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Hiking above the clouds.

Hiking above the clouds.

Madeira is by many Europeans, mostly known as a flower island. And an island for upscale tourism. Kinda the island where you granny goes to look at exotic flowers. But it’s also the perfect outdoor destination. Just get away from Funchal on the south coast and you have some really wild nature.

Madeira is almost vertical.

Madeira is not a very large island. only 741 square meters big. And it’s only a little over 20 kilometers from the north coast to the south coast of the island. But the mountains goes up to almost 2000 meters there, making it an extremely steep island.

Madeira is almost vertical.

Madeira is almost vertical.

Madeira is perfect for hiking.

Because of it’s high and steep mountains, Madeira is perfect for hiking. And you can find very challenging hikes there too. Many people don’t think so, because they picture it as an old people place. And old people don’t do steep and difficult hikes in most peoples view. But you have some fantastic peaks on Madeira and some very barren landscape above the clouds. You should really consider it as a destination if you are in to hiking. Whether you like light hiking or challenging hikes. Cause Madeira has both.

Madeira hiking.

Madeira hiking.

and you have the levada walks.

Madeira also has around 2000 kilometers of waterways. Most of them with a little trail next to the channel. these levadas are used to irrigating the farmers fields. But they are also very good for hiking. These hikes usually have almost no elevation. So they can be done by most. That is if you do not suffer from vertigo, as some of them have very steep drops and can be very narrow at times. I have more about the levadas on This link.

Levada walking.

Levada walking.

Mountain biking is good on Madeira.

On the top of the island, you have very good conditions for mountain biking. You can get offload there and do some pretty serious downhill mountain biking. I am more of a road cyclist myself, but I have friends who do this downhill on Madeira and it’s pretty wild there.

Mountain biking Madeira.

Mountain biking Madeira.

Road cycling is good in some places.

I have circumnavigated Madeira myself by bicycle once. Very enjoyable ride most of the way. Just be ware that the area around Funchal is not the best for road cycling. But the west coast and the north coast of Madeira is great for road cycling. I have more about my cycling trip around Madeira on This link.

Cycling around Madeira.

Cycling around Madeira.

And you have things like canyoning, diving and paragliding there too. All in all this is an island that should have a much better reputation than it does for active outdoor holidays. But small local companies are popping up rapidly on the island at the moment, so I think we will soon see a boom there. I can certainly assure you that it’s a fantastic place for a person like me who is really in to hiking and cycling. A perfect outdoor destination that is only a short flight away from most European countries.

Perfect outdoor destination.

Perfect outdoor destination.

Claus.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, Madeira is fantastic for hiking! I did several great hikes there earlier this year and will definitely go back one day!

  2. One of my all time fave places! Fond memories there!

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