The Pearl of the Atlantic
Madeira is an orchard in the middle of the ocean of protected reserves, impressive cliffs, laurel forests and vertiginous viewpoints, with charming villages on the slopes of mountains and valleys and fascinating gardens.
Only 500 kilometers from the African coast, and 1,000 from Portugal, the archipelago of Madeira is made up of a total of five islands of which only Porto Cristo and Madeira are inhabited.
Madeira has always been an important transit route for maritime trade. Its privileged place in the Atlantic made it a technical stop for many goods that traveled to continental Portugal, and which remain until today in its gastronomy. It is the case of tropical fruits such as passion fruit, mango or English tomato that are now a hallmark in the island. We love this exoticism imported from the distant lands in which Portugal reigned. With a laurel forest (Laurisilva) declared UNESCO heritage, its flavor is reflected in cuisine. You shouldn’t leave without trying the espetada, tender pieces of veal skewered on a bay leaf and grilled.
This is an inland, seafood is everywhere. Black scabbardfish along with the crab, are the two most sought-after sea products in the island.
As Fortune magazine published in December 2019, Madeira wines are in the spotlight of new Asian wine aficionados whose cellars are already fully stocked with Bordeaux and Burgundy collections. So we’ll make sure you learn everything about madeira wines, but also about a new generation of winemakers producing extremely good still wines.
Be captivated by breathtaking landscapes, an overwhelming nature, a rich and well rooted gastronomy, history and incredibly good wines.
Funchal - São Vicente - Câmara de Lobos - Cabo Girão - Funchal
Funchal (FREE DAY)
IDEAL LENGTH: 4 NIGHTS ✧ WHEN TO GO: ALL YEAR ROUND
WELCOME TO MADEIRA
Upon arrival, your driver will be taking you to your hotel. Check-in and take some time to relax.
Today, we suggest a late afternoon visit to downtown Funchal. The capital of Madeira, founded by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Touring the streets of the Old Town of Funchal is unveiling its rich history. Stop at Sé do Funchal, the cathedral of the city - full of stories commissioned to be built at the end of the 15th century by Manuel I of Portugal - it was completed in 1514. In the famous Rúa de Santa Maria be surprised by the works of local artists who have been leaving their inspiration for years at the doors of different businesses and buildings, each of which tells a different story. Behind them modern art galleries, restaurants and even houses come alive.
We’ll take care of your restaurant booking at one of pour favorite restaurants in the city.Selected charming hotel
FUNCHAL WITH A CHEF
Pick up at the hotel by the Chef - one of the great ambassadors of the flavors and charms of Madeira - for an exclusive tour of the colorful market Mercado dos Lavradores. Somehow touristy, but it deserves a look for its overwhelming variety of exotic fruits.
Then, time to take the cable car to go up to Monte, the highest point in Funchal to enjoy the 15-minute trip with unbeatable 360º degree views over the bay. Now comes the most exciting descent: get in one of the Carreiros do Monte, a tradition of more than 100 years in which men dressed in white and with straw hats slide down guests in wicker carts along two kilometers of steep zigzagging streets.
LIVE COOKING EXPERIENCE
Once down, time to get ready for lunch, this time not in Funchal but in a magical spot, where the Chef will take you around his very personal project, around the vines and garden and prepare a very exclusive lunch paired with super premium wines.
Back to the hotel after lunch, free evening.Breakfast, lunch
Selected charming hotel
STILL WINES FROM MADEIRA
A day devoted to wines. In less than half an hour you’ll find yourselves at one of the most charming wineries, ready for a tour of a section of their 15-acre terraced vineyards where they grow Verdelho, Arnsburger, Aragones, Tinta Negra and Touriga Nacional. It is a rising star and one to watch probably the best table winemaker in Madeira. After visiting the vineyards, tasting the wines and learning about the viticulture in Madeira, we would then drive you South close to Câmara de Lobos, for a real porto wines experience.
Hard to find, to know the history of Madeira wine we must go back five centuries (1419), to the arrival of the Portuguese who introduced the first strains to the island. Madeira wines are fortified wines made in various stages, and aged for months using the estufagem (heat ageing) method. From dry to sweet, the flavors are so unique that no one forgets it and everyone loves it. Visit one of the historical and most prestigious wineries.
Lunch is foreseen downtown Câmara de Lobos to sample the best of the day's catch. You can try some of the best caldeirada (fish stew) and swordfish grilled to perfection, topped with ham, cheese, and shrimp. It was where Churchill himself spent a vacation during which he painted a beautiful picture of the bay. A work that has served as inspiration, over the years, to many artists who have come to the town captivated by that image.
