Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
This departure: Grade 5
We fly into Funchal airport transfer to our hotel in the centre of Funchal.
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.
To Encumeada 13km / 8 miles, +200m / -500m, 5 hours.
Ribeira Frio to Portela - A straight forward 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 laurisilva 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.
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 or maybe a swim in the sea water pools at the beach before returning to Funchal.
14km / 9 miles, +150m / -350m, 4 hours.
Free Day - Funchal is a nice place to stroll around and take it easy. Alternatively take the cable car to Monte and come back down in a sled on the cobbles. Touristy but fun. It is also possible to visit some of Madeira’s famous gardens or the basket weaving centre of Camacha. Dolphin watching is also available. Some groups undertake the Ponto São Lourenço walk at the far eastern end of the island, 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
Levada do Paul & 25 Fontes - A walk which allows us to experience a completely different part of the island. 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 Rabaçal 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 / 9 miles, minimal ascent / -850m, 5 hours
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, passing through several tunnels on the way. 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 traditional thatched cottages.
10km / 6 miles, +610m / -830m, 5 hours
It’s time to say farewell to Madeira as we take a short transfer to Funchal airport for our return flight to the UK.
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