The 10 Best Things to Do in Santa Cruz, Portugal

August 5, 2017 Timmy Ribble

Discover the best top things to do in Santa Cruz, Portugal including Sao Salvador Church, Quinta do Riacho, Monte Cable Car, Mero Diving Center, Azul Diving Center, Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Aquaparque, Praia de Machico, Lokoloko - Mountain Bike & Outdoor Tours, Parque Ribeira Primeira.
Restaurants in Santa Cruz

1. Sao Salvador Church

Rua Irma Wilson 1, Santa Cruz, Madeira 9100-161, Portugal +351 291 524 145
Excellent
57%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 32 reviews

Sao Salvador Church

Reviewed By Lindagreenacre - York, United Kingdom

We visited on 16 January. The huge Nativity model was still in place in the area of the altar and there were many beautiful flower arrangements and decorations everywhere. The side altars are very ornate. It was a lovely peaceful atmosphere.

2. Quinta do Riacho

Caminho da Levada da Serra, Santo da Serra, Madeira 9100-251, Portugal +351 967 010 015
Excellent
91%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 466 reviews

Quinta do Riacho

Enjoy Madeira Island wonderful weather, breathtaking views and great trails on horseback. At Quinta do Riacho there's an equestrian activity for everyone. From calm trail riding to galloping through the Mountains.

Reviewed By rmdubois - Taunton, United Kingdom

A horse ride out from Quinta do Riacho in the Laurissilva, Madeira’s ancient forest hills, was one of the best experiences of our first visit to the island. We spent two weeks over Christmas/New Year 2017/18. My partner is a very experienced rider and in trying to find a ride for her we discovered there are relatively few horses on the island. Local stables seemed to have stopped offering rides over the holiday season but Paula and Paulo were keen and helpful. We found Quinta do Riacho easily, though they would have arranged pick-up from Funchal. There had been plenty of December rain up in the hills so the going was soft, making it dangerous to canter. But the ride was a very pleasant two hour walk, including some stunning woodland scenery alongside the levadas and tremendous vistas looking towards the coast. Paula runs a small operation with about 6 horses. She is an experienced horsewoman and they clearly care deeply for their horses - and dogs - all apparently ‘rescued’. She was considerate with the other rider, a beginner, on the morning ride and was eager to pass on very informative background and explanation of the island and its customs. We’d forgotten our camera and the photos she kindly forwarded when we returned to UK are wonderful souvenirs of a memorable and enjoyable morning. Our thanks to Paula. Quinta do Riacho is on our list for our next trip to Madeira.

3. Monte Cable Car

Avenida do Mar | Jardim do Almirante Reis, Funchal, Madeira 9000-900, Portugal +351 291 780 280
Excellent
54%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Monte Cable Car

Reviewed By Penny.M - England

We were staying in Madeira and purposely chose to do the cable car when there were no cruise ships in to avoid the queues. It is a good trip that provides great views over Funchal. It is probably one of the must dos in Madeira. No good if you are afraid of heights but we felt very safe. The cars run continuously and it is all very organised. We felt it was good value for money. You would not need to be on an organised trip to do this. Just walk to the entrance and pay, avoid paying the inflated cruise trip prices. It is a 10-15 minute walk on the flat Promenade from the cruise ship port in Funchal.

4. Mero Diving Center

Estrada do Garajau 9125, Canico, Madeira 9125-067, Portugal
Excellent
95%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 78 reviews

Mero Diving Center

Welcome will Madeira! Premier destination for the practice of DIP, Partial Nature Reserve Tern is your ex-libris. It is arguably the card Business par excellence of our seas and our natural beauty, providing an unforgettable diving experience. The dive center Mero Diving Center is located in the heart of this magnificent reserve and offers sea lovers the opportunity to visit this authentic sanctuary of marine life with ease and convenience.

Reviewed By wookiemum

My husband and I are holiday divers, with rescue certification. Our daughter (11) aquired her junior open water last year. We booked two dives with them, one being a night dive. On both dives our party of three was accompanied by three divers from the...MoreThank you so much

5. Azul Diving Center

Quinta do Lorde Marina Resort | Sítio da Piedade - Ponta São Lourenço, Canical, Madeira 9200-044, Portugal
Excellent
94%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 291 reviews

Azul Diving Center

Azul Diving Center Madeira is a top service SSI and PADI dive center located at Quinta do Lorde Resort - Hotel - Marina on beautiful Ponta Sao Lourenco,Madeira Island. Our focus is on custom-tailored dive and snorkel trips, individual training and small, fun groups of people! Enjoy a morning or afternoon dive in our stunning house reef, easy accessible from the beach or our jetty.

