Madeira Tour
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Madeira, the floating garden

8 days/7 nights

July 2 - 9 / 2013.

One of Madeira's many charms is its infinite variety; each day's walking and every levada are different.

Landscapes vary from cultivated vine terraces and verdant slopes dotted with white hamlets to coastal cliffs with balcony views over the azure seas.

Our trip spends time outdoors, walking some of the best trails all over the island & seeing vineyards, waterfalls, lush valleys and beaches.

A stunning mix of coastal and levada walks, magnificent mountain scenery.
Day 1: Funchal

Funchal, the capital, is the first afternoon ´s destination.
Enjoy a guided tour through this gorgeous city and taste a sip of the famous Madeira wine at Blandy´s.
Day 2: Levada do Norte - Cabo Girão

To start the week, a superb, easy walk takes us through a rich agricultural area, as we begin our explorations of the levadas - an ingenious open irrigation system originally built by the first settlers to water their sugar and banana plantations. The levadas follow the natural contours of the land, and we trail these silvery channels.
Following the Levada do Norte from Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, through the Ribeira da Caixa valley, we'll see beautiful landscapes, cultivation terraces and charming houses and gardens. Then walk onto the massive sea cliff of Cabo Girão, highest sea cliff in Europe, with a 1902 feet sheer drop into the sea. The views are amazing.
A spectacular elevator ride will lift us down to Fajã dos Padres, with a tiny beach and snackbar.
On the way back we'll take time to visit Câmara de Lobos, a traditional fishing village, specified in catching the famous "monster of the sea", the delicious Espada-fish. It has also been the preferred relaxing spot of Sir Winston Churchill.

Walking time: approx. 3 hours / 8 km
Day 3: Baia d'Abra / Ponta de São Lourenço

While most of Madeira is covered by dense forest, the peninsula Ponta de São Lourenço is shielded against the clouds by its location east of the main island, and is therefore too dry for most plants. This is made up by a unique landscape, and a trail which takes you along a couple of colorful rocks and a narrow passage, where the peninsula is only a couple of meters wide. And at the end, a small peak 146m above sea level awaits you.

This is truly a wilderness walk where we come face to face with an arid but beautiful landscape. Unique plants, such as the ice plant and many other such unusual plants, exist only in this part of the island. The colors of the sea and the rocks are dazzling. Enjoy your picnic by a small dock and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic before the return trip.

On our way back we'll explore Caniçal, the old whaling village (+ museum), as well as the old capital Machico.

Walking time: approx. 3.5 hours / 8 Km
Day 4: Journey to the heart of nature

A short transfer over the Poiso Pass, the island's highest pass, to Ribeiro Frio, where we join the Levada do Furado, the Queen of Levadas, a verdant paradise of laurel, heather and pine with waterfalls tumbling into the gushing river. On this journey to the heart of nature, we can see delicate flowers that enjoy living in the shade and high humidity of the Laurissilva Forest -tiny firecrest and tamefinches flit between the trees. The trout swimming in the levada alongside the path dash for cover as they perceive our approach. As we near Lamaceiros the views of Porto da Cruz and Eagle Rock far below are out of this world. Partly through lush pastureland we'll end at the Portela Pass.

Mist and rain are common at this altitude and so, on average, temperatures are 5 degrees lower than in Funchal. Wear an anorak and boots suitable for wet ground and don't forget to wrap up warmly. As you enjoy the magnificent but rugged terrain, you will understand how difficult it must have been to build the channels to take the water from the springs in the north to the farmland on the south coast

Walking Time: approx. 5 hours / 12 Km
Day 5: Paùl da Serra - Porto Moniz

Spectacular ride over the Encumeada Pass, revealing a remarkable panorama of towering peaks and lush valleys, to the plateau of Paùl da Serra, Madeira's high moor. This very windy plateau, often shrouded in fog, is sparsely populated. The atmosphere is very peculiar there, a bit like the Scottish highlands.
We'll walk the fern path onto Pico Ruivo do Paùl, enjoying a great outview.

Another short stop at Fanal to astonish some of the Island's oldest Laurel trees.

We'll enjoy lunch and maybe a splash in the ocean in Porto Moniz on the northwest coast, where nature itself has carved pools of water in the volcanic cliffs,
Then it's a dramatic drive along the northern coast to São Vicente. The road is squeezed between the Atlantic and the mountains, with waterfalls tumbling over the cliffs, and the occasional wave breaking over it!

Walking time: max. 2,5 hours / ca. 5 km

* If not too tired, we might enjoy tonight's spectacular fireworks at Funchal harbor! *
Day 6: The Central Massive

Today, we crown the week with the spectacular 'balcony walk' up to Pico Ruivo - Madeira's highest peak (1862m). A chance to do some high level mountain walking without the pain of difficult and long climb! There are spectacular views all the way as we walk along a wide, well-maintained path. A short, but absolutely gorgeous walk, you will feel on top of the world!
Stopover in Santana, famed for its thatched roof houses, before the mini-coach we'll descend to Santo da Serra's vibrant square with its lively market; wood smoke fills the meats grill al fresco and we might try the traditional espetada (delicious meat skewered on laurel twigs).

Walking time: max. 3 hours
Day 7: Camacha to Monte

We head for the town of Camacha, renowned for its wickerwork
To end the week, it's a relaxing walk as we follow the broad, eucalyptus fringed paths of the Levada dos Tornos. Lilies, amaryllis and rhododendrons burst with color while glimmering sea views open out, as we approach Funchal. There's time to explore historic Monte famed for its botanical gardens and extravagant 18C church before descending by cable car to bustling Funchal.

Walking time: approx. 2,5 hours / 7,5 km
Day 8: End of our trip and transfer back to the airport
Caressed by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, some 400 miles off the north west coast of Africa, lies the beautiful sub-tropical paradise island of Madeira. With its mild climate year-round and fertile volcanic soil, Madeira is also known as the 'floating garden' and is famed for its wine and countless varieties of flowering plants.

If Paradise is a calm and peaceful spot exuding harmony and tranquillity, then it is surely to be found in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean and goes under the name of Madeira.
madeira map, picture
Level of walking: 2-3

Moderate; sometimes uneven, narrow trails, slippery when wet

Dates: July 2. - July 9., 2013.
1.850 EURO per person (based on two people sharing a room)
+150 EURO single supplement

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Please read about our conditions and general informations on the special pages, accessable via the navigation on the left side.

This tour includes

7 night's accommodation in a twin room with en-suite facilities (supplement charged
if used as single)

4 **** Hotel Quinta Splendida in Caniço

Breakfast and dinner (including table-water and a glass of wine)

Entrance fees for museum, cable car, wine tasting, etc., -if part of the itinerary-
Transfers to and from all the walks

Madeira flower book

Your private English speaking guide


Flights and travel insurance

Transport to the starting point

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