20367
Portugal

Walking Madeira: Portugal’s Isle of Flowers By Foot

Portugal’s botanical wonders, sun warmed coasts, renowned vineyards and exquisite Mediterranean cuisine make this European gem a real-life paradise for exploration and adventure.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 20367RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,899
Flights start at
775
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11 days
10 nights
19 meals
9 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Lisbon, Check-in, Welcome Dinner
Lisbon
D
Hotel Olissippo Marques de Sá

Activity note: Hotel check-in at 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Welcome drink at 6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone, lead introductions, and answer any questions. Unless otherwise noted, dinners on this program are typically buffet style. Breakfasts will offer a typical European-style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea, and water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will enjoy a welcome dinner with water at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Funchal-Portugal, Introduction
Funchal - Madeira
B,D
Pestana Village

Activity note: Please be advised that additional baggage fees for checked bags may apply and must be paid directly to the airline at check in.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will transfer to the Lisbon airport by motorcoach for the flight to Funchal. Upon arrival in Funchal, a private motorcoach will transfer us to the hotel in Funchal, Madeira. The transfer is 12 miles and will take 30 minutes.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: We will enjoy an orientation walk to the Lido area, where we will have a brief introduction to Madeira island. The Lido area is lined with hotels and bordered by splendid gardens, offering wonderful views of the sea and magnificent sunsets. Before dinner, the Group Leader will host the Orientation Meeting in which will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Porto Moniz
Funchal - Madeira
B,L,D
Pestana Village

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving approximately 2 hours, 60 miles total. Approximately 3 hours of walking for approximately 5 miles on trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will travel by motorcoach in the direction of Ribeira Brava, a seaside resort at the mouth of a steep valley. After crossing the island to the North coast, we will start the romantic walk through a wooded area. We will learn about the Lauissilva forest, designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999 , during a field lecture from our Group Leader.

Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch while on the trail.

Afternoon: We will transfer to Porto Moniz to relax in its large natural bathing pool. We will then return to the hotel.

Dinner: We will enjoy a plated meal at a local restaurant.

Evening: During dinner, we will be treated to live Fado singing. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
5
Market Day in Funchal, Free Time
Funchal - Madeira
B
Pestana Village

Activity note: Approximately 3 hours of walking for approximately 4 miles through town, on uneven surfaces, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today, we will have a walking field trip to the city center. Along the way, we will have the chance to visit some gardens, the cathedral, the main street, and the colorful market of Funchal, where vendors selling fish, vegetables, and fruit can be found. After the market, we’ll walk along the old town area and enjoy some street art. During today's field lectures, we’ll learn about the lifestyle of Funchal's inhabitants, the economics of Funchal, and the history of the Funchal Cathedral.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Funchal.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Southwest Coast
Funchal - Madeira
B,L
Pestana Village

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving1 hour, 40 miles total. Approximately 3 hours of walking for approximately 5 miles on trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will enjoy a walking field trip along the Levada do Norte through one of the most fertile regions of the island where vineyards alternate with vegetable gardens. We’ll learn about the wine of the region and how the fertile land is cultivated during today's field lecture as we enjoy breathtaking views from the Cabo Girão viewpoint (1902 feet), the second highest sea cliff in Europe. Below this point, there are small vineyards and vegetable patches that can only be reached by boat. For natives, every bit of land is precious.

Lunch: We will enjoy a plated meal at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will then explore the Calheta sugar cane mill and learn about the history of the sugar trade on Madeira. Learn about how the factory transforms sugar cane into sugar products like rum, molasses, and traditional honey cakes.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
North Coast
Funchal - Madeira
B,L
Pestana Village

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving under 3 hour, 40 miles. Approximately 2 hours of walking for approximately 3 miles on trails and through villages.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will ride by private motorcoach through the mountains to visit Pico do Arieiro to experience the magnificent views. Afterwards, we will descend to Ribeiro Frio where a hike along the Levada Balcões will take place. This path is surrounded by the lush vegetation of the pristine forest and has a breathtaking view. We’ll continue to the next stop, Santana, known for its triangular thatched cottages that have become an island icon. We will hear field lectures on the geological and botanical aspects of all of these places you see.

Lunch: We will enjoy a plated meal at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will hike on an old footpath along the coast seizing the beautiful coastline views and getting to know the coastal flora and local livelihood. Afterwards, return to the hotel.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Botanical Garden, Levada da Serra do Faial
Funchal - Madeira
B,L,D
Pestana Village

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving about 1 hour. Approximately 2 hours of walking for approximately 4 miles on trails and paved roads through villages.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will set out by motorcoach to Camacha (2300 feet), where we will have a walking field trip along the Levada da Serra do Faial. Upon approaching the village, we will notice bundles of long canes. This area is known as basket country, where wicker working is a traditional industry. Today's field lectures will educate you on the area's indigenous plants and basket weaving.

Lunch: We will enjoy a plated meal at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will drive to the Botanical Gardens, created in 1960 on the grounds of the Quinta do Bom Sucesso, overlooking the town of Funchal. Most of the displayed plants are from around the world, with a section for indigenous flora. We’ll then make a short transfer to Monte, where we will visit the gardens and church. 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! We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeiran Beef Kebab, Free Time
Funchal - Madeira
B,L,D
Pestana Village

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving about 2 hours, 50 miles. Approximately 2 hours of walking for approximately 2 miles on trails with some stairs and gravel.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After driving by Machico, the spot where humans first set foot on the island, we will continue on to Ponta de São Lourenço, where the landscape is drier and looks almost lunar. We will hear about the biodiversity and geology of the region during the hike along the serrated line of cliffs tapering into jagged rocky islets.

Lunch: Grilled fresh fish will be served at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: We will enjoy a farewell dinner where the unique Madeiran beef kabob is served at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Transfer to Lisbon, Free Time
Lisbon
B
Hotel Olissippo Marques de Sá

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, airplane. Driving 1/2 hour, around 12 miles. Flight is under 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will transfer by motorcoach to the Funchal airport for our flight to Lisbon.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Lisbon.

Afternoon: Free Time. The remainder of the day is on your own to see and do what interests you most. Your Group Leader will be able to suggest ideas of what to do and see in Lisbon.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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