We finally decided to go canyoning in Madeira! It only took us 3 months of being on the island to finally try canyoning. If we would’ve known how fun it would be we totally would’ve done it sooner.

We’ve always known that Madeira is famous for canyoning and it’s a popular place to try it. The first time we actually saw someone canyoning was back in 2022 when we were doing a Madeira West Coast tour and saw people repelling from a massive waterfall on the north coast of Madeira. 

Safe to say we didn’t do that one but instead we went with the total beginner one to get a feel for what it’s like. It was so much fun but we’ll get more into our specific Madeira canyoning experience further down this post. 

In this post, we cover what it’s like canyoning in Madeira, the different levels you can do, and the tour company we went with and recommend. Hopefully, it will give you a bit of an idea of which level to book and teach you a bit more about canyoning on the island.

Madeira is an adventurous island so along with all the hikes in Madeira, dolphin tours, and beach days, a nice adventure-filled day of canyoning is a fun activity to add.

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What to expect when canyoning in Madeira

After some of the famous hiking trails (such as Pico do Arieiro, Levada das 25 Fontes, and Ponta de Sao Lourenço) then canyoning is one of the most popular activities to do on the island. There are a few main companies that run canyoning tours in Madeira and the one we went with was Epic Madeira. 

We got the recommendation from a local who works in tourism on the island. She told us about the company and the group of guys that run it and how great they were. She couldn’t have been more right.

Epic Madeira offers a variety of different canyoning experiences. As we mentioned, level 1 was perfect for our first time canyoning in years. And even though it was a little relaxed it was a good way to ease back into it. We recommend level 1 for anyone who is trying canyoning for the first time or anyone who is slightly afraid of heights.

Fun fact: Epic Madeira is the number one canyoning company in the world (with the most 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor) as well as the #1 tour in Funchal.

There are quite a few circuits for each level around the island. The tour companies work together and go to specific locations depending on the weather and which level you decide on. That’s the beauty of canyoning in Madeira because it’s for pretty much everyone with a love for adventure.

People trying it for the first time can enjoy a fun day doing level 1 canyoning. An advanced canyoner can challenge themselves by joining a level 3 tour. Everyone has the opportunity to experience a bit of an adrenaline rush on this island!

Related: 8 Unique Tours in Madeira You Must Try

Picking the right canyoning level in Madeira

So even though our Madeira canyoning experience was at the beginner level (level 1) we do want to talk about the different levels and explain each one to give you the best idea of which option is best for you.

During our level 1 canyoning experience we talked to the two guides a little bit to learn about the different levels and get a feel for each one. 

There are 3 main canyoning levels in Madeira which are beginner, intermediate, and advanced – or levels 1, 2, and 3. There are multiple companies that offer all three of these levels.

If you’re an expert canyoner there is also the opportunity to do private tours with experienced guides if you’re looking for a very unique adventure on the island. In that case, you can even go with level 4 and level 5 which are quite extreme but great fun if you’re experienced!

Let’s break down the first 3 levels…

Level 1 Canyoning in Madeira (beginner) 

Price: €70
Rating: 4.9/5
Duration: 4.5 hours
Book level 1 canyoning here

Level 1 is the level we decided to go for since we’re canyoning amateurs. After completing level 1 we agreed that somewhere between level 1 and 2 is probably the sweet spot for us. We like a bit of adventure and adrenaline but we do like to stay on the safe side.

Canyoning in Madeira (especially level 1) offers a nice variety of abseiling, rappelling, jumping into pools of water, sliding down, and walking. It really was a nice balance of it all and the tour gives you a good taste of what canyoning is all about.

Even in the sections that seem a little intimidating, the guides are always there to help and assist you. They always made us feel super comfortable and they were happy to help assist us when needed.

We really recommend starting at level 1 if it’s your first time canyoning. If you find it too easy you can always go for a second round and try level 2 in Madeira as well!

Level 2 Canyoning in Madeira (intermediate)


Price: €80
Rating: 5/5
Duration: 4 hours
Book level 2 canyoning here

Level 2 canyoning in Madeira is perfect for someone who’s tried it a few times and is up for a bit of an adventure. It’s quite similar to level 1 but with a few more challenges. There are a few more jumps (with the highest one being 4 meters or so), and the abseils and rappels are just a bit longer and bigger.

If you’re not scared of heights and love a good adventure you’re definitely in for a treat. Again, the guides are always there to assist you and keep you safe. From what the guides told us during our canyoning experience it sounds like the next time we go we could do level 2 with no problem. 

Level 2 is, of course, slightly more challenging than level 1 but it’s still a very comfortable level for someone wanting to get a bit of a rush and have some fun.

Because the landscape and the area where the canyoning takes place are absolutely stunning we’re sure you’ll have a great time canyoning in Madeira whether you pick level 1 or 2. All the different waterfalls and streams you’ll come across are amazing as well.

If you end up going with level 2 just prepare yourself for a bit of height and excitement and you will have the best time!

Lever 3 Canyoning in Madeira (advanced)


Price: €150
Rating: 5/5
Duration: 5 hours
Book level 3 canyoning here

Now for the crazy adventure! Level 3 is the advanced level when it comes to canyoning on the island. The guides told us this level is really for people who are experienced canyoners and not afraid of heights. 

