Madeira Crossing
12 days trip. 9 days hiking. 1 free day. Accommodation in hotels.
Description

Destination
Madeira Archipielago
Type
Nature Hiking
Days
12 days
Difficulty
Level 3

 

The Madeira Island is what we can call a pure concentrate of beauty. Of natural beauty, of course. Walking along its trails and levadas (leds), crossing its centennial woods and forests, it takes us to truly idyllic scenarios. Many of its trails can be compared to those we see in other latitudes, such as the forests in Peru or the woods in New Zealand.
We propose an integral crossing of the island, from the Lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo to the bridge in S. Lourenço, in 12 days of moderate hiking, always accompanied by a mountain guide.
 

Itinerary

  Day   Itinerary  Overnight   Meals 
1 Flight to Funchal Hotel 4*  
2 Start of the crossing next to the lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo Hotel 4*   Breakfast
3 Hiking day Hotel 4*   Breakfast
4 Paul da Serra – 25 Fontes Hotel 4*   Breakfast
5 Paul da Serra – Encumeada Hotel 4*   Breakfast
6 Encumeada – Pico Ruivo (1861m) Hotel 4*   Breakfast
7 Pico do Ruivo – Pico do Areeiro Hotel 4*   Breakfast
8 Laurissilva Forest Hotel 4*   Breakfast
9 Portela – Caniçal Hotel 4*   Breakfast
10 Hiking in São Lourenço cape Hotel 4*   Breakfast - Dinner
11 Free day Hotel 4*   Breakfast
12 Departure from Funchal    Breakfast
Day-by-Day

1: Flight to Funchal

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals:

This is the day of your arrival. We’ll meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After check-in, we’ll have our first briefing about the hiking of the following days. The rest of the time is free.


2: Start of the crossing next to the lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today, like every other day from now on, activities start at 8:30am.
We’ll leave the hotel in a van that will take us to Ponta do Pargo, in the western part of the island. Near the lighthouse, we’ll start our hike stretching over 20km.
Around 5pm, the first stage of our journey will be complete and we’ll return to the hotel.
 


3: Hiking day

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today we’ll return to our trail. We’ll resume the hiking from the exact point where we left the day before. The trail follows the levada, so you’ll find an almost imperceptible unevenness. We’ll walk for five to six hours, returning to the hotel for a well-deserved break.
 


4: Paul da Serra – 25 Fontes

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today we leave behind flat terrain and start our ascent to Paúl da Serra. We’ll reach the plateau that rises 1300 metres above sea level. The Paúl is the flattest area of the entire island and once it was even considered as a possible location for Madeira’s airport.
It is with the water that flows from the Paúl that the levada of the 25 fountains is sustained, ending in a lagoon with the same name.
Legend says that those who dive here will never meet the surface again. This happened to an Englishman who decided to take a dive here with the purpose of proving the legend false and... did badly!
We’ll walk for 5 to 6 hours.


5: Paul da Serra – Encumeada

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

We’re quickly approaching the centre of the island, alongside the central mountain range. We’ll reach the Encumeada in the middle of the afternoon. On our way, we’ll notice the changes in the landscape, with many ups and downs ensuing, particularly during the last part of the hike. We’ll walk from 5 to 6 hours.
  


6: Encumeada – Pico Ruivo (1861m)

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today is probably the hardest day of our journey. Our goal is to reach the highest point of the island.
The path is made between the volcanic abruptness of the island and the absorbent scenarios filled with specimens of the Laurissilva Forest, such as the Tis (Ocotea Foetens), Laurels (Laurus Azorica), Lilly of the Valley Tree (Clethra Arborea), Sanguinhos (Rhamnus Glandulosa), Pride of Madeira (Echium Candicans), Orchids of the Mountain (Dactylorhiza) and Mandon's Chrysanthemum (Argyranthemum Pinnatifidum). The lane passes by Pico da Lapa da Cadela and Torrinhas, where there is another trail that links Curral das Freiras and Boaventura. The part of the hike that might be difficult for some travelers is the climbing of Pico Jorge. Along the trail, you’ll also find some Furnas, excavated on the rocks that used to provide shelter to the men that walked around here to cut heather (Erica Scoparia Maderensis and Erica Arborea) for piling, firewood or producing charcoal. The final ascent to Pico Ruivo is quite steep, but it is not particularly dangerous. Today we’ll walk 6 to 7 hours.
 


