Madeira – Our Local Tips & Hidden Gems

I love to hear from people who have decided to visit Madeira inspired by my blog. I love to share my passion for Madeira with those who know little about the island, so when a couple of months ago I was invited to contribute to the new Google travel service, I did not hesitate for a moment.

This is where you’ll find 15 of my local tips, along with tips from other travellers. I encourage you to try out the new travel website T.BD – Touring Bird, which will help you in planning your vacation not only on Madeira…

Our Madeira Island local tips on Touring Bird

What kind of tips have we been asked for? T.Bd was looking for interesting, less-known places in Madeira; Various places, belonging to different categories, all sharing one common feature- they are all off the beaten path or unique & often known only to local residents. Places referred to as Hidden gems of Madeira.
 
I have sent a list of 20 suggestions to the T.BD editors team. Of these, they chose the 15 that they liked the most, and they are:

1. Buy [affordable] handmade gifts and souvenirs at this pop-up art gallery…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD] 

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

2. Discover this hidden fluvial beach beloved by locals… 

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

3. Swim in a lava pool without leaving Funchal…

Volcanic lava pools complex for those who are not able to visit the famous Porto Moniz and Seixal pools. Known to many tourists in Funchal, it still remains “in the shadow” of the popular Porto Moniz complex.

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

4. Wave to those back home via this People Greeting Webcam…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

5. Leave a small legacy at this Poncha bar…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]     

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

6. Visit this island within the island – magnificent Fajã dos Padres…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]  

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

7. See Funchal’s Old Town from above [& free-of-charge]…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]  

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

8. Get a different perspective on the fishing village Camara de Lobos & Cabo Girao Cliff from…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]  

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

9. See this great mural of Ronaldo in his childhood neighbourhood…

This well-done mural of Ronaldo shows better resemblance to the famous footballer than the monument in front of his museum and his bust next to the Funchal Airport arrivals exit

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

10. Need some adrenaline? Take this bus to…

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[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

11. Enjoy nice & affordable cocktails at this surfer bar during sunset…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

12. Discover “Funchal’s best-rated museum”, which isn’t even actually a museum…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

13. Try the hearty chestnut soup with a million dollar restaurant view…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]  

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

14. Best place & time to photograph Madeira’s street art…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

15. Visit this sugar cane mill…

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]   

[RELATED ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG]

 

Other local tips

One of our tips was suggested by multiple travellers: 

16. Visit the most photogenic rooftop cafe in Funchal

[FULL TIP ON TOURING BIRD]

View on Se Cathedral in Funchal - Katedra Se w Funchal
Recommended cafes in Funchal: Se Boutique Hotel Cafe - instagrammable places in Funchal - Ciekawe, polecane i nietypowe hotele i kawiarnie na Maderze: Se Boutique Hotel Cafe w Funchal na Maderze
Flamingo interior cafe - Funchal, Portugal
Where to go for a drink in Funchal? Se Boutique Cafe & Rooftop bar Madeira Island - Gdzie na kawę na Maderze - taras kawiarniany obok katedry Se w Funchal

I also enjoyed the unique Se Boutique Cafe. It was actually the first place that came to my mind when I sat down to put this list of interesting places in Madeira.

Beautiful colours, flamingos, interesting decor and a great view of Funchal, the ocean and nearby Se Cathedral tower.

A must-see for all Instagrammers and fans of interesting and unusual interiors, but recommended actually to everyone. Located in the very centre of Funchal; right next to Se Cathedral and Avenida Arriaga, so it will definitely be on the way. It’s worth taking a look, even if it is just for the views.

Se Cathedral Funchal - Katedra Se w Funchal - Kościoły na Maderze
Se Boutique Hotel Cafe Funchal Madeira - instagrammable places in Funchal - Ciekawe i nietypowe hotele i kawiarnie na Maderze: Se Boutique Hotel Cafe w Funchal

The maximum number of published tips per person was 15.

We had a couple of more ideas than allowed and so today, I would like to share with you the remaining tips. I am sure that they will also be interesting to some of you:

17. Make your own version of the famous picture of Ronaldo

Ronaldo took a couple of iconic photos, sitting on the railing of the Pico dos Barcelos viewpoint and proudly presenting all his cups, with the beautiful bay of Funchal in the background.

