How to Spend 48 Hours in Madeira

a girl holds up a postcard displayng unique things about madeira with the background of funchal below and the ocean behind

Less than a 2 hour flight from Lisbonwill bring you to this lush Portugese island boasting tropical plants, unique wines and historic charm, all under the sunny skies of a subtropical climate.

This island deserves much more than a weekend visit, but if that’s all the time you have then here’s how to spend 48 hours in Madeira to make the most of it!

Day One


Wake up with a panoramic view of Funchal from the Babosa Serviced apartments and enjoy a full breakfast on your private balcony or join other travellers in the resteraunt ‘s balcony upstairs.

After breakfast, stroll 5 minutes down the cobble stone street to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. Spend the the rest of the morning exploring the winding rainforest-esque trails, exotic waterfalls and haunting structures. Be sure to grab a coffee and sweet treat in the outdoor cafe before you leave!


The top of the gondola is directly outside the entrance to the gardens. Enjoy the mountain and sea views as you ride it down to the historic area of Funchal.

Characterized by narrow streets, elaborately painted doors and charming older buildings, this is the perfect place for getting lost and taking a few photos! Stroll the rue Santa Maria, the oldest street, to grab a few souvenirs or a bite to eat. When you stroll through the town market, pick up a few fresh items to cook dinner. This is a great way to save a little money and feel like a local for a while.

Stop in Alfazema e chocolate for tea or coffee in an eclectic collection of tea cups and house made baked good on your way.


Stroll the boardwalk as the sun sets. With locals and travellers jogging, picnicing or grabbing cocktails at a variety of ocean front pop up bars, this is the perfect spot for some people watching! Take the local bus back up to your accommodations to cook dinner and sip some Madeira wine.

Day Two


Wake up early to be picked up by your local guides from Hit the Road Tours. Hiking the levadas can definitely done alone, but with a local guide to take you to the best, secret spots, you’ll be in for some amazing views you might not find yourself!

Stop for some Pastel De nada and coffee on the road before spending the morning and afternoon exploring rocky cliffs, thick forests and clear rivers. The levada’s make for easier hiking, but check the difficulty level before hand to be sure your chosen hike is right for you.


When you’re sick of staring at beautiful views ( yeah, right), spend some time in a historic fishing village. Camera de Lobos is a favourite stop for both visitors and locals. Pop into a small pub for some Poncha, a local rum and fruit based drink that’s to die for!


If there’s enough time after driving back to Funchal, no trip to Madeira is complete with out the death defying high speed race down the hill in a traditional wicker tobaggan.

Looking for more amazing things to do in Portugal? Check out these posts!

10 Amazing Things to do in Lisbon

5 Places With the Best Views in Lisbon

8 Reasons Why Portugal Should be on Your 2019 Bucket list

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