MADEIRA BY CAR: self-guided

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8 days 8 days
Self-guided Self-guided
With baggage transport With baggage transport
Accommodation Hotel ***
Level *** Level ***
From 680 € From 680 €

Only 4 hours from Paris, Madeira is like paradise for hikers. Here is a tour of Madeira Island with the flexibility of a rental car and a choice of carefully selected hikes. You will appreciate all its beauty and diversity: sea and mountain, levadas, coastal paths, waterfalls and forests as well as the translucent waters of the natural pools of Porto Moniz. Summer or winter, every evening, you will find calm in the coastal villages. The east or the bay of Funchal can pleasantly complete this discovery.

You will like

  • Madeiran Natural Park and its UNESCO-listed laurisilva
  • Stop by the coastal villages
  • Original paths along the levadas
  • Flexibility thanks to car rental
  • Different levels of hikes in option
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MADEIRA BY CAR: self-guided

From 680 €

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Hike details

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Dates & prices


8-day trek, every day departure 2024

From 03/01 to 31/03
€1270 for 1 person
€820 for 2 people
€750 for 3 to 8 people

From 01/04 to 31/10
€1520 for 1 person
€930 for 2 people
€820 for 3 to 8 people

Rates per person

In option :

- Single room  supplement for departures of 1 person
- Extra night in Funchal in a *** hotel (night + breakfast)
- Additional day of car rental
- Funchal - airport transfer

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The price includes :

  • Half board from the night of day 1 to breakfast of day 8, except one dinner ;
  • A road book, one copy per registration file (includes a road map with the list of services provided, a map of the island at 1/50000, a hiking guide with map extracts and a description of the itinerary with tourist information) ;
  • Car rental.

The price does not include :

  • Air transport;
  • Cancellation insurance;
  • Personal expenses (drinks, etc.) and visits;
  • Lunches;
  • Dinner on day 7;
  • Fuel for the car (about 60€ for the stay).

L’itinéraire jour après jour...

Day 1

Reception by the car rental company at the airport and pick-up of a rental vehicle.
Departure by car (1 hour, 54 km) towards the west of the island to Jardim do Mar, a small picturesque village nestled between the ocean and banana plantations. On the way, possible stop at Cabo Girão, the highest sea viewpoint in Europe, at 580 m (glass belvedere entry €2pp). Night on half board in a *** hotel with a small swimming pool, in the heart of the village (or in a guest room depending on availability).

Day 2

Pedestrian discovery of the southwest coast and its remote villages. From Jardim do Mar, steep climb towards the village of Prazères with great views over the entire coast. Going down on a paved path in a gorge that sinks between colorful cliffs, leading to Paul do Mar. Here, small white fisherman's houses seem wedged between the pebble beach and the coastal cliff. It is then possible to reach Jardim do Mar by the beach. Night with half board in a *** hotel (or in a guest room depending on availability).
3.5 hour walk / Distance: 7km / Elevation +/- 550 m

Variant: A circuit hike around Maloeira can offer an additional variant to this hike or even be done alone as an alternative for the less athletic.
2.5 hour walk - 7.6 km / Elevation +/-260 m 

Day 3

In good weather, from the Rabaçal car park, hike on the levada do Alecrim to its source towards the Paul da Serra plateau, in a very wild aera, and descent to the small mountain lake Lagoa do Vento. The path then reaches the forest house of Rabaçal from where you return to the vehicle. Car transfer lasting between 1h and 1h30 over a distance of 45 km. In the morning, drive to the Paul da Serra plateau and the site of Rabaçal. In the afternoon, continue by car towards the northwest of the island to Porto Moniz, renowned for its natural volcanic pools by the sea which fill up at high tide (suitable for swimming in summer). Night and breakfast in a rural house (with a beautiful garden) on the heights of Porto Moniz and dinner in the restaurant, or half board in a *** hotel with indoor swimming pool (depending on availability).
3 hour walk / 8.3 km / Elevation +/-270 m

Day 4

Car transfer to the heights of Porto-Moniz (30min, 10km). From Lamaceiros, the hike goes up along the levada da Janela. Very quickly, the landscape becomes more and more wild and you find yourself in the heart of the Laurisilve, which has a worldwide ecological reputation and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Return to the start point by the same route. Night with half board in Porto Moniz, in a rural house or in a *** hotel.
3.5 hour walk / 12 km

Variant: Not far from Porto Moniz, it is also possible to make two other beautiful hikes to the village of Achada da Cruz: spectacular and steep coastal hike of the Fajã Quebrada Nova and its marine gardens.
2 hour walk / 3.7 km / Elevation +/- 450 m
Intimate hike in the forest along the discreet Grande do Moinho levada.
2.5 hour walk - 8.3 km - Elevation +/- 180 m
In summer, possibility of swimming in the large municipal seawater swimming pool of Porto Moniz.

