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Madeira - The Garden in the Atlantic

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An ideal trip to discover an unusual but 'within reach' destination, rich in fabulous natural scenery. For birdwatchers, the archipelago will be a real surprise, with opportunities to observe rare endemic species. A unique encounter with nature.

  • Destination: Madeira
  • Rate Description: Rate per person
  • Number of days: 6 nights - 7 days
  • Departure month: July 2024
  • Departure from: Main Italian airports
  • Arrival at: Main Italian airports
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Located in the middle of the Atlantic, 900 kilometres from Portugal, to which it belongs politically, and 600 kilometres from the coast of Morocco, Madeira Island is a true paradise on earth with magnificent natural landscapes and an ideal climate with mild temperatures all year round. Between the deep blue of the ocean and the emerald green of the varied vegetation, the exotic hues of the flowers stand out, so much so that the island is also known as 'the floating garden'. It is no coincidence that a large part of its territory is declared a protected area, where, among other things, the world's largest laurisilva forest, protected by Unesco, thrives. Add to the breathtaking views a rich historical and cultural heritage, the friendliness of the people, the pleasantly relaxed atmosphere and the excellence of local products such as the famous wine and it is easy to see why Madeira is an irresistible destination.

DAY 1
ITALY - MADEIRA
Departure by scheduled flight to Lisbon, from where we continue to Funchal, the capital of Madeira Island. Arrival, transfer and accommodation in hotel.
Overnight stay.

DAY 2
FUNCHAL
We devote the whole day to visiting Funchal, nestled between the bay and the mountains. The name of the city, which boasts 500 years of history, is due to the abundance of wild fennel plants (funcho, in Portuguese) that thrived where the town grew. We will discover its most significant places, including the Quinta Vigia Gardens, one of the many botanical parks for which Madeira Island is often called 'the garden in the middle of the Atlantic', then the Santa Catarina Park, the Municipal Park, the market, the cathedral inaugurated in 1514, undoubtedly the most representative work of the Manueline style. After a stop at a renowned wine cellar, where we can taste the wine that has made Madeira famous throughout the world, we continue on to Monte, one of the most picturesque areas of Funchal, which can be reached by cable car if desired. Here we visit the Tropical Garden, where hundred-year-old trees and exotic plants thrive, and the church where Charles I, the last emperor of Austria, is buried. Monte is also known for its tobogganing tradition: from here, the so-called 'carros de cesto', wicker carts mounted on wooden skates, depart. Two men, dressed in a white suit and straw hat, drive them using ropes to control their direction and speed, until they reach the town of Livramento, 2 kilometres away. Return to the hotel.
Breakfast and overnight stay.

DAY 3
THE WEST OF MADEIRA
Today we shift our attention to the western part of Madeira, starting with the small fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. We continue our journey to Cabo Girão, from where there is a spectacular view. At 589 metres, this is one of the highest cliffs in the world. From Encumeada, on the other hand, the view sweeps from the north to the south of the island. We then stop in São Vicente for a visit to the 'Grutas', impressive underground tunnels of solidified lava, and the volcanic interpretation centre. The next stops are Seixal, where there is a beautiful viewpoint over the Veu da Noiva waterfall, and finally Porto Moniz, in whose natural volcanic rock pools it is possible to bathe in summer. Return to the hotel.
Breakfast and overnight stay.

DAY 4
THE HINTERLAND OF MADEIRA
In the morning, we set off for Pico dos Barcelos, the belvedere from which there is a beautiful view of Funchal. We then ascend to an altitude of 1,094 metres at Eira do Serrado, in the heart of the mountains. This is a beautiful place, not only for its incredible location amidst untamed and bursting nature, but also for the peace in which it is found. Later, we stop at the isolated but delightful village of Curral das Freiras, surrounded by towering mountains in the Nun Valley. In the past, due to its inaccessibility, this lovely place gave refuge to islanders and nuns fleeing the pirates that invaded Madeira in the 16th century. We then return to Funchal for a visit to the Botanical Gardens, which cover an area of 80,000 square kilometres and are home to plants and flowers of every variety.
Breakfast and overnight stay. 

DAY 5
THE EAST OF MADEIRA
We first reach the picturesque village of Camacha, known for its production of wicker baskets, and then take the road that will take us to the second peak of the island: the Pico do Areeiro (1,818 m). We then drive to Ribeiro Frio, a natural park located in a steep valley surrounded by mountains, where there are trout farms and from where beautiful nature trails start, such as the one that, in an easy 40-minute walk, leads to the Balçoes viewpoint, from where you can admire the central ridge of the island with its imposing mountains. For bird-watchers, this area is a true paradise, given the great variety of species that inhabit these mountains; it is possible to observe birds such as the Madeiran warbler, Madeiran chaffinch, motacilla, blackbird, robin, buteo and the rare Madeiran Trocaz pigeon. From here we continue on to Faial and the small town of Santana, with its characteristic thatched-roof houses. After Porto da Cruz, where there is a cane sugar factory, our route reaches the easternmost part of the island, with a stop at the Ponta do Rosto viewpoint. In the late afternoon, we return to Funchal along the coast.
Breakfast and overnight stay.

DAY 6
THE 'LEVADA' FROM CAMACHA TO FUNCHAL
The 'levada' is the ingenious irrigation system, developed in the 16th century, used to distribute water from the mountains to the valleys, testifying to the titanic work of the ancient inhabitants. Alongside these canals run charming footpaths, totalling 1,400 kilometres across the island, surrounded by lush vegetation in which subtropical and Mediterranean flora mix. During the walk of about two hours from Camacha to Funchal, we will observe hydrangeas, eucalyptus trees, wild roses and many other floral species. After returning to the hotel, the afternoon is at leisure for activities. We suggest an optional excursion by catamaran in search of dolphins and whales. At Cabo Girão, those who wish to do so can enjoy a leisurely swim in the ocean waters.
Breakfast and overnight stay.

DAY 7
MADEIRA - ITALY
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport and departure on your flight to Lisbon, from where you continue to Italy, arriving in the late afternoon.

 

THE FEE INCLUDES
● Transfers by car, minibus or bus depending on the number of participants ● Accommodation in a 4-star category hotel in Funchal ● Meals detailed in the programme ● Visits and excursions as per the programme ● Inputs during guided tours ● Assistance from qualified local staff and English-speaking local guides, who also act as drivers - Medical Expense Insurance, Covid-19, Travel Assistance, Baggage

 

 THE FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Intercontinental air travel, security and airport taxes payable locally only - Drinks, tips and anything else not expressly indicated - Cancellation insurance

Please note: with regard to insurance cover for possible trip cancellation, our offices will provide you with all the necessary assistance

PLEASE NOTE
● The fare for international flights will be provided at the time of booking

The chronological order of the visits and excursions indicated in each location may be subject to change for reasons of expediency determined by contingent factors, without this affecting the validity of the travel programme. The boat excursion for dolphin and whale watching is subject to weather and sea conditions; as these animals are in the wild, observation of these wonderful cetaceans is not guaranteed. Some visits involve walking on natural terrain that requires a minimum of care.

Departures on free dates, on request

 YOUR HOTELS

4* Hotels in Funchal

Turim Santa Maria Hotel (or similar)

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