8 days
Duration
Moderate to Challenging
Difficulty
Portugal
Location
year-round
Availability

 A great year-round walking destination and a paradise for nature lovers.

 Discover the contrasts of the ‘Flower Island’, with its lush green interior and rugged coastline.

  Stroll along volcanic crests, high above the ocean.

  Walk the Levadas (a network of narrow canals unique to Madeira) that crisscross the island.

  Explore Funchal’s cobbled streets and browse the famous flower market.


Trekking in Madeira

Self-guided walking holiday with private transfers and luggage transportation

Madeira is the perfect year-round hiking destination due to its mild climate and diversity of landscapes. In just a few hours walking, you will go from immense volcanic mountains to a subtropical oceanside. Towering peaks rise from the laurel forests, separated by lush, deep valleys with excellent hiking trails.

Madeira is nicknamed the “Pearl of the Atlantic” and is famed for its beautiful endemic vegetation (such as the Madeira orchids, digitalis and blueweed). This volcanic island is incredibly fertile and produces crops from bananas and sugar cane to yams and sweet potatoes. The “poios” (terraced lands) are still worked and harvested by the locals in even the most remote areas of the island.

Hiking the Levadas

The irrigation system is possible thanks to the many Lévadas – small canals – that gather the water from endless water streams of the North of the island. These canals offer a perfect way to discover this island, thanks to the many paths that run along them – forming a network of walking trails across this sub-tropical island. These make for fantastic walking routes, taking you to many spectacular viewpoints.

Each hike on this itinerary will plunge you into a different landscape, telling a different story each day. In the evenings, you relax in the heart of charming Portuguese towns and villages rich in life and flavour. Madeira was colonised by Portugal in 1425 and its towns and villages were constructed during the golden age of the Portuguese empire. Towns such as Funchal are a wonderful example of this type of Portuguese colonial architecture.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €760 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 3 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*A high season supplement will apply during peak booking periods.
*A supplement will apply for solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION In charming hotels/guesthouses on a bed & breakfast basis. All rooms are en-suite.
The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.

AVAILABILITY You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) throughout the year.
INCLUDED
7 nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
7 Breakfasts
3 dinners (three course meal in your hotel, drinks extra)
Private taxi transfers to and from Funchal airport
Private taxi transfers to and from your walks as per the itinerary
Luggage transport
Road Book with detailed walking itineraries &  highlighted maps
1 general map of Madeira 1:40,000
GPS tracks
24/7 telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Lunch packs
Dinner in Machico or Funchal (lots of restaurant options in both)
Drinks and snacks
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
1

Day 1: Arrival in Madeira & transfer to Machico

You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred by taxi to Machico. Machico, the first town founded in Madeira, is the former capital city of this island. Today it is a small peaceful seaside resort. Depending on your arrival time, you will have the opportunity to wander in the village and walk along the beachside promenade. Have dinner in one of the excellent local restaurants, which serve fresh seafood and agricultural produce of the island.

Overnight: Machico.

2

Day 2: Coastal walk on the Sao Lourenço peninsula

Distance: 7 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 400 m| 3 hrs approx.

Your first walking day begins with a short morning transfer to the Sao Lourenço peninsula.

This walk explores the finest cliff scenery on Madeira, with amazing colours and shapes. The peninsula of Sao Lourenço is located to the east of the island. 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 on the island. At the end of your walk you will be transferred back to your hotel in Machico.

Overnight: Machico

3

Day 3: the Boca do Risco balconies

Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 250 m | Descent: 350 m | 4 hrs 15 mins approx.

A short transfer takes you to the start of the Levada do Caniçal for one of Madeira’s most beautiful walks, 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 birds eye view over the backwash and creaks below. The walk finishes with a descent to the ocean and to the charming fishermen’s village of Porto da Cruz, located along the northern coast of the island in one of the few places where the cliffs do not drop directly into the Atlantic.

Transfer to Santana, famed for its typical thatched houses.

Overnight: Santana (dinner included).

4

Day 4: Caldeiro Verde

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 90 m | Descent: 600 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Beginning with a short transfer, today you will discover one of the most spectacular Levada hikes of Madeira.  Walking gradually into the famous Laurisilva – remains of the humid subtropical laurel forest that was once widespread across the globe but is now only found in Madeira, the Azores and the western Canary islands. In the lush interior of the island, you will spot many examples of the endemic flora, including large photonias and Madeira laurels, heather, orchids, isoplexis and blueweed of Madeira.

After several tunnels and cliffside passageways (safe), you will reach the famous Caldeiro Verde (“Green Cauldron”). Finally, you begin your descent to the isolated village of Ilha. You will enjoy incredible vantage points over the ocean all the way on your descent.

Return transfer to Santana.

Overnight: Santana (dinner included).

5

Day 5: Pico Ruivo

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 550 m | Descent: 1,240 m | 6 hrs approx.

One of the nicest mountain hikes of the island! From Achada do Teixera, the path will lead you to the summit of the island – Pico Ruivo – and later to the crests of the mountain chain that crosses the island from west to east.

On several occasions, the path follows the northern and southern slopes giving you great vantage points of the coasts of the island. You will pass through different ecosystems, such as the laurisilva and mountain forests. Arrival at your accommodation located on the central plateau.

Overnight: Encumeada (dinner included).

6

Day 6: Walking on the Paul da Serra Plateau and transfer to Funchal

Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 650 m | Descent: 650 m | 6½ hrs approx.

Or an easy alternative from Lombo do Mourro (5 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 125 m | 2 hrs approx.).