Before driving back to your hotel, we’ll take you 10 miles west to Cabo Girão, the highest viewpoint on the island - 580 meters (1,902 feet) above the sea - and with the most impressive views of all Madeira. Then it is time to stop for a moment, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
At the end of the exciting day, transfer back to the hotel and enjoy the evening at your own pace.Breakfast
Selected charming hotel
There are multiple options in Madeira, just to mention a few:
Levadas Hiking: the island offers over 3,000 km (1,854 miles) of levadas, small century-old irrigation canals that provide trekking routes through the Laurisilva Forest (UNESCO Heritage). Some of the most famous are Levada das 25 Fontes -4.6 kilometers in total- and Levada do Risco -6.6 kilometers round trip.
Sailing & Dolphins and Wales watching, to observe a variety of underwater animals and gorgeous scenic views hard to forget.
You can opt to visit the Natural Pools in Porto Moniz, volcanic stone marine pools with crystal clear waters, or go on an off-road Jeep Safari tour to explore the subtropical heart of the island.
Or you can visit Santana with the famous casinhas (small houses) in the heart of a Biosphere Reserve. The houses present triangular facades in white, red and blue, and thatched roofs that reach the ground. In Santana we find the highest point of the island too, the Ruivo peak (1861 meters).
The world ends at Ponta de São Lourenço, the most eastern end point of the island. Here, the end of the known world is shaped like a peninsula and its thinness allows to see both the north and south coast. hopefully we may be able to observe one of the most acclaimed animal species: the monk seal, in serious danger of extinction.
If you stay at the Belmond’s Reid’s Palace, don’t forget to visit the garden. With more than 500 varieties of plants it houses species that are not even found in the Botanical Garden of the island. The reason? The ocean is literally at their feet and it generates a unique microclimate.
Let us assist you!Breakfast
Selected charming hotel
END OF JOURNEY
Today, private transfer to Funchal airport.Breakfast
The final details of every tour will be tailor-made to your schedule, party details, objectives and travel personality. Wine tastings are always personalized to satisfy your curiosity.
All our tours are quoted individually.
TELL US what you're looking for and we’ll make it happen!.
Why you shouldn’t miss this program.
Spectacular gardens, noble buildings, a nice boulevard, the Cathedral, are all signs of a golden past now co-living with the modern street art project artE pORtas abErtas.
Price & Booking Terms
- Every journey is tailor-made to your trip dates.
- 4-Night accommodation
- Meals as stated
- Private tours as described
- 2 Exclusive winery visits (DOP Madeira and DOP Madeirense)
- Private host throughout
- Private Mercedes chauffeured transport throughout
- Restaurants bookings
- Airport/city private transfers
- All taxes
- International flights
- Personal purchases and expenses
- Travel insurance
We make every stay unique, where every detail counts. Therefore, we treat every request individually and we will present a curated selection of the properties that better suit your personality.
Every trip is quoted individually.
*Prices are in Euros
- At the time of reservation: 40% of journey cost per person
- 45 days before departure: Balance due
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
- Payment method: Bank transfer or major credit cards are accepted (Visa, American Express, Mastercard)
You were truly instrumental in making our trip fantastic. Truthfully, I wish I were still there.
Many thanks and looking forward to something we can plan together again in the future. Abrazos,
Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized.
Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible.
Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
We signed up and took a chance, and were rewarded greatly. The happy group is a testament to not only your planning and professionalism, but your kindness as well.
Hands down, best tour trip ever 🙂
So grateful for the opportunity to get to know all of you!
The trip was amazing in all aspects. We were really impressed with everything. The hotel choices were wonderful, the locations were perfect, the guides were terrific and very knowledgeable. Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized. Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible. Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
I was so impressed with everything you arranged and your promptness and professionalism. Dillon had a wonderful time and was very complimentary.
Thank you for everything.
With gratitude, Star
Thank you so much for this helpful list! Gary and I are still talking about what a great time we had on the trip to Spain and how much we enjoyed meeting you, Fernando and Felix. You did an amazing job and we so appreciated seeing Spain's beautiful cities, historical treasures and of course the wonderful food, wine and people!
Gary and I wanted to thank you again for your continued care and concern as we spent three additional days in Madrid with the Millars. You and Fernando were so nice to make sure all went well and to see us off when we finally had to depart.
We are wishing you all the best and a wonderful holiday season ahead,
We had a winderful time particularly thanks to your superb arrangements. We will return! Arrivederci Marco
All the private excursions that she arranged were excellent. At some point during every tour our guide received a message from our agent checking in on how everything was going. We felt very well taken care of during our honeymoon and very thankful for all the assistance Valeska provided in making this dream vacation come true.