7: Pico do Ruivo – Pico do Areeiro

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today is probably the most beautiful day of our journey on the island, as long as the weather allows us good visibility.
From Pico Ruivo, we’ll go down to the “valley” from where we start the ascent to Pico do Areeiro. The climbing, which will happen gradually, will offer us some stunning views of the central mountain range.
When we reach Pico do Areeiro, we’ll have some time to rest and appreciate the dazzling landscape that spreads all around us.
Back to the hike, we’ll descend to the 1300 metres quota to end this day’s journey.
 


8: Laurissilva Forest

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today we’ll get lost amidst the landscape of the Laurissilva Forest, which has been classified as World Heritage. The Orchid of the Mountain, Geraniums, Isoplexis, Pride of Madeira, Ranunculus, Mandon's Chrysanthemum, Goivos da Serra (Gillyflowers of the Mountain) and Leitugas are some of the species that, particularly during Spring and Summer, colour this trail in all shades and tones. The Laurels, Myrica Faya, Lilly of the Valley Tree («Folhado») or Tree Heath («Urze Molar») are the trees that offer all their green to this wonderful canvas already coloured by a myriad of flowers. To this visual show, another element is then added – the sounds of the Madeira Firecrests («Bis-Bis»), Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Wagtails.
We’ll end this 5 hours hiking trail surrounded by the deepest beauty and confident that this landscape will never cease to surprise us.
 


9: Portela – Caniçal

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

We’re already near the East coast of the Island and today we’ll head towards the Caniçal. For the very first time we’ll touch the ocean, and should the weather be on our side, we’ll have a swim in the warm water that bathes the island. We’ll walk about 5 hours.
 


10: Hiking in São Lourenço cape

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast - Dinner

Today is our last hiking day, and we’ll complete crossing the island. The hike will be quite short.
Ponta de S. Lourenço is the easternmost point of Madeira, and it is also a natural reserve with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean and spectacular rocky formations; it is a unique landscape, very different from the rest of the island. During our hike, we’ll find a variety of plants such as thistle, Maçacota, Perpétua de S. Lourenço, Murrião and many others. Going down the hill, you’ll find an isolated beach called «Prainha», which is the only beach with natural black sand in the island. It is widely popular among local people and great for a swim.
 


11: Free day

Overnight: Hotel 4*  
Meals: Breakfast

Today is a day for relaxing and experiencing some more trivial activities. You can enjoy a walk in Funchal’s downtown, visit some of its museums or, alternatively, take a boat tour and enjoy a different perspective of the island from the sea.
 


12: Departure from Funchal

Overnight:   
Meals: Breakfast

We’ll be taken to the airport of Funchal and start our journey back home.
 

Dates & Prices
Dates Prices

 
Suplements

Single supplement : 200,00 €
Notes

Included

  • 09ºWest guide, english speaking, throughout the itinerary;
  • Accommodation in hotels in double room basis;
  • Transfers to and from the airport;
  • Meals as described in itinerary;  
  • All ground transportation as per itinerary.
Excluded

  • International flights;
  • Personal equipment;
  • Personal Travel insurance;  
  • Tips and other personal expenses;
  • Any other item not indicated as included.
Equipment

Travelling bag (avoid hard suitcases);
Comfortable trousers;
Hiking boots;
Hiking socks;
Hat or cap;
Backpack (20 to 30 lt. approximately);
Waterproof backpack cover;
Sunglasses;
Sunscreen SPF 30+;
Bottle;
Insect repellent;
Shorts (optional);
Headlamp with substitute lamp or flashlight (optional);
Walking sticks (optional);
Thermal underwear (if you’re travelling during Autumn/Winter);
Polar fleece 100 and 200 (if you’re travelling during Autumn/Winter);
Raincoat or anorak gore-tex or similar (if you’re travelling during Autumn/Winter);
Waterproof pants (if you’re travelling during Autumn/Winter);
Gloves and woollen hat (if you’re travelling during Autumn/Winter);
 



09ºWest is a brand name of PAPA-LÉGUAS, Viagens e Turismo, Lda. Rua Conde de Sabugosa, 3F 1700-115 Lisboa Portugal
Phone: + 351 21 8452689/90 . Fax: + 351 21 8452693 . DGT permit: 953/98
www.09west.com