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Madeira – Pearl of the Atlantic

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  • Madeira - Pearl of the Atlantic

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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

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Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.


01694 723600

You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

  • Year of travel 2023
    Nov 6,2023, February 19 2024
  • Refund guarantee
  • Year of travel 2023
    £1140 in 2023, £1240 in 2024
  • Location: Madeira
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Price includes sole occupancy charge
  • Price excludes flight

Discover the walking paradise of the garden island of Madeira – in the company of walking friends who enjoy good walking, good food, good social chatter and who appreciate the beauty of simply wonderful scenery. Madeira is an island of fascinating natural beauty, rising steeply in splendid isolation from the Atlantic ocean. Once visited, never forgotten.

The price shown here excludes flights but includes a sole occupancy supplement

Our company specialises in solos and singles – we provided guided walking holidays in both the UK and Europe and we use some of the most beautiful locations. We also specialise in providing guided walking for specific groups.



What you get on a Secret Hills Madeira  Holiday
  • Transfer from airport to Madeira  hotel and return.
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
  • Sole Occupancy room
  • Packed lunch or cafe lunch
  • Guided walking- local Madeiran guides
  • Any transport needed on the walks
  • The services of a Secret Hills tour guide
  • Individual attention
  • Our administration and management service
  • What’s not included
  • Flights- you purchase your own.
  • Evening dinner



Hotel and Meals


We use the Hotel Orquidea in the centre of Funchal  en suite rooms are spacious, twin bedded – some with baths and some with showers.. The hotel is an ideal place to host our walking programme, having easy access to restaurants, shops, supermarkets etc surrounds where you can The hotels’ breakfasts are continental, with cheeses and ham, yogurt, fruit and fresh rolls and preserves, with plenty of tea or coffee. A hot buffet is also available.‎

Guided Walking in Madeira

Your meals

Madeira has great walking but we also enjoy outstanding food – we eat at seven different atmospheric restaurants, in several areas of Funchal – in the old town, with its family  run businesses, the harbour, around the hotel zone, and in restaurants where locals eat. What can you expect?  Fish galore – the local espadas, sea bass , bream, sardines, tuna, and a whole bewildering array of other fish. Meat lovers are not left out as the local delicacy is beef on a bay leaf tree spit. The steaks are good, and pork features on most menus. Vegetarians are not left out either. As a complete contrast, we eat Italian on one evening. Local wine is inexpensive and surprisingly palatable. Normally you can expect to pay £16 a head for two courses.

Guided walking in Madeira

Packed lunch

We provide a simple –  locally produced at the bakery opposite the hotel – a filled  roll and piece of fruit for packed lunch. You may need to supplement this with your own energy bars/chocolate etc. Because of the nature of our walks there is little opportunity to stop for lunch at a cafe or similar on the walks.

Single Supplement details

Sole Occupancy Supplement

The sole occupancy supplement of £19 per night is already included in the cost of this holiday. – as shown at the top of the page.


Solso and Singles Guided walking in Madeira

Madeira has wonderful walking.  From fabulous coastal paths to upland mountain routes – there’s an incredible choice. We choose our walks away from the madding crowds of the popular levada walks.

We use a minibus to take us to walk start and from walk finish.

You have a choice of two activities each day- we run a strolling and exploring option alongside our walking holiday.

Flights and Transfers

 You purchase your own flights for this holiday.

The price you pay to Secret Hills Walking Holidays is a land only price.

When you reserve your flight, our policy is to enable you to fly from your local airport, wherever possible.

This means that clients will arrive at the destination airport at different times and we will arrange the onward transfers to the hotel, and return you to the airport at the end of the holidays.

Tour Details

The Walks- five days walking with one free day

We walk in three kinds of terrain, and this adds to the enjoyment of this holiday. Walks are 8/9 miles  long and graded moderate.

Levada walking is the most popular form of exploring this island, and we take in two levada walks – though we do add to the levada walks by venturing off the main tracks to explore. They are a joy to walk along with the constant stream of water bubbling on one side, and ever changing views of deep valleys and hillsides usually to the sea, on the other,Solos and Singles Guided walking in Madeira

Some of our walks – all chosen on the basis of the groups ability and the weather.

Riberio Frio – a breath taking walk along a high level levada, with stunning views  over the north coast, ending in a long descent through forest and arable land. We have coffee before the start, after a 40 minutes mini bus ride, and after the walk ends. Following good quality paths, some uneven sections, and tunnels.

