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This peaceful volcanic island set in the Atlantic archipelago remains the ultimate destination for photographers and outdoor travelers with its otherworldly landscapes and uncrowded trails. The most important treasure of the island are its emblematic levadas, a system of irrigation channels traced back to the 15th century. This system passes through the lush and gigantic vegetation of the Laurissilva rainforest and the rugged terrain of high mountains and deep valleys. With numerous viewpoints, waterfalls and stunning beaches, the hiking trails of Madeira never run out of surprises for those willing to step out of their comfort zone. And in this case, your comfort won’t be too compromised as you’ll spend each night in one of the local hotels offering saunas, spas and pools overlooking the ocean. Is there a better way to spend your vacation?

  • Discovering the Laurissilva forest

    This volcanic island’s flora is protected by UNESCO — explore the incredible and endemic vegetation hiding in the 20 million years old forest

  • Start your days rested

    You will be staying in beautiful hotels with a pool, sea views, saunas and comfy rooms, where you’ll re-energize after each day of adventure

  • Cultural riches

    The island was colonized in 1425, leaving the Manuelian and Azoulejo influence in the buildings’ architecture reminiscent of the Portuguese empire

Itinerary

Over 8 days of hiking and relaxing, you will visit the most beautiful and emblematic part of this Atlantic pearl. Your guides will take care of all the transfers and meals as you make your way through the gigantic rainforests, lush levadas, golden beaches and basalt cliffs. As the sun sets, return to the comforts of 4-star hotels located in towns boasting beautiful architecture and vibrant communities. Explore the cultural and natural heritage with expert guides and make this a trip you’ll never forget.

  • Meet and greet your Madeiran hiking guide at the airport and head with them to Santana, a small town famous for its traditional thatched houses, where you’ll stay for 4 nights. Depending on your arrival time, feel free to explore the quaint city before dinner time.

    Accommodation: O Colmo Hotel
    Meals: Dinner

    Small colorful houses that Santana is known for
  • After a nice continental breakfast, your guide will transfer you to the start of your walk where you will discover one of the most spectacular Levada hikes of Madeira. You will enter the famous Laurisilva – remains of the humid and subtropical laurel forest. After passing through several (safe) tunnels and cliffside passageways, you will get to the famous “Green Cauldron” — Caldeirao Verde. Your guide will prepare a delicious picnic for you. After a well-deserved break, continue along the way and back down to the remote village of Ilha, with its magnificent ocean views. Your guides will take you back to your accommodation in Santana.

    Walking: 4.5 hrs, 14 km (8.7 miles)
    Elevation: +110 m / -620 m (+360 ft / -2034 ft)
    Accommodation: O Colmo Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    Important: You will go through 4 tunnels so don’t forget your headlamp. The second part of the walk can be slightly dizzying if you are afraid of heights. Cliff edge path with a safety wire. It is possible to turn back half-way.

    Waterfall in tropical forest of Madeira Island (Levada do Caldeirao Verde
  • Today, you’ll be off to hike the island’s highest peaks! Departing from Pico Ariero (1810 m/ 5940 ft) on a magnificent trail sometimes cut by tunnels or staircases (some of them quite steep!). This magnificent alpine route offers grandiose panoramas of peaks, valleys and the ocean, all the way to Pico Ruivo, the island’s highest point at 1861 m / 6105 m. Along the way, your guide will find the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch. Continue to Achada de Texiera, where your cab will be waiting to take you back to the hotel.

    Walking: 4 hrs, 10 km (6.2 miles)
    Elevation: +500 m / -700 m (+1540 ft / -2300 ft)
    Accommodation: O Colmo Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    Hiking to Pico do Arieiro surrounded by clouds
  • Depart from the hotel and head down an ancient paved royal road, through dense vegetation, as if you were in the jungle, crossing a charming little river then climbing to reach the village of Arco de Sao Jorge and its magnificent viewpoint. Enjoy a well-deserved lunch break in a restaurant overlooking the sea, and try out a brochette, island’s specialty! Next, follow a paved path along the coast, with a splendid panorama of the ocean and waves crashing on small rocky islets. Continue on to a zig-zag descent back to the sea and a final climb to the meeting point. Transfer to Porto Moniz, a sea-resort famous for its natural pools, You can enter and relax for about 3 EUR. Check in to your splendid hotel Aqua Natura Bay 4**** where you will stay for two nights. You could enjoy the rooftop swimming pool with the beautiful sea view or even relax in the Sauna or Hammam (included).

    Walking: 3 hrs, 7 km (4.4 miles)
    Elevation: +550 m / -550 m (+1800 ft / -1800 ft)
    Accommodation: Aqua Natura Bay Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    Natural pools of Porto Moniz
  • After a short transfer, embark on a peaceful, less-visited hiking trail along the Levada do Moinho. Built in the 19th century to bring water to crops, it was also used to power several watermills. Continue to the village of Santa and its belvedere, offering one of the finest views of Porto Moniz and its natural pools. A beautiful descent on cobbled paths takes you to the small seaside resort where you’ll spend some time for a well-deserved swim! These natural pools, which fill up with each new tide, are Porto Moniz’s main attraction. You’ll spend the nght in Porto Moniz.

