Author Topic: Madeira anyone?  (Read 1774 times)

Hullwalker

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Madeira anyone?
« on: 23:03:33, 20/02/18 »
Hi All
Just booked hols for Madeira in June and was wondering whether anyone who has been could recommend any walks to do.
Hoping to go on 2 or 3 walks while i am there wife permitting. 


adalard

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #1 on: 08:55:41, 21/02/18 »
Actually, we're going to Madeira for a short break this year too, and I was planning to ask for advice on here myself.  :)


I want to walk the Vereda da Arieiro on one day but I've been struggling to find info on transport to/from the trail. I'm guessing I'll have to book a taxi and if anyone has any recommendations on the best way to organise this or for reliable firms, they'd be gratefully received.


Sorry to jump in on your thread, Hullwalker, though hopefully you might find any replies to my question useful too!

fernman

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #2 on: 08:58:58, 21/02/18 »
You've chosen a stunning place to go. The wife and I did four walks from the excellent "Landscapes" guide, though that is greatly expanded since we bought ours, it now includes 100 walks (and 6 car tours) which is perhaps a bit of overkill for someone who's only there for a week or two. You can 'look inside' it on Amazon.

adalard

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #3 on: 09:06:16, 21/02/18 »
Thanks a lot, Fernman - I'll look that up.  O0


We're only there for just under a week and walking is mainly my interest so the Vereda da Arieiro will be a solo outing for me, and any other joint walking expeditions will be subject to negotiations and short in distance, so that book could be an ideal guide.


And of course, I also want to fit in some time doing touristy stuff too - including eating seafood and drinking wine!  :)

Hullwalker

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #4 on: 10:18:11, 21/02/18 »
Thanks Fernman


Just had a look at the guide and it looks stunning.
The 'Mrs' is that impressed she might even come walking with me 'As long as there aint no cows?'

sunnydale

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #5 on: 13:11:09, 21/02/18 »
Some members of my walking group are off to Madeira at the beginning of March.  Really wish I was joining them!  The trip filled up very quickly, in a matter of a few days...and unfortunately I just missed out. :(
I'm top of the list for next years trip though! 8)


Hope you both have a fab holiday HW and adalard O0
***Happiness is only a smile away***

BuzyG

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #6 on: 17:23:14, 22/02/18 »
Haven't done much walking in Madeira, mainly surfing :) .  Be sure to catch the gondola up and back and enjoy an afternoon in the Botanical Gardens in Funchal.


The view from the top of the island is something special too.  We drove up one evening and were the only people there.  But judging from the size of the car park, it must get quite busy.


Have a great holiday. O0

adalard

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #7 on: 08:48:08, 23/02/18 »
Thanks, Sunnydale & BuzyG.  :)


The botanical gardens are a definite on our to-do list.  O0

Lakeland Lorry

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #8 on: 11:26:55, 23/02/18 »
I haven't been to Madeira yet, but it is on my list of places I would like to go to, so can't recommend any walks.

However I've always found the Sunflower guides are great for walks in countries that I'm new to.   

There are two Sunflower books for Madeira:  Walking in Madeira, and Walking and Eating in Madeira

http://sunflowerbooks.co.uk/product/walking-in-madeira/

http://sunflowerbooks.co.uk/product/walking-and-eating-in-madeira/



NeilC

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #9 on: 13:29:53, 23/02/18 »
I've been a couple of times. It's a fantastic place for a holiday IMO. The climate is great - not too hot or ever really cold. The people really are friendly IMO.


Sadly I can't remember the exact name of the walks we went on but there is a good one that starts at the top cable car station in Funchal. A few of the levada walks are genuinely perilous in places - ie. you slip and you're dead. So you may want to read up on them if either of you haven't got a head for heights. My wife baulked at one of them. Personally I thought they were OK if you were careful. Remember torches if you're doing a tunnel walk. We didn't of course. Because it rises so steeply as you go away from the sea, you can quickly get into clouds, so take waterproofs and warm clothing. Several times we went from hot sun in shorts to totally soaked with drizzle in the space of half and hour's walk. In fact it's so steep that my wife got baro-trauma and lost her hearing from driving up and down the hills. I didn't even know that was possible but I did notice my ears popping.


