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Three Experiences you have to Include on your Holiday to Madeira

The beautiful island of Madeira, located just off the coast of North Africa, is the birthplace of football ace Cristiano Ronaldo, and is the perfect destination for anyone who enjoys tropical paradise and stunning views. The best part is that you can enjoy the wonders of this island all year round, from ringing in the New Year with the local fireworks displays to relaxing to the soothing Jazz of the island’s July festival. So whether you go in January or August, the temperature is always balmy, and the sun is always bright.

There are also loads of unique experiences to be had on the island. To help you plan your perfect Madeira itinerary, here are our top three.

Ponta de São Lourenço

To the far east of Madeira, you will find a stunning nature reserve that’s not to be missed. Dotted with immense volcanic rocks streaked with red and orange hues, Ponta de São Lourenço has some breathtaking views.

If you love hiking, it’s one of the best places to explore on the island. But, even if the outdoors isn’t usually your thing, you should still go. It’s an experience like no other, with sweeping Atlantic vistas and a chance for selfies in a simultaneously beautiful and vaguely apocalyptic spot.

End-of-the-earth rocks aside, this spot’s unique soil and climate mean the whole area is peppered with stunning and unusual flowering plants, including everlastings and cardoons.

Although there is one resort in the area – Quinta do Lorde – there are no other signs of humanity save the odd picnic table. It’s breathtaking, and every bend brings a new surprise.

Pico Ruivo

Up for a challenge? The highest peak on Madeira can be found at Pico Ruivo, which stands at an impressive 1,862m. As long as you pack the right shoes and get good weather, it’s not only walkable, it’s also a charming adventure.

The sure-footed higher can start at Pico do Arieiro and embark on a journey of about six hours. This will give you the whole Pico Ruivo experience and the best scenery, but there are more manageable paths you can take ( try Achada do Teixeira).

While the views along the way are remarkable, words can’t quite do justice to what awaits you at Pico Ruivo’s summit. You’ll find the mountainous and rocky landscape coated in delicate mosses, heather and fern, while lizards and birdlife abound.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Head to Monte via the cable car, and the first thing you will see as you leave the terminal is the entranceway to the exquisite gardens of Monte Palace. Surrounding what used to be the Monte Palace Hotel, the garden covers terraced slopes created in a Rhenish Revival style early in the 20th century.

If you’re a fan of botanical gardens, this is the perfect spot to visit, filled with herb beds, medicinal plants, cacti, and an eclectic array of local South African cycads and laurel forests, European azaleas, and Scottish heather.

Enjoy a rest in the Japanese garden and take in the atmospheric pond and pagoda, complete with koi carp. And for the history buffs, you’ll find 166 titles depicting the tale of the Portuguese in Japan.