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Looking for advice on walks

Rome, Italy
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Looking for advice on walks

Hi, I'll travel solo to Madeira for 2 weeks starting 24th of july. I'll stay in Canico for 7 days, then in Porto Moniz for 4 and still have to decide the last 2 days, which have to be close to the airport.

I'm lookind for suggestion about the must do walks, easy-moderate, that I can do by myself. I can do one organized but I don't like to walk with 50 other people!

I also plan to go for birdwatching, this with an organized tour, can you suggest a good one?

And for whale+dolfin watching do you have a raccomandation?

Thank you very much for your answers.


Madeira, Portugal
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for Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands
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1. Re: Looking for advice on walks

It is not recommended walking alone, it can be very dangerous if you fall or get lost and people do have accidents and some lose their life. The walking companies do not take 50 people. it would be too dangerous, they walk in small groups withan experienced guide. This is one of the best. www.madeiraexplorers.com

This site has some walks which you can go alone but I would really recommend doing the first one with a guide - your choice.


For bird watching, this company does birdwatch trips and also dolphin watch


The problem which I see is that you are staying well away from where trips and tours begin, most start in or around Funchal, so you may have difficulty with transport. The dolphin watch start in the Funchal marina.

Rome, Italy
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2. Re: Looking for advice on walks

Thank you a lot for your advice, I'll do some guided walks and a few alone, the easy one, when I feel confortable to do it. Do you have recommended walks, the best on your opinion?

I do rent a car, so I've no problem moving around the island. I can mix driving tours and walks. And I have a Gps navigator.

The Hague, The...
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3. Re: Looking for advice on walks

As Flowercity said, walking alone CAN be dangerous. Too many tourists died, but I did it alone for some 100 days in total. No problem with a book like www.sunflowerbooks.co.uk/madeira.htm , good boots, walking stick, sunhat, flashlight, drinks and common sense and care. The book contains car tours and walks of all sorts.

Group walks are mostly small, some 14 people, but some walks are so popular that many companies are there, like the 1/2 day Paradise Valley walk which I do NOT recommend .

Walk descriptions also on www.madeirarural.com ( "walking guide")

Most walks in books are not circular, but some are. For linear ones there are often buses but popular ones like Rabacal, Levada da Caldeirao Verde, the high peaks (Pico Arieiro-Ruivo) there are no buses so best by companies like www.madeira-levada-walks.com

By car or bus you could do :

- from www.eiradoserrado.com down to Curral, back by bus, if by car, take bus back, walk 20 min back to hotel from end of the tunnel

- Balcoes walk, from Ribeiro Frio (groups only go from there to Portela)

- Rabacal, from parking place down by minibus , then back up also. 3 levada levels

- Levada do Norte, by car to Boa Morte. walk up the road, levada to the left, walk to village Eirao do Mourao and back, or by bus 127 from Ribeira Brava at 11.10.to Boa Morte, down from Eira do Mourao 1500 steps to valley floor near Ribeira Brava (steep but safe with stick),

- from Encumeada pass (between Ribeira Brava and Sao Vicente, NOT taking the tunnel), levada opposite snack bar, follow as long as you like and then back to car. Wide and safe till it gets narrow, just on the levada wall.

see Sunflower Book for much more ideas.

Edited: 09 July 2013, 17:38
The Hague, The...
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4. Re: Looking for advice on walks

P.S. Of the walks at Madeirarural I must say I did not do most of them and feel not all are for first-timers,

I like and recommend numbers PR 1,2. , 6 , 8 , 9, 10, 11, 13,19 , the latter being a spectacular steep descent, but easy when slow (in good weather), from the Jardim Atlantico hotel in Prazeres down to Paul do Mar, but not easy to get back up. I had a taxi waiting.

If you're by car you should surely do PR 1,2, to Pico Ruivo, very easy, but you'll need good weather. preferably cloudless sky for fabulous view from top of this highest mountain..

This is the last part of the high peaks walk by the companies. Even I managed last year,being very very slow now

Edited: 09 July 2013, 18:08
Edinburgh, Scotland
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5. Re: Looking for advice on walks


I would just like say hello to Dutchguy again. I wont bother adding my suggestions as he has already (as ever) covered all the bases; hope you are well Ton.

I would just add that Madeira is not great for birdwatching, which sounds odd but that's just way things are out in the Atlantic.


Wrexham, United...
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6. Re: Looking for advice on walks

You are staying in Canico for 7 nights and Porto Moniz for 4 nights .I would suggest you spend your last 2 nights in Funchal .

You can go whale and dolphin watching from Funchal marina. Sea Born Catamaran are a highly recommended company .

Edited: 09 July 2013, 21:57
7. Re: Looking for advice on walks

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