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Walking Madeira: Portugal’s Isle of Flowers By Foot

Program Number: 20367RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/16/2015 - 3/26/2015; 10/5/2015 - 10/15/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Portugal
Price starting at: $2,852.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 18; 9 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

With its reputation as the “Isle of Flowers,” Madeira’s rich, volcanic soil and lavedas — or carriage ways and mini-canals — offer pristine walkways that wind along its coastlines, weave through gardens and lead to the islands most scenic vistas. Meander along one of Portugal’s most beautiful regions as you join local experts for a walking exploration of Madeira’s capital city of Funchal, a city wedged between the sea and mountain slopes.




Highlights

• Admire the indigenous plants of the Botanical Gardens on the grounds of the Quinta do Bom Sucesso.
• Savor Portuguese BBQ during an excursion to the pristine island of Ponta de Sao Lourenco.
• Visit the colorful market where local purveyors offer fresh fish, vegetables and fruit.



Activity Particulars

Low level walks of 3-5 miles, approximately 2-4 hours per day. Elevations up to 5964 feet, with 500-800 feet elevation change over two miles. Private coach or local transportation to travel to different day locations. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lisbon, 1 night; fly to Funchal, 7 nights; fly to Lisbon, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Lisbon
1 night
Fly to Funchal (Madeira)
7 nights
Fly to Lisbon
1 night
Departure

Begin your exploration of Madeira with a walk to the town center, taking in the breathtaking coastline and sunset. Walk along the Levada and delight in the local gardens, vineyards and neighborhoods before stopping to admire the steep Cabo Girao coast. An excursion to the Botanical Gardens allows for an opportunity to study indigenous plants while a visit to Camacha offers a look into the local basket-making industry. Stroll along the plateau of Paul de Serra and relax in the natural pool in Porto Moniz. Savor the flavors of traditional Portuguese BBQ in Ponta de Sao Lourenco and admire the thatched cottages of Santana. Walk through the markets of Funchal where fresh vegetables, seafood and fruit are sold before paying a visit to the city’s cathedral. Enjoy an independent afternoon to explore the city of Lisbon before departure.




Portugal

This small Iberian country has much to brag about, being home to the first modern Europeans to set sail and conquer the globe. Enjoying what would be called today super-power status in the 15th and 16th centuries, modern Portugal is a country where the past is remembered on the streets of its quiet cities, sung amid its vineyards, and toasted to in bars and restaurants.



Accommodations
Lisbon: Hotel convenient to the airport. Funchal: Four-star hotel with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Lisbon
  Lisbon, Portugal 1 night
   Pestana Village
  Funchal - Madeira, Portugal 7 nights
   Holiday Inn Lisbon
  Lisbon, Portugal 1 night
 Holiday Inn Lisbon
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Holiday Inn Lisbon is a modern hotel located in the bustling city center of Lisbon. It is situated near many metro stations and is only a 15-minute drive from the airport.
  Contact info: Av. Antonio Jose De Almeida, 28-A
Lisbon,  1000-044 Portugal
phone: +351 210 044 000
web: www.holidayinn.com/hotels
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, coffee & tea maker, mini bar, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: This hotel offers a restaurant, bar, fitness center, air conditioning, business center, safe available at reception and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel (for a fee).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Pestana Village
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Pestana Village is one of the most traditional and quintessential hotels in Madeira. Its classical style combines the traditional materials of the archipelago such as wrought iron and ceramic tiles, and the hotel is surrounded by a beautiful award-winning tropical garden. The Pestana Village is a 15-minute walk from the center of Funchal.
  Contact info: Estrada Monumental 182-194
Funchal,  9000-098 Portugal
phone: +351 291701600
web: www.pestana.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, kitchenette, balcony, safe (for a fee), wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers restaurants, two cocktail lounges, indoor and outdoor pool, wellness center, fitness center, laundry services and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel (for a fee).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lisbon, Portugal. Meet your group at the hotel at 5:00 PM. (Hotel check-in is at 2:00 PM.) You will be staying at Holiday Inn Lisbon that night.
  End of Program:
Lisbon, Portugal. After breakfast on the last day. (Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM.) You will be staying at Holiday Inn Lisbon the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Local transportation.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lisbon
  Nearest airport:  Lisbon
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from the airport to the Holiday Inn Lisbon. It costs approx. 10 Euros.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lisbon
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the Holiday Inn Lisbon to the airport, bookable at hotel reception. It costs approx. 15 Euros.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: The highest elevation is 5964 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight flight to Lisbon
(Monday, October 5)
   
 In Transit: Depart on international overnight flight to Lisbon.

