The waterfalls, springs and hiking trails at Rabaçal are an easy-going highlight of Madeira's outdoor world. You can spend all day cooling off in the cascades and pools, inspecting the ferns and counting the 25 Fontes (25 waterfalls). Trips leave daily from Funchal – there's no public transport. A new abrigo (mountain guesthouse) means you can now stay the night here, though it only has a handful of beds. The waterfalls are 60km northwest of Funchal, off the ER105.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madeira attractions

1. Engenhos da Calheta

3.89 MILES

Calheta's old sugar refinery building starts as a half-hearted 'museum' and ends as a shop where you can buy the bolo de mel (molasses cake), molasses,…

2. Mudas Museu

4.01 MILES

Housed in an almost Minecraft-like building high above Calheta, this contemporary arts space has a gallery, shop, cafe, auditorium and workshop area. The…

3. Praia da Calheta

4.04 MILES

Two well-protected artificial beaches (created with sand from western Sahara) face each other off on Calheta's seafront, one of the sunniest places on the…

4. Bica da Cana

4.32 MILES

High above the central valley at the eastern end of the Paúl da Serra plateau is a place called Bica da Cana. Apart from serving as a picnic spot for…

5. Madalena do Mar

4.36 MILES

Wedged into the mouth of an impossibly deep creek, tiny Madalena do Mar has a long stony beach and a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere that feels a long way…

6. Seixal Beach


Seixal's black-sand beach can be accessed through an arch in the rock. It receives fewer visitors than beaches on the south coast, but check the weather…

7. North Coast Road

4.76 MILES

Road number 101 once struck fear into the heart of every Madeiran driver until it was retired to Room 101 by the modern VE2. The old route was the island…

8. Grutas e Centro do Vulcanismo

5.73 MILES

Top billing on Madeira's north coast goes to this two-for-one attraction just south of São Vicente. The first part of the experience is a guided tour of…