Overview

If you’re an independent family and prefer to do your own thing, then our ten-night holiday at Palheiro Village is ideal.

Your home for the week is a spacious, modern villa high in the Sao Goncalo hills overlooking the capital Funchal. Palheiro’s villas are purpose-built and well-equipped, with private balconies, ocean views, and you can choose between a private garden or a private pool (there’s also a shared pool in the village). We’ll include a hire car to help you get get around, and suggestions of our favourite things to see and do right across the island. We’ve also included three excursions…

A whale and dolphin watching trip

A guided jeep tour

A guided canyoning session

…and if you’d like to personalise your trip with any extra or alternative activities, just let us know.

We’ve based this trip around a ten-night stay but it’s easy to extend your holiday to a full two weeks – or you could split your stay between Madeira and the beach-island of Porto Santo. Feel free to call for a chat with one of our holiday experts, or you can fill in an enquiry form and we’ll do the rest.

Itinerary

You'll begin your holiday by flying from the UK to Madeira. You’ll be collected on arrival in Funchal by our driver, for your transfer to Palheiro Village (a fifteen-minute drive). A welcome hamper is included with some essential supplies (and a few lovely Madeiran treats).
Your hire car will be delivered to your villa this morning. You could spend your first day exploring Funchal; capital of Madeira and the island’s bustling, cultural centre. Take the Teleferico cable car from the old town district up to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, returning on the famous Carro de Cesto wicker toboggans.
You'll head down to the marina for your first whale and dolphin watching trip. Trips begin with a safety briefing and a chat through the species currently being sighted, before you head out to sea.
You might like to explore north-eastern Madeira: visiting the forest park at Ribeiro Frio and the town of Santana: home to the Parque Temático da Madeira.
It’s a short drive from your villa to the town of Machico - the spot where Joao Goncalves Zarco and Trisao Vaz Texiera first landed when they discovered the island on 1st July 1419. You could spend the morning at the beach and the afternoon exploring the barren Ponta Sao Lourenco.
You’ll spend today with our resident guide, getting off-the-beaten track by jeep. Tours are private and flexible - we'll normally recommend heading north to the Casacata Veu da Noiva waterfall, the Encumeada mountain pass and the outdoor swimming pools in Porto Moniz.
You could take a drive along the south coast to the harbour town of Camara de Lobos – home to some of the island’s largest banana plantations and vineyards. Winston Churchill famously visited the town during a stay on the island in 1950 – the ‘Miradouro de Winston Churchill’ was named in his honour. A more modern miradouro is close-by at Cabo Girao – a glass skywalk which extends out over the 580m high Cabo Girao seacliff.
You might like to personalise your holiday with a sunset sailing trip around Sao Martinho and Ponta da Cruz. There's a chance to see Cabo Girao from below, and time for a snorkel before the return journey as the sun sets.
You could take a drive to the Eira do Serrado – the famous miradouro (viewpoint) overlooking the Curral das Freiras, or Nuns Valley. The nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara famously took refuge here in the mid-16th Century, following attacks by French pirates on Funchal. Cherries and chestnuts are the main crops grown on the terraces that you’ll see lining the steep sides of the valley - the annual Chestnut festival on the 1st November is one of the island’s most popular celebrations.
You'll spend your final day canyoning down the Lomba das Faias, scrambling down a narrow forest gulley and abseiling down cascading waterfalls.
You'll return your hire car to the airport before flying home.

From £1500 per person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

INCLUDED: International flight from LGW (guide price). Accommodation in Madeira in a two bed room apartment at Palheiro village on self-catering basis. Arrival airport transfer. Excursions as detailed in the itinerary. Car hire for 6 days (Renault Megane or similar - group E) including delivery to your accommodation and drop off at the airport a. Cost includes SCDW (super collision damage waiver), one driver, but no PAI (personal accident insurance) or fuel.

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