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Portugal Island of Madeira Hiking Tour

Verdant Mountains, Scenic Valleys & Coastal Villages


Experience the dramatic landscapes of enchanting Madeira, the Pearl of the Atlantic, on this new 8-day island adventure. Follow breathtaking trails high above the sea on a network of levadas and terraces, which help make the island's mountainous topography accessible to hikers. Wander windswept plateaus above plunging cliffs on the Picos de Madeira, and explore the flower-filled towns of Santana and Jardim do Mar. Savor the flavors of Madeira in Funchal's marketplace and taste traditional Madeiran sweets - and rum. Madeira is often voted one of the world's top island destinations! Now you can explore it on foot with MT Sobek.

8 Days

From: $3,995

Experience the dramatic landscapes of enchanting Madeira, the Pearl of the Atlantic, on this new 8-day island adventure. Follow breathtaking trails high above the sea on a network of levadas and terraces, which help make the island's mountainous topography accessible to hikers. Wander windswept plateaus above plunging cliffs on the Picos de Madeira, and explore the flower-filled towns of Santana and Jardim do Mar. Savor the flavors of Madeira in Funchal's marketplace and taste traditional Madeiran sweets - and rum. Madeira is often voted one of the world's top island destinations! Now you can explore it on foot with MT Sobek.

Highlights


  • Hike the high terraced ridges of Madeira and delight in sweeping Atlantic Ocean views

  • Encounter subtropical nature at its most spectacular as you follow paths to quaint coastal villages

  • Taste the flavors of Madeira on a gourmet walking tour in Funchal and sleep in comfort each night

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Portugal Island of Madeira Hiking

Start: Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal  End: Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Madeira, Portugal

    Day 1

    Touch down in Santa Cruz and transfer northeast to the coastal village of Santana. Check into your boutique hotel and spa, surrounded by gardens with lush vegetation. Meet your group for a briefing at 6pm, then enjoy a festive welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Hike the Boca do Risco Coastal Path to Porta da Cruz

    Day 2

    Wake for a panoramic coastal hike on the Boca do Risco Coastal Path at 1,000 feet above sea level. Following a rocky volcanic trail, you'll enjoy sweeping views of the ocean surf below - and simply stunning island vistas from the top of the pass. After a while, the path becomes forested with pine and eucalyptus trees before descending, past small hamlets and terraced crops, towards the village of Porto da Cruz. Toast your hike on a visit to Porta da Cruz's rum factory!

    Accommodation: Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf

    Activity: 4.5 hours/8 miles hiking with 820' elevation gain and 1,150' elevation loss

    Transportation: 45-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Follow Trails to Caldeirao Verde

    Day 3

    Embark on a fun hike following a levada (irrigation channel) through crop terraces and tunnels carved into the rocks. Your destination is Caldeirao Verde, a misty, fairy-tale jungle with waterfalls and lush vegetation. The scenic return journey takes you above the terraces and affords more panoramic ocean views.

    Accommodation: Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf

    Activity: 4.5 hours/8.5 miles hiking with 360' elevation gain and 1,960' elevation loss

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Picos de Madeira

    Day 4

    Today you'll hike the spectacular Picos de Madeira, an unmissable spot on the island's central ridge. The trail has alternating ascents and descents (often steep) in a tangle of volcanic rocks that make you feel truly at the heart of the island. The views will give you goosebumps - guaranteed! Next, transfer to Funchal and your second 4-star hotel of the trip.

    Accommodation: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

    Activity: 3.75 hours/6 miles hiking with 2,750' elevation gain and 2,050' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Gourmet Tour of Funchal

    Day 5

    Savor Madeira's local delicacies on today's guided gourmet tour. Starting from the hotel, you'll head through historic streets to Mercado dos Lavradores - the city's vibrant market, brimming with flowers, vegetables, and exotic fruits. Stroll the stalls before tasting a traditional hot sandwich made with fresh garlic bread. The afternoon is dedicated to discovering and tasting Madeiran sweets, including sampling honey cakes and ginger biscuits in a traditional 19th-century factory, and enjoying special Madeiran chocolate in a chocolate bar. Then, spend an afternoon at your leisure to explore the narrow cobblestone streets, take the cable car up to Monte, or visit the botanical garden. Meet back with the group for dinner tonight.

