Madeira walking holiday, self guided

“Eight days of self-guided walking from hotel to hotel through the stunning Madeiran landscape. With accommodation and itineraries included.”


Porto da Cruz | Calhau | Sao Jorge | Parque das Queimadas | Caldeirao Verde | Levada do Furad | Santo da Serra | Ponta de São Lourenço Nature Reserve | Levada do Norte | Cabo Girão | Funchal

Description of Madeira walking holiday, self guided

This self guided walking holiday takes you to the sub-tropical island of Madeira, where you’ll spend eight days exploring the beautiful and diverse landscape on foot. Every day will bring something new, from walks along soaring coastal cliffs to ambles past vine terraces and along mountain slopes sprinkled with traditional white villages. Covering up to 14 km a day, you’ll walk from hotel to hotel, following a series of coastal paths and levadas (the island’s network of water channels) from Santana in the north to Funchal on the southern coast, from where you’ll be transferred to Levada do Norte for incredible cliff top views. Nature lovers will be in their element here. There are more than 120 endemic species of flora and fauna, and the incredibly rich birdlife includes the bird-of-paradise.

All your accommodation is arranged in advance and it’s almost as varied as the landscape. It includes a seaside hotel with a mountainous backdrop, a guesthouse in an elegant 1920s home and a chic 5-star hotel that’s one of the most exclusive on the island.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This holiday has departures on selected Thursdays from April to October, please enquire for availability on all your tailormade trips.
Travelling by train:
We offer the possibility of travelling by train to and from the UK for this trip and can book this for you if required. Please enquire for further details.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

UK Office:
We are well aware of the impact tourism has at home and abroad, and we make every effort to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the immense benefits sustainable tourism can bring to destinations and the people who live there. So we start in the office: we turn off all electrical equipment every night; we use energy-efficient bulbs; we measure print and paper consumption, and re-cycle wherever possible; we print our brochures on paper from sustainable sources, and send them out in bio-degradable packaging.

Leaders & local suppliers:
This hotel-to-hotel independent walking holiday begins with three nights at the 4-star Quinta do Furao Hotel in Santana. With views stretching right across the Atlantic Ocean, the location is simply stunning! It’s also a very “natural” place to stay, with lots of vineyards, vegetable plots, fruit orchards and beautifully manicured gardens, complete with dragon trees and proteas. Evening meals are a feast of home grown delicacies washed down with wines from the private vineyard. If you stay here during September, you can even join in with the grape harvest!

Our local agents suggest places to see and visit locally.

Group size:
Having no minimum number means that groups sizes can be small and therefore the trips have less impact on the environment.

Walking has minimal impact on the environment as you provide most of the energy yourself and, when you’re strolling from village to village, you can enjoy a relationship with locals in a way motorists passing through never can. On foot, you get off the beaten track, and you’ll find that people treat you as a visitor rather than a tourist. Also, by walking independently, and not having to worry about keeping up with a group, you set the pace so you can soak up the sights, sounds and scents of your surrounds and really get under the skin of the place you’re visiting.

We proactively encourage walking clients to think about travelling responsibly too: packing light, saving water, buying locally and re-cycling all maps and route notes at the end of their trip.

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