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MADEIRA
Portugal – Madeira

MADEIRA

  • 6 days
  • singles, couples, w/ kids
  • spring, summer, fall, winter

Madeira will captivate you. Beautiful nature, warm weather all year round, ideal place for hiking. In winter, it's likely to rain more often. In these six days, you will discover some truly wonderful treks. Including the beautiful trek to Pico Ruivo. You'll have the opportunity to drive through the whole island and spend a lot of time in nature. This holiday is a great opportunity for some active relaxation. And what’s more, the Madeira wine is delicious. You don't have to worry about the difficulty of the hiking trips, there are many trekking options, everyone can choose according to their physical abilities.

5 / 5

Upon arrival, pick up your rental car at the airport. Madeira is a bit far away, so you probably won't arrive until the afternoon, so on the first day just settle in and have a great dinner. The very next morning, you'll have your first hike to Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço. In the afternoon, you can go to the levada Santo da Serra – Levada da Serra do Faial. On the way back to the hotel you will stop at the Cabo Girão Skywalk. And then you can reward yourself with a great dinner.

On the third day you will start with the short trek at Vereda dos Balcões (PR11) and then take the beautiful Vereda do Pico Ruivo. Alternatively, you can opt for the considerably more challenging trek to Pico Ruivo, which is 10.5 km long and has a beautiful 1,172 m elevation gain. In the afternoon, you will explore part of the northern coast of the island with beautiful views of the ocean.

On the fourth day, in the morning you will hike to the beautiful Levada do Moinho – Levada Nova. There is a waterfall and one longer tunnel along the way. In the afternoon you will then see the volcanic São Vicente Caves and later in the afternoon you will visit Porto Moniz. Alternatively, if you wish, you can make one more nice hike, Levada dos Cedros – Fanal.

On the fifth day you will discover the easy Levada do Alecrim, which you can extend according to your capabilities. In the afternoon you will explore the island's capital, Funchal. Here you will find a beautiful botanical garden, or you can take a sleigh ride with the Carreiros do Monte. It is also possible to go dolphin and whale watching from Funchal. On the last day you probably won't be able to do much before departure, most flights leave in the morning. You may have a moment to relax in the hotel garden and enjoy a last glass of Madeira wine.

Author: Jirka Maleček
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Travel Info

Plane tickets – use your favourite flight search engine. If you don't have a favourite, try kiwi.com. TAP Portugal, for example, offers a lot of flights to Madeira.

Car rental – the island is not very big and the longest crossings you will do are just over an hour, so you don't need a big car. Some of the roads are narrow, consider getting extra insurance. Use AVIS to rent a car.

Prices in the destination – prices in restaurants are slightly lower than is the European standard. If you go to a restaurant off the main tourist routes, you will be pleasantly surprised by the prices.

Calls and data – for EU citizens, everything is the same as at home. WiFi is common in hotels and restaurants and is free.

When to come here – you can travel to Madeira almost any time of the year, except probably in December and January when it's really rainy. The earlier in spring or later in autumn the more often it can rain – especially in the north of the island. But on the other hand, there won't be as many people here at these times.

For weather forecasts, use the great windy.com app. And don't forget, while it's raining on the north side of the island, the south side may be sunny and quite a few degrees warmer!

TIP – hikes and trails along the levadas are plentiful in Madeira. You don't have to limit yourself to our suggestions, but you can adapt the itinerary to your expectations and physical abilities. The website and WalkMe app are ideal for planning treks. The offline hiking maps app mapy.cz also works very well.

Process

  • Book or buy your plane tickets

  • Book accommodation

  • Arrange your car rental

  • Make a plan for the first and last day according to the times of arrival and departure

  • Buy tickets online in advance for the dolphin and whale watching cruise

  • Get your travel insurance

  • Just in case, download some offline maps, for example from mapy.cz, or try the WalkMe app 

What will you see on the way?

TRIP–- Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço (PR8)

TRIP – Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço (PR8)

A beautiful little trek on the east of the island. It’s through open countryside, so take plenty of water and watch out for the sun. The views of the ocean and surrounding area are fantastic. There is a restaurant with restrooms close to the end. Don’t skip the last stretch, it’s a bit of a climb, but the views are definitely worth it.

TRIP – Vereda do Pico Ruivo (PR1.2)

TRIP – Vereda do Pico Ruivo (PR1.2)

An easy road to reach the top of Pico Ruivo. Total length is less than 6 km, elevation gain is just over 300 metres. It is a comfortable path. The views are breath-taking. Even small children can manage the journey.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools

Ponds with fresh sea water. Very cheap entrance fee – only 1,5 EUR. There are changing cabins and toilets. The pools have to be closed when the sea waves are too big. Ideal for a safe swim.

Daily itinerary

Day 1

Arrival, accommodation

Pick up the car. Accommodation and dinner tips.

Day 2

Trek and levada

Easy trek Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço (PR8) and Levada da Serra do Faial. Late afternoon: Cabo Girão Skywalk.

Day 3

To the highest point of the island

In the morning an easy short climb Vereda dos Balcões (PR11), then a beautiful trek Vereda do Pico Ruivo (PR1.2). In the afternoon or evening Casas típicas de Santana .

Day 4

Levada do Moinho – Levada Nova and afternoon swimming in Porto Moniz

Levada do Moinho – Levada Nova in the morning. Afternoon: Levada dos Cedros – Fanal (PR14), or swimming in Porto Moniz.

Day 5

Levada to Alecrim and the island's capital Funchal

Beautiful Levada to Alecrim and afternoon sightseeing in Funchal, or a dolphin and whale watching cruise.

Day 6

Morning relaxation and departure

Relax in the morning or make your own programme. Departure.

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