Madeira small group holiday, wildlife & nature

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27 Mar 2020
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Madeira small group holiday, wildlife & nature

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Madeira is known for its stunning natural environment and rich cultural heritage, both of which have been at the forefront of our minds when this holiday was being created.

Working with a dedicated, locally-owned specialist supplier, we have crafted this holiday to ensure that our guests witness the best of the island, but also ensure that the landscape is preserved for future visitors.

This holiday offers an insight into some of the most pristine and wildlife-rich areas of the island and its surrounding waters. All the guides who lead the trips work on a leave-no-trace basis and this is enforced throughout the holiday.

There are two key wildlife highlights.

Guests visit the Desertas Islands which are protected as a nature reserve for a colony of rare Mediterranean Monk Seals. The only human presence on these islands is that of the wardens and geologists at the research stations there. Visitors are given strict instruction on the ‘dos and don’ts’ here and are provided with a real insight into the conservation techniques being employed. Tourists visiting the islands are an important way for conservation funding to be generated.

Another key wildlife encounter is swimming with dolphins. This is about as far removed as it is possible to get from a marine park. Dolphins are plentiful in the waters here but there is no push from the boats to chase them, our team simply keep an eye out for a pod and let the dolphins approach them. During this trip, you will actively try and avoid the presence of other boats to ensure the dolphins are not overloaded with visitors. Our team will only allow swimming with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and the expert guide will identify the correct species to swim with. Only between four and six people are allowed into the water and there are strict rules with regards to behaviour. The dolphins’ behaviour should in no way be impacted negatively by the presence of our guests and the boat will let them come and go as they choose.


As with all of our holidays, we choose our accommodation and our local suppliers very carefully. We always try and work with local people and independent accommodation wherever we can in order to ensure that money spent locally benefits the local community. We want the money that our holidays bring to Madeira to remain there and not be leaked off the island by multinational hotel chains.

Our hotel for this holiday is of significant historical importance and has been lovingly and sympathetically renovated. It is comprised of a number of historical buildings from differing ages. The hotel ensures that this journey through the history of Funchal is clear. The hotel has used period features, original features, and reclaimed materials where possible to ensure that it represents the history of the buildings and maintains their future.
The hotel has a waste reduction policy in line with what we would expect from modern accommodation and limits water-waste and linen usage where possible.

Our team of local suppliers in Madeira is also a family-run operation and, whilst it is now a large company, they still have a passion for Madeira and a real dedication to responsible travel.

1 Reviews of Madeira small group holiday, wildlife & nature

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 12 Jul 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The diving off Gozo is superb. The underwater cliffs and caves just have to be seen and the beautiful clear and warm water makes the experience fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do your dive training before you go. The scenery is too good to spend it studying or watching training videos. Do that in the UK before you head out and spend your time on Gozo actually diving. You learn loads just through practice so get the study out of the way first and enjoy the diving.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We stayed and ate locally so from that there must be a benefit locally. We also did a degree of rubbish clearance from the sea bed to remove sunken litter.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very Good.

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