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Route:

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Medium. 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 maximum 5 hours.

Total Distance: 81 km

Travel Season: Departures Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from January 8 to December 10, 2022
Season 1: January 8 – March 19 and October 30 – December 10
Season 2: March 20 – May 28 and September 25 – October 29
Season 3: May 29 - September 24

Accommodation:

Category: 4**** hotels, 2x lovely 2** hotel (Porto da Cruz)

Cloud forests, dark lava rocks and sunlit banana plantations. Sounds like a different holiday destination? No! The island of Madeira, not far from Lisbon in the Atlantic, offers a colourful variety for botanists, hikers and pleasure seekers.  Over eight days you will explore from Porto da Cruz to the capital Funchal.  You will walk through the plateau of Paul da Serra, looking for shade in the laurel forests and taking a relaxing swim in the black lava rock.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival to 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.

Day 2

Circular walk along the wild north coast 15 km + 550 m – 550 m

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 breathtaking views.

Day 3

Santana – Sao Jorge – Sao Vicente, the quiet North Coast 15 km + 650 m - 150 m

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 gardens with wine, sugar cane, 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 Ribiero Bonito.

Day 4

Sao Vicente – Porto Moniz, high plateau and cloud forest 11 km +150 m – 350 m

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 shady high altitude paths rich in spectacular views, through shady laurel forests, which are partially a UNESCO world natural 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 of the blue sea. This charming place is well-known for its natural swimming pools, which were formed by the ocean from black lava rock.

Day 5

Porto Moniz – Calheta, Levada Nova 17 km + 50 m – 650 m

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 Parzeres is known as one of the loveliest villages of Madeira Island. On your walk through fragrant eucalyptus forests, you will keep seeing Callas, Amaryllis and Agapanthus growing wildly. You will stay overnight in the lively coastal village, Calheta. It has a fine sandy beach and an elegant marina.

Day 6

Calheta – Funchal, Levada do Norte 15 km + 250 m -150 m

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 fragrant eucalyptus forests, past farmed terraces and through 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.

Day 7

Circular walk Monte & botanic gardens 8 km +100 m – 550 m

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 sledges 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 meters.

Day 8

Individual departure or extension

Prices

    Included:

    • 7 overnight stays, including breakfast
    • Luggage transfer
    • Welcome briefing
    • Transfers according to the programme
    • Bus ride from Cabo Girao to Funchal
    • Uphill cable car journey to Monte/Funchal
    • Carefully elaborated route description
    • Detailed travel documents 1x per room
    • App for navigation and GPS data available
    • Service hotline

    Not Included:

    • Any visitor’s taxes, payable locally

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