Madeira walking: from Picos to Levadas trails
    • Portugal - Madeira
    • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to December
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • simple
      • Trip code : M1101

About the Madeira walking: from Picos to Levadas trails trip

About the trip in Madeira

Located off the coast of Morocco and about 900 km away from continental Portugal, the island of Madeira is nothing less than heaven on earth for walkers!  Originally covered by an immense primary forest, the Portuguese spent centuries carving intricate terraces into the steep hillsides, creating no less than a 2000 km network of scenic canals (Levadas) to allow the settlers to grow virtually anything in the island’s rich volcanic soils. Nowadays these Levadas are the basis of the incredible walking map of Madeira.
This is why we’ve carefully selected the absolute must-do walks of this island: along the jagged coastline through the storybook village gardens where yam and sweet potatoes grow along papayas and avocados, or along the pleasant Levada running through the subtropical laurel forests…
You will cross the island from the lush green north coast to the high and arid Paul da Serra plateau in the centre ending your Madeira walking tour in Funchal, a colourful capital with undeniable charm.

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
From the blog

Madeira walking: from Picos to Levadas trails: Day by Day 

1 - Arriving in Madeira

Madeira Flower

  • Arrive on your own at Madeira's international airport. Private taxi transfer to Machico. The island?s historic capital is today a small seaside town with a pebble beach and a nice marina.
  • Dinner included & night in Machico
  • MEALS included: Dinner

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

2 - Peninsula of Sao Lorenzo

  • Soa Lorenzo walking tourWalk - Machico > Sao Lorenzo
    3 hours /  7.2 km - 4.5 miles / Ascent: +400 - Descent: - 400m
  • Characterized by a craggy coastline, drawn by the combined action of the wind and the sea over thousands of years, the São Lourenço peninsula displays unusual rock formations with amazing colours. It is famous for its many birds, endemic plants and fossils. You may like to enjoy a swim, along the way, in isolated coves. Transfer back to Machico.
  • Dinner included & night in Machico
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & dinner

3 - Coastal path from Machico to Porto da Cruz

Madeira walking stay

  • Walk - Machico > Porto da Cruz 
    4 hours /  13 km - 8 miles / Ascent: +150 - Descent: -350m
  • A 10 minutes transfer takes you just above the village of Machico. Here you will find the first of many levadas that you will be following over the course of the week. This Levada ? levada do Caniçal ? takes us through the cultivated terraces above Machico, passing modest homes and small farmlands. A short climb up the Ribeira Seca valley where houses will gradually disappear before reaching the Boca do Risco pass. Now on the northern slope of the island, the cliff drops directly 300 metres down into the Atlantic Ocean. A spectacular path leads you to the village of Porto da Cruz where you may enjoy a swim in the sea saltwater swimming pool.
  • Dinner included & night in Porto da Cruz
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & dinner

4 - Caldeiro Verde to Ilha

  • Madeira walkingWalk - Caldeiro Verde > Ilha
    4 hours 30 /  14 km - 8.6 miles / Ascent: +110 - Descent: -620m
  • Today you are going to discover, thanks to an ancient Levada carved centuries-ago in the rock, the primary forest of Madeira ? the incredible Laurissilva - a UNESCO World Heritage site. Perched at about a 1000 m above sea level, you will have spectacular views of the lush, green slopes that tumble into the ocean below. The Levada rises above vertiginous cliffs, goes through 4 tunnels dug in basalt (do not forget your headlamp) to finally reach the source of the Levada: the Caldeiro Verde, an amphitheatre of subtropical vegetation, framing a waterfall as it dives into a pool of water. You leave the Levada to descend on a forested crest and on ancient paths to the sleepy village of Ilha where you will be met by your taxi for your transfer back to your accommodation.
  • Dinner included & night in Porto da Cruz
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & dinner

5 - The Picos and Encumeada Pass

Picos walk madeira

  • Walk - The Picos 
  • Today, you will have to choose 2 walking options: You can either
    . walk from the Pico Ruivo to the Pico do Arieiro (moderate) - 4 hours 30 /  9.5 km - 6 miles / Ascent: +840 - Descent: -630m
    . or go for the walk on the crest to Encumeada (challenging) - Longer walk option : 6 hours | 14 km, 8.6 miles | +550 m - 1240 m

    1. After a short transfer to Achada Teixeira, a wide and easy underfoot cobbled path will take you through a sparse and arid vegetation. It gradually heads upwards to the very summit of Madeira, the Pico Ruivo (1860m): a dramatic platform with awe-inspiring views in all directions. Then, the trail goes up and down through very impressive gullies, on a path carved in basalt and solidified cinders, that goes from a belvedere to another to finally reach the Pico Arieiro (1818 m).

