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Price is per person based on two people sharing. Single room supplement   £220.00
Tours ~ Tour Details

Madeira at its best

7 Nightsfrom £1095.00 pp

A relaxed exploration of this beautiful island in the company of ‘Mr Madeira’.

Tour Overview

Set in a bright blue sea, some 400 miles off the coast of Africa, lies the lush, volcanic Portuguese island of Madeira.  Just 36 miles long and 14 miles wide, it is an island of outstanding natural beauty.  Its delightful warm climate makes Madeira a sub-tropical paradise where the vegetation is verdant and rich.  It would not be easy to find a more beautiful spot for a relaxing holiday.  It is not surprising that Madeira has long been popular with the British.  Its climate of warm summers and winters is just right and over the years it has become an ideal holiday destination for those seeking peace and relaxation and, as you would expect with a benevolent sub-tropical climate, the island has a remarkable variety of vegetation, fruit and flowers.  Every inch of Madeira’s workable land is terraced and cultivated, some fields are so steep you would think they were planted by steeplejacks, rather than farmers.

Much of the island is assigned as a conservation area where rare flowers cover the island like a green mantle. Orchids, bougainvillaea, lilies, hydrangeas, magnolias, jacarandas and azaleas bloom effortlessly throughout the year, and delight the eye at every turn.  One of the nicest ways to explore the island is by following the footpaths alongside the “levadas” (small man-made irrigation canals), which wind their way around the island, and we have included a gentle half-day levada walk, with the opportunity to take further walks on your free days.

We also visit the splendid Palheiro Gardens (formerly called the Blandy Gardens), which for many visitors are the best of all Madeira’s horticultural wonders. The gardens, established over several generations, are most famous for their camellias, though there is something here for everyone with green fingers, including a wonderful spread of agapanthus and arum and belladonna lilies in season.

At Monte, a fashionable hill town above Funchal, we visit the Monte Palace Gardens, glorious gardens that surround the château-like Monte Palace. Getting there is an experience in itself, as the cable car ride from Funchal to Monte offers stunning views over the harbour and bay. 

We also offer an optional full day excursion around the island visiting a series of lovely villages, including Camara de Lobos, where Sir Winston Churchill painted the impressive sea cliffs at Cabo Girao in 1950.

Our guide: our tours will be escorted throughout by local expert Joao Camacho, who knows Madeira inside out and will take great pride in showing us around his native island.

Tour highlights:
  • Tour of the Botanical Gardens, an introduction to the flora of Madeira
  • A gentle walk on the ‘levadas’
  • Cable-car ride to Monte
  • Full day tour of the island (optional)
  • Afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace Hotel
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Click here to make an online reservation

Tour Itinerary Back to top of page

Day 1
We depart from London Gatwick (other airports are available on request) on a direct flight to Funchal.  On arrival we will be met by our local guide and our coach, which will take us to our accommodation at the 5-star Pestana Casino Park Hotel, Funchal.

The rest of the day is free to relax in the hotel’s grounds or perhaps have a swim in the pool. A welcome buffet is included in the hotel this evening.

Day 2
Breakfast at the hotel. We depart this morning on a visit to the Quinta do Palheiro (formally known as Blandy Gardens). Established over several generations, the gardens are most famous for their camellias, though there is something for everyone with green fingers, including a wonderful spread of agapanthus and arum and belladonna lilies in season. We also visit the Botanical Gardens, which are set on the steep hillsides north east of Funchal. This will be a wonderful introduction to the flowers of Madeira as we will see almost every plant that grows here. 

Afternoon at leisure.

Day 3
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we will enjoy a gentle half-day walk on the footpaths alongside the “levadas” (small man-made irrigation canals), which wind their way around the island. This is one of the nicest ways to explore the island and offers the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Madeira.

Afternoon at leisure.

Day 4
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we take the 10-minute cable car ride from the centre of Funchal to the fashionable hill town of Monte, which offers splendid views over the harbour and the bay. We will visit the glorious Monte Palace Gardens which surround the chateau-like Palace.

Afternoon at leisure.

Day 5
After breakfast the day is free to explore Funchal at leisure. Alternatively, join our optional full day tour of the island. We will visit the picturesque villages of Camara de Lobos, which was made famous by Sir Winston Churchill in 1950 when he painted the sea cliffs at Cabo Girao; Ribiera Brava, (wild river), which was one of the earliest settlements in Madeira; Encumeada, a 1000m high mountain pass where fascinating cloud displays can often be seen; the coastal town of Sao Vicente, popular with surfers and sunbathers, and Porto Moniz, which has long been famous for its natural bathing pools and wonderful scenery, where lunch will be served. In the afternoon we continue via Santana, a pretty village characterised by its thatched houses; the forests and high plateau of Paul da Serra and finally Ponta do Sol, which as the name implies is the sunniest part of the island.

Day 6
Breakfast at the hotel.  The morning is at leisure. In the afternoon we will walk the short distance to the famous Reid’s Palace Hotel. Since it opened in 1891, this luxurious hotel has welcomed the rich and famous, from the Empress of Austria to Sir Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. After a look around the lush gardens that surround the hotel, we will enjoy a delicious afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, home-made pastries, jam, butter and cream and your choice of tea.

Day 7
All day free to explore Funchal at leisure. A farewell buffet will be served in the hotel in the evening.

Day 8

After breakfast we must check out of the hotel – please ensure any extras are paid and take your luggage to the coach.  The coach will transfer you to Funchal airport in time to catch your flight home.

What's Included Back to top of page

  • 7 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 5-star Pestana Casino Park Hotel in Funchal. All rooms have private facilities
  • Welcome and farewell buffet dinners at the hotel
  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Funchal (flights are also available from other airports on request at a reasonable supplement)
  • Afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace Hotel
  • Visits to the Botanical, Palheiro and Monte Palace gardens; half-day levada walk; cable car ride and visit to Monte
  • All coach transfers in Madeira
  • Services of local Madeira expert Joao Camacho as tour manager

Supplements Per Person Back to top of page

  • Single room supplement                £220.00
  • Insurance                                      £45.00 (under 65); £90.00 (65-74); £135.00 (75-90)
  • Optional full-day island excursion  On request

Departure Points Back to top of page

London  Gatwick
Click here to print a brochure
Click here to make an online reservation

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