    Walking: 4 hrs, 10 km (6.2 miles)
    Elevation: +200 m / -800 m (+656 ft / -2624 ft)
    Accommodation: Aqua Natura Bay Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    Old remnants of watermills in Levada dos Moinho
  • After a hearty breakfast, your guides will transfer you to Paul da Serra’s plateau — the start of a charming walk in the middle of an enchanted forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in the stunning scenery of streams and waterfalls and discover the endemic flora that Madeira is so famous for. As usual you will enjoy a delightful picnic. Drive to Funchal, the capital of the island where you will stay for two nights. Enjoy the outdoor swimming pool with a panoramic view or, if you prefer, relax at the hotel spa (additional fee).

    Walking: 4.5 hrs, 14 km (8.7 miles)
    Elevation: +250 m / -485 m (+820 ft / -1590 ft)
    Accommodation: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    Aerial photo of Funchal at night
  • The Peninsula of Sao Lourenço is located to the east of the Island. The landscape is very different from the rest of the island because of the semi-arid climate and its basalt cliffs carved by wind and waves. This nature reserve allows you to observe the unique flora and fauna of Madeira. Your guides will take you to Funchal for a short visit and some free time to explore the city. On your last night in Funchal, the whole group will meet for a final dinner in a restaurant.

    Walking: 3 hrs, 8 km (5 miles)
    Elevation: +400 m / -400 m (+1312 ft / -1312 ft)
    Accommodation: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch box and dinner

    The Peninsula of Sao Lourenço
  • About 3 hours before your flight, a taxi will transfer you back to Madeira airport. Depending on the time of your flight, you might have some time to visit the local market and grab a few souvenirs before going home!

    Market in Madeira full of fresh fruits and produce
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Meet your guide

Walk inn
5.00
Walk inn
Walk Inn have been organizing cycling and hiking tours for over 15 years now. All their tours were created by their expert team of local guides that have been on site, drew the itineraries, and walked the paths that you will be walking on.
5.00 (1 reviews)
Bastien Serafin (source: Google Reviews)

Very professional service coupled with great customer care.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 6 days of hiking and exploration of Madeira
      • Accommodation for 7 nights in local 4* hotels (double bedroom with en-suite bathroom)
      • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunch boxes and 7 dinners
      • Transfers from the airport to the hotel and from hotels to trailheads

    What’s not included:

      • Airfare to and from Madeira
      • Single occupancy (additional fee)
      • Breakfast and lunch on day 1 and lunch and dinner on day 8
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • This hike in Madeira is most suitable for hikers with some previous hiking experience. You should be in generally good health and have a solid fitness level. You will be hiking for 3-5 hours, 7 to 14 km (4.4 to 8.7 miles) per day. Elevation can vary with ascent/descent of 100 to 700 meters (330 to 2300 ft) per walk. This tour is not appropriate for those with a fear of heights due to some exposure on days 2 and 3.

    Keep in mind, the weather can vary and you’ll be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Duffle bag to pack all of the things you need for the tour
      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items you need in a day (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Comfortable hiking clothes
      • Clothes for everyday activities and restaurant
      • Shoes for everyday activities and hotel
      • Hiking shorts and t-shirts
      • Light fleece jacket
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Water and windproof rain jacket
      • Swimwear
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Madeira, small as it is, has its very own climate zones. Whilst it may be pouring down with rain on the northern coast, the south could be enjoying blue skies and warm sunshine. Make sure to check the weather before packing. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • For the duration of the tour, you will stay at three hotels: O Colmo Hotel in Santana, Aqua Natura Bay Hotel in Porto Moniz, and Castanheiro Boutique Hotel in Funchal. These 4-star hotels have double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. You can spend your free time relaxing in the pool or take a visit to the spas.

    Regarding food, each morning you will have a continental breakfast at the hotel, a lunch box during the day on the trail and dinner in the city near your accommodation. After dinner, you can go for a walk on your own, hang out with other participants or simply relax and regain energy.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 8:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 3 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Hiking in Madeira can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund.
      • For cancellations thirty-one (31) to fifty-nine (59) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of sixty percent (60%) of the total price.
      • For cancellations sixteen (16) to thirty (30) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total price.
      • For cancellations seven (7) to fifteen (15) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total price.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.
      • Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
      • Any cancellation or modification must be communicated as soon as possible and must be sent by written confirmation.
  • To get to Madeira, most people fly into Funchal Airport. Once there, you will meet your guide at the airport and be transferred to your accommodation. The airport is well connected and offers direct flights to many European and US cities.

    You can also travel via ferry as the Port of Funchal is well-connected to various other Portuguese and European ports.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in Madeira, Portugal please refer to their official tourism website.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

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