If this is you and you’re looking for probably the most adrenaline-friendly activity in Madeira you can do (besides hiring a private canyoning guide) then this is it.

On this advanced canyoning tour, you will repel down some crazy waterfalls and jump into pools from high heights! There’s not much to say besides be ready to have an amazing time and know what you’re getting yourself into. 

Of course, if you know what you’re doing then it should just be another fun day of canyoning. Madeira is a great place to do it since it’s quite famous for all its amazing canyoning trails deep in the forests up in the mountains!

Our experience canyoning in Madeira

We spoke with a local friend in Madeira about canyoning and it was something we never tried before. We’ve known for a while you can go canyoning in Madeira but with all the different hikes it didn’t really cross our minds to try it. 

But then we did it! We ended up doing level 1 and it was probably the perfect starting point to canyoning for us. Especially since we haven’t really done it before (Jo tried it once but didn’t get the full experience).

We got picked up by the Cristiano Ronaldo Museum in downtown Funchal and made our way up into the Madeiran mountains somewhere in the middle of the island. We don’t know exactly where but it was somewhere deep in the mountains, haha.

Once you get your gear on at the parking lot there’s about a 20-minute walk to the starting point where the guides will explain all the safety procedures and tips to know before you start. 

Dom rappelling from the tallest waterfall in level 1 (7 meters)

To be honest, level 1 was great because there were a few repels and abseils that give you a little bit of an adrenaline rush but they weren’t that intimidating. Once you do the first one you really get a feel for it and become comfortable with the guides, the gear, and the water quite quickly. 

The guides at Epic (and assuming most other companies) are super helpful and guide you through the steps to make you feel comfortable. Our guides were awesome and actually made the trip really fun. 

As you go down the river you will abseil, jump, and rappel down the waterfalls and it’s a whole lot of fun! We really enjoyed it and it was super cool being in this forested part of Madeira in the middle of nowhere.

It’s a whole lot different than hiking around the island and a really fun adventurous activity to do in Madeira! 

Level 1 was awesome but now that we’ve done it once we will definitely try level 2 next time. In our opinion, it was good to start with level 1 for the first time and then make way for level 2 after getting this bit of experience.

Other related questions to canyoning in Madeira

Where do canyoning tours start in Madeira? 

Most of the canyoning tours start in Funchal and usually the pickup is at the Cristiano Ronaldo Museum. Some of the tour companies will even pick you up at your accommodation/hotel. From Funchal most of the canyoning trails are around a 30-50 minute drive from Funchal to the starting point of the tours.

Is there beginner canyoning in Madeira?

Madeira is a popular spot to go canyoning and there are quite a few beginner tours on the island that are perfect for families with kids or people trying out canyoning for the first time.

This was our first time canyoning on Madeira and the beginner level was perfect for us. Next time we will definitely try the intermediate though!

Is canyoning in Madeira dangerous?

If you go on a guided tour then the canyoning in Madeira shouldn’t be dangerous. Guides will always make safety the main priority. As long as you do a level you are comfortable with then the canyoning shouldn’t be dangerous at all.

The tour companies on the island are professional and take care of the canyoning routes to make sure the safety protocols are always followed.

What’s the best tour company for canyoning in Madeira?

There are quite a few good tour companies for canyoning around Madeira such as Epic Madeira, Fast Rope Madeira, and Adventure Kingdom. We’ve only ever gone with Epic Madeira because it was a recommendation from a local and they were excellent! (This is the tour we did).

Can I go canyoning with my kids in Madeira?

Yes, you can go canyoning with kids in Madeira. Level 1 is a great starting point for kids to try canyoning for the first time. It still brings a lot of excitement and adrenaline for adults and a lot of fun for kids to try for the first time. The guides are a lot of help and make for a fun canyoning trip!

If you have specific questions about canyoning with your kids, we suggest reaching out to the tour company you’re considering going with.

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Recap of our first-time canyoning in Madeira (Level 1)

That’s a wrap on our experience canyoning for the first time in Madeira. Hopefully, it’ll give you a bit of an idea of what it’s like canyoning here and also help guide you to the right level and tour to book. 

We really enjoyed the canyoning experience and Madeira isn’t only an amazing place to go hiking but also canyoning. We hope you make the most of your time on Madeira and get a chance to go canyoning. 

If you have any questions about the levels, canyoning, or things to do on Madeira then feel free to reach out. You can leave a comment below or DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadvenutes.

We look forward to hearing about your experience and trip to the island! 

Have the best time and an amazing adventure!

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  1. Shammy Peterson on July 28, 2023 at 3:38 am

    My favorite part of your blog is when you said that your safety is going to be the main priority when you go on a guided canyoning tour. My sister and her husband will find this tip helpful because they are interested in canyoneering tours next month. It will be their first time going on a tour like this, so it will make sense for them to follow your tips.

    • redwhiteadventures on July 28, 2023 at 10:02 pm

      Hey Shammy,

      That’s awesome to hear. The team at Epic truly takes care of you and it’s a super unique and fun experience!


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