Day 1: Arrival - Welcome at Madeira Airport
Our Guide will welcome you at the Airport and drive to Machico. Here is your first accommodation! You might enjoy to spend some time in the swimming pool, take a nap and relax with the view.
Day 2: Levada do Norte to Boa Morte. Inland Hike Day (11km +250m/-250m)
Transfer to Cabo GirĂŁo - Hike Levada do Norte to Boa Morte (10km; 50m elevation loss, 0m elevation gain). The Levada do Norte is one of the largest and most important parts of the island, which runs through much of the region. This magnificent stretch of the Levada do Norte begins just below the well known Cabo GirĂŁo (580 mts), leading hikers to the area of Boa Morte in Ribeira Brava. It is a very pleasant and easy trail that can be done all year round, because is located in the southern part of the island, where the climate is milder. Along the way, you can enjoy the fantastic views that arise and that highlight the parishes of CĂ˘mara de Lobos and CampanĂˇrio. In these views the hiker can also observe the green fields, the carefully worked plantations and a set of houses and buildings that form the villages. Occasionally, you may find some locals that are handling their land or just taking a walk. Similarly to other walking paths of Madeira Island, here there are also several species of fauna and flora particular to this site. Take a break once in a while and enjoy the magnificent views and the entire surrounding.
Day 3: RabaĂ§al to 25 Fontes. Levada Hike Day (10 km +100m/-400m)
Visiting a spectacular waterfall, this walks begins by descending gently to RabaĂ§al before continuing downhill to see the waterfall. Both trails begin on the regional road (E.R. 110), and go down as far as the RabaĂ§al government house. The trails diverge along two parallel levadas located on different levels. Trail PR 6.1, goes along Levada do Risco, at 1000m above sea level, taking the hiker to an impressive waterfall, which falls horizontally creating a ridge in the rock. If you go down to PR6 you can visit the 25 Spring Lagoon (Lagoa das 25 Fontes), created by the waters that come down from the Mountain Marsh (Paul da Serra) and mysteriously appear from behind the wall that forms the lagoon, where you can see more than 25 springs. Legend says that whoever was to dive here would never come back up to the surface, which is what happened to an Englishman who wanted to break the superstition and was never seen again. The 25 Fontes levada, which is also known as Levada Nova do RabaĂ§al, began to be built in 1835. On 16 September 1855 water ran through the levada for the first time, running from North to South and making it possible to make use of lots of land which had so far lain fallow in the Calheta municipal area. Night on the same hotel as day before.
Day 4: Prazeres to PaĂşl do Mar. Levadas Hike Day (6 km +600m/-600m)
The route is located in the west of Madeira island, and links the village of Prazeres to the picturesque village of Jardim do Mar. In the past, this trail was one of the few routes available for the population of Prazeres to access the coastline. The trail is characterized by a height difference of approximately 500m. Thus, passage on this trail, whether descending or ascending should be made calmly, taking time to enjoy the magnificent views of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar. Due to the mild climate and abundance of water in Jardim do Mar, the local population devoted much time to agriculture, through practice on small land terraces supported by stone walls "poios" and where this trail develops. Before leaving the village of Jardim do Mar, be sure to visit the water mill recently restored and that has once served to grind wheat grown in the parish and surrounding areas.
From the village of Prazeres to the sea shore at PaĂşl do Mar, the descent is made along the cliff face, winding between terraced farm plots held in place by stone walls, formerly used for growing grain crops, but with the decline of agriculture today they are largely abandoned. Designated as a â€śmunicipal pathâ€ť, it is an example of the difficult access routes that were traversed many times with heavy loads on the back, but which were the only alternative to the access by sea, which was too expensive for many and impossible when the sea was raging. This trail is a genuine historical heritage, winding along the steep slope in a zig-zag pattern, its stone pavement in small stair steps bearing witness to the isolation of past generations and to the ingenious and difficult trails built by the people to overcome this isolation. When you reach PaĂşl do Mar, be sure you explore this small parish on the seashore and wonder at the high cliffs that surround it. Once it was an important fishing village, and due to the great abundance of fish, in 1912 a canning factory was set up here to export tuna. Today, you can still see remnants of the chimney of that factory, as well as the salt pools, the sugar cane mill and the small fishing port with its typical fishing boats that keep the maritime traditions alive. Night on the same hotel as day before.
Day 5: PaĂşl da Serra / Fanal Porto Moniz. Levada Hike Day (10 km +200m/-300m)
This trail starts near the E.R. 209 on the Paul da Serra plateau and ends near the Forest Police Station in Fanal. This trail connects to other paths, allowing access to the Ribeira da Janela parish through the trails PR 14 Levada dos Cedros e PR 15 Vereda da Ribeira da Janela. This trail is included in an area of Laurissilva forest, classified as a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO since December 1999 and member of the European Network of Sites of Community importance - Nature 2000. ln the area know as "Fio", the visitor can appreciate what is left of an ingenious apparatus of steel cables that stretch down-hill to the parish of ChĂŁo da Ribeira. This apparatus was used in the past to carry wood and shrubs collected in Fanal forest, down to ChĂŁo da Ribeira, where they would be used in farming activities by the local and Seixal inhabitants. Enjoy the magnificent area of Fanal, a small volcanic crater classified as a resting reserve in Parque Natural of Madeira, to get a good dose of relaxation therapy. The beauty of this area lies not only in the forest of grand centenary Ocofea foefens trees (Til), most of which are previous to the discovery of Madeira, but also in the spectacular landscapes that offer several sightseeing spots.
Day 6: Levada da Janela to Porto Moniz. Levadas Hike Day (12 km +150m/-150m)
This trail begins at Lameceiros in the municipality of Porto Moniz and follows the Levada da Ribeira da Janela. This levada lies at an elevation of 500 metres and has its source in the bed of the Ribeira da Janela stream, which separates the lands of Porto Moniz from those of Ribeira da Janela Vilage. The exotic forest that you encounter at the beginning of the trail, with maritime pines (Pinus pinaster) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), precedes the dense vegetation characteristic of the native forest - the Laurisilva, World Nature Heritage of UNESCO since December 1999. Waterfalls and frequent streams guarantee vitality to the species such as the Canary willow (Salix ca-nariensis), as well as the large Madeira laurel (Ocotea foetens), Madeira mahogany (Persea indica), and the Lily-of-the-Valley tree (Clethra arborea) that abound along the levada. Youâ€™ll also notice the flowering species, such as geraniums (Geranium palmatum), Mandonâ€™s Chrysanthemum (Argyranthemum pinnatifidum), Madeiran orchid (Dactylorhiza foliosa), and Canary buttercup (Ranunculus cortusifolius), easily recognised by their bright yellow flowers. Tunnels are common along this levada, and, as you pass between the many, long tunnels, you will have a chance to appreciate the beautiful panoramic views of the Ribeira da Janela Valley landscape. Night on the same hotel as day before.
Day 7: Porto Moniz to Funchal
Today you have time to enjoy the city of Funchal, so famous for its his-torical sites like the Cathedral Place, cosmopolitan city center or ocean views points, the opportunities are endless. You must find the market of Funchal and enjoy part of your day tasting the best gastronomy from the island. From meat skewer, to banana cake or traditional drink poncha. Everything is delicious!
Day 8: Departure - Farewell at Madeira Airport
Today is your last day, time pack up the good memories and say goodbye! A transfer will take you to the airport. (30 minutes)