Madeira adventure highlights

Regions

Madeira

Starting Point

Funchal

Best time to travel

All year

Recommended Length

8 days

Minimum Age*

Outdoor Adventure

Activity Level **

4/5

The island of eternal spring in the Atlantic ocean is a great place for adventure and outdoor activities all year round. Explore Madeira's beautiful lush nature along the famous Levada trails, get a taste of the rich cultural and culinary heritage and enjoy the fantastic volcanic heritage with deep valleys, steep cliffs and stunning lava pools on this 8 days tour.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ guided hiking tours through along Madeiras beutiful Levada trails
✓ relax and enjoy the view in the natural lava pool at Porto Moniz
✓ enjoy the view from Europe's highest sea cliffs at Cabo Girão
✓ discover Madeiras culinary heritage on gourmet and wine tasting tours
✓ enjoy the wild side of Madeira on a canyoning adventure in lush green nature

 

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TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in Funchal
Day 2 - full day Levada guided hiking tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 3 - Porto Moniz and waterfalls of the North adventure tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 4 - culinary Madeira discovery tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 5 - visit Cabo Girão - wine tasting and guided vineyard tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 6 - Ponta de São Lourenço guided hiking tour - overnight in Funchal
Day 7 - canyoning in Ribeiro Frio - enjoy the sunset - overnight in Funchal
Day 8 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 - WELCOME TO FUNCHAL
Arrival to Funchal Airport and transfer to your hotel where you will stay for the following 7 nights. Gain a first impression of Madeira‘s capital by exploring the surroundings of your hotel.

DAY 2 - HIKING TOUR RABAÇAL - 25 FONTES
Your adventure week kicks off with one of the most scenic hikes on the island of Madeira. It will lead you to Rabaçal, a nature reserve with enchanting forests and majestic waterfalls. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site it comprises an extraordinary flora and fauna including the aromatic laurel trees. You stop off at the Risco Waterfall before continuing through untouched natural beauty taking in only the calming sounds of nature. Your final destination is 25 Fontes, a magnificent waterfall and lagoon surrounded by gigantic ferns. Transfer back to your hotel in Funchal.

DAY 3 - ISLAND TOUR WITH VOLCANIC ROCK POOLS - CABO GIRÃO
You leave Funchal in the morning. First stop is Pico das Torres. From here you will have a stunning view over the bay of Câmara de Lobos. The picturesque fishing village is the origin of the traditional drink Poncha made of Cachaça, sugar, honey, orange or lemon juice. Not the only reason why Winston Churchill loved to spend time here. Continuing on to Ribeira Brava you start exploring the north side of the island. Along the north coast you will finally reach Porto Moniz, famous for its volcanic rock pools. After lunch you will be passing the Paul de Serra Plateau before you start making your way down again towards Calheta and Ponta do Sol. The highlight of the day probably is Cabo de Girão with its glass floor viewpoint. Back to Funchal for an overnight stay in your hotel.

DAY 4 - CULINARY TOUR
Today is dedicated to Madeira‘s amazing food variety, culinary specialties and the famous Madeira wine. Walking through Funchal, accompanied by your experienced guide, you will get to know some of the best restaurants in town. Learn about traditional dishes, modern fusions and local produce sourced in line with the season. Of course fish and seafood are major components of your eating experience today. All perfectly paired with top-quality wines. Enjoy your tasting in a luxurious atmosphere and treat all your senses before returning to your hotel.

DAY 5 - VINEYARDS & WINE TASTING
If you enjoyed yesterday, you will be delighted to explore the origin of the delicious Madeira Wine today. From Funchal you will be heading to Serra d‘ Agua. From the valley, located in the centre of the island, you will go off-road and enjoy fascinating views of Madeira‘s north coast. Meet one of Madeira‘s leading wine producers and enjoy a show-around of the vineyards, followed by a wine tasting. Extensive vineyards also await around Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs in Europe - an amazing place for the valuable grapes to ripe. The tour ends in Funchal back at your hotel.

