Walking on the magical island of Madeira

an 8-day walking tour
Walking tour
Walking Tours
Difficulty level 2
Individual tour
Self guided tour
code: PT02W
Portugal

Prices

from 565€

An island with breathtaking landscapes

Funchal-Machico-Caldeiro Verde-Santana-Encumeada-Jardim do Mar

Madeira, a walking holiday to discover this fascinating island bathed by the waters of the Gulf Stream, with warm and comfortable summers and mild winters that make it a holiday destination all year round. Madeira, a volcanic island, is a Portuguese archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Every year many tourists attracted by the mild climate, exotic flowers, excellent wine and food and a breathtaking landscape visit the island. 

Madeira
Madeira

During this adventure, you will enjoy a variety of landscapes, cultural riches and contrasts of the natural environment. All while jumping from a mountain to the subtropical ocean. You will pass between banana trees, fields planted with sugar cane, from expanses of terraced yam to small Portuguese colonial villages overseas. You will walk along volcanoes that rise like titans, over 1500m, looking out at the ocean. The last day of the tour will be dedicated to the discovery of Funchal where you can certainly visit the old part (“velha”) of the city, full of narrow alleys, nineteenth-century buildings and old fishermen’s houses. Today transformed into an inviting tourist location, full of restaurants and bars where you can relax yourself.

An ANNUAL FLOWER FESTIVAL is held on the island in May, and in the botanical gardens, open to the public since 1960, you will understand why there is a festival dedicated to the island’s flora. The beauty of 8 hectares of gardens, located between 150 and 300 meters above sea level, is combined with a magnificent panorama. The island of Madeira is also known for its Madeira wines made from the Tinta Negra grape, which is produced in four varieties: Sercial (dry), Verdelho (medium dry), Boal (medium sweet) and Malvasia (sweet) and you can definitely not have left the island without tasting it!

The daily program of the 8-day tour

Arrival at the airport and taxi transfer to Machico. Machico was the first city founded in Madeira, the ancient capital of the island. Today it looks like a small and quiet seaside resort. Depending on your arrival time, you will be free to explore the village, stroll along its promenade and maybe take a nice refreshing bath after the trip.

Overnight with breakfast in Machico

Transfer to the Caniçal tunnel, where the route of today will start. It is one of the most beautiful walks in Madeira offers, along a path located 300 meters above the ocean. After the terraced pastures of the Ribeira Seca valley, the coastal path of Boca do Risco will offer you a great view from above on the undertow ending with its great descent towards the ocean and towards the fishing village of Porto da Cruz. This delightful village is located along the northeast coast, where the cliffs, as an exception for Madeira, don’t drop directly into the Atlantic. Its name derives from the cross Portuguese explorers placed here. You have a transfer to Santana, that is famous for its typical thatched and brightly coloured red & white houses.

Overnight, breakfast and dinner in Santana

Distance: 13 km / 8 mi

Ascent/Descent: + 250m – 350m

Walking time: 4 hours 15 min

A short transfer to take you to the starting point of your walk where you will discover one of the most spectacular excursions in Levada di Madeira. Levadas are man-made water channels to carry water to the agricultural fields. First, in the 15th century, they were made of wood and later of stone. You will enter the famous Laurisilva, the remains of a humid and subtropical laurel forest. After going through several tunnels and overhanging passages (in total safety), you will arrive at the famous “Calderone Verde” also known as Caldeiro Verde.

Then, you will return to the path to start walking towards the isolated village of Ilha, all the way you will be escorted by the ocean. Transfer back to Santana.

 

Overnight, breakfast and dinner in Santana

Distance: 14 km / 8,7 mi

Ascent/Descent: + 90m – 600m

Walking time: 4 hours 30 min

One of the most beautiful mountain hikes on the island! Transfer to Achada do Teixera. From here the path will lead you to the top of the island, the Pico Ruivo and subsequently to the crests of the mountain range that crosses the island from its western to the eastern side. On several occasions, the path will cover the North and South sides offering excellent 360 ° panoramic points of the coasts of the island. You will cross different ecosystems such as Laurisilva and mountain forests. Arrival at your accommodation located on a plateau.

 

Overnight, breakfast and dinner in Encumeada

Distance: 14 km / 8,7 mi

Ascent/Descent: + 550m – 1240m

Walking time: 6 hours

Today you will walk on the flanks of the Pico Grande and the Boca da Corrida hill. You will have a breathtaking view of the ridges of the Curral das Freiras. You have the possibility to make the route longer and climb the Pico Grande, +/- 360 and 2 hours more in duration. Transfer to Jardim do Mar, where you will stay for 2 nights.

 

Overnight, breakfast and dinner in Jardim do Mar

Distance: 13 km / 8 mi

Ascent/Descent: + 750m – 450m

Walking time: 4 hours and 30 min

This morning you will start the day with an excursion on rocky paths of volcanic origin to reach the agricultural land of the village of Prazeres. Feel free to take a well-deserved break at the Quinta Pedagogica de Prazeres to enjoy a cha de limao (a tea flavored with lemon peel). Then descend to Paul do Mar using a spectacular paved and lace path surrounded by poios (terraced pastures). This trail is part of a large network of “real” trails that were used, in the past, by fishermen who wanted to go to other villages to sell their catch. You can reach the village of Jardim do Mar using a taxi (payable locally).

 

Overnight, breakfast and dinner in Jardim do Mar

Distance: 8 km / 5 mi

Ascent/Descent: + 650m – 650m

Walking time: 3 hours 30 min

Transfer to Funchal. Free discovery of the charming town built in the shape of an amphitheater around the bay. Its name derives from the word fennel (Foncho in Portuguese) that grew in this bay when the Portuguese landed there. It will be very exciting to stroll through its cobbled streets, its colorful gardens and its promenade. Optional possibilities (to be paid locally) such as climbing to the Monte palace and its tropical garden via a cable car, you will also enjoy a panoramic view over the city. Possibility of getting off in the center of Funchal on a “Carreiro do Monte ”, a traditional wicker sled used by locals to get to Funchal quickly.

Overnight with breakfast in Funchal

After breakfast ends of this walking holiday on a fascinating island.

Walking holiday on the island of Madeira

Self guided tour
Difficulty level 2
Walking on the magical island of Madeira
an 8-day walking tour

Funchal-Machico-Caldeiro Verde-Santana-Encumeada-Jardim do Mar

Code | PT02W
LEVEL 2

A tour of medium difficulty, with limited distances but with differences in height that in some days will be challenging. Mountain walking experience and good physical condition are required. Not suitable for who has fears of heights. The tour is only suitable for children aged from 12 yrs. and on, if they have a good walking experience.

Average daily distances between 8 km and 14 km / 5 miles and 8,7 miles

Total distance of the tour: 62 km /38,5 miles

Total ascent/descent: +90m & + 750m and -350m & -1240m

 

DEPARTURES:

Daily all year round

 

PARTICIPANTS:

2 or more people (solo traveller on request)

 

START / FINISH:

Funchal /Funchal 

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