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.
* 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
Fly to Funchal; transfer to Machico.
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 atSanta Cruz Village Hotel.
Day 2 Walk along Ponta de Sao Lourenco, where rocks contrast with the blue of the
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
Walking time approx 3h30 (Elevation +170m, -270m)
Total distance approx 8 km
Spectacular walk along the north coast path to the fishing village of Porto
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 Canial, 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
Transfer to Queimadas; walk along Levada do Caldeirao Verde to the remote
village of Ilha.
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
Early departure for sunrise at Achada do Teixeira; ascend the island’s
highest mountain, Pico Ruivo; follow a stone staircase down to Encumeada.
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 arrivevia 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
High level walk through beautiful chestnut and eucalyptus woods to
Corticeiras; panoramic local bus ride to Funchal.
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)
Free day to visit the bustling ‘Mercado dos Lavradores’ (workers’ market),
S Cathedral or for wine tasting in Madeira’s Wine Lodge.
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 S Cathedral which was built between 1493 and 1514, and the magnificent
statue of the man who discovered Madeira, Joao Goncalves Zarco, on the
Transfer to Funchal; fly to London.
Transfer to the airport (approx. 30 minutes), fly to London.