8 days
Moderate to Challenging

  A great year-round walking destination and a paradise for nature lovers

 Discover the contrasts of the ‘Flower Island’, with its lush green interior and rugged coastline

  Stroll along volcanic crests, high above the ocean

  Walk the Levadas (a network of narrow canals unique to Madeira) that crisscross the island.

  Explore Funchal’s cobbled streets and browsing the flower market

Trekking in Madeira

Self-guided walking holiday with private transfers and luggage transportation

Madeira is the perfect year-round hiking destination due to its mild climate and diversity of landscapes. In just a few hours walking, you will go from immense volcanic mountains to a subtropical oceanside. Towering peaks rise from the laurel forests, separated by lush, deep valleys with excellent hiking trails.

Madeira is nicknamed the “Pearl of the Atlantic” and is famed for its beautiful endemic vegetation (such as the Madeira orchids, digitalis and blueweed). This volcanic island is incredibly fertile and produces crops from bananas and sugar cane to yams and sweet potatoes. The “poios” (terraced lands) are still worked and harvested by the locals in even the most remote areas of the island.

Hiking the Levadas

The irrigation system is possible thanks to the many Lévadas – small canals – that gather the water from endless water streams of the North of the island. These canals offer a perfect way to discover this island, thanks to the many paths that run along them – forming a network of walking trails across this sub-tropical island. These make for fantastic walking routes, taking you to many spectacular viewpoints.

The island was colonised in 1425 by Portugal. Towns and villages were constructed during the golden age of the Portuguese empire. Towns such as Funchal are a wonderful example of this type of Portuguese colonial architecture.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €720 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 3 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*A high season supplement will apply during peak booking periods.
*This trip is unfortunately not available to solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION In charming hotels/guesthouses on a bed & breakfast basis. All rooms are en-suite.
The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.

AVAILABILITY You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) throughout the year.
7 nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
7 Breakfasts
5 dinners (three course meal in your hotel, drinks extra)
Private taxi transfers to and from Funchal airport
Private taxi transfers to and from your walks as per the itinerary
Luggage transport
Road Book with detailed walking itineraries &  highlighted maps
1 general map of Madeira 1:40,000
Pre-departure information pack
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunch packs
Dinner in Machico or Funchal (lots of restaurant options in both)
Drinks and snacks
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)

Day 1: Arrival in Madeira & transfer to Machico

You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred by taxi to Machico. Machico, the first town founded in Madeira, is the former capital city of this island. Today it is a small peaceful seaside resort. Depending on your arrival time, you will have the opportunity to wander in the village and walk along the beachside promenade. Have dinner in one of the excellent local restaurants, which serve fresh seafood and agricultural produce of the island.

Overnight: Machico


Day 2: the Boca do Risco balconies

Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 250 m | Descent: 350 m | 4 hrs 15 mins approx.

A short transfer takes you to the start of the Levada do Caniçal for one of Madeira’s most beautiful walks, on a footpath 300 metres above the ocean. After the terraced pastures of the Ribeira Seca valley, the coastal path of Boca do Risco gives you a birds eye view over the backwash and creaks below. The walk finishes with a descent to the ocean and to the charming fishermen’s village of Porto da Cruz, located along the northern coast of the island in one of the few places where the cliffs do not drop directly into the Atlantic.

Transfer to Santana, famed for its typical thatched houses.

Overnight: Santana (dinner included)


Day 3: Caldeiro Verde

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 90 m | Descent: 600 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Beginning with a short transfer, today you will discover one of the most spectacular Levada hikes of Madeira.  Walking gradually into the famous Laurisilva – remains of the humid subtropical laurel forest that was once widespread across the globe but is now only found in Madeira, the Azores and the western Canary islands. In the lush interior of the island, you will spot many examples of the endemic flora, including large photonias and Madeira laurels, heather, orchids, isoplexis and blueweed of Madeira.

After several tunnels and cliffside passageways (safe), you will reach the famous Caldeiro Verde (“Green Cauldron”). Finally, you begin your descent to the isolated village of Ilha. You will enjoy incredible vantage points over the ocean all the way on your descent.

Return transfer to Santana.

