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Madeira, The Atlantic Emerald (11900G)

Porto Moniz
Guided Tour Madeira, The Atlantic Emerald (11900G) - Madeira, the Atlantic Emerald
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Description
GUIDED TOUR
The perfect walkers’ island
Two weeks program on the Garden Isle of Madeira

Madeira Island has a wealth of walking to offer in its more remote parts, as well as the exceptional walks accessible from the island’s capital Funchal. Amongst other walks, we are able to explore the less well-known levadas, the narrow mountain irrigation channels which take water from the northern hills to the southern terraces.

We start in Porto Moniz in the far northwest corner of the island. It is a sheltered harbour where a mass of pointed reefs in the lava rocks provide natural bathing pools. Remoteness is the only reason the area sees few visitors.

The walking takes us across steep terraced hillsides, often with views of the coast where Atlantic rollers crash in. We also walk the peaceful Levada do Moinho with several watermills along its course.

On our way to our next centre, Ponta do Sol, on the south coast, we walk along the Levada de Lombo de Mouro, an attractive and little-walked levada starting high up near the island’s central pass at Encumeada.

Ponta do Sol is a small village, nestling between terraced hillsides where our hotel lies seconds from the sea. In our time here we follow the clear-flowing Levada do Paul over open moorland and through giant heather and laurel forests. We visit the world’s second highest sea-cliffs at Cabo Girão and head into the central mountains on our walk between Boca da Corrida and Encumeada.

Moving east to Funchal we have access to a wide range of magnificent and spectacular walks. These include a walk to the far eastern end of the island where the promontory of Ponta São Lourenço provides a wild and breezy walk quite different from anywhere else on the island.
Itinerary
WEEK’S PROGRAM
Each day breakfast will be taken in the Hotel before leaving for the day’s program.
We will usually leave the Hotel between 9.00 am and 9.30am.
On our return to the Hotel each day we will have time to relax and change before dinner which is usually taken at 7.30pm.
Each evening the guide will give a preview of the next day’s program.
Day’s program is subject to alteration due to weather and local conditions.

DAY 1
Arrival
Transfer to Porto Moniz, short walk to Ribeira da Janela, if time allows.

DAY 2
Achadas da Cruz & Levada Moinho
Clients may taxi back from Santa to avoid final steep descent.
Classic introductory walk to the levadas of Madeira. This tiny levada through lush woodland and open ground, meanders, trickles & cascades entertaining us all the way.
At the end of the levada we relax in a café in the village of Santa before an iconic zig-zag descent down an old mule track to Porto Moniz.
Overnight Hotel Moniz Sol, Porto Moniz. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 3
Levada da Ribeira da Janela
Clients may taxi back from Lamaceiras to avoid steep descent.
A more modern levada with an easy, level path alongside, gives access to the awesome Ribeira da Janela valley. This out & back walk enables us to turn back whenever we wish, the more adventurous can be introduced to following the levadas through tunnels.
The village of Lamaceiras enables us to relax in a local café before descending dramatically down to Porto Moniz.
Overnight Hotel Moniz Sol, Porto Moniz. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 4
Levada de Lomba de Mouro & Transfer to Ponta do Sol
Clients may bus down from Corujeira to avoid final steep descent into Ribeira Brava.
We have a full day of spectacular walking as part of our transfer. Those wishing an easy day may bus directly to our next centre and explore the attractive village of Ponta do Sol.
We follow the Levada de Lomba do Mouro from the high mountains down to Ribeira Brava on the south coast. This little known levada cascades dramatically down the mountainside.
Our route gives magnificent views across and up into the high peaks and down into the Ribeira Brava valley, seemingly miles below us.
Overnight hotel Enotel Bahia Hotel, Ponta do Sol. Dinner in the hotel.

DAY 5
Levada Nova to Ponta do Sol
Features long & short version.
A more relaxing day (except for those who continue to wish to be challenged).
This easy and gentle levada meanders around the valleys of the river Tabua and the river Caixa enabling us to enjoy the lush valleys and coast lines below us.
A short version of this walk allows us to descend gently to our hotel through quiet villages and banana plantations.
Those who wish may continue to the further reaches of the Ponta do Sol valley and return along the intricate Levada do Moinho before the final descent to our hotel.
Overnight Enotel Bahia Hotel, Ponta do Sol. Dinner in the hotel.

DAY 6
Fontes and Chão dos Terreiros
Clients may bus back from Fontes to avoid long stepped descent.
One of the classic mountain walks of the island.
From the village of Fontes, our well graded track climbs to the summit of Chão dos Terreiros. Awesome views enable us to appreciate the deep valleys of Curral das Freiras and Ribeira Brava while we look across to the equally inspiring “High Peaks” and Pico Grande.
We circle back down to Fontes where again we can avoid the rest of the descent, however, the stepped descent from Espigão to Meia Légua is perhaps one of the most stunning descents in Madeira.
Overnight Enotel Bahia Hotel, Ponta do Sol. Dinner in the hotel.

DAY 7
Cabo Girão and Levada do Norte
Clients may taxi back from Eira Mourão to avoid long stepped descent.
We begin at Cabo Girão with a dramatic viewpoint over one of the highest sea cliffs in the world.
We then follow the Levada do Norte, one of the more popular levadas, with spectacular views over the villages, terraces and coast below. After a final levada section through the superbly lush Ribeira Funda valley we again offer one of our opt-outs to be kind to knees.
Those who wish can enjoy another of the now famous (or infamous) stepped descents into the Ribeira Brava valley.
Overnight Enotel Bahia Hotel, Ponta do Sol. Dinner hotel.

