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Portugal Walking Tour - Madeira, 8 days

From Santana we take a scenic coastal walk and inland from Pico das Pedras. Through the beautiful coastal landscapes we drive to Porto Moniz. On the way to Ribeira Brava, we follow a Levada from Cristo Rei to Florenças. From Ribeira Brava, you can climb the Pico Ruivo, Madeira's highest mountain at 6075 feet. During the last walk we walk south of Encumeada, we walk along the Levada do Norte. In Funchal, you still have time to take a boat trip to go dolphin watching. On this beautiful hiking tour in Portugal, you will join international groups with travelers, of all ages, most from Holland and Belgium.  

Itinerary

  1. Funchal - Santana
  2. Santana - São Lourenço
  3. Santana - Queimadas - Porto Moniz
  4. Porto Moniz - Cristo Rei - Ribeira Brava
  5. Ribeira Brava; Lombo do Mouro
  6. Ribeira Brava - Pico Ruivo - Funchal
  7. Funchal
  8. Funchal

Land begins:   Airport Funchal  (Meet Dutch travelers who arrival 9:35 AM for transfer to accommodations. 
Land ends       Funchal - group transfer to Funchal airport  (Dutch take10:15 AM flight) 

Airline: The Dutch will arrive on TRANSAVIA

Day by day

During Djoser walking tours do day hikes from our residence or we make a multi-day trek. Itineraries are not rigidly scheduled. On rest days you can make extra walks or do other things on your own.  The tour leader can make suggestions.  You are not obligated to participate in any activity.  Those who prefer to go out independently, are free to do so. By the nature of our trips and local conditions there may be unexpected situations, which may cause a particular walk or activity to be canceled or adjusted. We travel in groups of about 12 and 15 persons.


Funchal


Day 1 - Funchal - Santana
Day 2;Santana  coastal walk São Lourenço

You will meet the guide and other participants at the airport in the capital Funchal.Sailors called the city "Little Lisbon" because the typical  Portuguese architectural style and grandeur of the cathedral.  From Funchal we drive directly to our overnight quarters in  he quiet village of Santana. It is one of the few places along this rugged coast where the land is suitable for agriculture. The rich volcanic soil makes three harvests possible per year. Although Santana is the main city of the north, it is not comparable to Funchal. The modern world has not yet replaced the traditional life here. The intensively cultivated terraces resemble a cross between Bali and the Alps. In this rural area you can find 'palheiros' traditional, small, thatched houses. The residents cook outside because of the fire hazard . Today most palheiros are used as cowsheds.

The next day after a short bus ride we reach  São Lourenço, the starting point of our first hike of about four hours. The eastern end of the island does not drop gracefully into the sea, but the country stops here abruptly at a high precipice that plunges straight into the sea. We follow a spectacular cliff path that offers beautiful views of the sea. This dry, rough and desolate eastern part of Madeira stands in stark contrast to the rest of the predominantly green island. After our coastal walk we drive back to the quiet village of Santana.


Length: 8 km
Walking time: about 3 hours
Height difference: 180 m ascent and descent

Santana, Porto Moniz

Day 3 Santana - Levada walk Queimadas to Ilha- Porto Moniz

On a winding road through the woods, the bus takes us to Queimadas, in the interior. From here we walk about five hours through Caldeirão Verde, where we can have lunch at the waterfall,  Ilha. We follow the irrigation canals that carry excess rainwater from the wetter north to the arid south. The walk is varied and spectacular. Lush, almost primary forests give way to beautiful views of the north coast and the Atlantic Ocean. We walk today through several tunnels. Keep a flashlight always close at hand. After a long descent, the bus picks us up again in Ilha. The nineteen-kilometer stretch of road between São Vicente and Porto Moniz is completely constructed by hand. It took sixteen years to get this done!. In Porto Moniz there are some strangely shaped rock pools that are created by volcanic activity. The sun warms the stagnant water quickly and diving is alluring. In rough weather the waves splash against the rocks dramatically high here and there are hidden pools hidden beneath the swirling waters. After the hike, a glass of madeira tastes especially nice with a backdrop of the setting sun. The local wine is the most famous export product of the island. After about  fifteen years of agin in oak barrels, this wine develops a sophisticated finish with about  20 percent alcohol. 

