Crossing Madeira
    • Portugal - Madeira
    • 12 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Superior
      • Trip code : M1104

About the Crossing Madeira trip

About the trip in Madeira

Known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, Madeira is a mountainous island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with exceptional endemic vegetation. This is a destination that offers so many contrasts in one day. In just a few hours of walking you go from impressive mountains to a subtropical ocean coast.
You start your Madeira trip with gentle coastal walks before crossing the ridges or along the levadas that go deep into the primary forest to the natural pools of Porto Moniz and the sunny south coast.
This complete trek takes you on a great crossing  & hiking tour of Madeira from east to west, on the most beautiful trails, exploring the wild landscape of the island.

Highlights of the trip

  • A challenging route for experienced hikers
  • The most spectacular hikes between ridges and coastal paths overlooking the ocean
  • 7 dinners included
  • A choice between comfort or superior accommodation for a good night’s sleep.

    Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

From the blog

Madeira walking: Crossing Madeira: Day by Day 

Day 1 - Arriving in Madeira

  • Arrive on your own at Madeira international airport. Pick up from Funchal Airport and transfer by taxi to Santana, a rural village with a strong agricultural tradition located on the northeast coast. Santana is especially known for its beautiful examples of traditional houses with triangular thatched roofs.
  • Night in Santana
  • MEALS included : Dinner

  • ACCESS:
    . By air: There are regular flights that go directly to Madeira airport or via Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
    Click here for more travel information 

Day 2 - On the heights of Boca do Risco

  • Walk - Machico > Boca do Risco > Porto da Cruz
    4 hours 15 /  13 km - 8 miles / Ascent: +250 m - Descent: - 350m
  • Short transfer by taxi to the start of the hike located on the heights of the town. Departure for one of the most beautiful stages of Madeira on a balcony path 300m above the ocean. After the terraced fields of the Ribeira Seca valley, the coastal path of Boca do Risco offers breathtaking views of the surf and coves and ends with a great descent to the sea and the fishing village of Porto da Cruz. Once a small fishing village, Porto da Cruz is located along the jagged north coast, on one of the only places where the cliffs do not plunge directly into the Atlantic. Transfer to Santana.
  • Night in Santana
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3 - Portela to Ribeiro Frio : incredible Laurissilva

  • Walk - Portela > Ribeiro Frio
    4 hours /  12.50 km - 7.5 miles / Ascent: +350 m - Descent: -50 m
  • Transfer to Portela. Today you discover a magnificent example of the famous levadas through the Laurisilva (primitive laurel and tree heather forest). These small irrigation channels built into the mountainside are typical of the island and are punctuated with waterfalls and glimpses of the valleys. The Levada do Furado is spectacular in its first part, cut into the walls with protective barriers. Once you arrive at Ribeiro Frio, a belvedere offers a magnificent view of the highest peaks of the island: Pico Ruivo and Pico Ariero! Transfer back to Santana
  • Night in Santana
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4 - Great crossing by the ridges

  • Walk - Achada Texeira  > Pico Ruivo > Encumeada
    6 hours /  14 km - 8.7 miles / Ascent: +550 m - Descent: -1240 m
  • One of the most beautiful alpine hikes in Madeira! Transfer to Achada Texeira. From Achada do Teixeira the path leads to the island's peak, Pico Ruivo, and then follows the ridge of the mountain range that crosses Madeira from east to west. Several times the trail alternates between the northern and southern flanks, offering sublime views of the island's coastline. You will cross different ecosystems such as laurissilva and high forest. Arrival at your accommodation located on the plateau. Settle in for the next 2 nights.
  • Night in Encumeada
    Superior Accommodation : there is no other accommodation on the Paul plateau. If you choose the superior version you will also be staying at the Encumeada hotel.
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5 - The balconies of the Paul da Serra plateau

  • Walk - Loops on the Paul Plateau
    6 hours 30 /  17 km - 10.5 miles / Ascent: +650 m - Descent: -650 m
  • From your hotel, you leave for a beautiful loop hike on the Paul plateau. After following a first levada on the south coast, you will pass by the central ridge to arrive on the levada do Pináculo which runs along the north face of the Paul da Serra plateau. Primary forest, numerous waterfalls, spectacular views of São Vicente and the great peaks paint the landscape on route before the path enters a magnificent forest of tree heathers to find the levada do Norte which winds its way back to the south face and your accommodation (passage through 2 tunnels).
  • Night in Encumeada
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6 - From Paul da Serra to Seixal

  • Walk - Paul da Serra  > Fanal > Seixal
    5 hours 30 /  14 km - 8.7 miles / Ascent: +550 m - Descent: -1240 m
  • This morning, you have a short transfer to reach the Paul da Serra plateau (1600m) which marks the starting point of your great descent on the north side of Madeira. After crossing the plateau you arrive at the ancient crater of Fanal. This enchanting site, home to centuries-old laurel specimens, is classified as a haven of rest and silence. Discover an ingenious cable system used to transport wood and ferns to the Seixal valley, then begin your descent into the Chao de Ribeira valley, dotted with basalt stone huts and cultivated terraces. Arrive in Seixal, a small agricultural and pastoral village that conceals wild volcanic coves and boasts one of the largest black sand beaches in Madeira. Enjoy a well-deserved swim in one of the coves or off the black sand beach. Transfer to Porto Moniz and check in for two nights.
  • Night in Porto Moniz
  • MEALS included : Breakfast 

