Walking in Madeira

coastal escape
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Explore the verdant landscapes of Portugal's largest island

During the course of this week you will have the opportunity to walk through the wild and varied scenery of Madeira, from gentle strolls along flower-lined levadas and spectacular coastal footpaths, to more demanding forays amongst the jagged ridges and peaks of the rugged volcanic interior. There is plenty of time to relax by the sea in the fishing village of Machico and discover the historic importance of Funchal, an old trade centre famous for exporting sugar and wine to the Indies and the New World.

Highlights
* Superb walking through Madeira's botanical paradise * Flower-lined levadas with stunning coastal views * Mild year-round climate perfect for walking * Picturesque fishing villages and the historic town of Funchal
Profile
* 7 nights 3 and 4-star hotels/pensions, all rooms en suite * 5 days point-to-point walking; 1 free day * Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs * Altitude maximum 1862m, average 750m * Not suitable for vertigo sufferers * Transport by private minivan and public bus
Food

All breakfasts are included and usually consist of coffee/tea, fruit juice, rolls or bread, butter and jam, with the addition of cereal or cheese sometimes. Lunch (not included): normally bread or rolls, fresh salad, vegetables, cold meats or tinned fish, cheese and fresh fruit. The ingredients for lunch can often be bought at nearby shops and supermarkets, and prepared before walks. Evening meal (not included): normally a first course of soup or salad, a main course of meat or fish with vegetables and potatoes or rice, plus a dessert course. We regularly take our evening meal in our hotel, although there are other options. Madeirans eat a lot of meat and fish with rather plainly cooked vegetables. Vegetarians will normally find they get a balanced diet if they are prepared to be flexible.

Destinations
  • Europe
  • Portugal
  • Funchal
  • Porto
  • Madeira
Tour Types
  • Active
  • Walking
  • Coastal Walks
  • Scenic
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Singles
  • Adventure
Day 1

Fly to Funchal and transfer (approx. 15 minutes) to our hotel in Machico, which overlooks the beach of Machico Bay and is close to the picturesque historic fishing village. *Please note that all groups travelling in January and February 2020 will stay at Santa Cruz Village Hotel.



Day 2

Today we walk the classic route along the Ponta de Sao Lourenco. Although challenging, this path takes us through some fantastic scenery as we admire wallflowers, stalwarts and many other tiny plants that resist this windy environment and manage to grow in soils with high levels of salinity. Rocks, sculptured by nature, have a great diversity of colours ranging from black to red, and are in stark contrast to the blue of the ocean. Madeira's Nature Park rangers watch over the plants and animals that belong to this eastern extremity of the island, around Casa do Sardinha. We return to Machico for the night. Walking time approx 3h30 (Elevation +170m, -270m) Total distance approx 8 km *Comfortable Hotel*



Day 3

This morning we will walk a scenic route along a cliff trail, up to the north coast. We set off along the little Levada do Caniçal, more modest and quieter than yesterday's, then begin a gradual climb up to the crest of the cliffs at Boca do Risco where we enjoy some amazing views along the north coast and may even be able to see the nearby island of Porto Santo. We then head west along the coastal path, a spectacular route in many places cut right into the cliff. We finally descend to the small town of Porto da Cruz, once a bustling port but now a sleepy little town. Later, we transfer to Santana for the night. Walking time approx 4h30 (Elevation +200m, –350m) Total distance approx 12 km *Standard Hotel*



Day 4

From Santana we take a short transfer (stopping to admire the famous thatched roof houses) to Queimadas natural park where we will walk along the Levada do Caldeirao Verde. We finish this walk at the isolated village of Ilha before returning to Santana for the night. Walking time approx 5h (Elevation +90m, –500m) Total distance approx 12 km *Standard Hotel*



Day 5

Today we make the most strenuous walk of the trip. Starting with an early departure to see the sunrise at Achada do Teixeira, we ascend the island's highest mountain, Pico Ruivo (1862m). Our descent follows a spectacular ridge via Torrinhas Pass and over the saddle of Pico do Jorge to Encumeada. As we descend, bees buzz in 'Lily of the Valley' trees and the smell of wild thyme fills the air. After a long day in the hills, we arrive via a long series of stone steps at Encumeada, where we will spend the night. Walking time approx 7h30 (Elevation +650m, –1200m) Total distance approx 16 km *Standard Hotel*



