You may not know this, but Dom and I are super last-minute packers. It’s a bad habit, I know… So one thing that always comes in handy for us is having a packing list ready so that when we finally do get around to packing our bags, we know exactly what to bring!

It’s easy to forget an iPhone charger or your sunscreen, so why not have a packing list to make sure that doesn’t happen?

It’s just kind of annoying having to buy stuff that you’ve forgotten as soon as you get there – especially if it’s something you already have at home (even though sometimes we’re guilty of this).

A packing list doesn’t only help you not forget anything, it also speeds up the packing process.

Hopefully, this packing list for Madeira makes your life a whole lot easier and saves you the hassle of trying to think of what to bring.

Before you know it you’ll be out hiking along the Dragons Tail (Ponta Sao Lourenço) or exploring the famous Fanal Forest!

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What to pack for Madeira

In this post, you can find a list of all the items we brought ourselves on our 2-month-long trip to Madeira.

This packing list contains all the standard things that every traveller needs while visiting Madeira and also accessories that are nice to have for hiking, exploring, and if you have to work remotely while you’re travelling.

Download the list here so you can print it out and check off the items as you pack for your trip!

#1 LifeStraw Water Bottle

If you haven’t heard about LifeStraw water bottles before, they will change how you drink water forever. Okay, maybe not forever, but it definitely makes it easier and better to drink water from literally everywhere.

LifeStraw water bottles are different from regular water bottles because they come with a built-in filter that makes any water drinkable.

On top of that, they are eco-friendly and so handy. Even though it might seem like it’s just a nice accessory to have we definitely recommend buying one to bring along wherever you go.

The bottles aren’t too expensive and the cost of buying plastic water bottles adds up in no time. Plus plastic water bottles are crap for the environment as we all know.

It’s nice to know that wherever you go you can reuse your Lifestraw and know that your water is drinkable while you’re being good to the environment. Although the Madeiran tap water is drinkable, we like to filter it as we don’t know how good the quality of the water is! We’ve had our LifeStraws for a few years now and absolutely love them.

#2 Reef Safe Sunscreen

Sun Bum on REI | Sun Bum on Amazon

Reef-safe sunscreen is a win-win for everyone! It’s better for your body and better for the oceans, so why not?

We love Sun Bun since it is eco and reef-friendly. At the end of the day if everyone can do the little things it adds up. Especially if we want these beautiful places to last longer.

Since it is reef and eco-friendly Sun Bum is a little more high-end than the standard sunscreen brands but it’s totally worth it. The smell of coconut is also a lot nicer than the not-so-nice smell from the majority of regular sunscreen brands that are also crap for the environment.

So why not do our part and buy some eco-friendly sunscreen?

We got SunBum for our trip to Madeira and the smell of coconut is so good – and knowing this sunscreen is better for the environment makes it a win-win!

#3 Sunglasses

One thing we’d highly recommend is bringing a cheap pair of sunglasses on your trip. You can get replicas of your favourite brands online before you go.

Then you won’t have that stress of damaging your nice pair while you’re at the beach or forgetting them while you’re hiking along a Levada somewhere in Madeira.

So make your life easy and buy a cheap pair (that can still last a long time) before you go! =)

#4 Cordless Headphones

We’ve both had cordless headphones for the past two years and they make a world of a difference. It might seem like a bit of a luxury but they’re so nice to have, especially while you’re travelling!

If you’re lying at the beach listening to an audiobook, a podcast, or music you won’t have to worry about having your phone out in the sun overheating since you can put it in your day bag and not be annoyed about the cords dangling everywhere.

Since cordless headphones have been around for a while now they’re not nearly as expensive as they used to be. We use the 2nd generation AirPods but there are lots of other great brands out there.

#5 Waterproof Phone Case

Not everyone has an underwater camera, and nowadays phone cameras are so good, so why not just use yours underwater?

A waterproof phone case is a nice little accessory to have and to add to your packing list for Madeira.

If you plan to try and get some clips while you’re swimming with dolphins, surfing in Seixal, or enjoying some of the beautiful beaches in Madeira a waterproof phone case is a good idea.

And it’s definitely a much cheaper alternative than buying an underwater camera. There are tons of universal waterproof phone cases so you can just pick and choose which one you like best.

Even if you’re just out kayaking or on a boat it’s a nice little safety feature having an underwater case.

You know, just in case you’re out of luck and your phone falls into the water. A waterproof case is that extra layer of protection that is nice to have.

#6 Universal Adapter

If you travel often then this has probably saved you so many times. Madeira has the same outlets as the majority of Europe, so if you’re from Europe you won’t have a problem but if you’re like me (Dom) from Canada then you’ll need an adapter.

We recommend getting a universal adapter because then no matter where you go, you can use it. Jo used to have 6 different adapters, and it just takes up a lot of space and things get lost.

Now I have a universal one and I love it. This one specifically also has room for you to insert a USB cord so you can charge both your phone and laptop or camera or whatever at the same time! So easy 🙂

Just a small little gadget but it does so much. It’s one little thing we go nowhere without. If you’re working remotely and need to charge stuff all the time like us then you’ll be very glad you bought one!

