Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
We fly into Funchal and transfer by road across Madeira to Porto Moniz in the north west corner of the island. The journey takes about an hour and has spectacular mountain and coastal views on the way.
Levada da Janela - A great introduction to levada walking on Madeira. At the start of our walk near the village of Lamaceiros there are stunning views through a terraced valley down to the sea. The flat levada path is lined by lush vegetation including agapanthus and eucalyptus. There are tunnels to go through, waterfalls and views inland into densely covered hillsides. We return to the café in Lamaceiros for refreshments before the descent back to Porto Moniz, enjoying views of the north coast on the way.
17km / 10.5 miles, +50m, -460m, 5 hours
Levada Moinho - We join the levada after an uphill walk through woodland from Achadas da Cruz. The path is narrow at times, but well protected. The levada is often fast flowing, used as it was to power mills. There are wonderful views of the coast and steep hillsides with cultivated terracing. We can detour to the source of the levada, then follow it to Santa where we stop in a café, then continue down the traditional cobbled steps to Porto Moniz.
12km / 7.5 miles, +150m / -900m, 5 ½ hours
Transfer to Ponto do Sol and Lombo do Mouro Walk - Our transfer bus takes us up on to the stunning Plateau of Paul Da Serra where we will have our first views of the Big Peaks. As we start to descend towards Encumeada the bus will drop us off and continue to Ponto Do Sol with our luggage. We will descend, initially on a small levada with open views of the Big Peaks to the east. We continue through Eucalyptus forest, emerging to fine views down the Ribeira Valley. We continue the descent through small villages to the coast at Ribeira Brava where there will be time for a drink before prearranged taxis will take us to the hotel at Ponto Do Sol on the south coast.
10km / 6 miles, -1300m, 4 hours.
Levada do Paul & 25 Fontes - We start this walk at Christo Rei close to the Plateau of Paul Da Serra. We walk along the quiet Levada Do Paul with uninterrupted views to the south coast. Upon reaching Rabacal we continue through Laurissilva forest either on Levada Das 25 Fontes or Levada do Risco, both of which have impressive waterfalls at the end. 25 Fontes (springs) is a group of waterfalls 30m high tumbling down to a rock pool and has become a premier tourist spot in Madeira, therefore extremely busy. Returning from the waterfalls we continue through the Calheta tunnel, then taking a pleasant woodland path to Atouguia and the end of the walk.
15km / 9miles, minimal ascent / -850m, 5 hours
Cabo Girão & Levada do Norte to Faja - We begin with the visit to the Cabo Girão sea cliffs at 580m which wiith its glass skywalk it is now the most popular tourist attraction in Madeira. Leaving the cliffs behind we walk along Levada Norte around valleys and through sunny cultivated terraces. We will stop at a pleasant bar at Boa Morte at lunchtime before continuing towards Ribeira Funda. Leaving the levada below the village we take a stepped path down to Faja in the Ribeira Valley. The path down has 1600 steps but has been well improved and is a spectacular descent.
17.5km / 11miles, minimal ascent, 580m descent, 5 – 6 hours.
Fontes & Chao dos Terreiros - Beginning in the village of Fontes we complete a circuit of the hills to the north of the village before descending to Meia Legua in the Ribeira Valley. Heading uphill towards Terreiros the views begin to open out towards Boca Da Cerro, Pico Grande and the Big Peaks. After a well earned rest at the summit we return to Fontes. For those not wishing to undertake the descent transport can be taken from here back to the hotel, however the views on the descent route are well worth the effort and the path although narrow in places is now much improved.
14km / 9 miles, +500m, -900m, 6 hours
Levada Nova and Levada Moinho to Ponto do Sol - A wonderful levada walk through forest, cultivated terraces and sugar cane plantations. Starting in Apresentacão we follow the Levada Nova around valleys through Tabua and Candelaria to Jangão, then deep into the beautiful Ponto Do Sol Valley, dropping down to the Levada Moinho which is now well improved with handrails. We walk back through Lombada to Ponto Do Sol, stopping at a café there en route.
14km/ 9 miles, minimal ascent / 400m descent, 4 ½ hours
Transfer to Funchal - We have a morning transfer to Funchal. If rooms are not ready we will store our luggage at the hotel and make our way into the centre of Funchal. Our tour leader will do a guided walk around the main points of interest in the central area. You will have a free afternoon to explore the many delights of this surprisingly charming city.
The Big Peaks - This is a fabulous walk, some would say one of the greatest day walks on the planet. Starting at Pico Arieiro at over 1800m, we wind our way through spectacular rock formations to Pico Ruivo. Some days you are above the clouds, with the islands peaks poking through and the vast Atlantic beyond. From Pico Ruivo an easy path descends past the strange rocks at Homem en Pe to Achada do Teixeira. On our way back to the hotel we normally stop in Santana to see some of the island’s tradtional thatched cottages.
10km / 6 miles, +610m / -830m, 5 hours
Ponto São Lourenço - The peninsula at the far eastern end of the island is utterly different from anywhere else on Madeira. Here there is bare eroded igneous rock with wonderful colour formations. It is dry, barren and windy, but the views over the rocky landscape and along the cliffs are excellent. The walk is a there and back one, but perfect for an easier day when it might be wet in the mountains.
11km / 6.8 miles , +/-200m, 3 ½ hours
North Coast Path - This is a really nice walk involving little levada walking. From the Caniçal tunnel we cross terraces, slowly rising to the Boca do Risco pass, where suddenly the sea opens up in front of us several hundred metres below. We then follow a narrow cliff path to the pretty village of Porto Da Cruz where there will be time for refreshments at a beachside bar or maybe a swim in the sea water pools at the beach before returning to Funchal.
14km / 9 miles, +150m / -350m, 4 hours.
Ribeira Frio to Portela - A straightforward and beautiful levada walk. There are spectacular views towards the central mountains from Balcoes near the beginning and later, down to the north coast by Porto da Cruz. The walks takes us through lush laurissilva forest of which Madeira is said to have the world’s best preserved example and concentration of this ancient forest.
13km / 8 miles, -200m, 4 ½ hours.
Boca da Corrida to Encumeada or Curral das Freiras - This walk really has the wow factor from the minute you step off the bus at the Boca da Corrida viewpoint. The decision to finish at either Encumeada or Curral is weather dependent, Encumeada being a longer route. Either has spectacular views of the high peaks in all directions.
13km / 8 miles, +200m / -500m, 5 hours.
Departure - Our exploration of Madeira is over and it’s a short transfer to Funchal airport for our return flight to the UK.