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Madeira: The Sunny South West

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.8 Read 5 reviews
  • A self-guided walking adventure discovering Madeira’s South West.
  • Easy-moderate walks exploring the island’s sunniest coast.
  • Follow the levada trails of the UNESCO Rabacal National Park.
  • Relax at the end of the day with a glass of the local fortified wine.
  • Explore Funchal, Madeira’s capital city.
A walking adventure exploring the sunniest corner of Madeira, a great year-round walking destination and a nature lover’s paradise. An island of contrasts, explore the rugged coastline, lush interior and towns and villages of the ‘Flower’ island. Madeira’s levadas, a network of traditional irrigation channels, make for fantastic walking routes taking you to spectacular viewpoints. As well as exploring Funchal, take easy-going walks to the Risco waterfall and Ponta do Pargo, the most westerly point of the island, before finishing in the coastal village of Estreito da Calheta.

What To Expect

A great winter walking destination, this trip is perfect for those looking to escape a dreary winter at home. If you like moderate walking in peaceful landscapes, this tour is for you. Perfect for those looking to take things easy and at their own pace, with the option of a rest day mid-way. Stay in comfortable 3 & 4* hotels, and take in the relaxed friendliness of the locals.

Trip Type:

Slower Adventures | Where walking and cycling meet easy-going exploring, our Slower Adventures are the perfect combination. Most days are filled with picturesque journeys with some free time to dive into the destination and experience the people, local food and culture as you go.


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Islands, Winter Sun

Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded moderate overall with walks up to 12.5m and average ascents of around 500m. However, it should be noted that there are some fairly long descents on this tour of up to 800m. The final days walking to Ponta do Pargo would be graded more as Moderate-Strenuous as it involves around 800m of ascent and descent.  The levada trails are unique to Madeira and while the paths are usually clear and easy to walk on, they can be narrow and close to the edge. This trip is not suitable for those who suffer from a fear of heights. The levada trails also often lead through unlit tunnels so be sure to take a head light with you. Walking poles are highly recommended. Underfoot can be quite rocky on some of the days and will be slippy in bad weather so we recommend walking with a good pair of hiking boots. 


Only some of the walks are waymarked. We will provide you with a detailed information pack, route notes and map so you won’t have any trouble finding your way each day. 

Please note that due to the nature of Madeira and its fragile terrain, it is not uncommon for the paths and therefore walks to change at late notice; this is due to rainfall, potential landslides and other weather conditions.  If an alternate walk needs to be taken our local partners in Madeira will be in touch with you.  It is therefore recommended that you keep a flexible attitude and are prepared to alter your plans.

We also provide you with access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which you can use to navigate. We strongly recommend using this App, or at least having it on your phone ready to use should you ever be in any doubt about your direction. 

Accommodation Information

The accommodation on this walk is a combination of 3* and 4* hotels. All offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional hospitality.

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the remoteness and nature of the terrain. Single rooms are available and a single supplement is payable.


Breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner is not included, leaving you free to choose from the available options each day. Some of  the accommodations will offer picnic lunches, but in the towns where you will be staying there are little supermarkets or bakeries where you can purchase what you need. There are plenty of restaurants in which to have dinner in each location.

  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 & 4* hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Airport transfers on Madeira
  • Private transfers to and from the trail heads as per the itinerary
  • Bag transfers as per the itinerary
  • Detailed route notes and information pack/maps
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
  • 24/7 support from our local partner and the UK office
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Flights to/from Madeira
  • Lunches & Dinner
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional nights before, during and after the walk

When To Go

This trip is available to start on any day of the week all year-round (subject to availability). Madeira is well suited to year-round walking, especially the South, which receives the most sunshine and the mildest weather.

NOTE: Please note that the hotel in Ribeira Brava is closed from the beginning of January through to the end of March. During this time and subject to availability we will change your reservation to a hotel in Ponta do Sol and change the walk on Day 3 from Levada Nova Tabua to Levada Moinhos which is another very nice walk.

Getting to the Start

By Air: Madeira - Funchal Airport is the only international airport and can be reached directly from Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and London in the UK. The flight time from London is approximately 3H45.  You will be transferred to your first and last hotel to and from Funchal Airport.

Other international flights connect to Madeira (Funchal) via Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includeds standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

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Day 1 Arrive Funchal and overnight Day 2 Free Day in Funchal Day 3 Walk in the Tabua Valley 6.5 miles / 10.4 km Day 4 Rest day Day 5 The 25 Springs of Rabacal and Risco Waterfall 6 miles / 10 km Day 6 Walk to Prazeres 7.8 miles / 12.5 km Day 7 Loop Walk from Ponta do Pargo 7.6 miles / 12.2 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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