Madeira Nature Festival 2019 – our story

UPDATED:  15-03-2020   ◊   ZMIEŃ JĘZYK: POLSKI

Madeira Nature Festival

Madeira Island loves to celebrate. 

I have already participated in the Madeira Christmas and NYE Celebrations, Madeira Wine Festival, Madeira Flower Festival and next year we hope to participate in the Carnaval Parade. This year, for the first time I also participated in the youngest festival on the island: Madeira Nature Festival. 

What is it and how was it? I just can not wait to tell you!

Awesome tours and activities, entirely free of charge!

How wonderful is that? There are so many ways to spend your time on Madeira… Surfing, canyoning, paragliding, diving, hiking, jeep tours… But they will cost quite a lot if you travel in a group or want to try multiple activities. The great thing about the Nature Festival is that you can register to try some of them entirely for free!

The Madeira Tourism office helps tourists have an amazing time and to encourages them to be active in nature by providing them with those free tickets.

Brochures including available activities and tours per each day of the festival are distributed to those waiting in line so they can decide which tickets they would like to get. The brochures should also be available before the first day of the festival. This is the 2019 brochure:

The youngest festival on Madeira – Nature Festival 

Madeira Nature Festival was a bit of a different concept than other, bigger festivals such as the Madeira Flower Festival.  While other events are more “mature” and very well known, Madeira Nature Festival is still a festival which is developing its final shape. It is not as well known among visitors, which is why I decided to spread the word on my blog and social media, as I think the idea is really great and more destinations in the world should follow the steps of Madeira Island. 

 

Madeira Nature Festival

My Nature Festival 2019 story…

This year, I happened to be on the island the entire month September and the first week of October, which is when the festival takes place. I really, really wanted to try out at least one free activity in experience it for myself and write a post for my blog, even though my time was very limited. 

Was it difficult to get such free tickets? Not really. The free ticket which I really hoped to get was the coasteering ticket. After our great canyoning tour, I wanted to try coasteering as well. It was part of the Nature Festival list of activities, so this was clearly my favourite activity of choice, but once I got to the enrolment office I saw two lines. One was rather short, while the other one twice as long.

Unfortunately for me, the long line was the line I needed – it was the line for water activities such as coasteering. I looked in my agenda and I saw I only had 40 minutes before an important meeting with MaderiaNow.  And so, I gave up on my dream choice and decided to settle down with whatever they had for me. I moved to the shorter line with land activities and chose a random levada I have not done yet. After just 5 minutes I got my lucky ticket number #13 for a Levada do Rei tour and left the office.

The next day, I was just in the area. I thought: Why not passing by and checking on how fast the tickets were distributed. I wanted to get some information for my readers in order to give them valuable tips for the Madeira Nature Festival 2020, but good karma rewarded me for that!

Madeira Nature Festival tips for 2020- free tours and activities on Madeira Island

When I entered the Tourism Office it was totally empty. I assumed that meant that all the tickets were already gone. I saw a familiar face behind the counter and on the counter… One last ticket left… A ticket… for coasteering! As the enrolment was closing, and otherwise the ticket would remain unused, they just handed it to me! What are the odds..?

There was only one “small problem”. On that same day, I already promised someone that we would do the famous 25 Fontes-Risco walk. I decided to make an effort and have a coasteering session between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. followed by a 25 Fontes & Risco Levada Walk straight after that…

And so I did – after the canyoning tour, I was dropped off in front of the Pestana CR7 hotel, where I quickly changed my swimsuit for hiking clothes in one of the cafes and 15 minutes later I was already sitting in the car towards Rabacal. It was not easy, but it was awesome!

GO TO OUR POST: Levada Walks: Rabaçal – Levada das 25 Fontes e Risco

My first Nature Festival 2019 activity – Levada do Rei

The Levada do Rei Tour was operated by Pearl of the Atlantic Madeira. Big thumbs up to our entertaining guide for the day, who made this walk more than just a beautiful walk.  I enjoyed the tour and I will soon describe it in detail on my blog.

Second Nature Festival 2019 activity – Coasteering

The coasteering tour was provided by the tour company Harmony in Nature.
It was more demanding than I thought. Was it what I expected? Not at all, but it was still awesome.  I was grateful for this comfort-zone-expanding experience. My coasteering tour will, of course, be soon described in detailed on my blog.
Madeira Nature Festival - best festivals and events on Madeira Island
PHOTO: Harmony in Nature

Nature Festival 2020 – Where to get your free tickets

This year, you could enrol for free activities in the Main Tourism Office on Avenida Arriaga in Funchal. It is the red building seen in the picture below. Unless there is a serious change, this should also be the same place for the Nature Festival 2020, 
Madeira Nature Festival 2019 and 2020- free tours and activities on Madeira Island - Madeira Tourist Office Funchal
Madeira Nature Festival tips for 2020- free tours and activities on Madeira Island

Nature Festival 2020 – Meeting point

This year’s meeting point was next to the CR7 hotel, however, not directly in front of Ronaldo’s monument. The tour cars were parked on the other side of the building, towards the Vespas Club and Sete Mares Cafe. 
Madeira Nature Festival 2019 and 2020- free tours and activities on Madeira Island - Madeira Tourist Office Funchal
Madeira Nature Festival - best festivals and events on Madeira Island
Madeira Nature Festival - Madeira autumn festivals

Do not worry, you would not miss it. There were multiple Discover Madeira banner and Nature Festival staff. Cars were clearly marked with the tours they operated. 

Madeira Nature Festival tips for 2020- free tours and activities on Madeira Island
Madeira Nature Festival - best festivals and events on Madeira Island

Nature Festival 2019 & Final thoughts for the Madeira Nature Festival 2020

I loved it! Yes, I guess you just need some patience and some luck to get those free tickets, but it is definitely worth trying. The lines to enrol were much shorter than expected and there were quite some free tickets available! As a tourist, you are able to try our not just one but two activities, so it is really great. It was no too hard to get the tickets and once you get your tickets, you are free to enjoy totally free of charge two amazing adventures. 

September and begin October is, in any case, a great time of the year to visit Madeira. See also my photo report: Weather in Madeira in September & October

 

I loved both of my activities of choice and believe me – it is worth it. I loved this festival just as much as the Madeira Flower Festival. I think it is definitely worth putting Madeira Nature Festival 2020 in your travel agendas and on your bucket lists. 

 

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Festival agenda Madeira Island: Madeira Nature Festival Free Tours and Activities

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