Perhaps more than any other pursuit, it’s cycling that demonstrates the changing face of tourism on Madeira.


Madeira’s year-round warmth is a strong draw for cyclists of all flavours. For mountain bikers, the island’s seemingly endless network of enduro trails are attracting more bikers each year, with many pro-riders citing Madeira as their winter training ground of choice.

CyclingThe island has a bit of everything – rolling XC trails which make the most of the spectacular ocean views, technical enduro trails which challenge even the most accomplished riders, and rooty downhills where you can fly your bike through forests of Japanese Cedar.


Uplifts by minibus and trailer were all the rage, cutting out the lengthy climbs and maximising time on descents. E-bikes are slowly superseding uplifts – a more sustainable approach, allowing riders to enjoy the climbs which link the best of the island’s trails.

No such change for road cyclists – the steep gradients and difficult ascents are some of the most-challenging in Europe, and that’s often their appeal. Madeira’s network of Via Rapida dual carriageways and modern bypasses has helped to move a big portion of the road traffic away from the smaller coastal roads and high mountain passes, and the mild weather means the tarmac doesn’t suffer the same cold weather damage we see here at home.

Cycling Whether you’re thinking of a full week of cycling or a day tour as part of your holiday – whatever your preferred style of riding, there’s a route for you on Madeira.


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