9 Best Viewpoints in Madeira
Waterfalls plummeting into the ocean, tiny villages nestled in the heart of the mountains, crystal clear water lapping at black sand beaches, a sea of clouds swirling below dramatic mountains. Continue reading to discover the best viewpoints in Madeira.
Madeira; the island of viewpoints! Every corner you turn makes you want to stop and whip out your camera.
Madeira has some of the most striking landscapes in Europe! Steep sloping cliffs tumbling into the ocean, waterfalls crashing into deep pools below, jagged mountain peaks sitting peacefully above the clouds; the list is endless.
In this guide to the best viewpoints in Madeira, we’ll tell you where each viewpoint is located, if there are any facilities and how to get there so continue reading and make sure to bookmark this post for your next trip to Madeira.
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Miradouro do Guindaste
We’re going to kick off this guide to the best viewpoints in Madeira with Miradouro do Guindaste; located in the Santana municipality.
Miradouro do Guindaste offers an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean across the striking rugged cliffs to Ponta de Sao Lourenço on the east of the island. On a clear day, you can even see out to the beautiful white sand island of Porto Santo.
How to get there: Miradouro do Guindaste is located a 9 minute drive from Santana and half an hour from Funchal
Miradouro das Cabanas
Miradouro das Cabanas was one of our favourite viewpoints in Madeira!
One of the lesser-known viewpoints on the island, you won’t find the crowds here as much as you will at some of the other viewpoints.
Miradouro das Cabanas offers an unparalleled view over Arco de São Jorge and the Atlantic Ocean with a dramatic mountain backdrop. Here you can see how green and mountainous Madeira is as the lush interior slopes down to meet the sea.
Location: Arco de São Jorge
How to get there: an 8-minute drive from Arco de São Jorge, 16 minutes from Santana and an hour from Funchal
Miradouro do Veu da Noiva
Miradouro do Veu da Noiva is one of the most unique and Instagrammable viewpoints in Madeira!
Located on the Old Road that connects Seixal to São Vicente is this incredible viewpoint where you’ll find a waterfall gushing out the side of the cliff to meet the ocean.
From here, you can also enjoy a wonderful view across the slopes of the north coast of Madeira and over the Atlantic.
Location: between São Vicente and Seixal
How to get there: a 4-minute drive from Seixal, 6 from São Vicente and 40 minutes from Funchal
Facilities: a coffee and souvenir shop
Pico do Arieiro
Pico do Arieiro is without a doubt the most spectacular viewpoint in Madeira!
Pico do Arieiro is the third highest mountain in Madeira and offers an amazing view of the island’s central mountains. The best time to arrive is half an hour before sunrise when the sky is lit up in reds, gold and oranges and watch the new day begin.
Located at 1,818 metres above sea level, you’re usually sitting just above the clouds giving way to a mystical atmosphere as the sea of clouds rolls over the mountains below. This was the highlight of our Madeira itinerary!
Our Top Tip: one of the best things to do in Madeira is to hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo; the tallest peak on the island.
How to get there: a 35-minute drive from Funchal. Alternatively, you can book a tour with your pick up and drop off included
Facilities: toilets, souvenir shop and restaurant
Miradouro de Sao Cristovao
Miradouro de São Cristovo is a spectacular viewpoint with views of the sea and the island’s lush interior.
This is another one of the lesser-known viewpoints in Madeira and is incredibly peaceful. You could spend hours gazing at the waves lapping at the mountain slopes.
Location: São Vicente
How to get there: a 10-minute drive from São Vicente or a 45-minute drive from Funchal
Facilities: restaurant and toilets (for restaurant customers only)
Miradouro da Santinha
Miradouro da Santinha is a scenic viewpoint looking out across the island’s lush mountainous interior.
Although this viewpoint is stunning, we found the most striking viewpoint on the opposite side of the bend as we were driving towards the viewpoint from Arco de São Jorge.
Here you can see much farther into the mountains through the valley and you’re slightly lower down so the mountains are looming above you. Make sure to pull over (where it’s safe) and snap some photos from here as well!
How to get there: a 5-minute drive from Boaventure or a 45-minute drive from Funchal
Miradouro da Bica da Cana
Miradouro da Bica da Cana was one of the viewpoints in Madeira we were most excited about visiting.
Situated at 1,580 metres above sea level, this viewpoint offers amazing views of Pico Ruivo and Pico do Arieiro with the sea of clouds sitting in the valley beneath you and the world below.
Miradouro da Bica da Cana is an incredibly peaceful and breathtaking spot to watch the sunrise, however, on the day we set our alarms for 5:15am, Madeira had other plans…
Unfortunately, we couldn’t see more than about 15 metres in front of us but we’ve kept it in this guide as it looks absolutely breathtaking if you catch it on a good day!
To see what Miradouro da Bica da Cana should look like, see this blog post.
Location: Ponta do Sol
How to get there: a 40-minute drive from Ponta do Sol or 50-minutes from Funchal
Although one of the busiest viewpoints in Madeira, Cabo de Girao is an absolute must-see!
At an elevation of 580 metres, Cabo Girao is the highest cape in Europe and offers breathtaking views over the ocean and municipalities of Câmara de Lobos and Funchal.
In 2012, the viewpoint was renovated and a transparent glass skywalk was suspended in the air, making it the highest cliff skywalk in Europe!
To top this viewpoint off, it’s completely free!
Our Top Tip: due to its proximity to Funchal, Cabo Girao can get extremely busy so we advise visiting outside of peak hours if you have your own transport.
Alternatively, after visiting the viewpoint, continue up the road for a couple of minutes where, at one of the bends, you’ll have the same view with no crowds (just make sure it’s safe to pull over).
Location: Câmara de Lobos
How to get there: an 8-minute drive from Câmara de Lobos and a 20-minute drive from Funchal. Tours to Cabo Girao are also extremely popular
Facilities: a restaurant, toilets and souvenir shop
Sitting at 1,861 metres above sea level, Pico Ruivo is the highest viewpoint in Madiera!
If you’re lucky enough to experience Pico Ruivo on a clear day (which, of course, we were not) you’ll be able to see the village of “Curral das Freiras”, also called “Nun’s Valley” and out to Ponta de Sao Lourenço.
You can drive to the viewpoint where you’ll also find a cafe and toilets, however, for one of the best things to do in Madeira, we recommend hiking between Pico do Arieiro and Pico Ruivo.
Hiking between the two peaks was our favourite part of our trip to Madeira. The scenery and views are absolutely breathtaking as you hike above the clouds, through tunnels, climb narrow staircases and go in and out of the clouds as you’re changing altitude.
How to get there: a 16-minute drive from Santana and an hour from Funchal
Facilities: a cafe and toilets
The easiest way to visit the best viewpoints in Madeira is with your own car. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to travel around the island at your own pace.
If renting a car in Madeira doesn’t sound up your street, however, most of the viewpoints can be visited on tours. Have a look at the selection below for some of the best ones or browse tours in Madeira here.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the top 9 of viewpoints in Madeira. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or any other viewpoints you’d recommend!