This paper examines the shift that occurs in role identity, from a tourist to an adventurer, as travel bloggers construct an adventure narrative from their experiences of Madeira's ‘levada walk’. Travel blogs, as a naturally occurring data source, offer insight into both tourism experiences and tourists themselves. The research finds that, while bloggers have touristic motivations for visiting Madeira, they cast themselves in a heroic role as they construct an adventure narrative from their experience. The paper concludes that tourism has the potential to become an ‘adventure’ in which tourists overcome challenges and discover themselves in the process. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.