Ocean lovers... Madeira is your paradise
Madeira is an unexpectedly amazing destination for surf enthusiasts. Although the normal surf season takes place from October to May, Madeira has optimal conditions for surfing year-round due to its mild, subtropical climate and warm water temperatures. Surfers come from all over the globe to experience Madeira’s thrilling waves and stunning landscapes.
Stand Up Paddling is a great way to get out on the water for a mix of sightseeing and exercise. This easy sport can be quickly learned and enjoyed by the whole family, so grab a paddle and head out on a SUP adventure in Madeira to get an up-close view of the gorgeous coastline and crystal clear waters!
Madeira’s southern coast is the perfect spot for trying out windsurfing. Funchal, Achadas da Cruz, Caniço, Santa Cruz, Machico, Caniçal, Paúl do Mar and Porto Santo are fantastic locations for windsurfing on Madeira’s southern slope. These beautiful beaches have the best access for windsurfers, along with calmer waters and a steady breeze – perfect for anyone who is experienced or just wants to try it for the first time!
4. Dolphins & Whale Watching
With ocean depths reaching more than 3,000 meters (9,850ft) just off the coast, Dolphin & Whale Watching boat tours around Madeira are always full of surprises! Whether you’re looking to explore the archipelago or relax on a leisurely ride, you’re almost certain to run into a friendly group of dolphins or a whale while out on the water. The most common whale species you can expect to see include the Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Fin Whale or even Orcas, and Bottlenose Dolphins are the most common species that can be found throughout the whole year around the islands. Visitors can also head out to the Desertas Island to catch a glimpse of the “Lobo Marinho” (Sea Lion)!
5. Diving & Snorkeling
Madeira’s mild climate and water temperatures, excellent visibility, and diverse array of marina life make this archipelago a world class diving and snorkeling destination with year-round appeal for divers at any level. Visitors can head to “Galo”, “Reis Magos”, or “Caniçal” for easy access to diving sites directly off the beach. The Garajau Nature Reserve is a very popular location offering 7 different diving spots where divers can spot amberjacks, barracudas, cutlassfish, giant anemones, mackerels, rays, salemas and giant groupers that aren’t afraid to swim right up to you! Madeira and Porto Santo were the sites of many shipwrecks throughout history, which add lots of fun and interesting elements to diving trips around the islands. Both islands have a host of diving companies and schools that offer everything from equipment rental to specialized excursions for divers and snorkelers of any level.
6. Natural Swimming Pools
Head to Madeira’s north coast to take a swim in one of the island’s beautiful natural pools. Formed naturally through volcanic runoff and lava rocks, these pools are filled by the natural ebb and flow of the ocean tides.
Kayaking out on the ocean around Madeira is a fun and exciting experience. Although Madeira doesn’t have lakes or rivers, there are plenty of areas along its coastline with calm and inviting ocean waters perfect for a kayaking adventure.
If you’re looking to take a break and relax, Madeira has several beautiful beaches around the island perfect for spending an afternoon swimming or sunbathing. Many have ocean access, but don’t be intimidated by the beaches with the wilder, less manicured appearance. Often covered in pebbled volcanic basalt stones, you’ll feel like you’re the first to set foot in some of these unique places!