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THE HEART OF MADEIRA

from £985
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
  • Grade Grade 6, Grade 7
  • Holiday Duration 7 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays Madeira

Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the Madeira archipelago rises out of the Atlantic; ruggedly volcanic yet with lush vegetation and exotic colourful flowers in bloom throughout the year in the mountainous interior. The island’s scenery is both strikingly beautiful and easily accessible to even the moderate rambler. Banana trees grow in back gardens and terraces are cut from the hillsides of Funchal, beyond which the wilderness appears hardly tamed and untouched by most visitors to the island. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. 

Some of our walks take us along Levadas – the irrigation waterways ingeniously engineered both over and through the rock to bring water from the north of the island. Other walks explore peaceful mountain valleys and coastal tracks follow the line of rugged sea cliffs with spectacular views. Although not particularly arduous terrain, a head for heights is required. Where we offer grade 7 walks some of these will be challenging walks at the top end of the grade.



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.
  • The classic cliff path along the north coast to Porto da Cruz.
  • Boca da Corrida to Curral das Freiras. Some would say the best walk on the island.
  • Crossing 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
      B&B en suite accommodation
      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 5

  1. Day 1

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

  2. Day 2

    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.

  3. Day 3

    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.

  4. Day 4

    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.

  5. Day 5

    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

  6. Day 6

    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

  7. Day 7

    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

  8. 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) 
  • Airport transfers by road c. 30 minutes
  • We can offer regional flight options and often there will be up to two transfer vehicles (which may include coaches, minibuses or taxis) from the airport to the hotel and vice versa which will minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport.

 

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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