A fantastic trip which will give you a taste of the island's culture and will expose you to its wilder side.
Day 1 - Arrive Funchal
We arrive and are met by our guide at the airport and then transferred to our hotel in beautiful Funchal. We enjoy a tour of this colourful coastal city. Overnight in hotel in Funchal, lunch and dinner.
Day 2 - Santana and Whale & Dolphin Watching
Today we explore Santana on the north coast, known for its Casas Típicas de Santana, traditional stone houses with steep, triangular-shaped thatched roofs. In the afternoon we will take to the sea on a whale and dolphin watching trip accompanied by marine biologists. This is a year-round activity because of the wealth of marine wildlife in the ocean surrounding Madeira. Overnight in Funchal and full board.
Day 3 - Explore the mountains and levada trails
Today we enjoy some of the best walking trails on this beautiful volcanic island. Following the ancient irrigation channels known as levadas, we discover beautiful waterfalls and stunning mountain views. You can choose from a gentler, low level trek or a summit challenge, heading up Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira. As this stands at 1862m, you can enjoy rewarding views from the top - across the island and over the Atlantic Ocean. Overnight in Funchal and full board.
Day 4 – Monte Toboggan and Blandy’s Wine Tasting
After breakfast, we experience something completely different and travel down the steep streets of Monte, in a carro de cesto, wicker toboggans, piloted by Madeiran experts dressed in local costume. Surreal yet hilarious! After lunch, we will enjoy a unique Vintage Tour of Blandy's Wine Lodge with the opportunity to taste our way through 200 years of Madeira wine. This tour provides an in-depth look at the process of dating and ageing wines, including a visit to the huge vats, an opportunity to see the ageing process and an exclusive view of the Blandy family's private collection of exclusive vintage Madeiras. This (of course!) is followed by a tasting in the Vintage Room. Overnight in Funchal and full board.
Day 5 – Historic Ship Tour
In the morning, we will board a magnificent replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria. The Santa Maria replica was built on the island of Madeira in the late 1990’s, in the fishing village of Camara de Lobos. We will sail along the spectacular coast aboard this historic (replica!) ship with a second opportunity to see dolphins and whales and enjoy honey cake and a glass of Madeira wine. This afternoon will be free to relax. Overnight in Funchal and full board.
Day 6 – Vineyard Tour
Today is another wine-focused day. Hooray! We visit the stunning island vineyards and learn more about the famous fortified wine and the extraordinary production process. By the end of today, we will understand why this wine has conquered the world and has a history of over 500 years! Overnight in Funchal and full board.
Day 7 – Homeward bound
After breakfast, we will transfer back to Funchal for our flight home. Breakfast.
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