Boat excursions around Funchal's coast take place year-round and usually start from Funchal’s marina. Choose from a range of two- to four-hour charters to Cabo Girão or Ribeira Brava; whale-watching trips on a catamaran with Sea Born; desert-island cruises with Ventura and glass-bottom boat tours with Beluga Submarine; or cruises on a replica of Christopher Columbus's own galleon the pirate-esque Santa Maria. Costs range from €25 to €45 per person.
There are several companies that offer a different hiking tour through the mountains or along the levadas every day. Levels of difficulty vary, and some excursions include something extra, such as a peek at local weavers or a wine tasting in a hidden cave. Recommended companies include Madeira Explorers, Mountain Expedition (which also offers jeep safaris), and MB Travel. Travel agencies specializing in island tours abound in Funchal. Visits in buses or minivans usually include lunch and multilingual guides. Trips generally take in Cabo Girão, the inland peaks, Porto Moniz, and the village of Santana. One of the largest operators is Blandy Travel.
Beluga Submarine. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 912/525085; madeira-boat-trips.info/madeira-boats/madeira-glass-bottom-boat/.
Santa Maria de Colombo. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 291/220327; 291/225695; www.santamariadecolombo.com.
Sea Born. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 291/231312.
Ventura. Marina do Funchal, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-055. 291/280033; www.venturadomar.com.
Madeira Explorers. C.C. Monumental Lido, 1st fl., Shop 23, Funchal, Madeira, 9004-541. 291/763701; www.madeira-levada-walks.com.
MB Travel. Estrada Monumental 213, Funchal, Madeira, 9060-157. 291/700440; www.mb-travel.com.
Mountain Expedition. Estrada Ponta da Oliveira 48, Caniço, Madeira, 9125-034. 969/677679; www.madeiraexpedition.com.
Blandy Travel. Av. Zarco 2, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-069. 291/200620; www.blandytravel.com.