Day 5

Hike on the coastal path of São Jorge between the villages, pretty cobbled paths and the wild coast where the breaking swell breaks on the cliffs. The coast here is very beautiful... not to be missed ! Transfer by car lasting 1h30 over a distance of 50 km. Discovery of a magnificent route by the road of the northern corniche which crosses many tunnels cut in the cliff. This route passes through the villages of Seixal, São Vicente, Ponta Delgada, Boaventura, São Jorge and finally Santana, where you can admire some houses with thatched roofs and bright colors, like in fairy tales. Night with half board in a guest house with a small swimming pool in São Jorge or in a **** hotel with indoor swimming pool in Santana.
2 hour walk / Distance: 5.5 km / Elevation +/-300m

Variant: Before São Jorge, possibility of stopping at Boaventura for a loop hike through agricultural paths and little frequented levadas in a hinterland adorned with terraced crops and lush plants.
2.5 hour walk / 7.5 km / Elevation +/- 380 m

Day 6

In good weather, from Achada do Teixeira at 1592 m, a path allows the ascent of Pico Ruivo, the highest point of the island perched at 1862m. Great panorama over the whole island. Car transfer lasting 1 hour over 40 km. Route on the heights of Santana to Achada do Teixeira and / or Queimada. Night with half board in a guest house with a small swimming pool in São Jorge or in a **** hotel with indoor swimming pool in Santana.
2.5 hour walk / Distance: 5.5 km / Elevation +/-270m

Variant: From the Queimadas forest house, discover the park with its magnificent trees and flowers. Hike along the Caldeirao Verde levada to the "Green Cauldron", a kind of basin located at the foot of a vertiginous waterfall.
3.5 hour walk / 13.3 km / Elevation +/-20m
At Caldeirão Verde, possibility of extending to the impressive "Caldera of Hell".
2 hour walk / + 6 km / Elevation +/- 110 m
Finally, if the weather is very nice in the mountains, it is possible under Pico Ruivo to take the ridge path back and forth to Pico do Arieiro for a royal hike on the roof of Madeira.
Up to 7 hour walk / Elevation +1300 m

Day 7

From Baia d'Abra, hike on the São Lourenço peninsula, a spectacular volcanic and desert rocky point that juts out in the middle of the ocean. This nature reserve (Natura 2000) offers a colorful landscape that really contrasts with the rest of the island, which is generally flowery and green. Transfer by car lasting 1h30 over 70 km. In the morning, drive east to discover the village of Porto da Cruz and its rum factory, then reach the tip of São Lourenço to the far east. In the afternoon, drive south to Funchal. Night and breakfast in a *** hotel with a panoramic roof terrace, in the heart of the city.
3 hour walk / Distance: 7.7 km / Elevation +/-400m

Variant: Arrival in Funchal, discovery of the city, its old center, its Madeira cellars, its market, its gardens, its marina...

Day 8

Depending on your flight schedule, discover Funchal. Car transfer lasting 30min over a distance of 22 km. Transfer to the airport and return of the vehicle.
Possibility to extend your stay with another night in Funchal to discover this pretty city with its many gardens (it is possible to return your car to Funchal).

The program has been drawn up according to the latest elements known at the time of its drafting; imponderables are always possible and situations beyond our control can modify the course.

The trip


In option : easy level with 2 to 3.5 hours of walking per day or moderate level with 4 to 6 hour walk. We offer two to three route options per day with different durations and difficulties. The elevations are generally moderate. 6.5 days of walking.
Type of hike: mountain route with no technical difficulty. Some aerial passages, generally protected, but which can be impressive and some tunnels crossing on the levadas (requiring a headlamp).

This trip is organised in collaboration with our local partners, who share our commitment to offering you an authentic holiday.


2 consecutive nights in Jardim do Mar, in a *** hotel with a small swimming pool or in a family hostel (without swimming pool).
2 consecutive nights in Porto Moniz, in a guest house (without swimming pool) or in a *** hotel with indoor swimming pool.
2 nights in São Jorge in a guest house with swimming pool or in Santana in a **** hotel (local standard) with indoor swimming pool.
1 night in Funchal in a *** hotel.

Accommodation is provided in rooms for 2 to 3 people (the 3rd person often having an extra bed). Accommodation in a single room is possible in option. Also, in the event of an uneven number of people, we recommend booking an individual room for more comfort.

The guesthouses offer simple but comfortable accommodation, of small capacity and closer to the inhabitants. The rooms always have their own bathroom. 3-stars hotels (see **** local standards) are larger and sometimes less typical structures but remain on a human scale. We have selected them for their quality and for their location in the heart of the villages.
Bed and breakfast rates are similar to hotel rates, allowing us to offer one or the other based on availability, usually without incurring an additional cost (or discount).

Your trip will end with a hotel *** ideally located in the heart of the city of Funchal that you can discover on foot. So, unless you book last minute in high season, you won't be in the tourist area away from the old town.


Breakfasts served in accommodation. Dinners are also served at the accommodation except in Porto-Moniz where they are taken in a restaurant. Local shops at all stages for the preparation of your picnics.


Although this hike is not always marked, the orientation is easy because the paths are well marked, often in balcony and sometimes even follow the short of a levada. It is still essential to know how to read a topographic map.