Day 7 - Levada dos Cedros

  • Walk - Levada dos Cedros
    . 3 hours /  11.5 km - 7.3 miles / Ascent: +420 - Descent: -420m
  • The levada dos Cedros winds its way through the forest, ending at a magnificent waterfall. Enjoy the ancient Fanal crater overlooking Seixal. This magical spot is home to magnificent specimens of century-old laurel trees. The panoramic views over the northern slopes are breathtaking.
  • Night in Porto Moniz
  • MEALS included : Breakfast 

Day 8 - Levadas and Rabacal waterfalls

  • Walk - Rabacal > 26 Fontes  waterfall > Garagem
    3 hours 45 /  10.5 km - 6.2 miles / Ascent: +360 - Descent: -640m
  • Transfer to the Paul plateau. On the Paul da Serra plateau, at an altitude of 1200 metres, the deep valley of Ribeira de Janela is born. On the Rabaçal site, as you follow the many levadas that fetch water from the heart of the mountain, you will discover numerous waterfalls, a forest of remarkable tree heathers, the famous giant dandelion and the Madeira daisy. You go through a tunnel towards the end of the walk. Transfer to the south coast where you spend the next two nights.
  • Night in Jardim do Mar, Prazeres or Ponta do Sol
    . Simple Version : night in Jardim do Mar, a charming village  on the south coast
    . Comfort Version : night in Prazeres, in a hotel with sea view 
    . Superior Version : transfer to Ponta do Sol in an elegant hotel overlooking the bay
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9 - Levada do Moinho

  • Walk - Ponta do Sol > Levada do Moinho > Ponta do Sol
    3 hours /  10 km - 6.20 miles / Ascent: +250 m - Descent: -250 m
  • This trail runs alongside the Levada do Moinho and takes you to the heart of the Ribeira do Ponta do Sol, to discover some splendid waterfalls.
  • Night in Jardim do Mar, Prazeres or Ponta do Sol
  • MEALS included : Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10 - From Boca da Corrida / Pico Grande to Curral das Freiras

  • Walk - Boca de Corrida > Pico Grande > Curral das freiras
    . 3 hours 15 /  6 km - 3.70 miles / Ascent: +200 m - Descent: -780 m
    . Longer option - Ascent of Pico Grande : add 2 hours and Ascent +360 m / Descent - 360 m
  • Today, transfer by taxi to the Boca de Corrida pass from where you enjoy a spectacular view of the ridges. Hike to the foothills of Pico Grande before a long descent to Curral das Freiras. Transfer to Funchal by taxi.  
  • Night in Funchal
  • MEALS included : Breakfast

Day 11 - Funchal

  • Free time to explore Funchal, a charming city built like an amphitheatre around the bay. Its name comes from fennel (Foncho in Portuguese) which grew in the bay when the Portuguese arrived. It is a pleasure to stroll through the maze of cobbled streets, colourful gardens and oceanfront promenade.
  • Optional and to be booked in advance & paid on the spot:
    - Take the cable car up to the Monte Tropical Garden which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the entire city and return on foot.
    - Visit the stunning tropical garden of the Quinta Monte Palace and the botanical garden
    - Descent on a traditional wicker sledge from the Monte district to downtown Funchal. Excitement guaranteed!
    - Gourmet walk : meet with a local guide in Funchal for a gourmet stroll in the historic centre of Funchal for a wonderful mix of gastronomic and cultural discovery. No less than 15 tastings to sample the savoury delights such as the hot pork and garlic sandwich, sword fish and grilled tuna and the sweet treats such as ginger biscuits, honey cake and not forgetting of course the famous Poncha (tour possible on Tuesday and Friday afternoon or Wednesday morning).
  • Night in Funchal
  • MEALS included : Breakfast

Day 12 - End of your trip

  • End of your trip in  Madeira ! Private transfer to the airport.
  • MEALS included : breakfast

  • ACCESS: Madeira airport information here.

More Madeira walking tours

    • Portugal - Madeira
    • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
  • Highlights of the trip

    • A complete exploration of the island from East to West, and North to South
    • The freedom of the rental car to discover the island at your own pace
    •  A choice of easy, moderate or challenging hikes - to choose according to your mood and fitness level of the day
    • 4 dinners included and a free choice of local restaurants in Porto Moniz and Funchal
    • A free day in Funchal to discover the city through its many activities


      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • Portugal - Madeira
      • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Comfort
  • Highlights of the trip

    • The most emblematic walks of the island of Madeira
    •  Discover the primary laurel forest, an UNESCO World Heritage site
    •  An itinerary alternating between Levada walks and mountain walks
    • 6 dinners included
    • Daily private transfers included


      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • Portugal - Madeira
      • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Charming
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Easy hikes accessible to all, on the most emblematic sites : Sao Lorenzo, Primary forest (UNESCO Site), Pico Ruivo (1862m)
    • Overnight stay in a vineyard that produces the famous Madeira Wine
    • 5 dinners included to enjoy Madeira's culinary specialities including two meals in typical restaurants 
    • A gourmet walk through the city of Funchal, a wine day-tour
    • Option : to book a table in a Michelin starred restaurant in Funchal or/and a dinner at a local's home


      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • Portugal - Madeira
      • 12 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Superior
  • Highlights of the trip

    • A challenging route for experienced hikers
    • The most spectacular hikes between ridges and coastal paths overlooking the ocean
    • 7 dinners included
    • A choice between comfort or superior accommodation for a good night’s sleep.

      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

    Crossing Madeira
        • Portugal - Madeira
        • 2 adults (2x1330€)
        • 0 children (0x1330€)
      • 12 days
      • Simple
    Total 2660€
    Deposit 800€
    Book now !