Pico Do Ruivo Paul and the waterfalls – after climbing Pico do Paul, with breath taking views above St Vicente, we traverse the plain to Bica da Cana, then along a beautiful levada with glorious waterfalls on all its journey – water, water all the way, crossing several stream valleys before reaching stunning waterfalls, falling 200 feet, seemingly out of the sky.

Camacha to Monte – usually our introductory walk.

Our mountain walks are both excellent routes – the first skirts the Nuns Valley at 1200 metres, from Boca da Corrida to Encumeada underneath Pico Grande – simply breath taking views.

The second is even higher at 1650 metres high, traversing two of Madeira’s highest peaks from Pico Arreirro to Pico Ruivo. The mountain walks are on good paths, with gradual climbing, and some sharp descents to test the knees. Levada walks are generally flat, some descent at the at the end of the walk.

We also walk along the coast around Machico and Porta do Cruz. The Boca do Risco walk along the coast is simply stunning. On wet weather days – you may get one – we walk along the Point St Laurenco – jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean – with super geological features.

On the south west coast we walk along the levada at Prazares, then descend to Paul do Mar from the Hotel Atlantic, or to Paul do Mar from Faja de Ovelha.

On this holiday you have five walking days and one free day

The Climate

It has a splendid climate, rarely getting above 28 degrees and below 15 degrees, and that means excellent walking conditions. It’s a haven for those who seek a relaxing walking holiday in close proximity to nature.The levada’s banks and the surrounding countryside are planted with hydrangeas, lilies and agapanthus. Its mountains are rugged and inspiring with generally good sea views. Gardens and parks are everywhere – planted with all manner of exotic trees shrubs and blooms.

Your Walk Leaders

We use local walking guides to show us the best of walking in this walking paradise – their knowledge of the history, plant life and geology is brilliant. Alan Garner is your holiday leader. We will arrange all aspects of the holiday from arrangements in the UK, to meeting you off your flight and settling  you into your hotel. We then manage your walk guiding. including all transport. We also arrange your evening meals as a group, though this is not obligatory. We have spent time selecting the best value for money restaurants in Funchal, We will also advise on where you can enjoy evening entertainment, the best places to change money and  the best places to buy those take home presents.

On this holiday you have a free day – Friday – and we will advise on where to go and how to get there.

Or simply just chill out .

Prevailing weather conditions

Madeira is a mix of sunny, warm weather- but there could be cloudy conditions and some high level mist- and be prepared for a shower or two- it is not a green paradise for no reason.Guided walking in Madeira


Although our leaders are well trained  and experienced in dealing  with different capabilities of our walking clients, if they have any concerns about  any clients ability or suitability to undertake safely any walking activity we plan or they feel that participation of an individual may affect the groups safety and cohesion, then they have full permission to exclude that client from an activity.

They will try at all times to provide an alternative suggested activity, though this may involve the client in additional local cost.

We rarely have to enforce this above recommendation, but it is a sensible and necessary protection for the individual client, the group and the leaders.

Grades and Difficulty

On each Madeira holiday we have two grades of walking.- moderate and easy.

On the moderate walks – 8/9miles – we ascend and descend at least once per day – up to 300 metres but generally over an hour and a half. Pace is critical – we don’t rush, there’s too much to see, but we do stride out where it is possible. Underfoot conditions in Madeira are generally good – it is volcanic soil and there can be some rocky sections – and we take care on these sections. Footpaths are well marked and accessible.

The signature walk on the island – the Pico’s walk- has many challenging sections- not a long walk in distance but takes 6 hours. Many ascents and descents and a few tunnels as well- but all the above accessible to god, competent walkers, with hill walking abilities.

On the easy walks – which  may also include some sightseeing of villages. towns, gardens and things of interest generally – we won’t walk as fast, have plenty of stops and probably cover 5/6 miles. This will be done over the whole of the day.

There will be hills to ascend/descend but we will take these very steadily – we do not rush our clients. As with the walking grade – underfoot conditions in Madeira can be stony – it is – and we take care on those sections. The pace is slower, not snail pace but enough to give you a good stroll, and to allow you to enjoy the wonderful Madeiran countryside.

You will find the easy walking holiday advertised under Strolling and Exploring on our web site.

Each day you have the choice of either walking or strolling.


Although our leaders are well trained and experienced in dealing with different capabilities of our walking clients, if they have any concerns about any clients ability or suitability to undertake safely any walking activity we plan or they feel that participation of an individual may affect the groups safety and cohesion, then they have full permission to exclude that client from an activity.

They will try at all times to provide an alternative suggested activity, though this may involve the client in additional local cost.

We rarely have to enforce this above recommendation, but it is a sensible and necessary protection for the individual client, the group and the leaders.