Relatively dry weather on the south coast, wetter in the mountains and on the north coast. Please note that the temperatures are noticeably cooler at altitude (sometimes snow falls on the highest ridges in winter).
Average temperatures in Funchal:
June to September: 20 to 25°C
October to May: 15 to 20°C

Practical information


Flight Paris - Funchal and return on regular or low cost line. Flights possible from the provinces with or without a stopover in Lisbon. Flights also possible from Brussels and Geneva. Flights non included.


You have subscribed a trip with car rental. Below are the rental terms and conditions of the rental company. The advertised rates are those provided at the beginning of the year, but may be revised without notice. If you wish to subscribe to some of these options, you will have to do so directly with the rental company when picking up the vehicle. To collect your vehicle with complete peace of mind, we invite you to read the explanatory document that will be provided with your travel documents.

The rental includes :
- 7 days of rental category A type Citroën C1 for 1 person, category C type Renault Clio for 2 to 3 people, category E type Renault Mégane Break for 4 to 5 people and category G type Renault Traffic 9 seats for 6 to 9 people.
- Unlimited mileage
- Local taxes
- CDW insurance (without deductible) which covers the repair of damage caused to the vehicle during an accident other than theft or attempted theft
- TPC insurance (without deductible) which covers the theft of all or part of the vehicle
- Taxes relating to the pick-up and/or return of the vehicle at the airport
- An additional driver

The rental does not include (fees / supplements to be paid on site) :
- Fuel
- Rims and tires are not covered by insurance when they are unrecoverable
- The customer is responsible for damage to the vehicle if he does not respect the highway code or the general conditions of the rental contract
- GPS: €10 per day. - Child seat: 5€ per day

Equipment & baggage


For hiking
- for maximum comfort, favor a "multi-layer" clothing system: warm underwear (tights + jersey) of the "carline" or "capilene" type (hollow fibers wicking away perspiration) + sweatshirt or fleece jacket + mountain and overtrousers with a waterproof and breathable membrane (“Gore-Tex” type or equivalent) for bad weather.
In general and outside of hot climates and countries, avoid cotton which retains moisture close to the body (and dries with difficulty) in favor of suitable synthetic materials.
- canvas trousers - shorts - T-shirts
- 6 to 7 pairs of hiking socks
- 1 rain cape covering the hiker and the backpack. If you have very technical tracksuits (see above), it is possible to cover only the backpack with a bag protector against the rain. The umbrella meanwhile is less practical, especially in windy or stormy weather...
- 1 sun hat, the ideal being a safari type cap with visor and neck protection
- 1 scarf to protect yourself from the sun and/or the wind
- 1 hat and 1 pair of gloves, always have them at the bottom of the bag (these can be very useful for ridge day).

For step
- change of clothes and comfortable shoes
- "Quies" balls or "Ear" earplugs
- minimum toiletries + towel + swimsuit

Overall, your clothes must be adapted according to the season and the chosen region.

For hiking:
- 1 headlamp for tunnel passages and spare batteries
- 1 pair of hiking shoes (with waterproof and breathable membrane, "gore tex" type or equivalent) in which you are comfortable! It is necessary to "break" new shoes before going on a hike by wearing them a few weeks before in order to avoid the inconvenience of blisters and overheating...
- 1 (or even 2) pair of sunglasses with lenses with a minimum index of 3
- 1 large sturdy plastic bag to wrap clothes and belongings in the backpack (in case of heavy rain)
- 1 flask, preferably insulated, of at least 1 L. Drinking is essential when hiking, 2 water bottles of 1 to 1.5 L will not be a luxury in summer and/or in dry and hot regions
- 1 Swiss Army knife type folding knife + cutlery + goblet
- 1 tupperware type bowl with lid for picnics
- toilet paper, paper tissues
- 1 pair of telescopic poles, optional, but they are used to balance and lighten the weight of the body downhill, and help during the ascent by pacing the walk and in addition to pushing
- 1 pocket to contain your papers and values: passport or identity card, insurance contract, vital card, vaccination certificate, plane tickets, train tickets, credit card, money...)
- 1 small personal pharmacy (Note: non-exhaustive list to be adapted according to your own medical needs): pre-cut sterile dressings, local antiseptic for external use (wounds), Elastoplast and/or double skin (blisters), Analgesic such as paracetamol, Antidiarrheal and intestinal antiseptic, Antisapsmodic, Antihistamine (allergies), physiological serum or eye drops, light sleeping pill, high protection sunscreen for the skin and lips, Biaffine-type moisturizing cream (sunburn and burns), mosquito repellent cream or spray, Arnica Montana in 9 CH granules (aches)...
- 1 mosquito repellent spray (for example "5 sur 5 tropic")

For the step:
- 1 pair of light sandals


- 1 ventilated 30 to 35 L backpack, adjustable and equipped with a waist belt, which can contain the day's food, water bottle, protective clothing, camera...
- 1 travel bag to hold your spare belongings not exceeding 20 kg.

MADEIRA BY CAR: self-guided

From 680 €
Contact us
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