One interesting little circular one we did was the Soccoridos Valley walk which starts at a big shopping centre to the west of Funchal called Shopping Madeira. So starting in a built up area but within a few minutes you're following a little levada round the back of banana plantations and homesteads and suddenly your on the edge of a very steep valley with waterfalls and then through some tunnels. I thought it was amazing how quickly things changed over short distances.


Get the Walk Madeira book which gives details of 100s of walks but I found the instructions very hard to follow at times and you only get tiny snippets of map. Maps in general seem pretty poor there. Madeira would benefit from the Ordnance Survey taking an interest that's for sure.


I want to go back and not just for walking. I rate Funchal as a town. It's a mix of tourists and working Madeirans. Looks nice and feels real and is very safe. You can pay stupid money for a coffee in a tourist restaurant or walk 2 mins to a tiny bar where locals drink and get one for 50p. Check out the street with the painted doors, the Blandy's Madeira tour, the Santa Clara convent, cable-car, the cruise ships rolling in, take a ride on a wooden sled down the cobbled streets (actually worth the money I thought), the gardens and more.


Elsewhere there are other things to do like the seawater swimming lido place which is great, whale-watching (OK dolphins are more likely), one sandy beach, the Cabo Girau viewing platform (very high) and general beauty everywhere you look.


One thing to bear in mind - use insect repellent 24/7 there and mozzie killer spray in your accomodation. They have Dengue fever there and it's on the rise (apparently a mix of climate change and immigration from Africa - so something there for both Guardian and Mail readers ;-) ) My wife has had Dengue in Thailand and it's no joke - she lost several stone and it can kill. We didn't even know it was there until the way back in the plane when they started spraying the plane with insecticide.
« Last Edit: 13:44:18, 23/02/18 by NeilC »

hawthornpaul

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #10 on: 14:32:53, 23/02/18 »
Madeira is a beautiful island, a real green jewel, I spent a week there in Autumn 2015.

One essential hike is the PR1.  Fairly strenuous (fine if you've got hill legs) and you need a good head for heights, but what a wow factor.  There's no public transport to the start, so we booked on to a guided walk in one of the shop-front kiosks, with transport from the hotel - well worth it.

If you're staying in Funchal and not hiring a car, I definitely recommend getting a copy of "The Unofficial Madeira Bus Guide" for a few euros from this site...

http://tjwalking-madeira.com/buspurchase.html
(lots of useful info on the rest of the site too)

The bus services can be confusing at first, in a nutshell, there are three main providers - red covers the west, yellow covers the Funchal area and green/cream covers the east.  The unofficial guide has everything in one handy pocketbook and fares are very cheap.

There are a few photos from the holiday here...

Madeira



adalard

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #11 on: 10:32:04, 25/02/18 »
Many thanks, Lakeland Lorry, NeilC and hawthornpaul for taking the time to provide all that info and the links. Very useful and very much appreciated!  O0


Great photos, too, hawthornpaul - they've definitely whetted my appetite for getting into the mountains on our trip.  O0

gunwharfman

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #12 on: 16:27:52, 25/02/18 »
Everytime I glance at the title of this topic, coffee and cake comes to mind!

Jac

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #13 on: 11:24:46, 27/02/18 »
I suggest you get the Sunflower book for Madeira

http://sunflowerbooks.co.uk/product/walking-in-madeira/

It was all we needed to have agreat walking holiday as it includes not only walk details but up to date info on buses etc.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

adalard

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Re: Madeira anyone?
« Reply #14 on: 15:04:11, 27/02/18 »
Thanks, Jac. Looks like the Sunflower book is a must-buy.  O0