Overnight: Santana (dinner included)


Day 4: Pico Ruivo

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 550 m | Descent: 1240 m | 6 hrs approx.

One of the nicest mountain hikes of the island! From Achada do Teixera, the path will lead you to the summit of the island – Pico Ruivo – and later to the crests of the mountain chain that crosses the island from west to east.

On several occasions, the path follows the northern and southern slopes giving you great vantage points of the coasts of the island. You will pass through different ecosystems, such as the laurisilva and mountain forests. Arrival at your accommodation located on the central plateau.

Overnight: Encumeada (dinner included)


Day 5: Col d’Encumeada / Pico Grande / Boca da Corrida

Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 750 m | Descent: 450 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Possibility to walk up the Pico Grande, +/-360 m and 2h extra of walking time.

Today you will be hiking on the flanks of Pico Grande and the col of Boca da Corrida. You will have stunning views of the crests of the Curral das Freiras.

At the end of your walk you will be transferred to the coastal town of Jardim do Mar, where you will spend the next two nights.

Overnight: Jardim do Mar (dinner included)


Day 6: Jardim do Mar / Prazeres / Paul do Mar

Distance: 8 km | Ascent: 650 m | Descent: 650 m | 3½ hrs approx.

This morning you will start the day with a hike up to the rocky and volcanic faces to get to the farmland and village of Prazeres. Feel free to have a much-earned break at the Quinta Pedagogica of Prazeres to enjoy a cha de limao (a tea infused with aromatic lemon peel). Descend to the desert plateau of Paul do Mar via a spectacular path surrounded by poios (terraced pastures). This path is part of a great network of “royal” paths that were used, in the past, by the Paul do Mar fishermen who wanted to go to other villages to sell their catch. You can get back to the village of Jardim do Mar by a short taxi ride (payable on site).

Overnight: Jardim do Mar (dinner included)


Day 7: Funchal

Transfer to Funchal. A free day to explore Madeira’s capital; a charming town built amphitheatre-style around the bay. The town’s name originates from the word fennel (Foncho in Portuguese) that was growing in this bay when the Portuguese disembarked there. It is very enjoyable to wander through its narrow streets and alleys, its colourful gardens and its seafront promenade. Also not to be missed is the ‘Mercado dos Lavradores’, a colourful fruit and fish market.

Other optional possibilities (to be paid on site):

  • Some of the best views of Funchal can be observed from the cable car that takes visitors from the seafront to the mountain village of Monte.
  • Return from Monte to Funchal’s city centre on a “Carreiro do Monte”, a traditional wicker-made sledge, used by locals to get, quickly, to Funchal.

Overnight: Funchal


Day 8: Departure

A taxi transfer will take you to Madeira airport for your return flight.

Getting to Machico

  Madeira’s only international airport is  Funchal Airport.

You can either fly direct or get a connecting flight via Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, or elsewhere. There are direct flights to Funchal from many European cities.

We will arrange taxi transfers to your first hotel in Machico and from your last hotel in Funchal to  Funchal Airport. Please advise us of your arrival and departure flight times as soon as you have booked them.
Madeira north coast
Traditional thatched cottage in Santana, Madeira
Vertical cliffs on Madeira's north coast at Santana (c) Francisco Correia
Trekking in Madeira among mountains, clouds and flowers
Madeira forest path
Hiking among the waterfalls in Madeira
Local banana farmer in Madeira
Levada hiking path, Madeira
Path to Pico Ruivo
Hiking toward Pico Ruivo, Madeira
Hiking path above the clouds at Pico Ruivo
Hiking in the peaks of Madeira
Madeira, Pico do Areeiro
Hiking Madeira Encumeada
The hiking trail from Pico Ruivo to Encumeada in Madeira
Verada do Fanal (Francisco Correia, Visit Madeira)
Madeira, flower island
Hiking to Paul do Mar
Jardim do Mar
Funchal Botanic Garden

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review

Really worthwhile, well organised and great itinerary. A couple of the hotels are poor, so suggest you make your own adjustments. Some of the walks are challenging but stunning.


Thank you for your feedback Caroline. We have now changed our standard accommodation in Machico to a nicer hotel close to the beach 🙂

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