Boat excursions around Funchal's coast take place year-round and usually start from the docks at Marina do Funchal. Several tour companies that offer hikes through the mountains or along the levadas.

Boat Tours

Beluga Submarine. Featuring the only glass-bottom boat in Madeira, this trip is great for anyone looking to peek below the surface. Watch fish like bream, grouper, and rays swim in the clear water as you stay dry in the hull of the vessle. Boat trips depart twice daily and generally last around two and a half hours.. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 912 525 085;

Santa Maria de Colombo. Fun but touristy, this tall-masted galleon based on one of Christopher Columbus' three ships has gorgeous woodwork and enormous red-and-white sails. The three-hour tours depart twice a day. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 291 220 327;

Sea Born. This leisurely catamaran glides along the southern coast in the summer, when you can jump into the water for a swim. Dolphin and whale sightings are possible, especially from April to October. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 291 635 505 ;

Ventura. If you're hoping to see Madeira's impressive cetaceans—of which there are over 29 different species, including bottlenose dolphins, fin whales, and minke whales—then Ventura's Whale and Dolphin Watching tour is the one to pick. Tours depart twice daily. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 2911 280 033;

Hiking Tours

Madeira Explorers. Using qualified local guides, Madeira Explorers offer some of the best hikes around the island. Bookings can be made at their location on the main boulevard. C.C. Monumental Lido, 1st fl., Shop 23, Funchal, Madeira, 9004-541. 291 763 701;

MB Travel. This outfitter offers a range of tours, from hikes along the island's famous irrigation canals to day trips to destinations like Porto Moniz. Book online or in their Funchal location. Estrada Monumental 213, Funchal, Madeira, 9060-157. 291 700 440;

Island Tours

Green Devil. These four-wheel-drive tours take you all around the island, spotting at various points of interest en route. Make bookings online or in the downtown location. Estrada Comandante, Camacho de Freitas, Funchal, Madeira, 9020-149 . 919 748 735; €45.

Wine Tours Madeira. Every Wednesday morning, Wine Tours Madeira can take you on an eight-hour tour of Madeira's verdant vineyards and wineries, showcasing the island's 500-year wine growing history. The cost includes lunch and wine tastings. 291 098 485; €130.

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