Europe holidays – after Covid- Madeira did the job.
We know that Covid is still with us- we guess for always – but Secret Hills Walking Holidays have started their European holidays.
Madeira – a safe haven – proved very popular and we organised holidays in November 2021 and February 2022.
How did we find the experience- well, filling in the forms was interesting thankfully- they are now removed. But with a good old fashioned group self-help – those with real IT skills helping those who find Smart phones more difficult – we coped.
The first thing we notices when we walked in the centre of Funchal the islands capital – all Madeirans wore masks – and we agreed – we will follow suit- except in restaurants. Our guides did say – what Madeirans feel safer and feel more protected when they wear masks in the outdoors where there are many people- like in the city centre.
Of course, masks were not worn when we were walking.
The most interesting thing that was evident straight away – the relief that we were able to get away, have a bit of sun – and in many ways leave the rather gloomy UK weather- and gloomy feel to our lives.
Our guides Honorio and Roberto led us magnificently- especially on the big Pico’s walk- in lovely sunshine- and we only had one major weather issue. We arrived at Boca Corrida – a lovely mountain walk- the wind speed was around 60 mph- and we eventually had to abandon as it became dangerous- and went on another lower walk. Se of the group had embarked on a coastal walk – easier and achieved in lovely sunny weather. The groups were only 10 miles apart – but that’s Madeira – different areas can mean completely different weather.
Funchal’s restaurants provide us with excellent meals- and lovely Portuguese wine which went down a treat.
Getting to Madeira on the first day did have problems as it was the Monday after storm Eunice- – planes were not in right locations- and most of us were 6 hours delayed in getting to the island- thankfully the flights back were on time.
Why Madeira? – guests like the temperatures, even at night it was 18 degrees, and the vibrancy of the city of Funchal. The walking is always brilliant – such a variety with coast walks, mountain walks and Levada walks – a good time had by all.
Here are a few testimonials.
Guided walking excellent. All good. Will recommend to friends. Madeleine
t was a great week Alan and you work tremendously hard to give everyone a really good time. I enjoyed the island, the walking and the company.
Many thanks and see you again soonish
Usual friendly informative service. Absolutely nothing adverse to report. The walking in Madeira was superb and offered great variety with wonderful views. Roberto and Miguel were first class guides. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday, Madeira is an excellent walking destination. Another most enjoyable holiday, Alan, Well done and thanks Extremely well organised. The hotel was very good,