    Accommodation: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

    Activity: 4 hours easy touring

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Levada Rabacal & 25 Fontes

    Day 6

    After breakfast, set off on a drive up to Paul da Serra Plateau, one of the island's most popular walking destinations. At 3,940 feet, the plateau affords incredible panoramic views over mountains and lush valleys. Enjoy a scenic hike along levadas and through fields of heather, stopping off to view several pretty waterfalls including the Cascada do Risco.

    Accommodation: Aqua Natura Bay

    Activity: 4 hours/6.75 miles hiking with 650' elevation gain and loss

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • The Royal Way of Paul do Mar

    Day 7

    Starting in the charming village of Jardim do Mar, with its narrow cobblestone streets and blossoming bougainvillea, follow an ancient path up to Prazeres. Enjoy incredible ocean and village views from the top before descending via a zigzag path to the fishing village of Paul do Mar. A farewell dinner awaits tonight!

    Accommodation: Aqua Natura Bay

    Activity: 3 hours/7 miles hiking with 1,950' elevation gain and loss

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Santa Cruz, Madeira

    Day 8

    Your trip ends after breakfast with a transfer from the hotel to Santa Cruz airport.

    Transportation: 40-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

  • Jul 08 - 15, 2023
    $3,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$700 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 19 - 26, 2023
    $3,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$700 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 16 - 23, 2023
    $3,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$700 single supplement
    Available

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:


2023 Pricing

6 to 7 guests from $4,195 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:


Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Take Over One of These Dates


Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Local Tour Guide

Local Tour Guide

We work with only the most experienced and knowledgeable local tour guides on our trip extensions. While you will not be accompanied by an MT Sobek through guide on this tour, you will be in excellent hands with a fully licensed and accredited local guide who will share their expertise in everything from history and architecture, to culture and traditions, the best local cuisine, activities and crafts, or even shopping. Local guides live, breathe, and love their trips because as locals they are an integral part of their communities. Their connections run deep and pride in their piece of the world is contagious.

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Touch down in Santa Cruz and transfer northeast to the coastal village of Santana. Check into your boutique hotel and spa, surrounded by gardens with lush vegetation. Meet your group for a briefing at 6pm, then enjoy a festive welcome dinner.

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Wake for a panoramic coastal hike on the Boca do Risco Coastal Path at 1,000 feet above sea level. Following a rocky volcanic trail, you\'ll enjoy sweeping views of the ocean surf below - and simply stunning island vistas from the top of the pass. After a while, the path becomes forested with pine and eucalyptus trees before descending, past small hamlets and terraced crops, towards the village of Porto da Cruz. Toast your hike on a visit to Porta da Cruz\'s rum factory!

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Embark on a fun hike following a levada (irrigation channel) through crop terraces and tunnels carved into the rocks. Your destination is Caldeirao Verde, a misty, fairy-tale jungle with waterfalls and lush vegetation. The scenic return journey takes you above the terraces and affords more panoramic ocean views.

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Today you\'ll hike the spectacular Picos de Madeira, an unmissable spot on the island\'s central ridge. The trail has alternating ascents and descents (often steep) in a tangle of volcanic rocks that make you feel truly at the heart of the island. The views will give you goosebumps - guaranteed! Next, transfer to Funchal and your second 4-star hotel of the trip.

