Portugal Tour Plan

Portugal Tour Plan

As a country that starts with P listed on Countryaah.com, founded in the 12th century, the Kingdom of Portugal has been a republic since 1910. The former global colonial power now has just over 10 million residents and, with an area of ​​approx. 92,200 km², is somewhat smaller than Hungary, but larger than Austria. The Azores Islands and Madeira in the Atlantic also belong to the Portuguese national territory on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe.

Portugal 1

  • Day 1: Arrival in Madeira
  • Day 2: Along Levadas – hike in the northeast to the weekly market
  • Day 3: Off to the wild west of the island
  • Day 4: Island capital Funchal
  • Day 5: Fantastic views of the south coast
  • Day 6: Free time – doing what you want
  • Day 7: Ascent to the highest peaks of Madeira
  • Day 8: You go home relaxed and full of new impressions

Our hikes take us along lush, mossy levadas, through man-high tree heather in deep green laurel forest, along the steep rock faces of the highest mountains or to the brightly colored cliffs in the easternmost part of the island, accompanied by the sound of the strong waves of the Atlantic.

Christa & her team show us the blooming glandular and glutinous aeonium, the shining Madeira pride, the differences between spiced laurel and stink laurel and many other rare plants from Madeira’s endemic abundance of flowers.

Our partner family around Christa Bretterbauer-Dornfeld distributed the hikes all over the Atlantic island in order to see as much of the island as possible on various routes. In addition, they adapt the route to the preferences of the respective visitors and the weather and not to forget the flowers that are currently blooming. So you can experience the pleasure island in all its diversity: The ancient forests, the cliff walls of the Eastern Cape, an old sugar cane factory or a Padaria (bakery) with the delicious “Pastel de Nata”.

The good Portuguese language skills of our guides mean that we always have casual encounters with locals, winegrowers and levadeiros. Their tours are always exciting: they love to branch off into little-used tributaries. You end up in a levada tunnel or under a waterfall and feel in a world long past.

NOTE: The weekly programs A, B differ in the routes, but not in the level of difficulty. The aim is to hike the most beautiful places on the island from different sides. The 2 individual weekly programs can be easily expanded to a 14-day program or added to a later trip.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Arrival in Madeira

We land on the flower island and are expected at the airport with the worldwide hiking sign. A short transfer brings us to the accommodation *, where our hosts greet us. With a glass of Madeira wine, we find out everything we need to know about the hiking week. Those who arrive early in the day can enjoy the day at the quinta or explore the area with the town of Santa Cruz.

* The Quinta dos Artistas: Located on the sunny back of the southeast coast, we have a wonderful view of the sea from our small houses, each with only 2-3 studios. Around the quinta there is a small organic farm that supplies us with fresh fruit and vegetables every day. With the opening in 2018, our partners, Christa and her family, fulfilled a dream: to create a Noah’s Ark of rest and regeneration for their guests. They spoil us with seasonal delicacies such as cherimoyas, bananas, pera de melao, grapes from the vineyard and fresh eggs from their own chickens. We relax and listen to the splashing of the little levadas that flow through the property. Does this feel like paradise?

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(- / – / A)

2nd day:

Along Levadas – hike in the northeast to the weekly market

Our hiking guide receives us at breakfast and discusses the joint program with us. We get to know each other and start – well strengthened – the first hike.

ROUTE A: We follow a small levada (typical water canal in Madeira) directly from the quinta and after a short, steep climb (180 m) we reach the small town of Santo Antonio da Serra. Today’s hike gives us a first impression of the great diversity of Madeira. Acacia and eucalyptus forests, old abandoned connecting paths, views into deeply cut valleys, small terraces on which diverse traditional agriculture is practiced all year round. During the long lunch break at the rustic Sunday farmers’ market in Santo Antonio da Serra, we see and taste the results of all this agricultural effort. After a short descent across the village, a connecting path and an irrigation levada in the eucalyptus and acacia forest return to the quinta.

Travel time: 0 min.
Hike: approx. 5 hours (15 km, +400 m / -400 m)

ROUTE B: After breakfast, our day starts with a short bus ride. We climb through varied vegetation (acacia, sickle fir, eucalyptus) to the levada. The levada leads us through a Douglas fir forest, lined with blue flowering hydrangeas, past metasequoia trees, rhododendron hedges and isolated tree ferns, to the Sunday farmers’ market in Santo Antonio da Serra (see also route A). After lunch at the market, we descend to the quinta.

