Overview

Madeira is renowned for its walking trails – a hikers paradise of waymarked trails which follow the island’s famous levada network.

When the first settlers arrived on the island in the 15th Century, they immediately began constructing the first rudimentary levadas – irrigation channels used to transport fresh water from the mountains inland to the settlements on the coast. As the population grew, so did the irrigation network: today there are over 2100km of levadas; remarkable when you consider the island is only 56km long and 21km wide.

Our walking holiday allows you to explore the levadas at your own pace. We’ll normally begin the planning process with a telephone chat, so we can get a feel for the type of walks you prefer before we put together a flexible day-by-day itinerary. You can include a hire car for added flexibility, or our drivers are available to transfer you to-and-from your walks. We’ll normally base you in one of our favourite Quintas in Funchal so you can spend your evenings relaxing in some of Madeira’s bets restaurants – but we can personalise your holiday if you’d prefer a nice, quiet rural location.

Just to add: if you’d prefer to walk with our resident guides, take a look at our Guided levada walking holiday.

Itinerary

You’ll begin your holiday by flying from the UK to Madeira. Our driver will collect you from your flight, for the twenty-minute transfer to your accommodation in Funchal.
You could spend your first full-day exploring Funchal, the capital of Madeira, on foot. The historic Sé Catedral and the Blandy’s wine lodge are within easy walking distance of your hotel, or you could take the Teleferico cable car up to the beautiful Monte Palace Gardens, before returning to the city riding the famous Carro de Cesto wicker taboggans.
Your hire car wil be delivered after breakfast. For your first walk, you could head east to the barren Ponta Sao Lourenco peninsula (PR8 - Distance: 8km, approximate walking time: 4 hours, grading: moderate).
Suggested walk: the Levada Calheta trail from Calheta to the village of Prazeres (Distance: 14km, approximate walking time: two to three hours, grading: easy).
Suggested walk: you might like to walk the trail up to Madeira’s highest peak: Pico Ruivo (1861m) (PR1.2 - distance: 6km, approximate walking time: one to two hours, grading: easy but high !).
Suggested walk: the Rabacal trail to the famous 25 Fontes lagoon(PR6 - distance: 11km, approximate walking time: three to four hours, grading: moderate).
Suggested walk: for your final full day on the island, you might like to head north to walk the Caldeirao Verde Levada (PR9 - Distance: 12km, approximate walking time: 5 hours, grading: moderate).
You'll return your hire car to the airport before flying home.

From £1300 per person

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

INCLUDED: International flights from LGW (guide price). Accommodation in twin share, en-suite rooms on a breakfast only basis. Return airport transfers. Car hire for 6 days (Renault Clio or similar - group B), including delivery and pick up from your accommodation. Cost includes SCDW (super collision damage waiver), one driver, SatNav, but no PAI (personal accident insurance) or fuel.

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