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10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

Munich, Germany
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10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

We are a couple living and we will be in Madeira 8. May (arrival) to 19th May (departure).

We'd like to explore the island on foot and do a longer trekking tour (crossing the island). Ideally we'd like to cross the island with our backpack and sleep in different hotels/huts on the way, and also explore some less touristy areas. We're happy to do 6-8 hours a day and some more challenging and less touristy tours, but no very serious alpine climbing (no ropes etc.).

Does anybody know a good guide that can help us with planning the 10 days? We don't want to rent a car, so we would need help with finding accommodation, transport and where to get food on the way.

Thanks a lot!

Bolton, United...
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1. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

http://www.tjwalking-madeira.com/

Lots of questions.Not very easy to answer.To give you a start,other people will have to fill in the gaps,maybe dutchguy can help you.Click on the above link & print off all bus time tables.I would then recommend buying the sunplower revd 11th edition(car journeys & walks) handbook

You could then plot your way across the island using the book & time tables.Maybe when you have plotted your route you could then google for accomodation & try & find B/B hotels that fit in with your route.

All sounds good & i wish you a great journey

Rob

Madeira, Portugal
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for Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands
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2. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

I understand what you wish to do and as said Dutchguy may be one of the best to advise you as he has walked the Island many times. I am sure he will reply once he reads your post. On the challengng walks that you plan to take, you need to be aware that some routes can be very dangerous and precipitous and you should not go on them without a guide. Over the years people have lost their lives and had accidents and some places are very difficult for the Bomberos to rescue you, typically three hours, as many walks cannot be accessed by transport.Where ever you go, be sure to take torches, cellphone with emergency number loaded, drinks and a map so that you know where you are. You cannot sleep in huts and many parts of the forest and mountain areas close at early evening so make sure that you can have enough time to move out of the area. Finding accommodation may well be challenging as you appear to be moving around regularly and until you are here and understanding the terrain and the walks you plan it will be diifficukt to recommend anywhere. i may be wrong but I think perhaps your perception of the Island is off course and it may hekp to wait until you get to Madeira before you undertake what you are going to do. Speak to some of the walking experts who will also be able to help you. Look at the website to get an isea of the type os walks that are on the Island. I am sure that you can walk across (presumably you mean East to West) but careful planning and advise from experienced walkers will be very essential if yoy are to achieve your goal. Good Luck

www.madeirarural.com/levadawalks www.madeiraexplorers.com

It may be good for you also if you buy a publication called Madeira tour & trail map which includes some bus timetables.

Munich, Germany
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3. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

Thanks a lot already!

Funchal, Portugal
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4. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

I think what you plan to do is a great idea. Madeira is a small island and I would think you could cover almost all of it in a couple of weeks. Towns and settlements are connected by old donkey trails and footpaths and, with the building of many new roads, the old smaller roads are seldom used by cars. Public transport is excellent for the longer journeys. There wouldn't be any need to walk the more challenging routes for which you might need a guide unless you choose to.

Plenty of people seem to hike round the island in this way - I often see visitors with massive back packs on the buses. Rob's suggestion of using the bus timetable in conjunction with a guidebook as a starting point is a good one, and if you look for 'estalagem' on trip adviser or google you will find some inns in the countryside. New Experience Holidays organise the sort of holiday you are looking for and their website includes itineraries which could be helpful.

Munich, Germany
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5. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

Super, thanks a lot!

The Hague, The...
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6. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

As Flowercity wrote (thanks !!) I did walk the island many times.

You'll need a good map, Madeira Tour and Trail is the only one I know. No more detailed maps.

The walking guide book www.sunflowerbooks.co.uk/madeira.htm is very useful, also because of the bus timetables.

Crossing the island would indeed be nicest but not so easy because of limited number of hotels and hotels are the only available accomodations plus what www.madeirarural.com has. There are no hotels between Santo da Serra in the east and Encumeada in the centre, which makes it necessary to go to Funchal.

Madeira is, however, not very big and lots of walks can be done from one base, in Funchal from where buses leave to all over the island and back same day.

To my knowledge hotels are in the east (Machico, Santa Cruz), then Santo Antonio da Serra (also called Santo da Serra), and Santana and Sao Jorge. In the centre at Encumeada, then the west: www.hotelpicodaurze.com on the high plain Paul da Serra (close to Rabacal). and the far west in Porto Moniz. Also a good hotel at www.eiradoserrado.com . From there there is now a road to the top of Pico do Arieiro, from where you can go to Pico Ruivo and then down in a few directions, but that be a very long walk. I once spent the night in a very small open shelter with just 2 stone benches between Pico Ruivo and Achada da Teixeira but very uncomfortable.. Also in abandoned huts (no beds though, but at least I stayed dry- The levada builders needed shelter of course so all oveer the island you find such shelters but none are the least bit comfortable and the hut at Pico Ruivo is not for sleeping, just a café. You'd need permission to stay at such places.

The high peaks walk can best be done with www.madeira-levada-walks.com or using taxis.

Encumeada to Pico da Urze is doable in one day and from Pico da Urze to Porto Moniz. That can be done via Fanal or via Galhano ( google Levada Galhano) but both would be quite long walks. The Pico da Urze hotel once offered me a ride but wasn't cheap.

From www.eiradoserrado.com one can walk down to Curral das Freiras. I'd do that one day but come back to that hotel and then up to Pico Arieiro.

One hotel (may be) between Santana and Pico Ruivo, namely Rancho Madeirense but I'm not sure if and how you can stay there. Google it.

From Santo da Serra there's a very nice walk to Ribeiro Frio, climbing up to the levada first.

But from Ribeiro Frio one would have to go to Santana by bus.

It will all reveal itself to you when you get that map and guide book.

As Flowercirty warned, be aware that many tourists lost their lives on Madeira. Utmost care is always required. Not that I ever had a problem on more than 120 days of long walks.

I only sometimes missed a bus and then had to take an expensive taxi or stay the night in a hotel..

Edited: 22 April 2013, 11:36
Munich, Germany
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7. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

Thanks a lot Dutchguy, this is amazing and very helpful.

8. Re: 10 days trekking tour in Madeira - how to organize

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