Madeira Island Sports & Outdoors

  • A worker we saw during our levada hike.
    A worker we saw during our levada hike.
    by Jerelis
  • Madeira, by sky (I dont know who take her)
    Madeira, by sky (I dont know who take...
    by AnaMargarida
  • The three of us hiking!
    The three of us hiking!
    by Jerelis

Best Rated Sports & Outdoors in Madeira Island

  • ncfg's Profile Photo

    Football (soccer)

    by ncfg Updated Mar 19, 2006

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    Well, everybody knows how much I like football, so I had to add this tip.
    Madeira has two major clubs, Maritimo and Nacional da Madeira.
    If you like this sport perhaps you will have a chance to watch a game. When I had been there unfortunately Maritimo was playing in the mainland.
    The Estádio dos Barreiros is the stadium where both teams play, I had been there but I didn’t take any photo.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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    Levada Hikes

    by sandysmith Updated Oct 30, 2003

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    levada course

    Mnay people enjoy the "Levada" water course walks in Madeira. Such irrigation channels were made by early settlers in Madeira to cultivate the land. The island's irrigation system now comprises an impressive 2150km (1350 miles) of channels, including 40km (25 miles) of tunnels, all waiting to be explored.

    We enjoyed (sort of in the pouring rain!!) a 12km levada walk from Ribeiro Frio (central Madeira) to Portela - one of Madeira's most well known levada walks, graded 2 (easy-moderate). It takes you through tropical and woodland vegetation a round the mountains, waterfalls are encountered that you go underneath and through at times.

    Equipment: Good walking boots, wet weather gear, just in cases, and torches for the tunnels!
    A mountain guide is sometimes necessary but at the very least get up to date info on the state of the levada and a good map. Some are not well maintained, some high ledges may not be protected from a sheer drop and can be dangerous. Not for those who may suffer from vertigo!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hiking

    by Travelchili Updated Sep 15, 2003

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    Starting at Pico do Arieiro

    If you enjoy hiking or taking long walks, Madeira will offer you some fantastic opportunities. In my opinion, one of the best hikes is the so-called 'peak hike'. You could start out at Pico do Arieiro, which is 1818m high and take a trail to the highest peak of Pico Ruivo, which is 1862 m. From there on, you can hike to Achada do Teixeira, where you will have a possibility to get a transport back to Pico do Arieiro or have your transpotation waiting for you. The hike will take you around 5-6 hours, depening on how fast you will go and how much time do you want to take for rest. This hike will offer you some of the most magnificient views of the island and the nature around.

    Equipment: Make sure to bring a warm sweater in case it gets rainy or windy. In addition, don't forget sun screen, a light lunch and extra water.

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Levada walks

    by Travelchili Updated Sep 15, 2003

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    Levada

    Levadas are the most famous walking trails in Madeira. They are the irrigation canals that have been constructed ever since the Portuguese first colonized the island to channel water from the mountains to lower-lying agricultural land. There are over 2000km of levadas in Madeira, so there are many different levada trails to choose from.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • salinhopt's Profile Photo

    Surf

    by salinhopt Written Jul 24, 2003

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    Madeira Jardim do Mar

    If it’s adrenaline you’re after, then the Madeira coast is the place Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar and S. Vicente all offer excellent surfing, with waves able to stir even the stout-hearted.

    Windsurfing conditions are also very good. In 1996 a native of Madeira won the world championship.

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  • salinhopt's Profile Photo

    Golf

    by salinhopt Written Jul 24, 2003

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    Madeira - Quinta do palheiro

    Two courses, with 18 to 27 holes, have been laid out in exceptionally beautiful landscapes. Golf lovers will be delighted by the challenges accompanying of each hole as well as by the fabulous scenery. The Madeira Open is the most important event and forms part of the European PGA circuit.

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    Rally Vinho Madeira

    by salinhopt Written Jul 24, 2003

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    Rally Madeira Wine

    Madeiran people have always had a great passion for cars. One of the reasons for this affinity may be explained by the fact that the car has been for many years the only means of transport on the island, allied to the challenge of driving along the narrow, winding roads of the island, carved out of the hard rock and usually with high verges, requiring a great deal of skill and permanent concentration by all drivers.

    It was naturally in this contest that, in 1959, that which is today known as the "Madeira Wine Rally" was born. It began as tourist attraction, a "Tour of Madeira by car" which aroused great interest and enthusiasm among the resident population and all those who came to Madeira, mostly originating from the Continent and the Canary Islands, accompanied by their relatives and friends, to compete in our difficult "Tour of the Island".

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    Hang-gliding

    by salinhopt Written Jul 29, 2003

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    Madeira Island

    The mountainous characteristics of our island make this kind of sport really attractive, especially for those who are already experts. There are fantastic places to take off from but very few appropriate landing sites.

    The most popular places are Pico da Cruz, Miradouro da Madalena, Porto da Cruz and Prazeres.

    Equipment: They have got everything!

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Levadas - Old and new levadas.

    by Jerelis Updated Jan 7, 2007

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    A levada near a mountain rim.
    1 more image

    So, it was time for us to introduce ourselves to Madeira's "signature" hiking experience - the levada paths. Before we left Paulo told us an interesting story aout the difference between old and new levadas. The older levadas, built centuries ago, are narrow and plummet steeply downhill from mountainside springs - really challenging walking.Their banks are covered with wild flowers and the water rushes and foams with energy. The newer levadas are wide "mini-canals" and their banks run horizontally along the island's contours - ideal for easy walks. Their flow is stately and serene and their banks are lovingly planted with Agapathus Lilies and Hydrangeas.