#7 Power Bank

If you’re planning on doing some day trips and spending a lot of time outdoors it’s nice to have a power bank in case your phone battery gets low or you need to recharge your phone or camera. We usually always bring one with us hiking.

Also, in Madeira, you can pay with cash for the buses but if you need to book an Uber or a Bolt you’ll need your phone.

I think we can all agree that it’s comforting to have a power bank with you in case you need it for your phone or any other gadgets.

#8 Quick Dry Towel

No matter where you go it’s nice to pack light and not have to bring too much. Especially if you’re not planning on bringing luggage and only have a carry-on, then a quick dry towel can come in very handy.

It takes up almost no space and is very useful.

If you go visit some of the beaches along the coast and only bring a day bag, we usually bring a quick dry towel. It fits comfortably in a little backpack and doesn’t take up to much room so you can fit more than just a towel in your bag.

Examples of when a quick dry towel will come in handy are if you’re visiting one of the many beautiful beaches in Madeira, if you’re doing a workout with Madeira Fitness Friends in Funchal, or if you go surfing at one of the awesome surf spots on the northern part of the island.

#9 Dry Bag

It’s perfect if you’re like us and love going on fun adventures while you’re travelling where you may end up getting wet.

We’ve been there before and luckily have had our day bag which ended up saving all our gadgets from getting water damage.

The dry bag is always a blessing when we go on boat tours and kayak tours! It folds up so nicely too that it takes up next to no space.

#10 Hiking Shoes

On almost every hike we did in Madeira (you can check out our favourite hikes in Madeira here) we wore our hiking shoes.

There are some hikes where you would be fine with trail shoes such as a lot of Levada walks but even on Levada do Furado hike we ended up having to do a small water crossing and we were so glad we actually wore our hiking shoes.

So if you have room for it, bring a pair of hiking shoes for the trip to make it easier on your feet while hiking in Madeira.

Pro tip: Wear your hiking shoes while flying to save space + weight in your luggage.

Madeira Packing List: Important items

Important travel items

  • Passport
  • Journal 
  • Travel insurance (read about our recommended travel insurance here)
  • International driver’s license (if you’re driving around Madeira)
  • Visa or debit card (if you rent a car, you’ll likely need a credit card)
  • Euros (get the money from your bank before you go since it’s cheaper)
  • Phone, camera, gadgets, and chargers for all your electronics 

Clothing & footwear

  • Underwear
  • Sport and dress socks
  • A few pairs of shorts (running and casual)
  • Casual, dress, and sports shirts (a few of each)
  • 1-2 pairs of pants 
  • Pair of sandals
  • Pair of sneakers
  • Hiking shoes like we mentioned (if you have room)
  • Definitely a few bathing suits
  • 1 sweater

November to March is a little chillier in Madeira (although still very warm for Europe) so bring at least one extra layer of clothes if you go during one of those months!

Other things to bring

  • Day bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Body lotions
  • Other toiletries

With all of these items listed above, we’ve made a full Madeira packing list for you – ready to print and use while you’re packing! Fill out the form here and get it straight to your inbox!

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Other related questions to Madeira packing list

Do I need water shoes in Madeira?

Many of the beaches around Madeira are rock beaches with rock bottoms in the ocean so water shoes are recommended in Madeira.

To experience beautiful golden sand beaches it’s worth taking the ferry and making a day trip to the island of Porto Santo.

Do I need walking boots in Madeira?

Even though many of the levada walks and hiking trails in Madeira are well maintained with great trails walking boots are still recommended for hiking in Madeira.

You’ll still find the odd rock or root on the trail and having proper walking boots adds that extra bit of safety for your feet as you hike around the island.

What to wear in Madeira?

Madeira is a very casual island that stays warm for most months of the year. Plan to wear casual clothes in the city and bring some warmer clothes if you plan to hike up in the mountains around the island.

Shorts and t-shirts can be worn for most months in Madeira and then of course evenings jeans and light jackets are nice to have to keep you warm.

What is the best month to go to Madeira?

If you are looking for good weather, beautiful scenery, and a less busy time to visit Madeira than April or May.

During the months of April and May the flowers around Madeira are blooming, the weather is warm and sunny, and the hiking trails aren’t overcrowded.

Recap of your Madeira packing list

Jo walking along one of Madeira's most beauitful coastlines.

This works as a packing list for Madeira and anywhere else that consists of sunny weather, beaches, and the ocean!

The whole process of planning a trip and being organised is making a list beforehand to make sure you’re not forgetting anything along the way. It also makes it easier to check things off as you go. Especially if you’re doing things last minute like us! 😉

Creating a checklist for Madeira made it super easy to remember everything for us and it saves us a lot of stress.

We hope this will help make your packing easier! Maybe you can start with the things you have to bring and if you have some extra room you can maybe bring a few extra items.

Whether you’re going to Funchal, Ponta do Sol, or somewhere else on the island, we hope you have a great time! We are thrilled to explore this awesome country and share some of the best adventures, hikes, and our lifestyle as digital nomads in Madeira with you.

We love this island and hope you will too!

Enjoy your time exploring Madeira! And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we will get right back to you 🙂

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