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Savor Madeira\'s local delicacies on today\'s guided gourmet tour. Starting from the hotel, you\'ll head through historic streets to Mercado dos Lavradores - the city\'s vibrant market, brimming with flowers, vegetables, and exotic fruits. Stroll the stalls before tasting a traditional hot sandwich made with fresh garlic bread. The afternoon is dedicated to discovering and tasting Madeiran sweets, including sampling honey cakes and ginger biscuits in a traditional 19th-century factory, and enjoying special Madeiran chocolate in a chocolate bar. Then, spend an afternoon at your leisure to explore the narrow cobblestone streets, take the cable car up to Monte, or visit the botanical garden. Meet back with the group for dinner tonight.

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After breakfast, set off on a drive up to Paul da Serra Plateau, one of the island\'s most popular walking destinations. At 3,940 feet, the plateau affords incredible panoramic views over mountains and lush valleys. Enjoy a scenic hike along levadas and through fields of heather, stopping off to view several pretty waterfalls including the Cascada do Risco.

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Starting in the charming village of Jardim do Mar, with its narrow cobblestone streets and blossoming bougainvillea, follow an ancient path up to Prazeres. Enjoy incredible ocean and village views from the top before descending via a zigzag path to the fishing village of Paul do Mar. A farewell dinner awaits tonight!

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Your trip ends after breakfast with a transfer from the hotel to Santa Cruz airport.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 3. On this trip, you will be hiking 3-5 hours a day, at elevations below 6,000 feet. While the elevation is not significant, the trails can be steep and rocky, requiring stamina, excellent balance, and coordination. You need to be in good physical condition to enjoy this experience.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

4.5 hours/8 miles hiking with 820' elevation gain and 1,150' elevation loss

Day 3

4.5 hours/8.5 miles hiking with 360' elevation gain and 1,960' elevation loss

Day 4

3.75 hours/6 miles hiking with 2,750' elevation gain and 2,050' elevation loss

Day 5

4 hours easy touring

Day 6

4 hours/6.75 miles hiking with 650' elevation gain and loss

Day 7

3 hours/7 miles hiking with 1,950' elevation gain and loss

Accommodations


Ideally situated 4-star hotels boasting breathtaking views, and offering indoor and outdoor pools with spa services.

Castanheiro Boutique Hotel
Castanheiro Boutique Hotel

The unique 4-star Castanheiro Boutique Hotel comprises five historically classified buildings that lead guests on a journey through three centuries of Funchal, from the 18th century to today! Its 81 rooms are beautifully appointed and come with modern amenities. Step outside into the historic part of Funchal or take a dip in the lap pool with panoramic views!

Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf
Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf

Guestrooms offer free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibars, as well as safes, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. A spa offers massages, an indoor pool, a sauna and an exercise room. Other amenities include a game room, a restaurant and a garden. A casual lounge with a fireplace serves afternoon tea.

Aqua Natura Bay
Aqua Natura Bay

Aqua Natura Bay is known for its ideal location and sweeping views over the Atlantic Ocean mountainside. Guestrooms offer private bathrooms, eco-friendly amenities, cable TV, safe, minibar, coffee and tea facilities, Wi-Fi internet, and air conditioning.

Weather


Madeira is known as the island of eternal spring. Coastal temperatures hover around 68/70°F through April, and reach 77/79°F from July to October.

 
Jul
Aug
Sep
Funchal 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Funchal
74
64
76
66
76
65
Madeira 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Madeira
63
53
65
55
65
54

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

You will be met by your guide(s) at the airport in Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal upon your arrival.

Is previous hiking experience required?

If you do not have previous hiking experience, you will enjoy this experience more if you embark on a moderate training program prior to your trip. Call us for details.

Is it difficult to get to Madeira?

No. Generally, you\'ll need to fly to Europe and then connect to Madeira. Most flight route through Madrid and Lisbon, but there are many other connections.

What is the cuisine of Madeira?

Madeira is famous for its hearty meat dishes, fresh seafood delights, and a variety of tropical fruits, but most diets can be accommodated.

Who is this trip perfect for?

This adventure is perfect for people who want to hike at a moderate pace with ample time to take in breathtaking views, delicious food, and the spa.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."

Bob J.
MT Sobek Guest

"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."

Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guest