Walking in Madeira, The Atlantic Emerald

Small Group Walking

Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights

Grade: Hard (6/8)

Madeira Island has a wealth of walking to offer in its more remote parts, as well as the exceptional walks accessible from the island’s capital Funchal. Amongst other walks we are able to explore the less well-known levadas, the narrow mountain irrigation channels which take water from the northern hills to the southern terraces.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax
  • The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
  • Dedicated driver and tour leader to make sure everything runs smoothly

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

Madeira Island has a wealth of walking to offer in its more remote parts, as well as the exceptional walks accessible from the island’s capital Funchal. Amongst other walks we are able to explore the less well-known levadas, the narrow mountain irrigation channels which take water from the northern hills to the southern terraces.

Group Walk Madeira

Madeira seaside walk

We start in Porto Moniz in the far northwest corner of the island. It is a sheltered harbour where a mass of pointed reefs in the lava rocks provide natural bathing pools. Remoteness is the only reason the area sees few visitors.

The walking takes us across steep terraced hillsides, often with views of the coast where Atlantic rollers crash in. We also walk the peaceful Levada do Moinho with several watermills along its course.

On our way to our next centre, Ponta do Sol, on the south coast, we walk along the Levada de Lombo de Mouro, an attractive and little-walked levada starting high up near the island’s central pass at Encumeada.

Ponta do Sol is a small village, nestling between terraced hillsides where our hotel lies seconds from the sea.

Madeira seaside walk - Ribeira Brava

Madeira seaside walk – Ribeira Brava

In our time here we follow the clear-flowing Levada do Paul over open moorland and through giant heather and laurel forests. We 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.

Moving east to Funchal we have access to a wide range of magnificent and spectacular walks. These include a walk to the far eastern end of the island where the promontory of Ponta São Lourenço provides a wild and breezy walk quite different from anywhere else on the island.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival

Arrival to Funchal Airport. Transfer to Porto Moniz (around 90m). If time allows, a short introductory walk will be offered.

Funchal Madeira

Funchal

Day 2 – Achadas da Cruz & Levada Moinho

Classic introductory walk to the levadas of Madeira. This tiny levada through lush woodland and open ground, meanders, trickles & cascades entertaining us all the way.
Our walk crosses the village of Santa before an iconic zig-zag descent down an old mule track to Porto Moniz.

Walk app 12km/7.45mi; Ascent/descent: 294m/-1069m; Highest point: 897m; Opt out at 9km.

Levadas Madeira walking

Guided walking Madeira

Day 3 – Levada da Ribeira da Janela

A more modern levada with an easy, level path alongside, gives access to the awesome Ribeira da Janela valley.
This out & back walk enables us to turn back whenever we wish, the more adventurous can be introduced to following the levadas through tunnels.

Walk: app 16km/10mi; Ascent/descent: 848 m/-865 m; highest point: 584m; opt out at 13km

Walk in Madeira

Walk in Madeira

Day 4 – Levada de Lomba de Mouro & Transfer to Ponta do Sol

Today we propose a full day of spectacular walking. We follow the Levada de Lomba do Mouro from the high mountains, down to Ribeira Brava on the south coast. This little known levada cascades dramatically down the mountainside.
Our route gives magnificent views across and up into the high peaks and down into the Ribeira Brava valley, seemingly miles below us.
Hotel transfer.

Walk: app 10km/6mi; Ascent/descent: 102m/-811m; highest point: 1293m; opt out at 7km

Group Walk Madeira

Madeira seaside walk

Day 5 – Fontes & Chão dos Terreiros

One of the classic mountain walks of the island. From the village of Fontes our well graded track climbs to the summit of Chão dos Terreiros. Awesome views enable us to appreciate the deep valleys of Curral das Freiras and Ribeira Brava while we look across to the equally inspiring “High Peaks” and Pico Grande.