Travel time (only journey): approx. 15 min.
Hike: approx. 5 hours (15 km, +250 m / -550 m)

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / -)

3rd day:

Off to the wild west of the island

ROUTE A: We drive over the north coast to the extreme northwest of Madeira. On the longest journey of our hiking week, we stop at particularly beautiful viewpoints. We walk along a rippling levada through the lush vegetation of the north coast and reach the deep green laurel forest. Of course we also make a detour to the famous rock baths of Porto Moniz, for a short swim stop or just to watch the gigantic waves.

Travel time: approx. 140 min.
Hike: approx. 3 hours (10 km, +360 m / -130 m)

ROUTE B: From the south side we reach the central high plateau Paul da Serra. After a short ascent to the highest point of the plateau, Pico Ruivo do Paul (1,640 m), we have a magnificent panorama of Madeira’s central massif. From here we continue on an old shepherd’s path to the oldest laurel forest stands (Laurisilva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The hundred-year-old trees are overgrown with moss and lichen and the soft cotton wool smells of peppermint. When the fog pulls through the trees, the landscape turns into a fantasy world reminiscent of Michael Ende’s “Neverending Story” or Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

Travel time: approx. 140 min.
Hike: approx. 3 hours (10 km, +160 m / -300 m)

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / -)

4th day:

Island capital Funchal

ROUTE A and B: We start the joint city tour in the old town and walk through the picturesque alleys in the oldest part of the city. After a visit to the well-known weekly market Mercado dos Lavradores, which is known for its wide range of fish, fruit and vegetables, we make a jump in time 120 years back to an old embroidery factory. After visiting the religious site, the Sé Cathedral, which is important for the islanders, our tour ends at around 12: 00 p.m. Now everyone has enough time to explore Funchal on their own.

Our guide is happy to give valuable tips. For example, for a guided tour of a winery with tasting, floating in the gondola into the tropical garden, a brisk basket sleigh ride, a visit to a museum – we do whatever we want. The return journey to the Quinta dos Artistas is organized by everyone. There is a public bus from Funchal to Santa Cruz and even to the Quinta.

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / -)

5th day:

Fantastic views of the south coast

ROUTE A: We start in the southwest of the island over the fertile terraces of Ponta do Sol and climb to Levada Nova. We follow the levada flat through sugar cane fields, fragrant eucalyptus forests and cultivated fields. We marvel at the views down to the coast, into deeply cut valleys and the impressive work of the locals who built these levadas and still carefully maintain them today.

Travel time: approx. 80 min.
Hike: approx. 4 hours (12 km, +150 m / – 300 m)

ROUTE B: At Prazeres we start along a levada through varied vegetation. There are always wonderful views of the Atlantic. We end the day at sea level in the car-free village of Jardim do Mar. Passing an old, water-powered flour mill, we follow the small alleys.

Travel time: approx. 120 min.
Hike: approx. 4 hours (12 km, + 200 m / -200 m)

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / -)

6th day:

Leisure time – doing what you want

We have breakfast with a view of the Atlantic, lie down at the infinity pool, explore the area around the quinta with the small town of Santa Cruz. Everyone does what they want. The day can be designed individually. The whole team is happy to give tips and organize, for example, a boat trip to see whales and dolphins or a rental car.

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / -)

7th day:

Ascent to the highest peaks in Madeira

There are several exciting routes over the tree line in Madeira’s Central Massif. Depending on the weather, we are looking for the most suitable day for the Pico Ruivo, which is Madeira’s highest mountain at 1,862 m, or to Pico do Arieiro (1,818 m), the third highest peak.
Always on secured paths, without climbing, we are offered incomparable views of a bizarre landscape, bathed in red and brown tones, created by volcanism and erosion. When visibility is good, there is a 360 ° panoramic view of Madeira and down to the Atlantic.
Should the weather not allow us to climb one of the mountains, the Christa team will surprise us with an alternative tour from their rich fund – or swap the day.

Tour to Pico Ruivo
Travel time: approx. 100 min.
Hike: approx. 3 hours (8 km, +350 m / -350 m)


tour to Arieiro
Travel time: approx. 60 min.
Hike: approx. 4 hours (11 km, +700 m / -0 m)

Overnight in the Quinta dos Artistas
(B / – / D)

8th day:

You go home relaxed and full of new impressions

We enjoy a last breakfast with the quinta’s fresh, regional products, say goodbye and are brought to the airport in good time. *

* Unless you have booked an additional week.

(F / – / -)

Portugal 2