These famous photos were published around the world. They were even parodied by a local comedian

If you are a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, why not visiting the same viewpoint and making your own version of this photo?

Here is an interesting behind the scenes video:

Even if you do not intend to copy Ronaldo’s photo, Pico dos Barcelos is still a place worth visiting. It is on the way to the popular Valley of the Nuns and offers magnificent views of the entire bay of Funchal.

Here is the exact location in question – the railing on the eastern side terrace:

View on Funchal from Pico do Barcelos:

18. Visit Cristiano Ronaldo (‘s sister) store

The official store of one of the best footballers and glory of Madeira – Cristiano Ronaldo – has recently been moved to a better location next to the Funchal Marina (very close to the Funchal Cruise Terminal)

It is located in Marina Shopping (Avenida Arriaga, 75, Funchal) and belongs to Ronaldo’s sister.

If you are football fans or would like to buy souvenirs for someone who is, it’s worth taking a look. The prices, surprisingly, are quite affordable. You can buy clothes for women, men and children, shoes, backpacks, coffee mugs, balls, as well as other CR7 accessories.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Official Store in Funchal
Cristiano Ronaldo's Authorized Store in Funchal, Madeira
Cristiano Ronaldo's Official Store in Funchal

19. Are you brave enough to try Pe de Cabra?

This unusual drink from Madeira was “invented” in Câmara de Lobos, a popular fishermen’s village near Funchal. The name of the drink means “crowbar” or literally a “goat hoof” in Portuguese.

You need some courage to try this drink as it is a special blend of dark beer, Madeira wine, sugar, lemon peel with … chocolate powder and ice. Some say that there are places where even eggs are added. 

Looking for a place to try out this drink? Check the bar carrying the same name: Bar Pé De Cabra located at Caminho da Ribeira dos Socorridos 5, 9000-000 Lombada, Madeira

We recently tried it at the Filhos D ‘Mar bar in Câmara de Lobos. How was it? 

Spoiler Alert: It tastes similar to the famous coffee candy- Kopiko.

SEE ALSO: LOCAL DRINKS MADEIRA ISLAND – FOR DUMMIES

 

Pe De Cabra Drink at Bar Filhos D' Mar in Camara de Lobos - best bars of Madeira

20. Avoid crowds on Pico do Arieiro 

Dreaming about a magical photo session on top of the beautiful Pico do Arieiro mountain? Or would you simply like to enjoy the views in silence?

Pico do Arieiro is a very popular tourist attraction. To skip the crowds, try visiting it on a Sunday afternoon. It’s amazing how wonderful and peaceful this place is, without the crowds…

It is a spectacular place for a breathtaking photo session, especially during the golden hour. Do you need stunning pictures engagement or a wedding? Of course, a professional photographer is always better, but in such a spectacular place even your friend with a good camera will be able to take some beautiful shots.

(Psst… It’s also a great place for surprise proposals… Just saying!)

See also: [Our wedding photoshoot on Pico do Arieiro]

[Best of Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo]

 

These were our local tips. Other travellers came up with many more ideas, so please check these out. 

Touring Bird – what is it?

“Touring Bird helps you explore, compare, and book experiences – all in a single place”. 

The site is visually attractive, very intuitive, easy to use and places great emphasis on good quality photos. What is important is that the information published there is verified, so you won’t find there unnecessary clutter and incorrect pictures/information provided by random users:

It’s more transparent than Trip Advisor, but please keep in mind that it is still relatively new and still growing. In my opinion, Touring Bird is a great site to get inspired and discover interesting attractions in places we do not know well, especially, if we do not have much time to plan or research.

After selecting the place/city that interests us, on the same page we find a search engine showing us both paid and free attractions. 

At the top, the most popular attractions are highlighted, and if you click it, you will see suggestions of trips containing that location/attraction. 

The second part is paid trips, and below it you will find my favorite part- local tips from other travellers. It is a great source of information about hidden gems and unique, free-of-charge attractions.

Planning new trips? Give it a try:  ww.touringbird.com/madeira

Have you visited any of these attractions thanks to my tips? Tag us on IG or FB: @sayyestomadeira  #sayyestomadeira

CHECK ACCOMMODATION CLOSE TO YOUR FAVOURITE ATTRACTION:

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Madeira Island local tips - off the beaten path attractions and experiences
Madeira Island local tips - off the beaten path places and experiences

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