In Madeira there’s plenty of things to do and so much to experience… have you ever thought about what kind of adventures would you like to try when in the island?
Find out 5 suggestions from Jeff, who has run an adventure company on the Island, and over the years witnessed some incredible events on this amazing destination.
With much difficulty, becuase there are plenty of awesome moments, he has chosen his “top 5” experiences, in no particular order
1.Hike to Caldeirão do Inferno
Myself and my best friend at the time, Tiago, decided to join a group of local hikers that go by the name of Amigos da Natureza. These guys usually go out on Sundays for a full day of “easy” hiking. This time nothing less than 20km. What an adventure…
On that particular day it was a bit wet. After a long hike through the Laurisilva forest, we eventually arrive at Caldeirão do Inferno (hells cauldron in English).
What a magical feeling this place gave me, it was like the cradle of life, pure energy where water meets the volcano. The sound was incredible, the sights were from another world and there we all were, in love with nature and in awe of our reality at the time. Until today this has been my only experience at Caldeirão do Inferno, but definitely not the last.
2.Star gazing and moon rise in Paul da Serra
This was a special day spent with friendly family of 8 in which we went for a sunset and stargazing tour. Of course, I accepted the challenge and off went Tiago and I, with this family, armed with 2 Land rovers in search of the ultimate adventure.
After a terrace sunset dinner in Porto Moniz, we drove up to Paul da Serra, Madeira’s largest plateau, where there are no buildings, no people and no lights. We pulled over at a “good spot” and there we were, above the clouds, at night.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been above the clouds, which happens a lot here, but above the clouds at night, is a totally different thing. Imagine an alien planet or something from a dream maybe?
We gave it 5 minutes, when a bright light coming from behind one of the peaks and there we were, witnessing the moonrise, at Paul da Serra, above the clouds. I have since learned that there are apps that calculate what time this could happen, and from which direction.
3.Sunrise from Pico do Arieiro
Off we went 5:30 in the morning, making a stop for snacks and a top-secret view of Funchal by night before heading up to the third highest peak of the island, Pico do Arieiro.
The sunrise was perfect, a little bit of clouds, not too windy, not too cold, the perfect combination for this experience.
This has to be in the top 5 sunrises in the world, for sure !!
4.The climb to Pico Ruivo from Ilha
This was a challenge. A hike of just over 8km at an elevation of 1376m, calling it the stairway to heaven would be an understatement.
One of the best parts of this day was that it was a little bit rainy in the forest and that, surprisingly, made the experience more memorable. I was surrounded by clouds and mist almost until the very peak, incredible! It was only at the last 10 meters or so that I saw the blue sky, along with the happiness that I didn’t have to climb any more stairs.
Highly recommended for people looking for a good workout, adventure in Nature and a sense of accomplishment!!
5.Paragliding in Arco da Calheta
This experience “found me”. Some friends casually invited me to go along and I casually said yes.
Before I know it, I was clipping myself in, a couple of hundred meters above sea level just 15 meters or so away from the edge, with a guide explaining everything you “shouldn’t” be doing.
Don’t let this worry you though, all you need to do is look down and run, and the guide does the rest.
It’s like being on a sofa, up in the sky. Very relaxing… the sound of the wind is incredible, and the views of course are unparalleled.
After having a quick chat with the man responsible for this “madness”, apparently our beautiful island is the best place in the world to paraglide.