A Guide to Madeira’s Traditional Basket Toboggan Ride

What is the Traditional Basket Toboggan Ride?

The traditional basket toboggan ride is one of Madeira’s most famous and unique experiences. It has been a popular attraction for many years and is a must-do for any visitor to the island. The ride consists of two passengers sitting in a wicker basket, which is then attached to a pair of wooden runners and pulled by a team of experienced runners, who are known as Carreiros.

The ride is known for its thrilling and exciting journey through the winding streets of Madeira’s hilly terrain. The journey begins at the top of a hill and ends at the bottom, where the runners expertly navigate the turns and slopes while passengers sit back and enjoy the ride.

History of the Traditional Basket Toboggan Ride

The traditional basket toboggan ride has a long and interesting history. It was originally used as a mode of transportation for locals, who used it to travel down the steep hillsides of Madeira to reach the city of Funchal. The ride was eventually adapted into a tourist attraction and has been popular ever since.

The Carreiros who pull the baskets are part of a long-standing tradition and are proud of their heritage. They are dressed in white trousers, a shirt, and a straw hat, which is the traditional attire for the profession. They are known for their friendly and welcoming nature and are always happy to share their knowledge and stories of Madeira with visitors.

Popular Routes

There are two popular routes for the traditional basket toboggan ride in Madeira. The first route begins in Monte and takes visitors on a thrilling ride down the steep hillsides, passing through the charming town of Livramento before ending in Funchal. The second route starts in the suburb of São Gonçalo and takes visitors through the lush green hillsides of Madeira, offering stunning views of the ocean and countryside.

Both routes offer a unique and exciting way to explore the island and experience its culture and natural beauty. Visitors can also combine the ride with other activities, such as a visit to the botanical gardens or a guided walking tour of Funchal.

How to Prepare for the Ride?

Before embarking on your journey, it is important to make sure you are properly prepared. Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely and bring along some snacks and water for the ride. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes with good grip as well as a hat or sunglasses if necessary.

It is also important to check the weather before heading out on your adventure. If it looks like rain or windy conditions, it may be best to postpone your trip until another day.

Safety Tips

Safety should always be your top priority when taking part in any activity, especially one as thrilling as the traditional basket toboggan ride. Make sure to follow all instructions given by your guide and never attempt any stunts or tricks while on the ride.

It is also important to keep an eye out for any obstacles such as rocks or trees that may be in your path. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and take extra care when going around sharp corners or steep inclines.

The traditional basket toboggan ride is a unique and thrilling experience that offers visitors a chance to explore Madeira’s stunning landscapes and experience its culture and history. With its breathtaking views and charming towns, the traditional basket toboggan ride is a must-try activity for anyone visiting Madeira.

By taking the necessary safety precautions and following the instructions of the Carreiros and guide, visitors can enjoy a thrilling and safe ride. The ride is a great way to see the island from a different perspective and experience the adrenaline rush of racing down the steep hillsides.

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