DAY 6 - HIKING TOUR PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO
Today another fantastic, medium-level hike awaits. The Ponta de São Lourenço walk runs along the beautiful, most eastern peninsula of Madeira Island. The coastline is almost fully deserted and provides once again a great insight into Madeira‘s unique variety of plants with 31 species endemic to Madeira. Starting off with wooden steps and footbridges the hike continues to get slightly more challenging with steeper slopes. But you will be rewarded with glorious views of the Deserted Islands in the south and Porto Santo Island in the north (depending on weather conditions). Enjoy a well deserved break in the shade of the palm trees in Cais do Sardinha and a dive into the refreshing ocean. On your way back you will be spoilt with stunning views again. Overnight in your hotel in Funchal.

DAY 7 - CANYONING IN RIBEIRO FRIO (during Winter only!)
Get ready for your final adventure of the week! We promise a lot of fun and adrenalin on this one! Situated on the north side of Madeira Island is Ribeiro frio - a natural reserve and UNESCO world heritage site. It is also part of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Ribeiro frio means „cold river“ and it is runs in a deep canyon surrounded by mountains in the Laurissilva Forest. Here you will have the opportunity to abseil thunderous waterfalls, jump and swim in magnificent lakes and walk in a restricted area characterised by a lush forest. An unforgettable experience and perfect finish of your Madeira Adventure Week.

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE
Make your way to Funchal Airport and departure.

 

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SERVICES INCLUDED

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- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels, farm stays, guesthouses and self-catering
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

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TIMES & RATES

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Description

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GALLERY

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Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

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TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
The best time to travel Madeira is from April to October. During these months it is mostly dry with temperatures around 25 degrees. However during the summer Leste - a hot dry wind from the Sahara - can affect the island and might bring temperatures up, but rarely over 32 degrees. The rain period kicks in from November and is most prevalent throughout January and February with temperatures around 17 degrees. The Atlantic Ocean reaches a temperature between 18 degrees in the winter and 22 in the summer. Some activities such as canyoning for example is only possible during the winter months in some places as there won‘t be enough water or none at all during the warmer months. Hence adventurers should plan carefully what they are intending to do in Madeira and what the best time for it is to avoid disappointment.
How to travel
The easiest and quickest way to reach Madeira is by plane arriving into Madeira International Airport in Santa Cruz, about 20 minutes from the capital Funchal on the south coast of the island. Funchal is also a good base for exploring the island as distances to most sites and natural highlights are short and comfortable to reach. Funchal has a harbour as a starting point for boat trips around the island or whale and dolphin watching trips. Within Madeira you can choose between many different means of transport. There are plenty of private companies offering jeep safaris, tuk-tuk tours or even cable car rides. There is also a public bus services that connects the rural areas and caters most of the major tourist attractions. The most convenient way to get around and discover the remote places on your own is to hire a car. The taxi company “Bolt“ offers rides that are cheaper than the traditional taxi services and can easily be hired by an app through your smartphone.

Travelling with Children
Madeira is a great destination for families with children. Due to its variety of activities it has to offer, short travel distances and moderate temperatures, even younger children will enjoy the island. There are many hikes through Madeira‘s amazing nature that are suitable for children and where they can learn so much about nature and endemic species. Watching dolphins and whales in their natural habitat or camping in the wild are only two of the thrilling adventures that are enjoyed by the whole family. There are also several special interest museums such as the Volcanism Centre & Caves at São Vicente. It might not be the fun park-type of vacation, but definitely the best of both worlds to enjoy for adults and children alike.

What to bring
No matter if you are big into hiking or not, during your stay in Madeira you will eventually walk some of the paths through Madeira‘s forests or along rock formations. Therefore bring good hiking or walking equipment:
- hiking shoes/boots
- walking sticks (might come in handy on longer walks on uneven terrain)
- warm jacket for walking the mountains (frost and snow can occur during the winter); even in the sommer months temperatures drop with altitude
- rain gear (like on every small island weather can change quickly from sun to rain or vice versa)
- sun screen, sun cover/hat and shades
- swim gear
- snorkel gear (on most organised trips it is provided though)
Obviously don‘t forget your personal stuff and your camera/phone with extra storage as you will be taking lots of incredible photos!

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Madeira, please follow the link below.

 

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* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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