Known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’, Madeira is an island of luscious vegetation, transparent lagoons and spectacular natural scenery; thus it is an excellent destination for outdoor activities! Together with your local guide, enjoy a light hiking excursion along the beautiful levadas (irrigation channels), explore the island’s diverse flora and see some of the most breathtaking views in Portugal. While in Madeira you will also visit the famous Laurisilva of Madeira Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds a unique suite of plants and animals, including many endemic species. If you’re a lover of art and culture, then you’ll definitely want to visit the Sacred Art Museum of Funchal to view Madeira’s top collection of Flemish and Portuguese art. The laid back destination of Madeira will enchant you with its natural beauty, authentic vibe and plethora of activities and attractions.
Madeira’s natural beauty is enchanting and it will captivate you just like it has other travelers for centuries.
A land of surprises and we are excited to discover it together!
DAY 1: WELCOME TO MADEIRA ISLAND & FUNCHAL
Welcome to Madeira Island! Today, you will be collected outside customs and transferred by deluxe vehicle with English speaking chauffeur to the heart of FUNCHAL staying at the charming “CASTANHEIRO BOUTIQUE HOTEL” or similar. Meet your tour guide at 18.00 for a welcome drink followed by dinner in a local gourmet restaurant. Overnight in FUNCHAL
DAY 2: THE MAGIC OF FUNCHAL & MONTE
With the help of your expert guide discover the first city built by the Portuguese in its maritime expansion in the XV Century, FUNCHAL. You will start by visiting the Saint Catarina Chapel, one of the first churches to be constructed in the island, and will continue to the Cathedral, dating back to the XV Century. Your tour continues to the Lavradores Market, one of the highlights that Madeira has to offer, where all the scents, the colors, the tradition join together to delight you and the Botanical garden with its wide variety of trees and plants, brought from all over the world, some of which endemic.After an included lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll visit the idyllic hilltop town of MONTE, for long a retreat for wealthy families, with its spectacular views of the capital and the southern coast. You’re free to wander at leisure or join us for an included visit to the PALACE TROPICAL GARDEN.Later we return to the hotel by cable car for a dramatic 15-minute ride or if you are feeling adventurous, you could take the famous TOBOGGANride.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight in FUNCHAL
DAY 3: THE MAGIC OF EASTERN MADEIRA & WINE TASTING IN A MADEIRA QUINTA
Today we explore diverse landscapes from craggy coastlines to ancient forests. PONTA DO ROSTO is Madeira’s easternmost point, on a sliver of land jutting out into the Atlantic, and offers dazzling panoramas. Following the northern coast, we call at sleepy PORTO DA CRUZ, named after a large cross displayed to identify it to passing sailors. We arrive in the town ofSANTANA, famous for its A-frame thatched houses. Made from stone, wood and anything else to hand, they have brightly painted doors and windows and each sits on its own plot of land used to grow food.After an included lunch accompanied by a wine tasting in a local quinta, we head towards the mountainous interior and one of the highlights of the tour – the UNESCO-listed RIBEIRO FRIO NATIONAL PARK. Ascending slopes cloaked in fragrant eucalyptus and swirling mists, we emerge at PICO DO ARIEIRO, Madeira’s third-highest mountain at 5,930 feet.Dinner is not included this evening. Overnight in FUNCHAL
DAY 4: BACKROAD MADEIRA: CURRAL DAS FREIRAS & CÂMARA DE LOBOS
Our morning begins with a short drive north to Madeira’s dramatic interior and the Curral das Freiras or Valley of the Nuns. We drive to Eira do Serrado, over 3,500 feet above sea level, part of a natural cauldron of jagged peaks and chasms, with time to soak up the glorious views down to the village of Curral das Freiras itself. After time on your own for lunch, we head toCâmara de Lobos, a fishing village built around a bay with Europe’s highest cliffs forming a breathtaking backdrop.The remainder of the day is at leisure.Spend the last three nights at the exclusive “QUINTINHA SAOJOAO” or similar, with breakfast included.Dinner is included in a local restaurant. Overnight near FUNCHAL
DAY 5: HIGHLIGHTS OF WESTERN MADEIRA
Our first stop is CABO GIRAO and the spectacle of the island’s highest sea cliff – a sheer drop of 1,980 feet. Experiencing the views from the transparent viewing platform extending over the cliff edge is truly exhilarating. We next visit charming RIBEIRA BRAVA, a small town set in a steep valley carved out by the ‘wild river’ that gives the settlement its name. Madeira’s tropical climate is perfect for growing bananas and in the fishing village of MADALENA DO MAR you can experience life on a small banana plantation, where much of the work is still carried out by hand. After an included lunch in a local restaurant, we ascend nearly 5,000 feet to the flattest part of the island, PAUL DA SERRA plateau and continue to PORTO MONIZ blessed with natural saltwater pools, formed from solidified volcanic rock and replenished by the waves as they break against the rocks.We return on the northern coastal route via the village of SEIXAL to see one of Madeira’s most famous waterfalls – the BRIDAL VEIL – cascading down the side of the mountain into the sea. Our final stop is SAO VICENTE, a village nestling in a deep verdant valley and believed to be the volcanic birthplace of the island.Overnight near FUNCHAL
DAY 6: MY TIME IN FUNCHAL
The whole day is at your leisure. Maybe make full use of the hotel’s facilities or choose to explore Funchal. Tonight we’ll celebrate your adventure with a FAREWELL DINNER at one of the typical regional restaurants. Eat as a local ! Overnight near FUNCHAL
DAY 7: GOODBYE BEAUTIFUL MADEIRA
Morning transfers to FUNCHAL airport or join our 11 days Portugal small group tour starting from the fascinating city of Lisbon