Length: 11 km
Walking time: about 5 hours
in altitude: 530 m 50 m rise and fall

Day 4 Porto Moniz - Levada walk to Rabaçal Florenças - Ribeira Brava

We leave Porto Moniz and take the road to Ribeira Brava a Levada walk from Cristo Rei. We walk across the highland plateau and follow a Levada to the south coast; a walk of about five hours. Along this winding irrigation path,  sometimes you have to make room for shepherds with goats or cows. Sometimes they use some of the caves along the path as overnight accommodation. We pass Rabaçal, a lovely place. The name means "untouched virgin"; if you look over the green valley below, it is not difficult to understand how they came to the name. After Rabaçal we continue Levada through a long tunnel before it connects to another irrigation channel that we follow to Florenças.  For those who love purple  flowers, "The Pride of Madeira",  colorful oleander, wild agapanthus and hydragena thrive here, because of the mild climate throughout the year. It makes the paths cheerful. Madeira is known as' "the flower of the Atlantic." We stay on the south coast in the cozy town of Ribeira Brava. You'll find a lively promenade with attractive shops and you will see examples of the typical Madeirenzer architecture: houses with decorative balconies and green window shutters.


Length: 13 km
Walking time: about 5 hours
in altitude: 50 m 650 m rise and fall


Ribeira Brava

Day 5 Ribeira Brava; Levada walk Lombo do Moura

Today we drive into the mountains for a hike of about six hour south of Encumeada. We walk a section along the Levada do Lombo do Mouro and finally along the Levada do Norte. The adventurous hike goes past waterfalls and through tunnels. Don't forget your poncho and flashlight today. In clear weather we enjoy magnificent views along the way

Day 6 Ribeira Brava -"Balcony Walk"  Pico Ruivo - Funchal

Early in the morning we travel by bus to Pico do Arieiro, the starting point of the challenging "balcony walk" which is about a five hour walk to the summit of Pico Ruivo, Madeira's highest mountain (6112 feet). This hike is considered one of the most spectacular of the island! The last part goes along a nice paved path between blocks of rocks and weathered trees where ferns grow. In good weather the views are spectacular. As you climb the Pico do Gato and Pico das Torres, sometimes it is cloudy and you hike through the mists. After the walk we drive to Funchal. Here we can relax in the restaurants and you can find a nice place on the harbor on a terrace. Try 'espada', a long black fish, served with banana, a tasty local specialty.


Length: 14 km
Walking time: about 5.5 hours
in altitude: 200 m 750 m rise and fall

Funchal

Day 7 Funchal 
Day 8 Funchal -

The last day in Funchal is at your  leisure. At the 'Mercado dos Lavradores', the walled market in the heart of the city, you see buckets full of exotic flowers. This is a great place to get  familiar with local customs and taste a "bolo" (a sandwich with a variety of flavors) and a "Bica" (a very small cup of strong espresso) in one of the many pastelarias. You have several options. For example, walk in the footsteps of Columbus with a boat ride on a replica of the Santa Maria, or take a catamaran to spot dolphins. Or visit one of the many embroidery factories. These were previously set up to ensure there was work for the poor. Now entire families work at home making vast tablecloths that are known for their beautiful floral designs and excellent quality. Of course, at the conclusion of your trip  you can, do what most tourist do take the cable car to the botanical gardens at Monte. Our trip comes to an end in Funchal. 

Length: 8 km
Walking time: about 5 hours
elevation: 500 m 750 m rise and fall

Dates and prices

Departure dates 2017

Land Begins Land Ends Price Availability  
Jul-18-17
Guaranteed leave
Jul-25-17$1,3951 seatsbook now >
Sep-12-17
Guaranteed leave
Sep-19-17$1,3958 seatsbook now >
Oct-10-17
Guaranteed leave
Oct-17-17$1,33510 seatsbook now >

Departure dates 2018

Land Begins Land Ends Price Availability  
Apr-17-18
Guaranteed leave
Apr-24-18$1,39515 seatsbook now >
Apr-24-18
Guaranteed leave
May-01-18$1,39515 seatsbook now >
May-01-18
Guaranteed leave
May-08-18$1,39515 seatsbook now >
May-15-18
Guaranteed leave
May-22-18$1,39515 seatsbook now >
May-22-18
Guaranteed leave
May-29-18$1,27015 seatsbook now >
Jun-05-18
Guaranteed leave
Jun-12-18$1,39515 seatsbook now >

Conditions "Guaranteed leave"

Price includes

  • Land program
  • Transportation to and from start and end point hike
  • Hiking on day 2 to 6 including guide assistance
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Tour guide (speaks Dutch & English) 

Price excludes

Flights from/to the U.S., travel insurance, other meals, entrance fees, optional excursions, gratuities, personal expenses. 

