This holiday is a combination of our one week Eastern Madeira holiday and our one week Western Madeira holiday.
If you enjoy walking, have a good head for heights, and have never visited Madeira before, then one of your best holidays still lies ahead of you. It is the perfect walker’s island, with an extensive network of well maintained footpaths through very varied terrain. The famous levada footpaths run beside water channels which cut through the mountains, linking the relatively wet north half of the island with the relatively dry south. Down by the coast is the subtropical vegetation of banana palms and custard apples. On the lush terraced slopes agapanthus and many other flowers brighten the way. Higher up there are forests of laurisilva before the peaks pushing 2000m offer amazing views across the island and beyond to the Atlantic.
This two week holiday starts in the modern city of Funchal, with its dramatic mountainous lush green backdrop. It’s difficult to choose the best walk. Is it the high level walk between the island’s two highest peaks, Pico Arierio and Pico Ruivo, sometimes above the clouds? Is it the walk from Boca da Corrida, through the lush eroded crater of an ancient volcano, down to Curral das Freiras with spectacular views of the high peaks? Or how about the high-level traverse from Boca do Risco along the north coast, finishing in the seaside town on Porto da Cruz? At the far eastern end of the island we walk across the windswept landscape of the Punta São Lourenço, utterly different from anywhere else on the island.
Our second centre is the little visited village of Porto Moniz, in the far northwest, with its sheltered harbour where a mass of pointed reefs provide natural bathing pools. Remoteness is the only reason the area sees so few visitors. Amongst our walks is the peaceful Levada do Moinho with several watermills along its course and descents along cobbled tracks through pretty villages.
Our final centre of Ponta do Sol is on the south coast. From here we walk across high moorland along the Levada do Paul, visit the world’s second highest sea-cliffs at Cabo Girão and head into the central mountains on our walk between Boca da Corrida and Encumeada.
Although our two week holiday is Grade 5, our walks from Funchal could also be described as Grade 6 due to some longer descents. Please see our Holiday Information Sheet for more details.
Spring 2020, December 2020 and December 2021 holidays operate with a reversed itinerary, where we visit Porto Moniz first. We then travel to Ponta do Sol and end our holiday with 7 nights in Funchal. Please see our Holiday Information Sheet for these specific dates for more details.