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Madeira Island trails (classic version)

€715 per person

A short distance from the African coast, “The Flower Island ” sits serenely in the ocean. Madeira boasts breath-taking landscapes and just recently it was elected the best European island destination for the 6th time by the World Travel Awards. Madeira’s notorious climate is composed of different mesoclimates. The north of the island has quite a lot of rainfall and therefore a particularly lush vegetation, while the south of Madeira is significantly drier and is characterised by more hours of sunshine. To enable the southern half of the island to benefit from the rainfall in the north, sophisticated irrigation systems – the open levadas – ensure water supply to the plantations and fields. The spectacular hiking routes, following these levadas, are one of the many reasons that make Madeira so special for self-guided walking. Come and discover all of Madeira’s secrets: walk along the levadas and the coastal paths offering panoramic views, see traditional style villages, terrace cultivation, beautiful flowers, gorges, the Laurissilva (cloud) forest, waterfalls and natural pools.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights bed and breakfast (en-suite rooms throughout in a combination of 2- and 3-star hotels); Luggage and people transfers as per itinerary; Detailed route description and maps; Emergency support phone line
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals, entry fees, public transportation tickets
  • Best period
    March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1: Arrival at Funchal Airport. Transfer to Machico.
Airport welcome and taxi transfer to Machico. Machico, the first town founded in Madeira, is the former capital city of this island. Today it has become a small peaceful seaside resort. Depending on your time of arrival, have a wander through the village and walk along the beachside promenade.
2
Day 2. Machico - Sao Lourenço Peninsula - Machico (7,5km, 3hrs, +400m/-400m)
The Peninsula of Sao Lourenço is located to the east of the Madeira. The landscape is very different from the rest of the island because of the semi-arid climate and its basalt cliffs carved by wind and waves. This nature reserve allows you to observe a unique flora and fauna. Transfer back to Machico.
3
Day 3. Machico - Ribeiro Frio - Machico (12km, 3,30hrs, +300m/-300m)
Ribeiro Frio hike is one of the most famous and magical walks on Madeira. The walking trail follows a levada and the route is lit by the sun’s rays leading you through lush vegetation and century-old trees of the primeval forest. The Levada do Furao is spectacular because it is dug into the wall and you must pass under arches dug into the cliff. On the way do not hesitate to take a detour and enjoy the magnificent view of the famous "vereda dos balcoes". Transfer back to Machico.
4
Day 4. Machico - The Boca do Risco balconies - Porto da Cruz (13km, 4,15hrs, +250m/-350m)
Begin the hike from Machico for one of the most beautiful walks of Madeira, on a footpath 300 metres above the ocean. After the terraced pastures of the Ribeira Seca valley, the coastal path of Boca do Risco gives you a high angle view on the backwash, creaks below and ends with a big descent towards the ocean and the fishermen’s village of Porto da Cruz, where you will stay for 2 nights. Its name came from a cross (cruz) that was placed by the first explorers on the bay once used as port.
5
Day 5. Porto da Cruz - Caldeiro Verde - Porto da Cruz (14km, 4hrs, +90m/-600m)
A short transfer to the start of your walk where you will discover one of the most spectacular levada hikes of Madeira. You will enter the famous Laurisilva - remains of the humid and subtropical laurel (cloud) forest. After passing through several tunnels and cliffside passageways (safe), you will get to the famous “Green Cauldron” also known as Caldeiro Verde.  Then, you will walk back on the path to start hiking down towards the isolated village of Ilha with, all along, incredible vantage points over the ocean. Return transfer to Porto da Cruz.
6
Day 6. Porto da Cruz - Pico Ruivo - Funchal (9km, 3,45hrs, +840m/-630m)
The Pico Ruivo is the highest point on the mountainous Madeira and standing at 1862m above sea level. The summit provides spectacular views over the entire island, and the best time to enjoy the view is in the morning. This spectacular hike on the central ridge of Madeira in a fascinating mineral universe of volcanic peaks between the two highest ones of the island, the Pico Ruivo (1862m) and the Pico Arriero (1818m). Transfer to Funchal, where you will stay for 2 nights in a city center hotel.
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Day 7. Funchal (free day)
Free day of sightseeing around Funchal, a charming city built like an amphitheatre around the bay. The city’s name originates from the word fennel (Foncho in Portuguese) that grew in the bay when the Portuguese first landed here. It is great to wander through the paved streets, the colourful gardens and walkways along the coast. There are many optional day tours, which you can book in advance or try to arrange on spot (or make your own way to the sites of interest): 1) Go up to the Monte palace tropical gardens via cable car. You will get a panoramic view over the city; 2) Go down from Monte to Funchal city centre on a “Carreiro do Monte”, a traditional wicker-made sledge, used by the locals as a quick way of getting to Funchal; 3) Book a whale-watching trip aboard a catamaran (appr. 35 Euro/person; best to be booked between April and October, when as many as 20 species of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) inhabit the waters of Madeira); 4) Book a day trip to Porto Santo Island to enjoy the beach. (appr. 100 Euros/person; carried out in spring and summer; it includes transfer from your hotel to the harbour in Funchal, the ferry round trip, the transfer from the harbour to the vila Baleira and return in Porto Santo).
8
Day 8. Departure day
Transfer to Funchal Airport for departure.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
715 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (from February till April 29th/from May 30th till the end of October)
775 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (from April 30th till May 29th; Christmas/New Year)
* N.B.: Special note for the nights in Funchal: during Christmas, New Year and during the Flower Festival (affecting the end of April and the first 3 weeks of May) many hotels in Funchal request a minimum stay of 4 to 7 nights. In this case guests will be accommodated outside of the town centre with a possible price and itinerary modification.
** N.B.: If your travel period falls into two periods with different prices, the one with the higher price will be invoiced!
Halfboard supplement: 100 Euro/person for 5x dinners (Day 1 to Day 5 (incl.)
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement:
200 Euro (from February till April 29th/from May 30th till the end of October)
250 Euro (from April 30th till May 29th; Christmas/New Year)
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size: 2 pax)
Tips
Daily departures all year round. The best time to visit Madeira is from April till mid-October. The wetter season starts afterwards, causing increased precipitation until the end of March (with sometimes frequent storms between November and February). Special note for the nights in Funchal: during Christmas, New Year and during the Flower Festival (affecting the end of April and 3 weeks of May) many hotels in Funchal request a minimum stay of 4 to 7 nights. In this case guests will be accommodated outside of the town centre with a possible price and itinerary modification.
Accommodation
A combination of 2-star (x2 night s in Porto da Cruz), and 3-star (x 5 nights: 2 in Funchal and 3 in Machico) hotels. All rooms have their own bathrooms. Breakfast is included everywhere. Options for dinner are readily available around or inside each place where you stay overnight. There is an option to book halfboard (dinner) supplement for 5 nights (Day 1 to Day 5 (incl.) for 100 Euro per person.

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