If you’re looking for an unforgettable honeymoon destination, look no further than Madeira Island in Portugal. This stunning island is home to pristine beaches, lush forests, and dramatic cliffs. Here’s everything you need to know about planning a honeymoon in Madeira!
A Romantic Hotel in Madeira
On our trip to Madeira, we stayed at The Cliff Bay Hotel. This luxurious hotel is situated on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
It was the perfect place to relax and unwind, taking advantage of the view and of the hotel’s amenities. We started each day with their amazing breakfast which included fresh fruits, pastries, a full English breakfast, and more a la carte dishes.
For the first two days, we barely left the hotel and instead just opted to relax in the pool if it were a bit warmer we would have taken a dive into the ocean. In the evenings, there are a few restaurants to choose from. There is the Il Gallo d’Oro which has been awarded two Michelin stars and needs reservations well in advance. We are at Avista, where we enjoyed more amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and delicious comfort food made with fresh ingredients.
Things to Do In Madeira On Your Honeymoon
When it comes to a honeymoon vacation in Madeira, we recommend splitting your time between romance and adventure.
Go Swimming With Dolphins
There are a few companies that offer this experience and it’s something we’ve always wanted to do. We booked with GetYourGuide and it was an incredible experience. There are two things to know about swimming with dolphins in Madeira is that they are wild dolphins living their best lives, not in captivity. You only get to hang out with them if they are curious and they sense your good vibes.
With that, it means you may not get to swim with the dolphins. Go into this expecting to get very close to dolphins and likely swim with them. We actually did not get to swim with the dolphins, but really enjoyed our time because it was a fun, fast, and bumpy ride and we were so close to the dolphins.
Go Dolphin and Whale Watching
Not up for so much adventure? Then you can go for a dolphin and whale watching. This was a longer and slower boat ride where you will see different types of dolphins and if you go during the right time of year, you can see whales.
Go on a Food Tour
If you love food as we do, then going on a food tour is a must. We toured with Madeira Food On Foot and sampled so many different types of Madeiran foods and drinks while learning about the culture and history of the islands.
We started with a sampling of dishes at our first stop including the iconic Bolo de Caco with garlic butter and a sampling of fish with fried banana and a passion fruit sauce, tuna, and a steak. The fish with fried banana and a passion fruit sauce was so good we went back the next day for lunch.
We also went to the local market for a taste of locally grown fruit and stop by a chocolate shop for a tasting. Our next stops included tasting traditional cookies, having a refreshing hot tea, and ending with the traditional drink of the island, Poncha!
Visit Ponta de São Lourenço
A 35-minute drive Funchal is a must-visit spot on the island, Ponta de São Lourenço. You’ll find dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views. It’s the perfect place for a romantic hike or picnic lunch. You can either take a guided tour or drive on your own. Renting a car in Madeira is very easy and gives you more freedom to explore any way to help you see even more of the things on this list.
Ponta do Rosto
Just a few minutes’ drive away is Ponta do Rosto, an amazing outlook where you’ll see the dramatic cliffs and the beautiful water below.
Vereda dos Balcões
This is an easy and short hike that ends at a lookout with amazing views. Bring birdseed as the small birds will eat directly out of your hand.
Visit the Natural Pools at Porto Moniz
The natural pools at Porto Moniz are a great spot to relax, swim, and take in the stunning views.
Pico do Arieiro
Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island and offers stunning 360-degree views. The dramatic landscapes formed by volcanic activity are really hard to describe in words or even communicate through photographs.
Relax by the pool
Beyond all the adventure, the hotels in Madiera are great for relaxing by the pool. Order some food from the pool sidebar and take it easy for the day.
Enjoy a Romantic Dinner
Madeira has several restaurants with amazing food and views. We had an amazing dinner at Avista Restaurant which looked over the ocean. Make sure you make reservations ahead of your trip!
Ride a Cable Car
Ride the Cable Car in Madeira up to Monte for some of the most beautiful views of Funchal.
On your way down, take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens which are home to over 500 different species of flowers and plants.
Return By Toboggan Ride
For a completely unique mode of transportation, take the toboggan ride from Monte back down to Funchal. This is a truly unique experience that will leave you feeling exhilarated!
Visit Cabo Girão
You may also want to check out the Cabo Girão SkyWalk, which is one of the highest cliffs in Europe and provides stunning views of the coastline. We purchased tickets on the Hop on Hop off bus which took us there are part of the trip.
What To Pack For A Trip To Madeira
When packing for your trip to Madeira, be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. The sun is very strong! You’ll also want to pack swimsuits, hiking shoes, and casual clothes for dinners. Make sure to check the dress code of your restaurants for dinner if you are going to someplace fancy.
When to Visit Madeira
The best time to visit Madeira is between April and October when the weather is warm and there is less rain.
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central American, South America and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.