Reviewed By AlanCScotland - Scotland

Just had a fantastic kayaking experience with Pedro from Azul. As keen kayakers we spoke to them in advance of our trip, and they responded quickly. We got booked up, and then the trip was rescheduled due to weather conditions. They communicated well to ensure we got on the water. In the end we had a fantastic outing, the scenery and caves were amazing and Pedro was a very good guide and great guy to chat to. As strong paddlers we got a customized trip, which we really appreciated. Thoroughly recommend

6. Ponta de Sao Lourenco

Baia da Abra, Machico, Madeira, Portugal
Excellent
73%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Ponta de Sao Lourenco

Reviewed By Lesterbeach - Winnipeg, Canada

There is a large parking lot but no washrooms. The trailhead is easy to spot behind the sign. The walk is quite desolate. There are no trees but lots of wildflowers. We walked halfway to Esperito which is quite a climb. The stairs are good but there are hundreds of them. There are some gorgeous lookout points where you can see the sea on both sides. It was rainy in Funchal but beautiful blue skies here.

7. Aquaparque

Foz da Ribeira da Boaventura, Santa Cruz, Madeira 9100-115, Portugal +351 291 524 412
Excellent
39%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
5%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 99 reviews

Aquaparque

Reviewed By Emma R - Warrington, United Kingdom

We visited twice while staying at the Vila Gale hotel and received a 20% discount after showing our hotel room key.
Quite a small water park, but relatively inexpensive. Lazy river, toddler area, and a few larger slides and flumes.
Food and drinks available at reasonable prices.

8. Praia de Machico

Rua do Leiria, Machico, Madeira 9200-107, Portugal
Excellent
34%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 287 reviews

Praia de Machico

Reviewed By debdancing - Littlehampton, United Kingdom

The weather in Funchal was heavy cloud and heavy rain...so it was lovely to arrive at this pretty sandy beach in glorious Sunshine. It is a small bay just a couple of minutes walk away from the centre of Machico and quite self-contained, with wc and changing facilities, sun lounger hire and cafes just steps away.

9. Lokoloko - Mountain Bike & Outdoor Tours

Rua Robert Baden Powell | Canico de Baixo, Canico, Madeira 9125-036, Portugal
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 156 reviews

Lokoloko - Mountain Bike & Outdoor Tours

Enjoyable mountain bike tours, that starts on the top of the mountain and ends by sea level. A vivid trail ride that may vary between challenging up hills and adrenaline full down hills. With an experienced guide leading the way, we cycle along forest tracks and water filled Levadas. A great opportunity to contemplate Madeira’s rural landscapes.

Reviewed By JMio - UK

Superb two days guided mountain biking tours with our guide Sergio.
Everything was spot on, beginning with the great, well-specced & well maintained bikes (150mm Radon Slides, full XT and Reverb dropper posts - they even swapped the brakes over for us awkward Brits & spent time setting up the suspension on each bike), a brilliant guide and the most amazing trails.
From the minute we were picked up from our hotel it felt like we'd known and been riding with these guys for years - genuinely warm, super friendly and a great local's knowledge of all the trails on the island.
Highly recommended, I cannot think of any reason why I wouldn't recommend booking with LokoLoko - do it!

10. Parque Ribeira Primeira

Caminho Levada da Serra | Lombo das Raizes, Santo da Serra, Madeira 9200-155, Portugal +351 925 421 923
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 38 reviews

Parque Ribeira Primeira

CARE FOR NATURE; NATURE WILL CARE FOR YOU The “Parque Ribeira Primeira” (First Creek Park) main objective is to offer a close contact with Nature. Besides fishing Rainbow Trout and tasting your catch grilled on site, it is also possible to know their life cycle and understand how they live and reproduce. The entire Park is design and thought to be as Nature wisely is and allows, working with Nature, respecting Life and the Natural succession of seasons, with a constant and beautiful change in the landscape. The open air barbecue area is not a restaurant but a place where friends can gather to taste the freshest fish in Madeira. Everything is cooked with wood and in front of everybody. We can offer you: - Normal visit or Guided visit (30 to 45 minute walk “All about Nature and how we are also part of it” - minimum 8 people) - Trout fishing (we have all that is needed) - Explanation about all the lies fisherman truly say - Explanation about what is really fresh fish - Barbecue meals (your fresh trout or traditional “Espetada (beef) on a fresh laurel stick - Sandwiches, toasts, coffee, tea, scones and home made cakes - Special events on request. You can also experience a Levada Walk along the Levada da Serra do Faial (10 minutes walk from the Park) while we prepare your meal. Please come and visit us. This a magical place where children act as children and adults become children.

Reviewed By chris g - Exeter, United Kingdom

I booked a 4x4 landrover type off road safari into the hills of eastern Madeira island. we were not told that our lunch stop was to be a fantastic trout farm created cleverly and lovingly by mr Paulo Rodrigues in a beautiful valley. what a bonus treat and surprise this was, we were given rods and bait to catch our own lunch although non fish eaters also enjoy a delicious meat feast. the owner takes you on a really interesting tour of the farm explaining the eco and breeding systems which both use and protect the natural resources in this almost jungle habitat. he demonstrates the arts of gutting and cooking perfectly reared and totally fresh fish. our lunch was amazing and extremely generous. everyone in the party agreed that this visit had provided the best possible excursion which is highly educational and fun, particularly for children. if you get the chance you must do this adventure which includes spectacular mountain scenery and exciting roads and tracks. a big hit and real value for money. worth booking the farm alone and going by taxi for lunch if you don't take the day long safari. top marks and memorable.

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