8 days

 Explore the dramatic cliffs of the São Lourenço peninsula

  Tranquil walks among gushing waterfalls in the enchanting Laurisilva forests

  Spend a free day in Madeira’s capital, the charming town of Funchal

  A chance to see whales and dophins in their natural habitat

  Stay in comfortable 4**** and 3*** hotels with swimming pools

Easy hiking in Madeira for the whole family

Madeira is a true walker’s paradise. It’s breathtaking landscapes have recently seen it voted as Europe’s best island destination for the 6th time by World Travel Awards. During this comfortable week-long walking holiday, you will stay in three very nice hotels on different parts of Madeira, all with swimming pools. Daily private transfers are included to take you to some of the best hiking trails and most interesting sights on the island. You will have a free day to explore the fascinating capital, Funchal. On your last day you will take an unforgettable boat trip with a local English-speaking guide to watch whales and dolphins just off Madeira’s south coast.

Sitting serenely in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 miles south of Portugal and 400 miles from the African coast, the island emerged 8 million years ago from a volcanic hot spot. Covered by an immense primitive forest (Madeira means “wood” in Portuguese), the Portuguese spent years and then centuries carving intricate terraces into the steep hillsides and creating a 2000-mile network of scenic canals (known as Levadas) to grow a variety of crops on the island’s rich and volcanic soils. Discover Madeira’s secrets as you walk the levadas and panoramic coastal paths, visit traditional villages and witness the terrace cultivation, gorges, waterfalls, forests and of course the many endemic flora that earned Madeira the nickname of “the flower island”.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €1,050 per person sharing*

*A high season supplement will apply during peak booking periods.
*Minimum of 2 people per booking.

ACCOMMODATION In very comfortable 4**** and 3*** hotels. All hotels have swimming pools and 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.*

*During the Christmas period many hotels in Funchal request a minimum stay of 4-7 nights. In this case you may be accommodated somewhere else, with possible price and itinerary changes.

7 nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
7 breakfasts
4 dinners
Taxi transfer from and to Funchal airport
All transfers mentioned in the itinerary
Luggage transportation
Road Book with detailed walking itineraries &  highlighted maps
1 general map of Madeira 1:40,000
Pre-departure information pack
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners not mentioned above
Drinks and snacks
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
 Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
Gourmet guided walk of Funchal. Tuesdays and Fridays only
DIFFICULTY This holiday is rated as easy overall, with walks of between 2 and 4 hours and average asents/descents of 100m – 400m.

Day 1: Arrive in Madeira and transfer to Santana

Meet and greet at the airport with a taxi transfer to the village of Santana on the north coast, famed for its typical thatched houses.

Overnight: 4* hotel O Colmo in Santana.


Day 2: Caldeiro Verde

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 90 m | Descent: 90 m| 3½ hrs approx.

A private transfer takes you 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 forest. After passing through several tunnels and cliffside passageways (safe), you will get to the famous “Green Cauldron” also known as Caldeiro Verde. Its spectacular 80 m high waterfall plunges into an emerald-green pool.

Return transfer to your accommodation. Dinner is included tonight.

Overnight: 4* hotel O Colmo in Santana.


Day 3: Coastal walk on the Sao Lourenço peninsula

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

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.

After your walk you will be transferred to Funchal, where you will stay for the next two nights.

Overnight: 3* hotel Do Carmo in Funchal.


Day 4: Free day in Funchal

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.

Optional activities (to be paid on site):

  • Go up to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens via cable car. You will enjoy wonderful panoramic views over the city.
  • Go down from Monte to Funchal city centre on a “Carreiro do Monte”, a traditional wicker-made sledge, used by locals as a quick way of getting to Funchal!
  • Gourmet guided walk. Discover the historic centre of Funchal with a passionate local guide who will take you on a tour combining culture, history and culinary tradition. 7 gourment stops with no less than 15 tastings ranging from savoury to sweet, not forgetting traditional local drinks! The tour runs on Tuesday and Friday mornings or afternoons (€70 per person).

Overnight: 3* hotel Do Carmo in Funchal.


Day 5: Prazeres / Raposeira / Paul do Mar

Ascent: 100 m | Descent: 100 m | 1½ hrs approx.

Transfer to Prazeres. Before starting your walk, you can visit the Quinta Pedagogica of Prazeres and enjoy a “cha de limao”, a tea flavoured with lemon peel. Then walk along the levada, where you will discover a diverse landscape of cultivated land terraces, laurel trees and endemic flora of Madeira.

Then, down to the old fishing village Paul do Mar on a paved path followed by transfer to your accommodation in Ponta do Sol, where you will stay 3 nights. Dinner is included.

Overnight: 4* hotel Enotel Sunset Bay in Ponta do Sol.


Day 6: Levadas of Rabaçal and 25 fontes

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 100 m | Descent: 100 m | 3½ hrs approx.

Transfer to Paul da Serra’s plateau. Then, a shuttle running every 10 min (6 €/ pers round trip to be paid on site) will take you to the start of the charming walk in the middle of an enchanted forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Take in the stunning scenery of streams and waterfalls and discover the endemic flora that Madeira is so famous for.

Transfer back to your hotel. Dinner is included.

Overnight: 4* hotel Enotel Sunset Bay in Ponta do Sol.


Day 7: Whale and dolphin wathcing

Free morning. Transfer to Calheta. Depart on a traditional fishing boat or zodiac (depending on availability) to watch whales and dolphins with an English-speaking guide who will be able to answer your questions about marine life in Madeira. The tour lasts between 2½ and 3 hours.

Transfer back to your hotel. Dinner is included.

Overnight: 4* hotel Enotel Sunset Bay in Ponta do Sol.


Day 8: Departure

Your walking holiday comes to an end this morning. You will be transferred to Funchal airport for your return flight.

Travel information

  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 Santana and from your last hotel in Ponta do Sol to Funchal Airport. Remember to let us know your arrival and departure times, once you have booked your flights.
Winter walking in Madeira
Santana thatched cottages, Madeira
Vertical cliffs on Madeira's north coast at Santana (c) Francisco Correia
Walking among the waterfalls in Madeira
Caldeiro Verde, Madeira
Sao Lourenco hiking signpost Madeira
Hiking trail on the Sao Lourenco peninsula, Madeira
Hiking at Madeira's Sao Lourenço Peninsula
Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira
Church in Funchal old town
Funchal cable car
Funchal Botanic Garden
Hiking to Paul do Mar
Levada hiking path, Madeira
Rabaçal in central Madeira
Levada walking Madeira
Rabacal waterfall
25 Fontes waterfalls, Madeira
Ponta do Sol on Madeira's sunny south coast
Blue skies and seas on the 'flower island'
Dolphin watching, Calheta

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