Surfers, beaches, rum & water slides!

Location: Madeira island

Madeira is an island of incredible natural beauty. Every little village has something special to offer and today's itinerary will show you where to surf, what local rum you should taste, some incredible viewpoints and Madeira's very own water slide park. Enjoy!

Itinerary Duration: 1 day

Places of note: 
Porto da Cruz, Portela & Aquaparque

A. Caniçal
The village of Caniçal was the starting point for my family and I, although, this itinerary can easily be followed from Funchal. I would recommend driving from Funchal to Machico and then onto Porto da Cruz since it's the quickest way through the tunnels. If you drove via Santo António da Serra, for example, you would have to drive up steep narrow roads.

B. Porto da Cruz

Porto da Cruz is a little parish on the eastern coast of Madeira. Upon arrival, you'll immediately notice how quiet and seemingly slow-paced Porto da Cruz is but, in fact, there are a number of things you can do here. The first and most noticeable would be Penha d'Águia, a massive rock separating Porto da Cruz and Faial. Adventurous folk may wish to make their way up for amazing views! Otherwise, catch a wave at Praia da Lagoa or simply go for a walk around the area. 

Porto da Cruz also has a few little surprises other than natural beauty. Wander around and you'll come across an old sugar cane factory, still operating as it did in 1927. Taste locally produced rum and liqueurs at Casa do Rum (House of Rum) as well as Porto da Cruz's very own wine, known as 'Vinho Seco Americano'. 

C. Portela

A scenic drive uphill from Porto da Cruz will take you to Portela, where the viewpoint has some awe-inspiring views! Admire Porto da Cruz and Penha d'Águia below and even a little bit of Santana in the distance. It really feels like you're in a tropical paradise, almost untouched by man! There is even a lookout point on the way up to Portela, a great place to stop and enjoy your packed-lunch with some delightful views.

D. Aquaparque

After taking in some splendid sights, it's time to have some fun! And what better place to do so than at a water slide park?!! Madeira island has its very own "modern leisure and fun resort" located in the Santa Cruz village. Perfect for all ages, the Aquaparque has 5 slides, 4 tracks, a "black hole" tube, its own river, swimming pool and restaurant area. 

You'll see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance while you soak up some sun! Spend long enough here and you'll be treated to a couple of bird shows (for free). We watched two shows, the first showcased the birds of prey and the second, colourful parrots. Children might be tempted to have photos taken with an eagle here but just a heads-up, the price of a photo is a ridiculous €20. My family and I spent most of our time on tandem tubes and enjoying the slides. Needless to say, the action photographs we took of each other were hilarious! A fun end to a wonderful day.

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