Day 2: Arrivals
(Tuesday, October 6)
   
 Arrive To: Upon arrival at the airport your Group Leader will meet the group. Transfer by private coach or taxi to the hotel in Lisbon.
 Afternoon: Depending on your arrival time, your Group Leader may be able to lead you downtown by public transportation or bring you on a short walk around the area of the hotel, pointing out the local transportation depots. At 5:00 PM, meet the group at the hotel for a welcome drink. The remainder of the evening is on your own. Your Group Leader will be happy to assist you regarding restaurants and activities.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Lisbon

Day 3: Funchal, Portugal
(Wednesday, October 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning take a coach transfer to the Lisbon airport for the flight to Funchal. Upon arrival in Funchal a private coach awaits the group for the transfer to the hotel in Funchal (112 feet), Madeira.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Orientation walk to the town center, where you will see Funchal's beautiful sights and splendid gardens. This area is absolutely lovely and is considered a leisure zone by locals. It is lined with palm trees and bordered by splendid botanical gardens, offering wonderful views of the sea and magnificent sunsets. Welcome drink and orientation briefing before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Southwest Coast
(Thursday, October 8)

Note: Approximately 3 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walking field trip along the Levada through one of the most fertile regions of the island where vineyards alternate with vegetable gardens. Breathtaking views along the steep Cabo Girao coast (1902 feet), and the second highest sea cliff in the world. Learn about how the fertile region is cultivated, and the wine of the region, during today's field lectures.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Drive along the southwest coast to Punta de Pargo, the westernmost point of the island. Below this terrace are small vineyards and vegetable patches that can only be reached by boat. For the natives, every bit of land is precious.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Botanical Garden / Levada da Serra do Faial
(Friday, October 9)

Note: Approximately 3 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today take an excursion to explore the Botanical Gardens created in the 1960s on the grounds of the Quinta do Bom Sucesso, overlooking the town, with most of the plants being indigenous to the area or from the Azores. The next destination is Camacha (1200 feet) where upon approaching the village bundles of long canes will be noticed. This area is known as basket country, where wicker working is a strong industry. Today's field lectures will educate you on the area's indigenous plants and basket weaving.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walking field trip along the Levada da Serra do Faial, with an excursion to the church of Monte. The twin towers of the church are visible from all over the town of Funchal. The afternoon will end with a fun toboggan run sitting on baskets!
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own. You may take a shuttle into town to try one of the local establishments.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Porto Moniz
(Saturday, October 10)

Note: Approximately 2 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel by coach in the direction of Ribeira Brava, a seaside resort at the mouth of a steep valley. After crossing the plateau “Paul da Serra” (4921 feet) we start the romantic walk through a wooded area. Learn about the region of Paul da Serra during a field lecture.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch while on the trail.
 Afternoon: The coach will transfer the group to Porto Moniz to relax in its large natural bathing pool. A stop will also be made at the seaside before the coach transfers the group back to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Ponta de Sao Lourenco / Portuguese BBQ / Levada do Casteljo
(Sunday, October 11)

Note: Approximately 3 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Machico is the spot where humans first set foot on the island. Take in a field lecture about Machico. A very nice Levada walk is planned through the fertile landscape before continuing on to Ponta de Sao Lourenco, where the landscape becomes drier and it looks almost lunar. Stride along the serrated line of cliffs tapering into jagged rocky islets.
 Lunch: Special Portuguese BBQ will be served.
 Afternoon: Continue the walk. Return by coach to the hotel.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Gardens of the North
(Monday, October 12)

Note: Approximately 3 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Private coach to the green north coast, with a stop on the Pico do Areiro (5964 feet) to experience the magnificent views of the region before continuing on to Ribeiro Frio where hydrangeas and agapanthus line the way for most of the year. A brief walk in the woods will be made in this area, where many other indigenous plants and bushes reside. Continue to the next stop, Santana, known for its triangular thatched cottages that have become an island icon. Hear field lectures on the geological and botanical aspects of all of these places you see.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walk along the Levada do Casteljo through picturesque small orchards.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Market Day in Funchal
(Tuesday, October 13)