Walk app 16.5km/10.2mi; Ascent/descent: 895m/-1690m; highest point: 1428m; Opt out at 11km

Madeira seaside walk

Madeira, Ponta Sao Lourenço

Day 6 – Levada Nova & Levada do Moinho

This easy and gentle levada meanders around the valleys of the river Tabua and the river Caixa enabling us to enjoy the lush valleys and coast lines below us. This fabulous walk hides hidden gems, quiet villages, banana plantations, intricate levadas and spectacular descents.

Walk app 18km/11.2mi; Ascent/descent: 1473m/-1867m; highest point: 601m; opt out at 8.5km

Madeira typical Santana houses

Madeira typical houses

Day 7 – Rabaçal

A bewitchingly enticing day of diverse scenery, levadas and mountain tracks.
The gentle Levada de Paul meanders across open moorland before we descend to the sub-tropical woodland of Rabaçal.
Here we view the staggering waterfall of Risco and follow the levada in a long (and spacious) tunnel under the spine of the island.

Walk app 19km/11.8mi; ascent/descent: 533m/-1439m, highest point: 1320m; No opt out

North_Coast_Madeira

North_Coast_Madeira

Day 8 – Machico

Transfer to Machico. If time allows a short introductory walk will be offered.

Picos Trails Madeira

Walking in Madeira Picos Trails

Day 9 – Ponta de S. Lourenço Walk

A joy for the senses as we step in a different world. The driest part of the island, this volcanic eastern peninsula juts dramatically out to sea.
High rock stacks, crashing waves and rainbow colours banding the high cliffs stun the senses on this accessible and yet stunningly surprising walk.

Walk app 8km/4.9mi; Ascent/descent: 598/-601m; highest point: 107m; No opt out

 

Day 10 – North Coast walk

An easy and incredibly popular walk. It starts from Camacha and follows the Serra do Faial and Tornos Levadas.
For the far more adventurous ones, we suggest the possibility of taking a toboggan to Livramento or the Funicular to Funchal.

Walk: 13km/8mi; Ascent/descent: 1236m/-1425m; highest point: 424m; No opt out

 

Day 11 – Monte Walk. Transfer to Funchal

An easy and incredibly popular walk. It starts from Camacha and follows the Serra do Faial and Tornos Levadas.
For the far more adventurous ones, we suggest the possibility of taking a toboggan to Livramento or the Funicular to Funchal.

Walk app 17km/10.7mi; Ascent/descent: 753m/-1422m; highest point: 817m; Opt out at 13.5km

 

Day 12 – Ribeiro Frio, Portela & Porto Cruz

One of our wonderful and flexible walks. This classic walk between Ribeiro Frio and Portela indulges us in staggering views of the north coast. It offers intimate woodland trails and a sparkling levada meandering across the lush mountain slopes.

Walk app 16km/10mi; Ascent/descent: 1072m/-1942m; highest point: 915m; Opt out at 11km

 

Day 13 – Boca da Corrida to Curral das Freiras Walk

One of classic walks of the island. A wonderful trail meanders through the high mountains that divide the Ribeira Brava and Curral das Freiras valleys.
The looming peak of Pico Grande, high above, is ever present to tempt the adventurous.
A wonderful zig-zagging trail descends through forests to the valley of Curral das Freiras.

Walk 8.5km/5.2mi; Ascent/descent: 846m/-1396m; highest point: 1340m; No opt out

 

Day 14 – Big Peaks

“The” Madeira walk par excellence. Hundreds of years ago, the then king of Portugal decreed a route be carved out between the high peaks of this island and we are privileged enough to tread this ancient trail and enjoy one of the world’s great walks.

Walk: app 11km/6.8mi; Ascent/descent: 1512m/-1733m, highest point: 1833 m; No opt out

 

Day 15 – Departure

What's included

Accommodation

  • 14 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

3 nights in Porto Moniz
5 nights in Ponta Do Sol
6 nights in Funchal

  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 14 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 14 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.