Marvellous Madeira – exploring the lesser known levadas

7 days
goat guide

DATES Fri 27th September 2024
- Fri 4th October 2024

7 nights

We seek out amazing places to walk and we love lesser known spots. Those places with peace,tranquility and far from the crowds. The island of Madeira is perfect and especially the Western side with its sweeping coast and lots of the famous Madeira levadas. The walking is wonderful. Do join us on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Lots of great food and local wine too!


Dates: Friday September 27th  to Friday October 4th

Guide: Our local english speaking guide

Walking Grade: 3 Goats as walks are between 9km and 19km and the highest ascent is just over 1200m. The walks do vary and you can turn the holiday into a Goat 2 holiday by joining in but taking the opt out points which shorten the walks and make them less steep. If you are wanting to experience Madeira this is a flexible holiday.

Base: We stay at two hotels one on the west side of Madeira,Porto Moniz, and one on the south in Ponta do Sol.

Hotel Salgueiro, Porto Moniz is a cosy and modern 3 star hotel with fantastic views over the ocean and the natural rock pools just across the promenade in front of the hotel. You can relax and soak up the sun on the terrace, while enjoying uninterrupted views of the ocean.

Enotel Baía has breathtaking views of the bay and a great spot for swimming after your walking day. Relax by the pool , enjoy the local food and even try some local wine.

Arrival: on Friday Sept 27th  at Madeira airport around 15.00 for a group transfer to your hotel. Approx. 90 minutes away. If you have flights arriving at other times we can arrange other transfers. We will always try and put people together in groups to share costs.

Departure: After breakfast on Friday October 4th

Let us know if you would like help with your travel or any extensions to your trip.

Price: £2150 per person for solo occupancy fully inclusive of :

If you bring a friend and share a room there is £200 discount . Price pp £1950. We will adjust your invoice after booking.

  • Airport – hotel transfers on first and last day
  • All land travel (as outlined in itinerary)
  • All guided walks
  • Dedicated driver and english speaking guide
  •  7 Nights in a double room solo occupancy with 7 buffet breakfasts.
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included. We are always able to cater for vegetarian or other special diets (Lunches can be bought from local shops).

Not included:

  • Flights to and from Maderia
  • Lunches bought from local shops for our day walk picnics
  • Additional personal expenses for anything extra to the itinerary


Download the brochure »



Madeira Island has a wealth of walking to offer in its more remote parts, as well as the exceptional walks accessible from the island’s capital Funchal. Amongst other walks we are able to explore less well-known levadas, the narrow mountain irrigation channels which take water from the northern hills to the southern terraces.
We start in Porto Moniz in the far northwest corner of the island. It is a sheltered harbour where a mass of pointed reefs in the lava rocks provide natural bathing pools. Remoteness is the only reason the area sees few visitors.
The walking takes us across steep terraced hillsides, often with views of the coast where Atlantic rollers crash in. We also walk the peaceful Levada do Moinho with several watermills along its course.
On our way to our next centre, Ponta do Sol, on the south coast, we walk along the Levada de Lombo de Mouro, an attractive and little-walked levada starting high up near the island’s central pass at Encumeada.
Ponta do Sol is a small village, nestling between terraced hillsides where our hotel lies seconds from the sea. It has a beautiful mountain backdrop, but the greatest attraction is its volcanic lava pools tastefully transformed into a lido, with walkways and bridges.

This is a very special holiday that we offer this year. New to WalkingWomen.


Our walks are subject to alteration due to weather and local conditions.

Each day breakfast will be taken in the Hotel before leaving for the day’s programme. We will usually leave the Hotel between 9.00 am and 9.30am.
On our return to the Hotel each day we will have time to relax and change before dinner which is usually  at 7.30pm.
Each evening the guide will give a preview of the next day’s programme. There are usually points where you can opt out for a shorter walk for women who like more flexibility.

Day 1 Arrival: Meet at Funchal Airport around 15.00.  Group Transfer to Porto Moniz to our hotel (around 90 minutes) If time allows, a short introductory walk will be offered.

DAY 2: Achadas da Cruz & Levada Moinho 12km/7.45mi; Ascent/descent: 294m/-1069m; Highest point: 897m; Opt out at 9km.

Classic introductory walk to the levadas of Madeira. We follow this tiny levada through lush woodland and open ground as it meanders, trickles & cascades as we walk.
Our walk crosses the village of Santa before an iconic zig-zag descent down an old mule track to Porto Moniz.

Day 3: Levada da Ribeira da Janela 16km/10miles; Ascent/descent: 848 m/-865 m; highest point: 584m; opt out at 13km

A more modern levada with an easy, level path alongside, gives access to the awesome Ribeira da Janela valley.
This out & back walk enables us to turn back whenever we wish, the more adventurous can be introduced to following the levadas through tunnels.

Day 4: Levada de Lomba de Mouro. Transfer to Ponta do Sol 10km/6miles. Ascent/descent: 102m/811m; highest point: 1293m; opt out at 7km

Today we propose a full day of spectacular walking. We follow the Levada de Lomba do Mouro from the high mountains, down to Ribeira Brava on the south coast. This little known levada cascades dramatically down the mountainside.
Our route gives magnificent views across and up into the high peaks and down into the Ribeira Brava valley, seemingly miles below us.
Hotel transfer.

Day 5: Fontes & Chão dos Terreiros 16.5km/10.2mi; Ascent/descent: 895m/-1690m; highest point: 1428m; Opt out at 11km
One of the classic mountain walks of the island. From the village of Fontes our well graded track climbs to the summit of Chão dos Terreiros.
Awesome views enable us to appreciate the deep valleys of Curral das Freiras and Ribeira Brava while we look across to the equally inspiring “High Peaks” and Pico Grande.

Day 6: Levada Nova and Levada do Moinho 18km/11.2mi; Ascent/descent: 1473m/-1867m; highest point: 601m; opt out at 8.5km
This easy and gentle levada meanders around the valleys of the river Tabua and the river Caixa enabling us to enjoy the lush valleys and coast lines below us. This fabulous walk hides hidden gems, quiet villages, banana plantations, intricate levadas and spectacular descents.

Day 7 : Rabaçal 19km/11.8mi; ascent/descent: 533m/-1439m, highest point: 1320m; No opt out
A bewitchingly enticing day of diverse scenery, levadas and mountain tracks.
The gentle Levada de Paul meanders across open moorland before we descend to the sub-tropical woodland of Rabaçal.
Here we view the staggering waterfall of Risco and follow the levada in a long (and spacious) tunnel under the spine of the island.

DAY 8 : Departure 

Group transfer to the airport after breakfast.


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Marvellous Madeira – exploring the lesser known levadas
DATES Fri 27th September 2024
- Fri 4th October 2024

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