    We enjoyed several levada hikes that took us into narrow valleys walled-in by towering, flutted cliffs and into subtropical greenery! We witnessed that often the paths were overhung with flowers and other unusual sub-tropical plants and they nearly all gave us wonderful views down towards the valleys and the sea. One of our favourite hike was when we followed the course of the levada do Canical (the "Mimosa Levada") as it makes it way "through the backyards" of settlements at the upper edge of the town of Machico. It passed through some traditional settlements, some of which were quite poor. For although the island has obviously benefited from tourism since the advent of cruises and air flight, the wealth has not necessarily spread right down through the social structure.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Levadas - Like hiking? Madeira is your paradise!

    by Jerelis Updated Jan 7, 2007

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    Amazing views during our hike!
    1 more image

    If you like hiking, Madeira is your paradise! Walking the "levada" paths is one of the most popular activities with visitors. Levadas (Portuguese for "led") are irrigation canals and they transport the rainfall water from the north, which has almost 2 meters of rain a year, to the dry south.

    In the 16th century the Portuguese started building levadas to carry water to the agricultural regions. The most recent was made in the 1940s. Madeira is very mountainous and building the leveadas was often difficult. Such watercourses are not unique; what is unique is their accessibility and extent. The maintenance-paths along the levadas will take you to places you would have never reached any other way. The island's irrigation system now comprises an impressive 2150 km of channels, including 40 km of tunnelsand therefore provide a remarkable network of walking paths. For the hiker today, the levadas permit access to a wonderful variety of landscapes, which would otherwise be inaccessible. Some of them are not for the `faint-hearted` - as they have quite high vertical drops beside them, but will be able to choose routes which suits us.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    Ponta de Sao Lourenco - Most eastern peninsula.

    by Jerelis Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Jeroen and Iris looking over a huge cliff.
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    They say that the Ponta de Sao Lorenco is one of the last nearly untouched places in Europe. For a fact it´s the most eastern peninsula of Madeira's island with a length of 9 kilometers and a width of 2 kilometers. This includes the two islands Ilheu da Cevada and Ilheu da Ponta de Sao Lourenco. It was declared a National Reserve in 1982 with the objective of preserving its fauna, flora and geological heritage. Nowadays it´s part of the Parque National da Madeira.

    The vegetation of Ponta de Sao Lourenco is very special and unique within Macronesia, not because it's unchanged, but for the presence of important groups that are virtually confined to this area. Apart from the rich vegetation, this reserve is home to many bird species and even sea lions that can be occasionally be seen. It´s trully a place where we found a fantastic combination of rocks, sea, animals and nature.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Desert

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Pico do Arieiro - Enjoying the overwhelming views.

    by Jerelis Updated Oct 29, 2006

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    Jeroen and Iris at the sign at the top.
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    Because of the good weather we had some spectacular views of the island. We could see all the way to Porto Santo which lies 45 nautical kilometers to the north. After enjoying the overwhelming views we decided to go for a hike towards Pico Ruivio. It must be noted that all major peaks are accessible from Pico do Arieiro.

    The path we took was excellently constructed. It's a wonderful hiking path with its ups and downs, from the beginning to the end. We learned that on a daily average only 1000 tourists do hike on it. It was quite a strenous walk, but we were justly rewarded with suburb views to all corners of the island. We passed the shoulder of Pico Moledo and this afforded an excellent view down the Ribeira Seca and the Penha de Aguia.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Pico do Arieiro - The road towards it.

    by Jerelis Updated Oct 29, 2006

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    Just above the clouds.
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    The Pico do Arieiro is with its altitude of 1818 meters the third highest peak on the island of Madeira. It can be reached easily by car and from here you can walk 10 extremely spectacular kilometers to Madeira's highest mountain, the 1862 meters high Pico Ruivo, that is ... if you're not afraid of heights!

    When we left by car towards Pico do Arieiro the weather was heavily clouded in Santo da Serra. With our car we drove through the clouds and later on we saw them below us, which gave a spectacular view! After a 40 minutes drive we reached the Pico do Arieiro car Posado with its car park, bar, restaurant and accomodation. It was about 9 o'clock in the morning and we only met a French couple.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Ponta de Sao Lourenco - Baia da Abra.

    by Jerelis Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Relinde overviewing the amazing landscape.
    1 more image

    The access to the Nature Reserve is free. However, amenities are minimal. Gravel parking lots, if they exist at all, are small. But after parking the car at the parking space we started our hike in front of Baia da Abra on the south coast. We walked our way to the north coast. The trail follows the coastline the entire time, with great views at the rocky formations below, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

    We thought that this preserve was a bit eccentric, because it looks like a dessert or sometimes a steppe and it definately has no levades like the rest of the island! The paths were small and let us along some fascinating rocky ledges. After going for a while we came to a point where we could descend down to the rocky coast. We spended quite some time here, marvelling at the fascinating rocky formations. After enjoying the sights from different angels we returned to the main trail.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Desert
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Levadas - Our hike was at the Poios Levadas.

    by Jerelis Updated Jan 6, 2007

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    Relinde hiking along a dried out levada.
    1 more image

    Another hike was at the Poios Levadas. This particular hike took us along some new levadas which transported the water to the terraces (poios). Later during this walk we heared water streaming like it was a river. Yes, indeed, you guessed it right...we found an old levada. It was quite a contrast. Besides the fact that we appreciated Madeira's myriad aqueducts for their beauty and ingenuity of design, we also loved all those magnificent views we had at the mountain rims.

    Walking the levadas is just great, some of them do provide easy and relaxing walks through beautiful countrysides. But do keep in mind that others are narrow and crumbling ledges where a slip could result in a serious injury (or evend eath). Our tip is to prepare yourself and collect updated information about the route you are planning to follow. And make sure about the total time you will be spending on that route, so that you will finish the hike before dark.

    Equipment: Have a look at Madeira Packing List.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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Madeira Island Sports & Outdoors

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