Departure from the hotel for a wonderfully panoramic loop hike on the island’s high plateau. Today, you will enjoy a balcony climb between waterfalls and giant dandelions, with views over the island’s rugged ridges and the lunar landscapes of the Paul da Serra plateau at 1,400 m altitude.

At the end of your walk you will be transferred to Funchal, where you will spend the next two nights.

Overnight: Funchal.

7

Day 7: Funchal

A free day to explore Madeira’s capital; a charming town built amphitheatre-style around the bay. The town’s name originates from the word fennel (Foncho in Portuguese) that was growing in this bay when the Portuguese disembarked there. It is very enjoyable to wander through its narrow streets and alleys, its colourful gardens and its seafront promenade. Also not to be missed is the ‘Mercado dos Lavradores’, a colourful fruit and fish market.

Other optional possibilities (to be paid on site):

  • Some of the best views of Funchal can be observed from the cable car that takes visitors from the seafront to the mountain village of Monte.
  • Return from Monte to Funchal’s city centre on a “Carreiro do Monte”, a traditional wicker-made sledge, used by locals to get, quickly, to Funchal.

Overnight: Funchal

8

Day 8: Departure

A taxi transfer will take you to Madeira airport for your return flight.


Getting to Machico

  Madeira’s only international airport is  Funchal Airport.

You can either fly direct or get a connecting flight via Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, or elsewhere. There are direct flights to Funchal from many European cities.

We will arrange taxi transfers to your first hotel in Machico and from your last hotel in Funchal to  Funchal Airport. Please advise us of your arrival and departure flight times as soon as you have booked them.
Madeira north coast
The Sao Lourenco peninsula
Sao Lourenco
Traditional thatched cottage in Santana, Madeira
Vertical cliffs on Madeira's north coast at Santana (c) Francisco Correia
Hiking on the 'flower island'
Madeira forest path
Hiking among the waterfalls in Madeira
Local banana farmer in Madeira
Levada hiking path, Madeira
Path to Pico Ruivo
Hiking toward Pico Ruivo, Madeira
Hiking in the peaks of Madeira
Madeira, Pico do Areeiro
Hiking Madeira Encumeada
The hiking trail from Pico Ruivo to Encumeada in Madeira
Clouds drifting among the peaks in Encumeada
Verada do Fanal (Francisco Correia, Visit Madeira)
Lonely tree on the Paul da Serra plateau
Funchal Botanic Garden

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 9 reviews
04/07/2024

Hikers Paradise!
We enjoyed an absolutely perfect week hiking in Madeira. The routes were stunning, the itinerary was excellently planned, and the logistics were flawless. We stayed in charming hotels, and to top it all off, the weather was perfect every single day.
Thank you, Wild Rover Travel, for the exceptional service!

27/05/2024

Fantastic trekking Holiday with excellent service, great varieties of scenery from levadas and amazing coastal walks to high mountain trekking. Overall highly recommended. Some hikes were a bit longer in distance or with more ascending/descending as opposed to the itinery but could be accomplished according to the planned time. We asked for an additional 2 days of hike which was flexibly added to the standard package, much appreciated!
Taxi service was fully reliable and very flexible, providing the opportunity to talk with the locals on the way to our next destination.
Accomodations were simple but all at excellent location, value for money.
The island is a must see and experience for all hikers!

14/01/2024

Spectacular, varied, beautiful hikes. Highly recommended. All the arrangements worked perfectly. We especially appreciated the support we got planning the trip. We have used other companies for hiking vacations and the superior quality and personal attention Wild Rover Travel provided stands out. We will definitely try to use them for our next hiking trip.

03/01/2024

This was a 10/10 holiday hike for our family. We were given such a lovely combination of relaxing levada walks and difficult alpine hikes, nice variety. Because of the work and organization from Wild Rover, we could relax into the schedule prepared for us with transfers, hotels, hike descriptions, maps, etc. Thank you Wild Rover.

25/08/2023

We cannot be more happy of our experience with Wild Rover Travel, starting from the organization of the trip (we asked for a little change on the original itinerary and they met our wishes with no problems) and through the whole stay in Madeira: the choice of hikes is brilliant, accommodations and meals were very good and the transfers were flawless (with super helpful and lovely drivers!).
The hikes may be challenging for someone, but the views are stunning and with the allowed timings anyone can take their own time to get to the end.
A 100% hassle-free holiday to recommend, thank you Niall!

31/05/2023

Fantastic selection of challenging walks that showcased the best of Madeira’s spectacular scenery. Notes were easy to follow & timings to way marks were accurate.
From the first taxi pickup to the last, the taxi service was dependable, helpful & flexible. They were, literally, the ‘cogs-in-the-wheel’ that made this trip hassle-free.
The accommodations were satisfactory, food was good (mostly) & staff were friendly & helpful. Checking into each was straightforward & all were expecting us as per arrangements.
In all, a first-class service from Wild Rover Travel, one we will use again & recommend to others.

27/04/2023

We had a fabulous week last August (2022). The island and the trip exceeded all our expectations. Everything ran very smoothly. We had no problems with our pick ups and transfers. The people we met could not have been more helpful and we learned so much from them about the island. The walks were extremely well chosen and easy to follow – all quite different which meant we really felt we had seen a lot of Madeira in the short time we were there. Would highly recommend!

03/06/2022

Great selection of walks and locations – seemed to cover the ‘best of’ Madeira. The notes provided were really accurate. Taxi service was great.. really friendly and helpful.

17/08/2021

Really worthwhile, well organised and great itinerary. A couple of the hotels are poor, so suggest you make your own adjustments. Some of the walks are challenging but stunning.

27/10/2021

Thank you for your feedback Caroline. We have now changed our standard accommodation in Machico to a nicer hotel close to the beach 🙂

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