I‘ve always wanted to go to Madeira. It‘s a paradise for hikers, so I planned to wait till our kids are older. However, I came across pretty cheap flight tickets and I just had to buy them. I said to myself that we will make it somehow. Well, we haven‘t visited all the places we wanted and our hikes can be barely called hikes, but the days we spent there were amazing. In this article, I will write about the places we visited and how it went with our children (we have two sons – 5 months old and 2 years old)…
Place: Portugal – Madeira
Length of stay: 10 days
The date we were there: 27.1. – 6.2. 2023
Transport: by plane from Prague
Accommodation: in an apartment from Airbnb, the town of Machico
Price: about 1700 euro, in total for two adults, 2 years old child and 5 months old child (flight tickets 760€ + accommodation 550€ + car and gas 380€)
Visited places: Machico town, Pico do Facho hill, Ponta de São Lourenço peninsula, Praia de Prainha beach, Pico do Arieiro hill, magical forest in Fanal, Porto Moniz town, Ribeira da Janela rock, Calheta town, waterfall in Rabacal, Cristo Rei statue, Dos Anjos waterfall, a viewpoint of Machico, the airport in Santa Cruz
We had accommodation in this town. It was an ideal place for us. There is a beautiful sandy beach (it‘s not very common in Madeira), a nice playground for kids, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies,… just all you could need.
PICO DO FACHO
Our first trip. From the beach in Machico, we saw a hill nearby and we wanted to hike it. That was a blast! Breathtaking views of the town, of the ocean and later of Ponta de São Lourenço peninsula. We met several goats and a fantastic butterfly (the monarch butterfly). Our two years old son went almost all the way by his foot (I still don‘t understand how that was possible, probably a miracle). The younger one was sleeping in a baby carrier on my belly, not crying at all. On the top of the hill, there was a food truck with popsicles. And also a lot of cats.
There is a map of our way ↓
PONTA DE SãO LOURENçO
We only visited two viewpoints. It would be great to go for a trek here, walk the peninsula, but we didn‘t want to torture our kids very much. It was very windy and not much interesting for the boys, the older one even told us that the place sucks. For that reason, we decided to go to a beach instead.
PRAIA DE PRAINHA
Wonderful beach, again, one of the few sandy ones in Madeira. When we arrived, nobody was there. The place was great for swimming, even though the water was a bit cold. You must take a short walk from the parking place (check the map below), but it‘s nothing unpleasant.
A map of the way from the car to the beach ↓
PICO DO ARIEIRO
This is Madeira‘s typical “must-see” place, recommended everywhere. With the kids, we didn‘t go very far (the map is below). Even this walk was pretty hard, but nothing we couldn‘t handle. Both of our sons were almost all the time carried by us, otherwise, it wouldn‘t be safe. If you want to go there, be careful about the weather. Even though it was warm by the sea, here it was freezing. When we went there for the first time, the weather was terrible. We wanted to go for the walk anyway, but the kids didn‘t want to go at all. We came back a few days later, when the weather was better, and they were much happier.
Our way ↓
Totally divine magical forest. There are lots of cows and weird trees. It looks the best in foggy weather. When we arrived at this place, there was no fog at all, but we spent two hours at this place and the fog came several times. The weather is changing really quickly here. Our children didn‘t have much fun here, but I liked it a lot and I can definitely imagine spending much more time at such a mysterious place.
In this town, we had a truly good time. There are natural swimming pools (ones are for free and the other ones are paid). A big nice playground is there, many restaurants. Aquarium, which our son loved – they have real sharks here (the best experience ever :D).
RIBEIRA DA JANELA
Near Porto Moniz there is Ribeira da Janela. There are rocks in the ocean – very nice. Also, this town has got a campsite. Initially, we planned to spend some nights here, however, in the end we canceled it. I didn‘t feel very good about doing this with such small children. Nevertheless, the camp looked great. Not overcrowded at all, but it could be caused by the season we were there. If you want to take a look at more info related to camping in Madeira – check out this site.
Calheta is also a nice town, where you can find almost everything. Again – a big nice playground is there 😀 Actually, that one was probably the best I‘ve seen in Madeira. It has a part made especially for little toddlers. And it has a swing for the wheelchaired (I‘ve never seen anything like it before, it‘s nice).
From Calheta, we went for a hike to Rabaçal. The younger son was sleeping in my baby carrier again, he was fine, but I don‘t really recommend this trip for families with such small kids. There were a lot of stairs and sometimes it was a bit slippery, I found it quite dangerous. The older son was carried as well and he didn‘t enjoy the place very much, so I wouldn‘t be taking them there again.
Our way ↓
CRISTO REI STATUE
DOS ANJOS WATERFALL
A VIEWPOINT OF MACHICO
THE AIRPORT IN MADEIRA (PLANESPOTTING)
Just a few more words about driving and the weather…
The condition of all the roads we saw was good (the roads were not damaged, there was enough space for two cars). Sometimes we saw huge pieces of rocks fallen on the road but luckily none of them hit us :D. From time to time, we encountered sheep, goats, or cows.
We were there in January and February. I don‘t know what‘s the weather like during other months, but in these days, it was a bit windy and often rainy. The sea temperature was pretty low, we were swimming several times, but it wasn‘t very pleasant. Most of the time, we wore jackets.
Well, that‘s all from me. I hope this article was useful for you and in case there is something else you‘d like to know, just ask in the comments. Or share your own experience here, I will be glad for any contribution 🙂