Fly from London to Madeira on Air Portugal. A short transfer takes us to our hotel for the first two nights, which overlooks the beach of Machico Bay and is close to the picturesque historic fishing village. Those not flying with the group will join us at our hotel in Machico. Overnight in Machico
Today we walk along the Ponta de Sao Lourenco. In this dry area we will see wallflowers, stalwarts and many other tiny plants that resist this windy environment and manage to grow in soils with high levels of salinity. Rocks, sculptured by nature, have a great diversity of colours ranging from black to red, and are in stark contrast to the blue of the ocean. Madeira's Nature Park rangers watch over the plants and animals that belong to this eastern extremity of the island, around Casa do Sardinha. This is a classic walk, hard but with wonderful scenery, and you will only hear yourself and the sea. Overnight in Machico. 3h30 (+270m -70m) - 8 km
Walk on the southern side of Madeira and ending, after a scenic stretch along a cliff trail, on the north coast. We set off along the little Levada do Caniçal, more modest and quieter than yesterday's. Leaving the levada we make a gradual climb up to the crest of the cliffs at Boca do Risco where we enjoy some amazing views along the north coast and may even be able to see the nearby island of Porto Santo. We then head west along the coastal path, a spectacular route in many places cut right into the cliff. We finally descend to the small town of Porto da Cruz, once a bustling port but now a sleepy little town. Transfer to Santana for the night. 4h30 (+350m - 400m) - 12 km
Transfer from Santana (short stop to admire the famous thatched roof houses) and then on to Queimadas (natural park) and walk along Levada do Caldeirao Verde. Finish this walk at the isolated village of Ilha. Overnight in Santana. 5h (+50m - 450m) - 12 km
Today we make the most strenuous walk of the trip. An early departure to see the sunrise at Achada do Teixeira, then we ascend the island's highest mountain, Pico Ruivo (1862m). Our descent follows a spectacular ridge via Torrinhas Pass and over the saddle of Pico do Jorge to Encumeada. As we descend bees buzz in 'Lily of the Valley' trees and the smell of wild thyme fills the air. Finally we arrive at Encumeada via a long series of stone steps, a welcoming destination after a long day in the hills. Overnight in Encumeada. 7h30 (+650m - 750m) - 16 km
We enjoy another fine high-level walk. From Encumeada we walk through woods of chestnut and eucalyptus and then traverse below the rocky escarpment of Pico Grande, enjoying fine views to the south and back to the west. Eventually we come to a superb viewpoint overlooking the spectacularly situated village of Curral das Freiras and then descend to the village of Corticeiras. We catch a bus into Funchal and there will be time for exploration of the town, a visit to the market or shopping if you wish. Transfer to Funchal for the night. 6h (+400m - 650m) - 12 km
As a result of the 2010 flooding, this path has been closed for maintenance work, therefore we might walk from Corticeiras to Curral das freiras, depending on the weather conditions and the group capabilities.
Free day to explore Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Islands. The city is easily explored on foot and the must see sights are the Se Cathedral, which was built between 1493 and 1514 and in the Avenida Arriaga stands the magnificent statue of the man who discovered Madeira, Joao Goncalves Zarco.
Transfer to airport.