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Guided Winter Walking & Sightseeing

in Madeira, Portugal

  ITINERARY

Day 0  Friday   Depart Toronto on overnight flight on SATA Air Azores to Madeira (via Ponta  Delgada Azores).  (Air fare not included in the cost)
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Day 1 - Saturday 
  Arrive Funchal Airport at 11 AM and transfer to the Galosol Hotel (about 20 minutes).   The Galo Resort offers many activities with yoga, fitness classes, rental bikes, snorkelling, aqua-fit and a spa. The afternoon is at leisure until 5 PM when there will be a briefing by the guides.

Day 2 - Sunday  
Morning at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the hotel. 
In the early afternoon our private transportation takes us to the Cabo Giro Viewpoint where one can step onto a large glass observation platform high above the sea. From here we continue  to our first walk on Levada do Norte with beautiful views over Camara de Lobos and Funchal interspersed with hidden green valleys.  It is a moderate walk with little ascent and a total distance of 7 km. 

Day 3  Monday   Funchal
This morning 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 farmers’ market, Mercado dos Labradores, and the famous Blandys Winery, home of Madeira wine.  You may wish to stay in Funchal for lunch and perhaps in the afternoon 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. 

Day 4 Tuesday  - full day walking and sightseeing
Today we travel to the town of Porto da Cruz on the north eastern side of the island. We have an easy levada walk and then free time for lunch in the town. In the afternoon we continue to the Sao Lourenco Peninsula where we walk to the end of the peninsula. The moderate 8km walk can be windy but the scenery is spectacular.  After the walk we stop int the town of Canical before returning to our hotel.  

Day 5 Wednesday - free day
Enjoy the many fitness activities at the hotel.  Or you can visit the Funchal farmers' market to sample  tropical fruit such as custard apple, guava and oranges fresh from the tree.  Tasting your way through the town can include sampling passionfruit pudding or bolo de mel (honey cake) and , of course, Madeira wine.

Day 6  Thursday  Choice of two guided walks

Easier Walk: 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. 8 miles (13km) with 100ft (30m) of ascent and 1,000ft (300m) of descent

Harder Walk: We head off on the Levada da Bica da Cana to reach a higher viewpoint to the East. Returning via our outward route we shall pick up the route of the easier walk to Rabacal , the Levada das 25 Fontes and then via the tunnel to the coach pick-up. 9.5 miles (15km) with 260ft (80m) of ascent and 1,000 ft (300m) of descent

Day 7  Friday 
In the morning we have an easy walk on Levada dos Tornos and in the afternoon we visit the Botanic Gardens at Monte.

Day 8  Saturday   free day.
Optional
Whale/dolphin watching excursions might interest you.

Day 9 Sunday 
The area of Serra de Água is one of the most beautiful places of Madeira. From here you can see the south coast, Encumeada, Ribeira Brava and Campanário.  It is an easy hike with diverse flora and fauna.

Day 10 Monday 
Today is free so you can go to the clinic in Funchal for a Covid19 test (assuming it is still required when returning to Canada).  To get a free test it is necessary to book on the MadeiraSafe website (your guide and/or the hotel staff can assist and transportation can be arranged).  There are plenty of other 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.

Day 11 Tuesday
This morning we walk in the Ribeira Frio region. The levada walk is mostly through shady laurel forest that is a UNESCO heritage site. The tranquil path is lined by a vast array of flora and the sound of birds can be heard in the trees. It is an easy 11 km walk with a little descent at the end.

Day 12  Wednesday
   
Air Azores departs from Funchal at 12.00 and arrives in Toronto at 18.35 (via Punta del Gada Azores). 

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Madeira Accommodation
Cost Itinerary
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