Portugal : Madeira

Walking the Waterways and villages of Madeira

Trip code: W07MS 4 (4 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

17.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Wonderful walking along the levadas of Madeira and seeing the most beautiful waterfalls on the island
  • Known as the floating garden of the Atlantic, Madeira offers a wealth of flora and fauna and unforgettable beauty
  • Excellent 5* hotel with an exclusive and refined feel, relaxing spa and wellness centre, just 30 minutes from Funchal

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and dinner on first night
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Group B Car hire

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Surging from the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira offers a temperate sub-tropical paradise perfect for year-round walking. One of Madeira's many charms is its infinite variety; each day's walking and every levada - the island's unique network of water channels - is different. Landscapes vary from cultivated vine terraces and verdant slopes dotted with white hamlets to coastal cliffs with balcony views over the azure seas. Also a nature lover's paradise, there are over 120 endemic species of flora and fauna including the pride of Madeira, the bird-of-paradise, along with jacaranda, tiny bisbis birds, chaffinches and hawks - the list is endless.

On this self guided walking holiday in Madeira you are free to explore at your leisure as car hire is provided and you drive to and from the start of the walks each day. Walking many of the levadas for which Madeira is so famous for you explore the best the island has to offer. With fantastic vistas of the island from Paul do Mar in the west to the hills on the Eastern side of the island around Machico which was originally the capital of Madeira. Discover the lakes of Madeira and the impressive Lagoa do Venta waterfall and walk to one of the highest peaks on island the Pico Grande. Take time to discover the capital Funchal, known for its historical centre and bustling market place

You will stay at the ***** Bio Hotel Quinta da Serra which is located in a lush green valley, 820 m above sea-level in Jardim da Serra Village, just 30 minutes from Funchal. Next to the hotel's garden area there is an indoor pool, hot tub and a Spa & Wellness centre so there is plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy your surroundings. It has an excellent restaurant (dinner included on your first nights and half board upgrade options available), it offers typical Madeiran cuisine and many of the organic ingredients come from the hotels own gardens.

Terrain

This holiday uses paths by the levadas which are, at times, narrow with drops to the side. You need to be a confident, sure-footed walker and if you do struggle with vertigo, you may find this challenging. There are ascents and descents every day which make this a slightly more demanding holiday than the distances suggest. We would recommend walking poles and carrying a torch.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Madeira

Arrival in Madeira and pick up your hire car before driving to your hotel (approx 45 mins).Below is a suggested itinerary for the week, however, as you have your own hire car and you are staying at the same hotel all week, this holiday offers complete flexibility and you are free to pick and choose when and where you walk each day.

You stay at Bio Hotel Quinta da Serra.

hotel details

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Bio Hotel Quinta da Serra, Jardim da Serra Village

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The delightful 5-star BIO Hotel - Hotel Quinta da Serra is situated in Jardim da Serra Village, in a lush green valley, approximately 2,691 feet above sea-level. Next to the hotel's garden area there is an indoor pool, hot tub and a Spa & Wellness centre. Each of the Quinta da Serra’s modern air conditioned rooms and suites comes equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, minibar. The hotel’s garden area has a varied flora, which includes the island’s tallest recorded eucalyptus tree. The old Quinta building has a games room with billiards, a fireplace and a library. The Funchal centre is within a 30-minute drive and features many restaurants, bars and shops. Madeira Airport is a 45-minute drive from the BIO Hotel - Hotel Quinta da Serra.

Room upgrades and extra nights: Contact us for details.

Day 2: Pico Grande (10km/6.2mi)

Start your walking from a height of 1200m to the Pico Grande; one of the highest peaks of the Island with stunning views over Nun's Valley, Ribeira Brava and Pico Ruivo. The climb to the top of Pico Grande is challenging but very worthwhile especially on sunny and clear days. Walking poles are recommended for this walk.

elevation

Day 3: Lakes of Madeira (15km/9.3mi)

Walk alongside the Levada do Alecrim enjoying fantastic views over the Rabacal valley. You walk past 3 waterfalls, the most impressive being the second one; Lagoa do Vento. After passing the waterfalls you make your way back, there is a shelter house in Rabacal where you can enjoy a drink and a snack before taking the shuttle bus (payable locally) to return to the car park.

elevation

Day 4: Paul do Mar (20km/12.4mi)

This circular walk takes you to one of the most beautiful villages of the island, Paul do Mar. An impressive walk, if a little steep in the first part until sea level. Stop in the centre of the village for a break before passing through the countryside to Faja da Ovelha where you'll follow the levada back to Prazeres.

elevation

Day 5: Free Day

Spend a day exploring at leisure in the capital, Funchal. Explore the historic centre with its Gothic cathedral built in the 16th century, the collegiate church with impressive gilt work and soak in the atmosphere. Sample the local flavours in the bustling farmers market with exotic fruits and the traditional honey cake and don't forget to visit Funchals most colourful street, the Rua de Santa Maria where the doors have been brightly painted with murals. There's a myriad of places to enjoy a perfect lunch down by the harbour.

Day 6: Machico area (18km/11.2mi)

This walk takes you into the hills of Machico which was the first capital of the island. After the walk through the mountains you will be rewarded with superb views over the North coast and the enchanting Risco view point. Climb in the direction of Pico Castanho, heading towards the fishing village of Canical with super views over Ponta de Sao Lourenco. Take the levada back to your car.

elevation

Day 7: Lombada and the levada Nova (9km/5.6mi)

Starting at the church in the village of Lombada there are excellent vistas today with panoramic views of the valley and the beautiful village of Ponta do Sol. Following the Levada do Moinho you will climb the path that leads to Levada Nova where you'll reach its impressive waterfall before arriving back in Lombada.

elevation

Day 8: Leave Madeira

Leave hotel and return your hire car back to the airport.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon.

hotel details

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Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Owned by the same family since 1953, the 4 star Hotel Lisboa Plaza is an imaginatively designed hotel, just off the famous Avenida da Liberdade. All rooms have en-suite marble floored bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television, direct dial telephones, hairdryers and mini-bar. The public rooms are elegantly furnished and there is a pleasant bar and dining room.

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$1955
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$1955
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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $597.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $597.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Half board upgrades available
  • Car hire upgrades
TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

Our local representative didn't show up.

The car hire company were very helpful when we had an accident.

Some of the notes on the routes for walking need updating and further information to make them clearer.

The hotel was great it was nice to have this level of luxury after a days walking.

Although we normally walk about 10miles a day we thought that the walks might be a little short but this was unfounded, we hadn't taken into account the effect of altitude.

Deborah Hibberd, 13 Mar 2024

 

Good

Gordon Lamb, 11 Sep 2023

 

Hotel excellent; some of the walks quite tricky. Driving (to the hotel and to each walk) is not for the faint hearted!

Ms Cannell, 17 Mar 2023

 

Routes were varied, interesting and well documented. Hotel standard and service was excellent. Location was probably too remote with a tortuous car journey back to near sea level from 800m, to start access to many walks. Location also meant there were no local alternative dining destinations.

Mr Hall, 16 Jan 2023

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

17.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from $1955

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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