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Portugal – Madeira Island Hiking Tour

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This is a wonderful hiking tour with a variety of Madeira’s best trails. You will discover the stunning scenery of this volcanic island by visiting its mountains, cliffs and levadas, which are an extensive network of small irrigation channels and make the perfect path for adventurous hikers. Erosion has formed the island by creating unique rock formations as well as deep gorges. Part of the land is covered by the Laurissilva Forest, the world’s largest laurel forest, which is recognized by UNESCO as Natural World Heritage Site. This tour is sure to be a unique and exhilarating hiking experience! Welcome to Madeira- “The Pearl of the Atlantic.”

Arrival & Departure Locations

Fly in and out of Funchal Airport, via Lisbon or other. Tour starts in Machico and finishes in Funchal. All airport transfers included.

Price Includes

  • 7 Nights lodging on Superior Accommodation 
  • Breakfast included daily
  • Private welcome orientation in English with daily tour information and suggestions 
  • Private transfer upon arrival from Airport (FNC) to hotel
  • Private transfer from last hotel to Airport (FNC) at tour’s end
  • Private transfers during the tour 
  • Hiking Information Guide – maps, GPS manual, cues 
  • GPS Tracks & GPS Device 
  • Liability and personal accidents insurance 
  • Mobile phone to reach local support
  • Pre-travel documentation and details for trip preparation 
  • Pre and post-trip travel planning & support services

Lodging

Included Hotels:
  • Machico: White Waters Hotel **
  • Santana: Hotel O Colmo***
  • Ribeira Brava: Residencial Encumeada ***
  • Porto Moniz: Hotel Euro Moniz ***
  • Jardim do Mar: Hotel Jardim do Mar ***
  • Funchal: Hotel do Carmo ***
About: 3 and 4 star hotels in convenient locations in each town. All lodging includes private bathroom and a variety of other amenities. Upgrades available in Funchal and Lisbon only; inquire at time of booking.
 

Optional Add-Ons

Guides & Local Support

Local Expert: Antonio is our on-site expert. He lives in Lisbon and has been all over the country! Antonio will meet you for orientation on arrival day as well as provide emergency support throughout your trip. Our local guides and experts are available by phone to assist during your trip with any kind of emergency and if due to weather or other reason you need to arrange a transfer. 

Tour Highlights
  • Mountain scenery in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean;
  • Wildlife designation – “Natura 2000” network
  • Madeira’s highest peaks & magnificent views
  • Madeira’s levadas – stunning trails and volcanic rock formations
  • Laurissilva Forest, UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site
  • Charming and authentic fishing villages
  • Historic Funchal historic Old Town sightseeing
  • Fresh, delicious seafood and regional dishes, plus wine!

Need to Know:

  • The region has mild temperatures year round; and rain can happen any time. Guests are advised to bring rain gear, a headlamp, and be prepared to hike in all weather conditions. Keep in mind, green fields, stunning coastal views, rainbows, and warm and welcoming inns will make allow you to forget you are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! 
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival

Our guide will welcome you at the airport and drive you to Machico,which is only 15 minutes away. Here you’ll check in to your accommodation and you can enjoy some time in the swimming pool, take a nap or relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains.

Overnight: Machico

Day 2Ponta S. Lourenco: 7 km / 4 mi

You will start your day with a short transfer to Ponta de São Lourenço, where the trail will take you around the volcanic peninsula to the eastern-most point of Madeira island. From here you can enjoy an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean and the two islets nearby. The Desembarcadouro Islet is classified as a natural reserve, as is the peninsula. Additionally, all of the land and sea by the northern coast, up to a depth of 50 meters, is part of the European network of important community sites – “Natura 2000.” What a day! And what a scenery to enjoy and celebrate!

Meals: breakfast
Distance: 7 km / 4 mi, +500 m
Highlights: Desembarcadouro Islet & magnificent views
Overnight: Machico

Day 3Machico to Porto da Cruz: 17 km / 11 mi

Today, let’s go to Facho Pic (322 meters) and enjoy the northern coastal cliffs! Start the walk from your hotel at Machico and join a trail along Caniçal Levada. At this point, you’ll start to see the great view of tiny terraces where the island’s farmers cultivate the fertile Madeira soil. The path then ascends gently to the crest, Boca do Risco, and it is only here that you can find this stunning panoramic view of the northern cliffs. From Boca do Risco, the trail continues, etched into the cliff face and following the trail down until the town of Porto da Cruz. A final transfer (30 minutes) takes you to your hotel in Santana to rest.

