Camacha where you can visit the basketwork factory. Continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412m and climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro at a height of 1818m for mesmerizing panoramic views. Then, descend to Ribeiro Frio in the Laurissilva Forest and visit the trout nursery. Continue your adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana to explore the typical straw houses (Colmo). Descend to the village of Faial for amazing views down to the sea and then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. Finish off with a transfer back to Funchal.

Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike PR11

8. Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike PR11

Once having been collected from your Madeira accommodation, drive through the mountains before arriving to Ribeiro Frio. Following a short but grandeur walk through the beautiful Laurisilva Forest, arrive to the fabulous Balcões’ belvedere. From this belvedere it’s possible to contemplate the many peaks of Madeira Island, from which Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro stand the highest. Pico do Gato, Pico das Torres, and the well-known Penhad’Águia also constitute part of this breathtaking scenery. This area is also ideal for bird watching, due to the fact that it is home to a huge variety of different species. These birgs include the firecrest, the chaffinch, grey wagtails, blackbirds, robins, buzzards, and the very rare Madeira's long-toed pigeon.

Madeira: Private North Island Tour

9. Madeira: Private North Island Tour

Begin your tour by heading north along the old roads and admire the breathtaking scenic views of the sea along the way as you travel through north east Madeira. You will arrive at Santana next, home of the island’s famous thatched houses that have existed here for many years, having become synonymous with Madeira. Continue the tour onto Faial and stop by a local viewpoint to marvel at the majestic landscape of the valley, then head to Porto da Cruz and learn about the emblematic sugarcane mills here that are still in operation today. Visit a stunning viewpoint in Ponta de São Lourenço next and see the separation between the north and south of the island. The final stop of the tour takes you to Pico do Facho to relax in front of the incredible views across the bay of Machico, the first city of Madeira.

Madeira: Private Vereda do Larano Hike

10. Madeira: Private Vereda do Larano Hike

Begin your tour with a pickup from your accommodation on Madeira. Start the trail in Porto da Cruz, through a path which the local people used to travel between these two locations Enjoy magnificent views over the North East Coast of Madeira until you reach the viewpoint of Boca do Risco, which offers a breathtaking sight of the northern coast of the island. Enjoy the surroundings and scenic beauty of this location. Along the trail, admire the beautiful scenery and landscapes of the region. Upon arrival at Porto da Cruz, enjoy some time to relax and explore this charming village. Then, be dropped off at your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Porto da Cruz Viewing Points

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What people are saying about Porto da Cruz

I was very pleased with this tour. Sr. José (hope I don't get it wrong) was very nice and explained along the way many details of Madeira island. Pick up details were sent the day before and I was picked up on time close to my accommodation. The weather was ideal to see Pico do Areeiro. We had the chance to try poncha, we saw the famous Santana little houses and we drove by the amazing Laurissilva forest. The only downside for me was that the mini bus was very tight.

It was a very fun experience, especially during the off roads. Our guide also stopped us at a rum factory which was part of the tour, and we where given the opportunity to taste different rums. In addition, we also went high on a mountain where we could see everything below us and it was beautiful!

Absolutely fantastic tour from start to finish extremely good value our driver Carlos was fabulous with a brilliant knowledge and kept us entertained throughout. The views were breathtaking would highly recommend!

I enjoyed it so much! We visited few very beautiful places, which I would never get to myself. It felt like a real adventure. Highly recommend to travel around island with 4*4 and not with a microbus tours

I also participated in the best of Madeira West tour, and found both to be a great way to learn about the Island. Well worth the time and money.