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THE HEART OF MADEIRA

from £1025
Famed for its levadas and flowers, it is an excellent walking destination with an equable year round climate.
  • Product Code 26700
  • Holiday Type Holidays With Two Grades Of Walking, Hutting And High Level
  • Grade Grade 6, Grade 7
  • Holiday Duration 7 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays Madeira

Whether you visit Funchal as part of our two week holiday or as a stand alone week, you will enjoy some excellent and varied walking.

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.

For all of our 2019 holidays we are offering two grades of walking with two leaders on every departure date so there's more flexibility and opportunity to discover for yourself which walk is the best! The higher level walks include the ascent of the island’s third highest peak, Pico Grande, a more challenging version of the High Peaks walk, and extended versions of the grade 6 walks.

Our hotel could not be in a better location in Funchal, just a stone's throw from many restaurants, shops, the fish and flower markets and the cable car up to Monte. This 1960's themed gem gives you the ability to explore this Atlantic jewel of a town further, especially as we take our evening strolls to dinner where we will sample local culture even further. Funchal really is a truly splendid place to be as the sun goes down over the harbour.



You might also be interested in The Floating Garden of Madeira

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore an amazing variety of walks through our two grades, two leaders.
  • Follow the Levadas as they crisscross their way around and over the island.
  • Follow the classic cliff path along the north coast to Porto da Cruz.
  • Hike from Boca da Corrida to Curral das Freiras. Some would say the best walk on the island.
  • Cross between the high peaks and their views to the valleys and coastlines below.
  • Experience local cuisine as we dine in local restaurants each night.
  • Soar high above Funchal by cable car to Monte.
  • Some walks very much at the top of Grade 7 where a head for heights is needed.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Funchal (British Airways) 
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotels
      Dinners taken at local restaurants
      Two walks, two leaders, two grades
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

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 6 and 7

  1. Day 1

    We fly into Funchal airport transfer to our hotel in the centre of Funchal.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    During our time on Madeira we will be spending our time exploring the island through a variety of walks. There will also be a free day  Some highlight walks that we aim to complete are as follows:

    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.

    The grade 7 walk includes the ascent of Pico Grande at 1654m, the best outlook mountain on the island as it looks west to the high Paul da Serra plateau and east to the cauldron of Curral das Freiras. 15km / 9.3 miles, +800m / -900m to Encumeada or -1235m to Curral

    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.

    The grade 7 walk has an optional ascent of Pico do Suna and continues to Porto da Cruz. 17km / 10.5 miles, -600m (or +200m / -800m with the ascent of Pico da Suna), 6 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.

    The grade 7 walk starts in the village of Caniçal, thereby including the south as well as north coast. 18km / 11 miles, +/-550m, 5 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 grade 7 walk is similar but includes a levada extension via Florencas. 17.5km / 11 miles, minimal ascent / -850m, 6 ½ 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

    The grade 7 walk is normally the same. However new routes are occasionally engineered between the Big Peaks. If such a one within the grade is available when we do this walk, we will take this route.

    There will also be a free day generally on day five where 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

  3. Day 8

    It’s time to say farewell to Madeira as we take a short transfer to Funchal airport for our return flight to the UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Funchal (British Airways or Easyjet) 
  • Airport transfers by road c. 30 minutes
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
     

 

Trip Map

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Hotel Do Carmo

This comfortable 1960's themed hotel is located within five minutes walk of the old marina and a stones throw from Funchal town centre and its facilities include a sun terrace with fantastic views of the old town and Atlantic Ocean, outdoor seating area, swimming pool, bar with pool table and lounge areas.


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