Cost Overview

Land price from

$1370
Single accommodations $150
   
Extension hotel city #1 Funchal
Double room per person $36
Single room $60
   
Estimated out-of-pocket, weekly $230
   
Deposit due upon booking $500
  * Deposit based on 20% of minimum land price, or $500 minimum
  * Balance due 60 days prior to departure. 

Practical information

Accommodations & Meals

We overnight in central comfortable hotels where the rooms are always equipped with private shower and toilet. The hotels are within walking distance of the city centers and sometimes they have a pool. The groups on these trips have a maximum size of 15 participants.

Typical hotels (subject to change)
Santana Hotel     O Colmo
Porto Moniz         Pensao Salgueiro
Ribeira Brava      Hotel Bravamar
Funchal                Hotel Do Centro

Single Room -  Singles will be matched with a roommate of the same sex. You may request a single room for an additional charge, subject to availability. (see Prices/Dates page for cost).

Hotel extensions - It is always great to be well-rested when you begin a journey such as this. If you would like to book an extension hotel night upon arrival in the city where the land program begins, let us know on your booking form. You will find the prices for extension nights listed in the '"Dates & Prices" page. The cost of a hotel extension does not include transfers to or from the airports.

Flights & Transportation

Land begins:   Airport Funchal  (Meet Dutch travelers who arrival 9:35 AM for transfer to accommodations. 
Land ends       Funchal - group transfer to Funchal airport  (Dutch take10:15 AM flight) 

Airline: The Dutch will arrive on TRANSAVIA

Booking your international flight - We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arriving from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the Land Begin and End times are listed below. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind.

Dutch participants' proposed flights: (subject to change)
Airline: TRANSAVIA
NL participants arrive:   Funchal  09:35
NL participants depart: Funchal -  10:15

Before you book your flight - To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.
Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours - When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.


Send us a copy of your flight itinerary - We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.


Keep in mind hotel extensions - If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the "Dates & Prices" section


If the Dutch participants arrive in the late evening - Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.


Airport transfer to/from hotel (not Included) - If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.

Useful Links for booking your flights
Orbitz.com
Expedia.com
Kaykak.com

Money Matters

 A summary of all trip costs can be found on our 'Dates & Prices' page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.


Included in price

When you book a trip

  • 20% of minimum land package price (or minimum of $500) due upon booking to hold your place (See “Prices & Dates” section for deposit amount for your trip
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date
  • Payments by charge card or check are accepted
     

While you are traveling

Local Currency:  Euro
ATMS:  Found many places
Other Currency Accepted: Euro
Credit cards: Often accepted 



Tipping - 
It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.

** You will find a list of all trip costs in the "Dates & Prices" section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.

Excursions

On a Djoser trip, you decide which sights you would like to visit, besides the hikes made during the trip. One participant make like to visit a museum, while others may prefer to visit a market. From our accommodations you can get around easily on foot or by local transport to do options of your preference.

Some sights you should not be missed or lie on the route. Such excursions are built into the program but all entrance fees are exclusive.

During the walking tour on Madeira the following excursions iare included in the travel in Portugal:

Hiking on day 2 to 6 with guide
Visit palheiro, traditional thatched cottage

On site are also other excursions. The guide can advise you on this and can possibly arrange a tour for the group. A boat trip on a replica of the Santa Maria or a catamaran trip in search of dolphins are possibilities from Funchal or a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Funchal. 

Travel Documents

 When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.

VISA NEEDED? NO

Health Issues & Insurance

 Health - Check for the Center for Disease Control – Travelers information for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.

When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance. It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as Immodium) Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellant, salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.
Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.