Day 6

We enjoy another fine high-level walk. From Encumeada we walk through woods of chestnut and eucalyptus and then traverse below the rocky escarpment of Pico Grande, enjoying fine views to the south and back to the west. Eventually, we come to a superb viewpoint overlooking the spectacularly situated village of Curral das Freiras and then descend to the village of Corticeiras. We get the bus to Funchal where there will be time for exploration of the town, a visit to the market or shopping if you wish. We overnight in Funchal. Total walking time 6h (Elevation +400m, –650m) *Comfortable Hotel*



Day 7

Our last day is free for you to explore Funchal, the Madeira archipelago's capital. The city is easily explored on foot and the must-see sights include the Sé Cathedral which was built between 1493 and 1514, and the magnificent statue of the man who discovered Madeira, Joao Goncalves Zarco, on the Avenida Arriaga. *Comfortable Hotel*



Day 8

Transfer to the airport (approx. 30 minutes), fly to London.



* All breakfasts * All accommodation  * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader throughout * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights) * Free arrival & departure transfers 


Great walking in a beautiful island

This is a great week's walking with a lot of variety in the walks covered. The hotels are generally of a good standard and the food was good and varied, with plenty of fresh fish and salads.

Rating: 5




Walking in Madeira

A week of varied walking and a chance to get away from the crowd. We were impressed by the stunning scenery in challenging terrain and weather conditions.

Rating: 5




Walking week

Great holiday, good walks

Rating: 5




A very enjoyable trip in Madeira was had by all!

Just returned from Madeira, whilst the weather was pretty miserable we still had a great time. Andre our guide had to substitute a couple of our walks due to the weather conditions. Very impressed with Madeira and the locals who very helpful, but I would suggest maybe going at a different time of the year, (Not April). Exodus planned everything from we lifted up the phone until we were left back to the airport. The hotels, the pack lunches, the walks, flights etc.

Rating: 5




Best way to discover a beautiful island

Very well organised trip in a magnificent natural place.

Rating: 5




Fun in Madeira

Lovely bunch of folks , lots of laughs and good local guide who always made sure we could eat together and knew some great restaurants. He also found us chances to swim in the sea at the end of some walks. Great weather and varied walks amongst the flowers, plants and mountains of subtropical Madeira. Plenty to do in Funchal in our free time, beautiful gardens.

Rating: 5




Stunning views, wonderful walks, excellent company

I'm just back from a fabulous week's walking in Madeira. The scenery, weather and company could not have been better. Thank you to Andre, our guide, for helping to make this week so successful. There was lots of laughter along with some strenuous walks set against the majestic background of mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. I highly recommend this trip.

Rating: 5




Madeira

This was my first Exodus Tour. It will not be my last. Organisation was great. The guide (Andre Pontes) was superb - he made sure that everyone was enjoying themselves and that everyone was safe. He has very good people skills, and was a font of knowledge. I am 57 years old and moderately fit. The walking was just right for me. The others in the group (we were 11) were a lovely bunch. Madeira is beautiful.

Rating: 5




A beautiful island

Walking is a great way to see Madeira. The paths were in generally good condition, and the drops were not as daunting as I had expected - although you definitely need to look where you are going! The weather in Madeira is much more localised than I had realised - if it's important to you, make sure you look at the forecast for specific places. The mountains were rainy, and colder than expected - be prepared for anything! Most of the group went whalewatching in Funchal - this wasn't mentioned in the trip notes, but was great fun. No whales, but several dolphins - also a great way to get a view of Funchal from the water.

Rating: 5




Dramatic trekking in the mountains of Madeira

First time Exodus traveller and I was not disappointed. Madeira was every bit as beautiful as I had hoped: sea vistas (with huge waves on our Day 2 coastal walk), exotic flora and fauna, and at times, dizzying mountain heights that take your breath away. People in our group of 12 were delightfully friendly and supportive. Excellent leadership on this trip. Overall, a very satisfying travel experience.

Rating: 5



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You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
28-Mar-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
28-Mar-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
04-Apr-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
04-Apr-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
18-Apr-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
18-Apr-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
09-May-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
09-May-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
23-May-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
23-May-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
06-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
06-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
20-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
20-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
11-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
11-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
05-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
05-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
19-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
19-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
26-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
26-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
10-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
10-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
17-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
17-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
24-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
24-Oct-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
07-Nov-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
07-Nov-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
21-Nov-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
21-Nov-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
19-Dec-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
19-Dec-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website
26-Dec-2020 for 7 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
26-Dec-2020 for 7 Nights Land only Visit Website

Touring with Exodus

With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.

Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.

Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.

Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!

When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.

Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.

At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

7 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:4 - 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Meals:5 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners.
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