Nature and adventure lovers you are in for a treat. Mother nature has created a subtropical island full of natural beauty hidden far away in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and waiting to be discovered: Madeira. Spectacular scenery, pleasurable weather, exotic flowers and lush subtropical vegetation make Madeira one of Europe’s most beautiful islands. In 2017 Madeira even won the World Travel Awards as World’s Leading Island Destination. What more do you need?
Hike through tunnels and under waterfalls alongside Madeira’s amazing network of irrigation channels
Explore hidden gorges, swim through rock pools and slide down waterfalls on a canyoning adventure (beginners)
Hike to Madeira’s two highest peaks: Pico Ruivo (1862m) and Pico do Arieiro (1810m) and enjoy the view
Breathe in the purest freshest air known to mother earth while you hike through Laurel forests (UNESCO)
Stroll the charming old streets of Funchal and visit the colourful farmers market
Take the cable car up the hills above Funchal to see the beautiful Monte Palace Tropical Gardens (optional)
DAY 1: BEM-VINDO A MADEIRA
Suggested flight Transavia: Amsterdam → Funchal 6:40 → 9.50
Surrounded by mountains and sea lies the charming city of Funchal, the starting point of our Madeira adventure. We arrive early and have plenty of time to explore the old streets and visit the farmers market.
We might even take the Monte Cable Car (not included) and visit the hills high above Funchal to see the beautiful Monte Palace Tropical Gardens one of Madeira’s top attractions. The gardens feature thousands of exotic plants, waterfalls, ornamental sculptures along with a host of wildlife, from Koi to Peacocks (entrance fee payable locally).
Overnight: Funchal I Meals: no meals included today
DAY 2: HIKE ALONGSIDE THE LEVADAS
Madeira is very mountainous and the levadas, manmade irrigation channels, are located on the top of the most breath-taking mountains. They were developed from the early 16th century to transport water from the lush north to the drier south. The hikes we’ll make take us over peaks and mountains, through tunnels and under waterfalls and deep into the lush vegetation of Europe’s oldest and biggest Laurel Forest.
Overnight: Encumeada I Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 3: HIKE THROUGH LAUREL FORESTS – UNESCO
About 20% of Madeira’s surface is covered by the Laurissilva forest . This forest is not only a rarity in the world (it became extinct in Continental Europe)but it purifies the air and it is said it releases the toxins accumulated in your body. This beautiful subtropical forest is so historically important it has been declared UNESCO natural world heritage and dates back to prehistoric times.
Overnight: Encumeada I Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 4: CANYONING ADVENTURE
Get up close and personal with nature and explore hidden gorges, swim through rock pools and jump and slide down waterfalls. Today we go on a canyoning adventure. Canyoning lets you get deep into nature and experience it in a brand new way. Only one thing:
YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM
Optional: In the afternoon it is possible to make an excursion to Porto Moniz and visit or even swim in the natural swimming pools. The natural pools of Porto Moniz are the highlight of the village of Porto Moniz. The natural salt water swimming pools are made up of volcanic rock, into which the sea flows naturally.
Overnight: Encumeada I Meals: breakfast, dinner
DAY 5: WALK UP TO MADEIRA’S TWO HIGHEST PEAKS
Today we make the most strenuous and maybe the most spectacular walk of our Madeira adventure (ca 19KM). If we want to, we can start early to see the sunrise in the mountains. After the sunrise we hike up to Madeira’s two highest peaks: Pico Ruivo (1862m) and Pico do Arieiro (1810m). We follow a spectacular ridge over the saddle of Pico do Jorge via Torrinhas Pass. All along this route the views are amazing. At the end of the hike our waiting vehicle takes us back to Funchal where we spend our last night. In the old town of Funchal we’ll enjoy a delicious last night’s dinner.
Overnight: Funchal I Meals: breakfast and lunch
DAY 6: FAREWELL MADEIRA
Take in the final views of Madeira because today we are leaving the island. The adventure has come to an end, now returning with memories of plunging waterfalls, deep gorges, levada hikes and amazing views. After breakfast there will be a group transfer to Funchal airport.
Suggested flight Transavia: Funchal → Amsterdam 10:30 → 15:30
Please be aware that the itinerary can be subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond our control.
Our hikes will be between 14-20 km long. A walking day is normally five to seven hours and daily ascents will likely be around 500m to 800m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 900m to 1100m. Suitable waterproof hiking footwear is essential due to the rough, uneven and rocky terrain and subtropical climate of the island. No prior hiking experience is necessary, but good health and reasonable fitness are important. The climbs are moderately demanding with some long days of sustained walking with a backpack. The effects of altitude will also reduce your level of strength. Therefore, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape.
Please check with the Portugese Embassy if you need a visa to travel there. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
Travel Insurance is compulsory on all Nature Connects’ holidays and is a condition of booking with Nature Connects. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for the cost of emergency evacuation (by helicopter if necessary), medical expenses and repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD
We’ll be staying in two different guesthouses, hotels. We will spend 2 nights at a hotel in Funchal, within walking distance of the city centre and 3 nights in the middle of nature in the hills of Encumeada. Both accommodations are 2 – 3 star, with private bathroom based on twin share. Anyone travelling alone will be paired with another individual traveller of the same sex for room share. Depending on availability single rooms may be available on request for a supplementary fee.
Madeiran food has a Mediterranean flavour and take, however almost any type of food restaurant can be found on the island. Much of the local food and dishes are prepared from ingredients grown on the island or caught from the sea. Fish is popular, as well as chicken and pork. Meals are always eaten with potatoes, vegetables, rice or salads. Marinades of garlic, salt and bay leaves are also popular. Breakfast will usually be continental with tea, coffee, bread, jams and fruit.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
2 nights accommodation in Funchal (double/ twin room with ensuite bathroom)
3 nights accommodation in Encumeada (double/ twin room with ensuite bathroom)
All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
3 guided hikes by a local certified mountain guide
Half day canyoning/ coasteneering adventure (beginners) and all materials
Airport pick up and drop off
Transportation to/from the hikes
Drinks & extra snacks
Meals which are not already included
Any other personal expenses not mentioned under included