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Portugal's Madeira Island 8-day Mountain Walking Tour Level 3
Explore this diverse and impressive island in the Atlantic Ocean. There are steep and rugged coastlines, green hills and small bays great for swimming as well as cloud forests and sun-drenched banana plantations. The flower island, Madeira, offers a versatile scenery and a pleasant climate all year round. The dry east, the cool north, the barren mountains, the moist high plateaus and the sunny south all invite you to come and explore this wonderful island. At all times of the year, there are different flowers and trees blooming at different altitudes. The friendly and tradition-conscious locals invite you to get to know their country and their culture. Discover all sides of Madeira on this round trip!
Daily routes along well-built and very diverse paths, which can however sometimes be on narrow paths. Lots of paths run along the coastline and also along Levadas (irrigation canals), where a head for heights and sure-footedness are essential in some sections. You will need a good level of fitness for this waking holiday where the walks may take max. 5 hours.
Slow Tours offers a number of Walking Tours in Europe
Arrival in Porto da Cruz
Today you can relax on the black sandy beach in the small fishing village Porto da Cruz. You can visit one of the last remaining sugar mills where you can try the well-known “Poncha”, which is a local drink made from sugar cane liquor, honey and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Circular walk along the wild north coast
After a short transfer to Machico, you will walk along the impressive north coast on one of the old supply routes, which was previously used to cultivate the vineyards. Today one of the nicest footpaths runs along this route to Porto da Cruz. Enjoy the breath-taking views. Approx. 4.5 to 5 hours 15 km +550 m -550 m
Porto da Cruz – Sao Jorge – Sao Vicente, the quiet North Coast
In the traditional town, Santana, which is well-known for its typical houses, you will start today’s stage. Accompanied by amazing panoramic views you ascend from the wild coastline, further upwards past small gardens with wine, sugar canes, vegetables and fruit, until you reach a spectacular viewpoint. From there you can see across the entire northern shore stretching from Porto Moniz to Ponta de Sao Lourenco. If the weather is great then you will also be able to see the neighboring island Porto Santo, which is located north of Madeira. The stunning Kings Levada then leads you through jungle-like vegetation to the waterfall and springs of Ribeiro Bonito. Approx. 4.5 to 5 hours 15 km +650 m -150 m
Sao Vicente – Porto Moniz, high plateau and cloud forest
Transfer to the mountains or more specifically to the Paul da Serra high plateau. Today’s walk brings you closer to Madeira’s green mountains. You will walk along high-altitude paths rich in spectacular views, through shady laurel forests, which are partially an UNESCO world cultural heritage site. An amazing hiking trail takes you through colorful blooming broom bushes to Fanal, a fairytale-like wood forest and pasture area: crooked trees, green meadows and grazing highland cattle create a very special mystical atmosphere. In the afternoon you reach the coastal village of Porto Moniz with its wonderful views at the blue sea. This charming place is well-known for its natural swimming pools, which were formed by the ocean from black lava rock. Approx. 3.5 to 4 hours 11 km +150 m -350 m
Porto Moniz – Calheta, Levada Nova
Today you will walk along the south west coastline via green hills, which steeply drop into the sea after a while. In this part of the island you will discover the original way of life of its inhabitants, especially Prazeres is known as one of the loveliest villages of Madeira island. On your walk through fragrant eucalyptus forests, you will keep seeing Callas, amarryllis and agapanthus growing wildly. You will stay overnight in the lively coastal village, Calheta. It has a fine sandy beach and an elegant marina. Approx. 4.5 to 5 hours 17 km +50 m -650 m
Calheta – Funchal, Levada do Norte
Short transfer along the southern coast before you set off up to Levada do Norte where you get amazing views from. It is also the longest and widest Levada in the south. You will walk through typical farmed terraces and discover a vast variety of fruits. Along small villages like Quinta Grande and Campanario to the Cabo Girao, which is the highest steep cliff in Europe. From there you will get a fantastic view of the terraced fields below you and of the coastline until the capital, Funchal. Approx. 5 hours 15 km +250 m -150m
Circular walk Monte & botanic gardens
You reach the pilgrimage site Monte by cable car, situated high above Funchal. After a visit to the church Nossa Senhora do Monte you can marvel at the dynamic wicker basket sledgers before embarking on your final stage. With a marvelous view onto the coast from Funchal the route leads you once again across subtropical island vegetation and back into the capital. We highly recommend you visit the amazing botanical garden giving you an understanding of the exotic flora of the island on an area of 35 000 square metres. Approx. 3 hours 8 km +100 m -550 m
Departure or extra days
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote