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Discover Madeira Island Self-Drive

8 Days
On request

FIRST-CLASS | SELF-DRIVE: Embark on this 8-day road trip through Madeira with stops in the capital Funchal, Monte, Camara de Lobos, Cabo Girao, Jardim do Mar, Porto Moniz, Sao Vicente, Canical, and Machico. The delicious local cuisine, produce, vineyards, lava caves, tidal pools, and the enchanted laurel forests of Madeira will ensure you never forget this incredible Portugal vacation.

Explore the beautiful island of Madeira on this 8-day road trip through the Pearl of the Atlantic. Begin your vacation with a two-night stay in Funchal, Madeira’s capital. Visit the iconic Mercado dos Lavradores for delicious regional produce and discover the city's gardens, museums, churches, and old town. Witness the urban landscape evolve to verdant hills and valleys as you ride the Funchal Cable Car to the village of Monte. Toboggan back down to Funchal in a traditional wicker basket before departing to Nun’s Valley Village, an isolated village Madeiran nuns fled to in the 16th century after pirates attacked their convent. Stop at Ponto do Sol and Camara de Lobos, a fishing village often visited by Winston Churchill before reaching the second-highest sea cliff in the world, Cabo Girao. Marvel at the spectacular views from a glass skywalk suspended 1,902 ft / 580 m above sea level.

Discover the beautiful gardens, tea houses, mini zoo, surfing, and comfortable climate of Jardim do Mar, one of the most beautiful villages in Madeira. Swim in the natural volcanic rock tidal pools in Porto Moniz before visiting Sao Vicente, the land of valleys, vineyards, and the Laurissilva of Madeira, the largest area of laurel forest in the world. Explore the lava caves formed 400,000 years ago before driving south to Encumeada for incredible views of both the north and south coasts. Stop at the Clock Café and enjoy an exhibition of wicker-work pieces ranging from small baskets to complete furniture before driving to the fishing village Canical and Machico, Madeira’s first capital and second biggest city.


At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
8 Days
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival Funchal

Upon arrival into Madeira Funchal International Airport, pick up your rental car and drive to your first hotel. Check in and relax before embarking on your self-drive Discovery of the island of Madeira!

Accommodation: Turim Santa Maria or similar

Duration2 Nights
Day 2


The next morning, start your day exploring the city visiting the local market, Mercado dos Lavradores, beautiful gardens, historic museums, churches and the old town.  Take the opportunity to ride up the famous cable car to the beautiful little village of Monte. From there, you can toboggan in a traditional wicker basket!  Perhaps visit the Nun’s Valley Village surrounded by extinct volcanoes and nestled in the middle of the impressive high mountains. Back in the 16th century, nuns fled their convent in Funchal when it came under attack from pirates.  Today, the village is very isolated, but a popular spot for spectacular panoramic views and trying the local chestnuts that are used in everyday cooking.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Days 3-4

Funchal to Ponta do Sol

Today, check out of your hotel and drive along the west coast towards Ponto do Sol, the main centre for banana production on the island. Spend the next 2 days exploring this part of the island!

Explore the charming fishing village, Camara de Lobos, often visited by Winston Churchill. Talk a walk through this small village, stopping at the Winston Churchill Viewpoint, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the port. Next, head to Cabo Girão, the second highest sea cliff in the world. It offers an unbeatable view along the south coast and to the sea with at a height of 580 meters! With its famous suspended glass platform or skywalk, its viewpoint is one of the most visited (and photographed) tourist attraction. Ribeira Brava is another pleasant place to spend some time, visiting with attractions like the Ethnographic Museum, featuring a collection of ethnographic objects related to the cultures and traditions of Madeira.

Accommodation: Hotel 1905 Zino’s Palace

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 5

Ponta do Sol to Sao Vicente

Depart from Ponta do Sol and continue driving along the southern part of the island, stopping at various unique points of interest such as Jardim do Mar, Ponta do Pargo and Porto Moniz before finally arriving in Sao Vicente, located in the north side of the island. 

Jardim do Mar is one of the most beautiful villages in Madeira, known for its mild climate year-round, green gardens and surfing.  This small village has only 300 inhabitants and can only be visited by foot. Take some time to stroll around the charming village, walking down to the promenade, perhaps visiting its mini zoo, with llamas, Vietnamese pigs and more. Here you will also find flowers, fruits, an herb garden and tea house.

At Ponta do Pargo, you will be at the westernmost point of the island.  Take some time to admire the magnificent vista point from the Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse view point and feel as if you've reached the end of the world. Then, continue to Porto Moniz, well known for its natural sea pools formed in volcanic rock. You could perhaps take a swim here!

Sao Vicente is known as the land of valleys, vineyards and Laurissilva forest, the subtropical rainforest. While staying in São Vicente you could visit nearby the Lava Caves. These caves were formed some 400,000 years ago due to a volcanic eruption. After your visit to the caves, you can enjoy a wonderful 3D film on the volcanic eruption which formed Madeira - this is included in the entrance fee to the caves (entrance fee not included). Driving south you will find Encumeada (1007 meters high) from where you may see both the north and the south coast.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Days 6-7

Sao Vicente to Santa Cruz

Check out of your hotel and continue exploring the northeast coast via Sao Jorge (recommend a visit to the church) and Santana considered one of the most attractive villages on Madeira, due to its stunning location.  Admire the unusual houses, peculiar to this area, known in Portuguese “As Palheiros” or haylofts. These homes are tiny thatched houses shaped like the letter A. From Santana to Santa Cruz take the road to Ribeiro Frio or cold river, to Poiso, or resting place, the traditional stop for travellers to appreciate the fantastic view across to both coastlines. For stunning views, ascend above the clouds to Pico do Arieiro at 1810 meters high, the second highest peak on the island. 

For the next two days, discover the east coast of Madeira Island discovering small villages, culture and the history of Madeira. 

Visit the picturesque mountain village of Camacha, the headquarters of Madeira’s thriving wicker industry the wicker-work village. Visit the Clock Café with its fantastic exhibition of wicker-work articles ranging from small baskets up to complete furniture. From here drive to the pretty fishing village of Canical, once the most famous whaling village on the island. Another visit may be to the first capital of Madeira, Machico, the second biggest city in Madeira and one of the centres for boat building on the island.

Accommodation: Hotel Vila Galé Santa Cruz 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 8

Santa Cruz to Funchal

Make your way to the Madeira Funchal International Airport and return your car or extend your holidays to another destination.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information




  • 2 nights premium accommodations in Funchal
  • 2 nights premium accommodations in Porto do Sol
  • 1 night premium accommodations in Sao Vicente
  • 2 nights premium accommodations in Santa Cruz
  • 7-day car rental in selected category
  • Super Collision Damage Waiver insurance
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1)


  • Entrances fees to sites and museums
  • Road tolls
  • Hotel tourist taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


This is a suggested itinerary.  Package includes accommodations and car rental only. Entrance fees and visits are not included.  Exact hotel names to be advised at time of confirmation, based on availability at time of request.


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

8 Oct 2024
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