Meet New Friends

It’s all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress-free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secret Hills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekend’s activities – but it’s good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

“Make new friends that turn into old friends” – that’s our motto.

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for travelling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – it’s not a dating agency – over the years we have had people meet and fall in love – but that’s just chance. Our aim is that you make like-minded friends – just relax and enjoy.

Just arrive and enjoy.

Great Reasons to Join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover Europe but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for singles and solo travellers
  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels, selected and constantly reviewed.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit at one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

How to Book

How to book your holiday

You may book online.

Payment is in two parts – you pay a deposit of 25%, payable when reserving your holiday place. You will receive an invoice for the holiday showing the deposit paid, and full amount to pay for the holiday. This acts as your confirmation.

The balance is due 8 weeks prior to the holiday start date. You will be sent a reminder.

About three weeks prior to departure, we will send you holiday joining details, and details of the transfer from the airport to the appointed hotel we have arranged for you.

Once you arrive at your holiday destination

Secret Hills Walking Holidays organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide. You make your own arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.

It is important to read Secret Hills Walking Holidays Terms and Conditions – click on the tab on our web site – before you complete the booking form.

Insurances Required

Insurance – you need to be fully covered

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel, medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate).

We will ask you to provide us with the details of your insurance prior to the holidays start date and it is a condition of reserving a place.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is available only online from the UK Government website. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate travel insurance.




If you want a holiday that is adventurous and romantic, that’s completely unique and different, and yet, one that’s totally unforgettable and exotic? Madeira’s just the place.

Solos and Singles Guided Walking in Madeira

With fuchsia Bougainvillea, scarlet Poinsettias and lilac Jacaranda trees blanketing the landscape in quilts of exotic blooms throughout the year. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, just north-west of the Canary islands and a little further away from Africa, it is famous for its’ balmy summers and warm winters making it the ideal holiday destination all year. Madeira has two sides, north and south, separated by a mountainous spine. The south warm and sunny, whilst the north a little cooler.
Its capital city,. Funchal has over the years retained a charm of its own with whitewashed colonial buildings, 15th century churches, picturesque squares and relaxing promenades.

The narrow back streets of the old part of the town are packed with tavernas, the contrasting Marina has a more cosmopolitan vibe, with its’ pavement café’s and excellent seafood restaurants specializing in freshly grilled lobster. The Madeira Botanical Gardens set high above Funchal are easy to reach by car, bus, or the preferred method of the Teleférico Cable Car. Connecting the Gardens with the old town of Funchal, the cable car floats over gorges and hillsides with stupendous views on offer.

Solos and Singles Guided Walking in Madeira

For the energetic and adventurous Madeira offers endless opportunities from mountain walking, hiking to para-gliding. Levadas were once used to bring water down from the mountains to the fields, now they are Madeira’s prime walking territory. Covering 2,000 kilometres, this natural network of routes encapsulates stunning countryside. The islands of the Madeira Archipelago not only have beautiful seascapes but have an abundance of marine wildlife.

A. walking paradise –  Madeira will surprise you, enchant you. Join us and enjoy.



17 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Eric Sim

Solo Traveller

Did you enjoy the guided walking?
Yes, especially the mountain walks. Great walks with nice people.
Would you reserve another holiday and would you recommend?
Yes to both.

November 20, 2023

Fiona Mortimer

Solo Traveller

Guided walking – Fantastic! Well exceeded our expectations. The walks were all interesting with fabulous views and we were very grateful to be offered a walk on our first day, whilst other guests arrived. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the holiday. We really enjoyed the opportunity to sample the local food and atmosphere in a good range of restaurants.
We really felt looked after and valued throughout the holiday by both Alan and Onario.

November 19, 2023

Anne Dawson

Solo Traveller

Hi Alan/Bev
Holiday was enjoyable as always and the walking/guiding was great.
Hotel was pleasant and breakfast/ packed lunch was good.
Reservation process and pre holiday information was good and already booked on another holiday
Thank you Anne Dawson

November 18, 2023

Richard Turner

Solo Traveller

Good organisation of holiday. Really enjoyed. Yes (would recommend and reserve again).

November 18, 2023

Pete Hurst

Solo Traveller

Hi Alan, Many thanks for your help and support. The holiday was an excellent experience. Guided walking: Excellent. Alan (Secret Hills owner) and ‘Deano’ (local walk guide) obviously knew their ‘stuff’. Both very personable and helpful. A very good selection of walks planned. Always 2 choices of routes i.e. harder and easier. Good hotel-close to centre and other amenities. Friendly, helpful staff.

March 13, 2023