Ponta Furada peninsula in Madeira
Ponta Furada peninsula in Madeira

Madeira, Flowers and Volcanoes

Level
3
Distance
62 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
price from
€ 529
CO2 footprint
104 Kg/person
  1. Portugal
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode PTSW062

The lush nature, clean air, and mild climate of this volcanic island have repeatedly earned it the title of World Leading Island Destination – among the most beautiful islands in the world. However, this journey avoids the crowded south and takes you to explore the northern part of the island: mountains, laurel forests, levadas (irrigation canals), majestic peaks, villages, vast fields, and a marvelous coastline, swept by the wind and the Atlantic Ocean. Here, life is a delight – from the fortified wine that takes the island's name to the botanical gardens, from the cuisine to the breathtaking views offered by the trails suspended among the forests, everything is enchanting.

The levadas – the irrigation canals built to transport the abundant water flowing from mountain springs down to the valleys – can be followed to explore the island's most remote corners. You'll also traverse countryside paths and tracks through unspoiled landscapes, dotted with pristine cottages and farms, amid canyons and waterfalls, in the enchantment of the natural reserves

Highlights

  • Discover world's leading destination 2022
  • Stay in charming accommodations throughout the trip, with swimming pool
  • Taste the excellent local cusine and wines
  • Wonderful landscapes: levadas, flowers, laurel forests and an amazing coastline

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Machico

Arrival in Machico
Today you travel to Madeira. A taxi will pick you up and take you to the first hotel of this programme, located in Machico. If you arrive early, you’ll have a chance to relax by the swimming pool, walk along the beach or wander around the typical Portuguese town of Machico.

Day 2

Levada dos Maroços & Caniçal - Machico, 14,5 km

Levada dos Maroços & Caniçal - Machico, 14,5 km
Madeira’s famous levadas are narrow water channels, and the island proudly boasts more than 1400 km / 870 mi of them. A short morning transfer has been organized for you, to Maroços. From there you will follow your first levada back to Machico. The views of the bay and Machico from up high are second to none!

Distance: 14,5 km

Elevation gain: +150/-400 m

Day 3

Circular walk in Ponta de São Lourenço, 6,5 km

Circular walk in Ponta de São Lourenço, 6,5 km
The São Lourenço Peninsula is a must-see in Madeira. With its volcanic origin made mainly of basalt, it is said to be the driest point on the island and you will notice that as you begin to walk toward this magical space, a protected Partial Natural Reserve. A transfer will be arranged for this morning and you will return by public bus in the afternoon, unless you have arranged a taxi transfer on your own.

Distance: 6,5 km

Elevation gain: +350/-350 m

Day 4

Machico – Porto da Cruz - Santana, 6,5 - 14,5 km

Machico – Porto da Cruz - Santana, 6,5 - 14,5 km
Today’s route is a bit demanding but well worth it, if you take into account the amazing views you’ll have of the northern coastline. A taxi will take you to the start of the walk, between Machico and Caniçal. You begin by following the Levada do Caniçal, mainly flat. Next you do a more challenging section: first on dirt tracks out to the ocean, then on a lovely path along the coast. The Boca do Risco vista point is a good spot for a picnic, before continuing along the Vereda de Larano, a beautiful path cut into the cliffs, to reach Porto da Cruz. A taxi will pick-you up there and take you to your next accommodation, in Santana. You’ll soon discover that Quinta do Furao the ideal place to forget about everything.

Distance: 6,5 - 14,5 km

Elevation gain: +750/-400 m - +115/-115 m

Day 5

Levada do Furado, 10-15 km

Levada do Furado, 10-15 km
Morning transfer to Ribeiro Frio, where the Levada do Furado walk begins. From the very beginning, you will feel like you are walking in a fairy-tale woodland: Madeira’s laurel forest, a UNESCO heritage site. The route is mainly flat along the levada, but you gain altitude gradually (path later protected by a handrail), allowing for majestic views of the coast and the laurel forest covering Madeira’s canyons and hills. Once in Portela, you can either take a taxi (not included) or continue on a cobbled (at times, slippery) path to Porto da Cruz. Once more, a taxi will take you to Santana after the walk

Distance: 10 - 15 km

Elevation gain: +350/-300 m - +370/-875 m

Day 6

Caldeirão Verde, 13 km

Caldeirão Verde, 13 km
The Parque Florestal das Queimadas will be the starting point for today’s route, and the taxi will drop you there in the morning. First stop: a cosy bar inside a typical Madeiran house! You’ll follow the Levada do Caldeirão Verde to reach the waterfall, then retrace your steps and make a detour to the village of Ilha, where the taxi will pick you up in the afternoon. Remember to bring a torch and water-proofs on this walk! Though you will be walking along cliffs, the path is protected by handrails.

Distance: 13 km

Elevation gain: +70/-600 m

Day 7

Santana – Arco de São Jorge: the Caminho Real, 12-14 km

Santana – Arco de São Jorge: the Caminho Real, 12-14 km
For the last route, you will walk part of the Caminho Real which, with a total distance of 182 km, completely circles the island of Madeira, linking the major harbours and villages. Starting in Santana, today you’ll walk through a series of ruins, landscapes, villages and traditions to each Arco de São Jorge. A taxi will take you back to your hotel in Santana.

Distance: 12-14 km

Elevation gain: +560/-860 m

Day 8

End of the programme

End of the programme
Your arrangement comes to the end today after breakfast. A transfer back to the airport is included, so remember to provide all you flight details in advance.

Details

Is this for me?


This journey is perfect for those who love unspoiled nature and are fascinated by islands.

That said, it's important to emphasize that you'll be walking on dirt trails, sometimes along irrigation canals, with some sections that might be slippery in the wetter, shadier areas. There are exposed sections - where handrails are typically present to hold onto - but for all these reasons, the journey is strongly not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo or have stability issues.

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in *** hotels , B&B with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • transfers as described in the program
  • transfer to the first accommodation and from the last accommodation
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


Machico: Dom Pedro- Ocean Beach hotel ****

This hotel is located by the bay beach in Machico. Guests have free access to the swimming pool and the hotel also offers diving and wellness services for guests.  Visitors can enjoy the hotel’s sea-view restaurant and bar. All rooms have a free wifi connection and satellite TV. 

madeira.dompedro.com

Santana: Hotel O Colmo ****

Hotel located in the center of the town of Santana is a rural place known for its typical houses made from wheat straw, that's where the name comes from. Surrounded by nature, the hotel provides a tranquil retreat with beautiful views of the mountains and ocean.

hotelocolmo.com

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


Convenient airport: Funchal (FNC)
 

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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