Meals: breakfast
Distance: 17 km / 11 mi, +450 m
Highlights: Facho Pick, Boca do Risco panoramic views
Overnight: Santana

Day 4Pico Ruivo to Encumeada: 14 km / 9 mi

Morning transfer to Achada do Teixeira, where you will begin your hiking today. This energetic ridge walk begins just below Pico Ruivo, the highest summit of the island and the third highest of Portugal, heads west, high above the steeps, through the wooded slopes to the mountain pass at Encumeada. Marked by frequent climbs and descents, the trail winds along elevations between 1800 and 1000 meters, but it is worth it due to the extremely beautiful landscapes and types of ecosystem that await the traveler. The Central Mountainous Massif and the Laurissilva Forest are incredible! Return to the hotel by foot.

Meals: breakfast
Distance: 14 km / 9 mi, +600 m
Highlights: Pico Ruivo, Encumeada, beautiful landscapes
Overnight: Ribeira Brava

Day 5Paul da Serra to Fanal: 11 km / 7 mi

After a morning transfer, start exploring Paúl da Serra plateau and follow the trail to visit several viewpoints, revealing beautiful landscapes, highlighting the view over the valley of Ribeira da Janela and Chão da Ribeira. The trail is located in an area of the Laurissilva forest classified as a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO and member of the European Network of Sites of Community importance – Nature 2000. Reaching the end of the hike, enjoy the magnificent area of Fanal, a small volcanic crater classified as a resting reserve of the Parque Natural of Madeira. The beauty of this area lies not only in the forest of Ocofeafoefens trees (Til), but also in the spectacular landscapes that several sightseeing spots along the way offer.

Meals: breakfast
Distance: 11 km / 7 mi, +200 / -500 m
Highlights: Paúl da Serra plateau, protected valleys & forest, Fanal crater
Overnight: Porto Moniz

Day 6Prazeres to Paul do Mar: 7 km / 4 mi

Today you will be walking a route full of heritage, located in the west of Madeira island and linking the village of Prazeres to the picturesque village of Jardim do Mar. In the past, this trail was one of the few routes available for the population of Prazeres to access the coastline. Characterized by a height difference of approximately 500 meters, it is an opportunity to walk slowly and take your time absorbing the landscape of the coast and the land, filled with terraced farm plots and stone walls. Designated as a “municipal path,” this trail is a genuine historical heritage, bearing witness to the isolation of past generations and to the ingenious and difficult trails built by the people to overcome it. Before leaving for the hotel, be sure to explore Paúl do Mar, an old fishing village with a quaint church that sits right on the seashore.

Meals: breakfast
Distance: 7 km / 4 mi, +50 / -550 m
Highlights: heritage/municipal walking path, fishing village
Overnight: Jardim do Ma

Day 7Funchal

After a 60 minute transfer to Funchal you will have the day off to enjoy the city! This is the most famous city of Madeira and people love to walk the streets of its cosmopolitan city center, look for its historical sites like the Cathedral or find the best ocean view spots; the opportunities are endless. Be sure to find the market and enjoy part of your day tasting the best gastronomy from the island; from meat skewers to banana cake or the traditional poncha drink, you will not be disappointed. Simply delicious!

Meals: breakfast
Highlights: Funchal exploration
Overnight: Funchal

Day 8Departure

Today it is your last day and it is time to pack up the good memories and say goodbye! Our guide will transfer you to the airport according to your time schedule. Please let us know in advance if you would like to make continued travel plans; we are happy to assist you!

Meals: breakfast

Map
Rates

Tour Rates by Season: (based on double occupancy)

Superior Three & Four Star Hotels:

  • Low Season for 2 persons:  978 euros/person
  • Single Supplement:  172 euros
  • High Season for 2 persons:  1020 euros/person
  • Single Supplement:  193 euros
  • High Season:  March 27 – October 31
    Low Season:  Nov 1 – March 26
  • Solo Supplement: ask us for rates

Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!

Discounts for parties of 4 and 6 persons are availablePlease ask us for rates.


How do our tours compare to similar trips? You Get More
If you compare price, we are much less than guided trips with similar experiences. In our private, independent format, you get much more than what most traditional self guided tours offer, plus it’s a better experience! Our team has gone to great lengths to build and create exceptional tours all over the world, vacations that will give you lifelong memories. From the accommodations to the bikes, to the routes themselves, we hold each component of our tours to a very high standard. We are dedicated to empowering people through travel!
 
Ready to book? Our well-traveled, knowledgeable and dedicated team is standing by and eager to make your travel dreams come true. Call now at 800-960-2221 (USA/Canada 8 am-5 pm MST) +1.480.905.1235; or email us.