DAY 8
Rabaçal
A bewitchingly enticing day of diverse scenery, levadas and mountain tracks.
The gentle Levada de Paul meanders across open moorland before we descend to the sub-tropical woodland of Rabaçal.
Here we view the staggering waterfall of Risco and follow the levada in a long (and spacious) tunnel under the spine of the island.
Overnight Enotel Bahia Hotel, Ponta do Sol. Dinner in the hotel.

DAY 9
Funchal
Today we transfer to Funchal where this charming and fascinating town has more than enough to entertain us in a relaxing and indulgent day and help us recharge our energies.
Overnight Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 10
Big Peaks
“The” Madeira walk par excellence. Hundreds of years ago, the then king of Portugal decreed a route be carved out between the high peaks of this island and we are privileged enough to tread this ancient trail and enjoy one of the world’s great walks.
Overnight at Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner local restaurant.

DAY 11
Boca da Corrida to Curral das Freiras
One of the classic walks of the island. A wonderful trail meanders through the high mountains that divide the Ribeira Brava and Curral das Freiras valleys.
The looming peak of Pico Grande, high above, is ever present to tempt the adventurous.
A wonderful zig-zagging trail descends through forests to the valley of Curral das Freiras. As we near the bottom of the valley, one of the islands most renowned tavernas offers the chance to stop and enjoy some of the island’s special and unique concoctions.
Overnight Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 12
Ponta de S. Lourenço
A joy for the senses as we step in a different world.
The driest part of the island, this volcanic eastern peninsula juts dramatically out to sea.
High rock stacks, crashing waves and rainbow colours banding the high cliffs stun the senses on this accessible and yet stunningly surprising walk.
Overnight Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 13
Ribeiro Frio to Portela and down to Porto Cruz
Clients can taxi from Portela to Porto Cruz to avoid long descent.
One of our wonderful and flexible walks. This classic walk between Ribeiro Frio and Portela indulges us in staggering views of the north coast. It offers intimate woodland trails and a sparkling levada meandering across the lush mountain slopes.
At the popular café in Portela, again, we can choose to relax and finish our walk, whilst the hardier souls can follow the ancient trail descending from this path to the coastal village of Porto Cruz.
Overnight Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 14
North Coast walk
A fitting finale as we follow one of the great Madeira walks high above the North coast. This recently improved route enables us to appreciate one of the most exciting walks of the island and yet is now accessible to most.
Intimate trails, high cliff paths, and the island and the ocean laid out at your feet. We can imagine no better finish to perhaps the best two weeks walking anywhere.
Overnight Hotel Windsor, Funchal. Dinner local restaurant.

DAY 15
Departure
Important Note: this is the ideal walking program but Madeira’s changeable weather may mean the order of the walks may change and in bad weather, some walks may not be possible and will need to be substituted with others.
The Hotels
  • Hotel Moniz Sol **** (or similar)
Hotel Moniz Sol Madeira offers its guest rooms with balcony and beautiful views over the Atlantic Ocean. All rooms are equipped with cable TV and a private bathroom.
The property has an indoor swimming pool with Turkish bath and Jacuzzi.
The Moniz Sol Hotel is just a few meters from the natural swimming pool in the lava rock of the city and only 20 minutes from the Madeira's UNESCO Heritage Protected Forest and popular waterfalls.
  • Enotel Baía**** (or similar)
A restful escape awaits you in the comfortable and quietly sophisticated accommodations at Enotel Baía. All rooms feature a satellite TV, air conditioning, a mini bar, and an in-room safe. The guests will appreciate the breathtaking views of the beach, the bay, or a nearby 15th-century church.
  • Hotel Windsor **** (or similar)
Located in the heart of Funchal, the recently-renovated 4-star Hotel Windsor offers modern rooms. On the rooftop, there is a bar, a solarium and an outdoor pool overlooking the city centre.
The rooms are decorated in neutral colours and feature wooden furniture. Each one has a cable TV, a refrigerator and a safety deposit box.
The Atlantic Ocean is only 200 m away.
What's Included
Accommodation:
  • 14 nights in a twin room (four stars hotel)
  • Single supplement applied in single rooms
Guide:
  • All guided tours
Meals:
  • 14 Dinners taken in local restaurants with drinks included. We are always able to cater for vegetarian or other special diets (Lunches can be bought from local shops)
  • 14 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel.
Transport:
  • Transfers from Madeira airport at 12 a.m on the first day
  • Transfers from the Hotel to Madeira airport at 12 a.m on last day
  • All land travel (as outlined)
  • Dedicated driver and guide
Not Included
  • Any services not listed as included
  • Flights to and from Portugal 
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments
More Info
The land only option allows you to book your own transport to and from the holiday. You will normally meet the group at the arrival airport at 12 a.m as long as you arrive there no later than the group. Similarly, on the way home, you can return to the airport with the group as long as your departure time is no earlier than that of the group.

This guided tour already includes a transfer departing from Madeira airport at 12 a.m on arrival and returning to Madeira airport at 12 a.m on the last day.

If none of this option suits you, please add to your booking a transfer that does. You can also rent a car.

To this tour, we only accept transfers departing from Madeira Airport.

Departure dates:
  • ON REQUEST