    2. The walk through the crests to Encumeada is one of the most spectacular of Madeira! From Achada Teixeira the trail goes first to the panoramic summit of Pico Ruivo (1860m), then undulates along the ridge of the mountain range that crosses Madeira from east to west. Many times, the trail alternates between the north and south face, offering sublime views of the island's shores. You will cross several different ecosystems such as the Laurissilva and the montane forests.
  • Dinner included & night in Encumeada
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & dinner
  • We recommend: 
    . Have an extra night in Porto da Cruz in order to do both walks

6 - Waterway, waterfall and Primitive forest

  • Levada do Norte walkWalk - Encumeada > Levada do Norte
    5 hours 30 /  14 km - 8.6 miles / Ascent: +320 - Descent: -650m
  • Today, it is a loop walk from the door of your accommodation. After reaching the Pinaculo, a finger shaped rock, you will walk along levada through the primary forest with many waterfalls (do not forget your raincoat!) and spectacular belvederes over Sao Vicente and the summits. Then the path meanders through a magnificent forest of tree heather to reach the ?Levada do Norte? hedged by numerous white and blue agapanthus (in Spring). Do not forget your headlamp as you will have to go through two tunnels before reaching the main road that leads you back to your accommodation.
  •  Dinner included  & night in Encumeada
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & dinner

7 - Pico Grande and Funchal

  • Pico Grande Madeira walking tourWalk - Pico Grande > Funchal
    4 hours 30 /  13 km - 8 miles / Ascent: +750 - Descent: -410m
  • Today there are 2 walking options, and choose between :
    . a walk from Encumeada to Boca do Corrida
    . or decide to explore Funchal!  Alternatively, you may add one extra night in Funchal to do both.

    1. This itinerary goes through an ancient path that the local nobility used to travel across the island. From eucalyptus forests to deep and humid valleys covered by giant ferns, the trail runs at the foot of Pico Grande. From there you may want to lengthen your walk by climbing to the summit. It is not one of the highest peaks on the island but from the top, the 360° panorama is among the most remarkable views of Madeira. However, you may also continue on the ridge path between the peaks and the Paul da Serra plateau up to Boca da Corrida where you will meet the taxi for your transfer back to Funchal.

    2. Head to Funchal for a leisurely day in the Capital city of Madeira. Visit of the old town centre and the ?Mercado dos lavradores? market, full of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers.
  • Night in Funchal
  • MEALS included: Breakfast

  • We recommend: 
    . Have an extra night in Funchal in order to do both the walk and the visit of Funchal.
    . Discover the ?Mercado dos Lavradores? farmers? market in Funchal? open daily except on Sundays

8 - End of your trip in Funchal

Funchal Madeira walking tour

  • End of your trip in Funchal, the capital city of Madeira! Bye-bye Madeira!
  • Private transfer to the airport (included)
  • MEALS included : breakfast

Madeira airport information here.

 TRIP RATES VALID FOR

The rates are per person,

  • on a 2 pers. minimum reservation basis (shared room),
  • and are always subject to availability
  • If you travel SOLO : please contact us!

 INCLUDED

  • 7 nights double occupancy with private facilities
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners in your hotel restaurant
  • All transfers as listed below by private taxi :
    . Day1 - Airport to Hotel
    . Day 2 - Hotel in Machico to Sao Lorenzo and back
    . Day 3 - Hotel in Machico to Tunnel of Canical + luaggages transfer from Machico to Port da Cruz
    . Day 4 - Hotel in Porto da Cruz to Pico das Pedras + Ilha to Porto da Cruz
    . Day 5 - Hotel in Porto da Cruz to Achada Texeira + Pico Ariero to Encumeada (option 1) or luggage transfer  only from Porto da Cruz to Encumeada (option2)
    . Day 6 - no transfer (circular walk)
    . Day 7 - Boca de Corrida to hotel in Funchal (option1) or Encumeada to Funchal (option 2)
    . Day 8 - Hotel in Funchal to airport
  • Luggage transfers along the trip
  • Our Road Book with detailed walking itineraries, including highlighted maps + 1 road map of the region
  • 24/7 phone assistance 

 NOT INCLUDED

  • International flights to Madeira
  • All lunches, dinner in Funchal on day 7
  • Drinks
  • Entrance fees into museums
  • Insurance
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips to the driver and in restaurants

 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

  • Simple accomodation : 150 €uros

More Madeira walking tours

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

      • simple
  • 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
    Madeira walking: from Picos to Levadas trails
        • Portugal - Madeira
        • 2 adults (2x690€)
        • 0 children (0x690€)
      • 8 days
      • simple
    Total 1380€
    Deposit 420€
    Book now !