Day 0 Depart Toronto on
an overnight flight to Madeira
(Air fare not included in the cost)
Day 1 Arrive Funchal Airport and transfer to the
Sentido Galosol Hotel (about 20 minutes). Later in the
afternoon we have a short orientation walk to see the surrounding area.
If time allows we may get to the Cristo Rei statue
that looks westward across the ocean to its counterpart facing eastward
from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which was once a Portuguese colony. Before dinner there will be a short briefing by the guides.
Day 2 - Morning
In the early afternoon
our private transportation takes us to the Mimosa Valley to start our first walk. This 7 km walk is
situated in Machico and an easy path along the levada (a 16th century
irrigation system) where you will see local people going about their
everyday tasks caring for their land and animals. Abundant flowers,
fragrant shrubs and acacias grow all along the way. At the end of the
path there is a short steep descent with a hand rail.
Day 3 Funchal
our private transportation takes us into the capital, Funchal, (about 20
minutes) where a local guide will lead us on a walking tour of the Old
Town to see the 15th century Cathedral, Rua Santa Maria with
its artistic doors, the colourful farmersí market, Mercado dos
may wish to stay in Funchal for lunch and perhaps use the afternoon to
explore some of the gardens.
Madeira is known as "the island of eternal
spring" because of its moderate climate.
Flowers bloom year-round and in winter you will be
amazed at the botanical wonders. There are several wineries if you
wish to sample Madeira wine. Carnival in Madeira is from Feb 7 to 18,
2024 so there are often street performers.
Day 4 Full day walking and sightseeing
we travel to the town of Canical on the north eastern side of the
island to walk the Sao Lourenco Peninsula. This is a moderately
challenging walk to the end of the peninsula and back (with a stop at
the Rangers hut for lunch and and restrooms). The walk can be windy but
the scenery is spectacular The elevation change is 400 metres on dirt
and gravel paths (some stairs). The shorter walk ends at the Ramger's
hut and returns to Canical by Zodiac (weather permitting). For those who
do not wish to walk today there is an interesting Whaling Museum in
Canical. After the walk we continue to the fishing village of Porto da
Cruz to visit the 100 year old steam powered sugar mill before returning
to the hotel.
Day 5 free day
Whale/dolphin watching excursions might interest you.
Optional: Garden tour
Today's walk follows a gentle levada path to a lovely viewpoint over the
hills and woods of Rabacal before descending
to Levada das 25 Fontes which will lead us
via a tunnel through a mountain ridge to
meet our coach. The path is bordered by
prehistoric heather trees, lily of the
valley trees and Laurasilva forest. We
picnic by a watefall. The path is mostly
flat with a short section fo stairs (60
metres) with a railing. On our return we
stop at the Cabo Giro Viewpoint where on can
step onto a large glass observation platform
high above the sea.
Today is a more challenging full day on the King's Levada. This 11
km walk is situated in the beautiful valleys of Sao Jorge and will take
you into one of the lushest places on the islands. Walk through a rain
forest and see a profusion of herbal and medicinal plants and at the
same time hear about the healing properties of these ancient remedies.
Walk behind a waterfall and arrive at a true paradise on earth.
In the morning there is a guided
visit to the Botanical Garden which covers 35,000 sq metres and boasts
2,500 species of plants from all over the world many of which are
endangered. Established in 1960 on what was originally a private park
owned by the Reid family (of Madeira wine fame), the garden allows
visitors to enjoy a world tour of the plant kingdom and also to see the
Natural History Museum and the Herbarium. There are five main areas to
visit, the endemic plant area, the tree garden, the succulent garden,
the tropical and medicinal garden and Loiro Park which houses exotic and
After this excursion there are plenty of things to do in Funchal. An
exploration of the town might include lunch sampling Madeiran specialties like a "prego"
(a steak or fish sandwich using grilled "bolo do caco" bread
smeared with garlic butter and cheese and served warm). Try it with a
glass of Madeira wine and follow it with some passionfruit ice-cream
We begin our day with the vibrant Sunday farmers' market in Santo da
Serra. It is a great place to pick up a picnic lunch, sample homemade
pastries or just browse. Beside the market are garden paths lined with
blooming camelias. We continue to Serra de Agua, one of the most
beautiful places in Madeira. for an easy 6 km hike amid diverse flora
and fauna. Serra de Agua is an isolated village nestled in a charming
valley and encircled by mountains. Its name comes from a historical
watermill used for sawmilling which was a primary source of income
here thanks to the abundance of woods.
FOR THOSE ON A NINE NIGHT HOLIDAY
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.
FOR THOSE ON A TWELVE NIGHT HOLIDAY
Free day to enjoy the facilities at the hotel or to explore Canico.
Today we head for Camacha in the highlands of Madeira for a hald day
walk in Paradise Valley. It is an easy, shaded walk of 6 km
surrounded by delightful wildflowers, eucalyptus and pine forest.
Day 12 Free day
Day 13 Transfer to the airport for your return flight
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