Note: Approximately 2 hours of walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Today begins with a walking field trip to the colorful market in Funchal where you find vendors selling fish, vegetables and fruit. After the market, walk along the harbor with an excursion to the cathedral. Learn about the lifestyle of Funchal's inhabitants, the economics of Funchal, and the history of the Funchal Cathedral during today's field lectures.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Funchal.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon in Funchal, or return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon around the pool. Your Group Leader will you give further ideas of optional sightseeing in the area.
 Dinner: Special Fado farewell experience with wine at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Pestana Village
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Flight from Funchal to Lisbon for an overnight
(Wednesday, October 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Private coach transfer to the Funchal airport for flight to Lisbon.
 Afternoon: Remainder of the day is on your own. Your Group Leader will be able to suggest ideas of what to do and see in Lisbon.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Lisbon
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11: Departures
(Thursday, October 15)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Private coach transfer to the Lisbon airport for departure.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Funchal - Madeira Afternoon tea at Reid's Palace
Reid's Palace is proud to continue their British tradition of serving afternoon tea in the lounge and on the terrace, from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Choose from finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade pastries, all accompanied by your choice of 24 teas. You may even wish to indulge in a glass of Champagne! It costs 32.50 Euro per person.
  Frederico de Freitas Museum
The Frederico de Freitas Museum resides in a late 17th-century house built for the Count Calcada, and is home to a vast and varied collection of Madeiran lawyer Dr. Frederico de Freitas' belongings. Included in the collection are pieces of furniture, porcelain, Venetian glass, artwork and antique instruments. There is even a beautiful garden. The museum is located near the Convent of Santa Clara, and within walking distance from the center of Funchal.
  Madeira Story Center
Located in the heart of Funchal in front of the cable car, history and interactive technology come together at the Madeira Story Center. Using multimedia technology, the past is told by reputable historians and other illustrious characters in this wonderful 60-minute exploration. Afterwards, visit the themed café and shop. For additional information, visit www.storycentre.com
  Lisbon Tram 28
Vintage tram 28 offers the best of Lisbon's blockbuster sights from Basilica da Estrela to the backstreets of Baixa. The ticket price is approximately EU 2.00. Be prepared for a rock n' roll ride as the tram goes up and down the hills of the city. Approximate time is 1 hour.
  Oceanario
The Oceanario is Europe's second largest aquarium, housing 8000 species in 7 million liters of seawater. The cost is approximately EU 6.00 per person. Huge wrap-around tanks make you feel as though you are underwater, as you view zebra sharks, honeycombed rays, mantas, schools of neon fish, filigree seadragons, ocean sunfish, many types of jellyfish, and of course the stars - the sea otters Eusebio and Amalia. There is also a rain-forest, Indo-Pacific coral reef and Magellan penguins on ice. For additional information, visit www.oceanario.pt
  Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fantastical Manueline cloisters are located 3.7 miles from the center of Lisbon in Belem. This monastery is pure fantasy; entering from the west, there are tree trunk-like columns that seem to grow into the ceiling of stone. Vasco da Gama is interred in the lower chancel, and the rows of seats are Portugal's first Renaissance woodcarvings. Walk into the honey-stone cloisters, dripping with organic detail in the scalloped arches, turrets and columns. Approximate entrance fee is EU 6.00. For additional information, visit www.mosteirojeronimos.pt
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Portugal


Author: Ian Robertson


Description: A lively, admirably concise survey from prehistory to the present, great for travelers to Portugal who would like an overview of the country's history and culture.



Alentejo Blue


Author: Monica Ali


Description: These short stories set in the Alentejo province of Portugal star a range of colorful expats and locals, including Teresa, a beautiful young girl from the village engaged to a suitable man who yearns to see the world and Vasco, a cafe owner losing business to the new Internet cafe down the road.



Baltasar and Blimunda


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: This tale of two unlikely lovers in Inquisition-era Portugal is arguably Saramago's masterwork: a philosophically charged, intellectually rigorous historical drama which is also a captivating read.



Cork Boat, A True Story of the Unlikeliest Boat Ever Built


Author: John Pollack


Description: This endearing tale of family, loss and friendship revolves around a deliciously absurd childhood quest to build a boat of cork and sail it 133 miles on Portugal's Douro River.



Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000


Author: Barry Cunliffe


Description: In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Cunliffe boldly recasts European history through the lens of geography, showing its seas and rivers as the conduits to trade and culture. With lucid maps and choice illustrations.



Insight Guide Portugal


Author: Insight Guides


Description: An outstanding overview of the country, featuring hundreds of photographs and insightful essays on history, culture and art.



Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.



Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook


Author: Clara De MacEdo Vitorino


Description: A handy pocket phrasebook for Portuguese basics, covering pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.



Madeira Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A map of Madeira, shown at a scale of 1:75,000.



Oceans of Wine, Madeira and the Emergence of American Trade and Taste


Author: David Hancock


Description: Hancock's unexpectedly engrossing book explores the culture of wine in Madeira and trade in 18th-century America.



Prince Henry "The Navigator," A Life


Author: Peter E. Russell


Description: A complicated yet rewarding portrait, and the first biography of this empire-minded Portuguese prince in more than a hundred years.



Small Memories


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: In this contemplative memoir, the Portuguese Nobel laureate recalls a childhood both dark and magical, split between the growing city of Lisbon and the tiny village of Azinhaga.



The Taste of Conquest, The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice


Author: Michael Krondl


Description: Weaving travel and history, Michael Krondl writes of a world where pepper, cinnamon and cloves were as valuable as gold -- and Venice, Lisbon and Amsterdam jockeyed for global control of the spice trade.



Walking in Madeira


Author: Paddy Dillon


Description: Featuring a rich and varied selection of walks on Madeira and neighboring Porto Santo.



Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe


Author: Andrew Cleave


Description: Featuring color photographs of commonly encountered species in the field and garden.



Wildflower Wonders


Author: Bob Gibbons


Description: A naturalist and tour leader, Gibbons covers when and where to witness impressive displays of wildflowers in this beautifully illustrated, oversized survey of 50 sites. His vote for the most flowery place in the world: the kaleidoscopic grasslands of Mount Rainier.





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