Usual vaccinations & medications recommended for this trip - None recommended

Specifics for this walking tour 

Gravity of this trip: 2 
Walking tour ratings:
1 = Easy hikes with little elevation on the program.
2 = Walk an average of six hours and walk in hilly terrain.
3 = Rigorous hikes from four to eight hours in a mountainous area.

We have arranged the trips to their challenges. W takes into account the duration of the tours, the level changes, the altitudes at which we walk, and the ratio of resting and walking days. This of course remains an estimate. Plus, other factors will determine your your personal experience such as weather conditions and your physical condition.


Lowest point hike: 249 feet
Highest point hike: 6125 feet 
Maximum rise: 1738 feet 
Maximum fall: 2460 feet 
Total miles walk: 33.55
Average walking time: 4.7 hours

For more information about the distance, walking time and altitude per day, we refer you go to the day-to-day description of this route.


On this walking tour, mostly we leave in the morning from our accommodation by minibus and we make our way to our next accommodation by a  walk. The walks are suitable for those who a good, normal physical condition. The landscape is diverse; mountainous terrain, flat, rising and falling paths alternate. Some walks are narrow paths with steep precipices. A few times we walk in tunnels in Levada; these are dark and narrow. A good flashlight is necessary. The longest tunnel, we walk 15 minutes in the dark, on day 6. Keep in mind, if you do not want to make this walk, then we can try to arrange alternative transport to the endpoint. We take walks from 3 to 6 hours. On day 6 we climb the Pico Ruivo; a walk of about 3 hours to the summit at 6108 feet (from the starting point at 5964 feet). It's a steep climb. If you do not wish to make this walk, you can remain in Ribeira Brava and fill the day on your own.
 

Be Prepared! - Make sure you are well prepared to travel. Spend the months leading up to your trip working out and getting preapred for your bike trip. This will help you to get the most enjoyment from your journey.

TRAVEL INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP.

Insurance - For peace of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses. Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.
You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended TRAVELEX. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with TRAVELEX, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan. * Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation. TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792

Group Composition

 Minimum group size: 10 

Maximum group size: 20

What to expect when traveling with an international group – Our group trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates. 
Djoser travelers are active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. You will find couples and singles on our trips. Join our international groups with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America. There are rarely more four North Americans per group. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular and this adds another cultural element to the trip. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trip (number of singles and age range.
You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.
The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way. The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. Unless otherwise indicated, you will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.

Tour Leaders & Support Staff

The group is accompanied by a Dutch guide. The tour guide provides practical information as possible about the walk, the route and the different activities during rest days. In addition, the supervisor tells something about daily life and the different habits of the country. However, the tour guide is not a lecturer. For any questions, comments or concerns you can always contact the tour leader. The tour guides are avid walkers and do everything possible to make your walking tour a success.  

Climate & Geography

 The weather is dominated by the Gulf Stream in Lisbon making warm winters and cool summers. The temperatures are never too extreme here and it rarely freezes and summer rarely exceeds 95 F. In the interior,  the temperatures in the summer months of July and August rise. This trip is offered in the spring and autumn. Generally you can expect pleasant temperatures.

Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region: Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at worldweather.org

Photos & video

Book Trip/Trip Inquiry

Are you ready to book a trip?


* Submit this form to begin your reservation process.  Confirm that names exactly as they appear on a current passports.  If names on your international, domestic flights or visas (if applicable) do not match your name as it appears on your passport, some countries will deny you entry.

TIP:  Also verify your name on your flight records, within 24 hours after reserving to avoid change or cancellation penalties.   

* Pay by personal check or credit card:  Visa, Mastercard, American Express

* Call us with your charge card information.  Your place will be reserved upon receipt of funds for required deposit.

* Refer to the Prices & Dates page for an overview of your total costs & deposit 


* Download the Booking Form with Terms and Conditions

* Fax for with signatures for all participants 18 and over to  484-595-9140 . Or scan to us at luke@djoserusa.com

* Or mail Djoser, Inc., 154 Woodgate Lane, Paoli, PA 19301 - Attn: Luke Neal


Download Booking Form 

* = required

Highlights

  • Stay in comfortable hotels with breakfast
  • Guide assisted
  • International group, all ages
  • Private transportation between hikes
  • varied walks throughout the island 

Our Portugal Tours