There are two basic outdoor activities which the Madeira Islands are known for; swimming and hiking.  However, this sounds much simpler and more leisurely than it is.  Travelers can easily enjoy a relaxed vacation swimming in the beach waters and walking around the local area, but outdoor enthusiasts can also find a much more adventurous set of activities in the form of Walking & Trekking.

For one thing, hiking in this area does not have to be slow and simple.  There are numerous mountain peaks in the region which offer excellent climbing and steeper hiking routes for those who want to get active.  Two of the most well-hiked areas are Pico Ariero and Pico Ruivo.  These two peaks offer views of the surrounding area as well as places for camping and climbing.  Other hiking trails include the Levada trail and the 25 Fontes and Cascada da Risco trail.  See http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction... for more information.

Travelers who are interested in a short hike with a nice treat at the end should make their way to the Caldeirao Verde trail.  The rail itself goes through several tunnels in the mountains and then ends at the beautiful sight of a large waterfall.  More information is available at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction....