01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

Madeira’s Fantastic East and North

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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)

Make an Enquiry

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
  • Refund guarantee
  • ABTA & ATOL Protected
  • Flights costed separately
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Price includes sole occupancy charge
  • Madeira

The walking here, in this quiet, less touristy area of Madeira, is quite superb with a great variation of stunning scenery in all directions. Our solos guided walking holiday will introduce you to the very best walking in this beautiful landscape.

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

We specialise in offering guided walking holidays for singles and solos in stunning locations across the UK and Europe. Solos and Singles Guided Walking is our unique speciality – unlike other walking holiday companies. We also design bespoke holidays for special groups.


What you get on a Secret Hills Solos Guided Walking Madeiran Holiday

Initial Quotation based upon flights information

  • Flights arranged individually
  • Transfer from airport to Hotel Whitewaters and return
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Guided walking
  • Any transport needed on the walks 
  • The services of a Secret Hills tour guide
  • Individual attention
  • Our administration and management service
  • ATOL and Abta bonding

What’s not included

  • Entries to local attractions
  • Evening meal
  • Any drinks you have in the hotel and out on the walks

Additional days

We can arrange extra days at the end of your holiday/ coming out earlier.  

Hotel and Meals

We stay at the Whitewaters Hotel in Machico, the historical former capital.

Rooms at Whitewaters Hotel are bright and airy, thanks to large windows.Guided walking for solos and singles in Madeira

Equipment includes free Wi-Fi access and a flat-screen TV broadcasting cable channels. Private bathrooms feature a bathtub.
Freshly-baked muffins and cake are served in the mornings, while on-site Aguas Brancas Restaurant offers a menu with local and international dishes

A relaxing rooftop terrace with lounge chairs provides panoramic views of Madeira Island, from the Machico’s Mountains, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The international airport is a 5-minute drive from the hotel.


We eat dinner together and there is a good variety of restaurants available to us, as well as the hotel restaurant.

 On this holiday you pay for your own dinner- this gives you the opportunity to choose how many courses and sample the variety of food on offer.

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

Single supplement for sole occupation of a twin or double room is £18 per night.


This holiday has five days of superb walking with one free day in the middle.

Walking days are normally 9.15am to 5.00pm.Solos and Singles Guided walking in Madeira

We use a minibus to take us to our walk starts and from finishes.

We use a local Madeiran leader to organise and lead our walks -supported by a Secret Hills Walking tour guide.

How to Book

How to book your holiday

How to book a UK guided walking holiday AND holidays in France, Algarve, Douro Valley and Ireland
To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online – once you have chosen your holiday, click on the booking button and complete the online form OR contact us by phone or email, and we will send by post or email, a booking form to you
OR you can call us direct on 01694 723600, and we will take your reservation over the phone. Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone; you can, however, post us a cheque. Alternatively, you can pay via the Pay Pal system attached to our website, which allows you to pay either by debit/credit card, or by using your Paypal account if you have one.

We will also accept a Bank Transfer and on request we will supply our bank details to you.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.


Secret Hills Walking, 35, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Our Relationship with New Experience Holidays / ATOL Bonding

Our Partners in Europe Walking

Our Partners in Europe Walking

Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays/Headwater Holidays who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by them.  Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, New Experience/Headwater Holidays will send you a reservation form and all deposits / final payments will be made to them. Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinerary when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.


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). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as 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.

Flights and Transfers

As from 13/12/21 – we will quote all our 2022 holidays in two stages 

Stage one – the price for land only

Stage two – the flight cost from your selected airport to your chosen destination and return

The combination of the two will add up to the total price we are quoting you.

Your flights

New Experience Holidays, our partners in Walking in Madeira, arrange all aspects of your flights. Flights to Madeira leave the UK on Mondays, and all the major regional airports have carriers going there.

We will endeavour to secure a flight from your nearest airport. and may offer you other cost effective options. Any additional supplement for your flight will be payable at the time of reserving your holiday. The flight is 3.5 hours. Funchal Airport is a modern one, recently built to take account of the increasing number of holiday makers to this all the year round destination.

You will be met at the airport and transferred  to your hotel – a ten minute journey along the fast motorway linking the airport to Machico and indeed many parts of the island. At the end of your holiday you will be transferred back to the airport.


Tour Details

We choose the walks from the many that are close to Machico.

These include-

  • Machico to Canical via Viewing point of Pico Facho- a walk along the east coast and into the bustling heart of the port of Canical. This walk normally is combined with the Point Sao Lourenco.
  • Boca do Risco and Porta da Cruz.- Along the Levada Canical, ascend Boca do Risco, walk along a high coast path to Larano. The descend to the coast and into Porta do Cruz and its rum museum.
  • Levada Riberio Frio to Prazares – a magnificent levada walk – hanging on the side of a valley and through deep forest before descending to Prazares, its cafes and viewing point
  • Santana and  the Coast path to Sao Jorge- from the winery -along the coast with superb views to the north and down to the valley before ascending to Sao Jorge for refreshments and transport back to the hotel.
  • Levada do Santa Serra and Camacha- a levada with open views and to the municipality of Camacha set high above the coast.
    Group at Pico Ruivo summit
  • Levada do Marocos- the Mimosa valley- flowers abound on a winding walk along levada do Maracos with the mimosa trees – amongst others – a spring delight.
  • The Point of St Lourenco- fantastic geology, a walk not to be missed on this coastal area. The walk ascends and descends to a lovely cafe by the sea. It returns the same way but the views are completely  different.
  • Pico Ruivo and Arreirro- the signature walk – only possible in good weather – a fantastic path through high mountains and peaks to Pico Ruivo. Descend to Achada de Texiera – and down into Santana for refreshments. What a walk!

Holiday Highlights

Madeira is an island paradise with fantastic walking on the mountains and coast.

  • the sun in winter – always a bonus
  • scenery that is unique some as a World Heritage site
  • stay in a beautiful historic city – Madeira’s former capital
  • flowers everywhere, lots of formal and informal gardens
  • our relaxed social approach
  • warm evenings that entrance you
  • the Madeiran cuisine to delight you
  • UK tour guide as well as local guides

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.
  • 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..
  • 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 solos and singles.
  • 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.


Nestling at the heart of a wide bay on the eastern edge of Madeira, just a short drive from the island’s international airport, Machico is a pretty fishing town with plenty of tourist appeal and some of the most spectacular ocean views in Madeira.

Solos and Singles Guided walking in Madeira

Set in a fertile valley at the mouth of the river of the same name, the town is conveniently divided into two parts – the historic centre to the west and the old fishing quarter to the east – just 26km from the island’s cosmopolitan capital Funchal

Accessible via Madeira’s steep eastern flank, Machico is a lovely seaside town of broad avenues and pleasant squares shaded by plane trees. It’s also the spot where the two intrepid explorers, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, made their first landfall on the 1st of July 1419, thereby officially claiming the island for the Portuguese crown..

But a local legend suggests that they weren’t the first Europeans to set foot on Madeira Island.

In fact, the town is named after an Englishman called Machim who found himself washed ashore at the very same spot after being shipwrecked with his petrified bride in 1344.

It was Zarco and Teixeira themselves who later gave credence to the story by recounting how they found a crude wooden cross with a Latin inscription, which they translated as ‘Here came Machim, an Englishman, driven by the tempest, and here lies buried Anne d’Arfet, a woman who was with him’.


Solos and Singles Guided walking in Madeira

Located on the north side of the town’s main square, the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception) is one of the most impressive churches of any Atlantic island. Built in 1499 when Machico was Madeira’s capital, it is notable for its fine arched portal donated by King Manuel I, who also donated the statue of the Virgin in the church’s lovely baroque interior.

The east and northern parts of Madeira boasts some fine walks.

This part of Madeira is less touristy and relaxing- but walk round its centre and promenade on a balmy evening- it has all you need to enjoy both the fine walking from here – and the relaxing ambience provided by its rambling streets and lovely squares.



5 Reviews
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Betty Armstrong

Solo Traveller

A most enjoyable and memorable holiday. Great company and interesting walks. The pace and distance of the walks suited me. Thank you for your attention and encouragement. I benefitted from Alan’s knowledge of Madeira. Couldn’t fault the organisation. I will be back!

June 22, 2022

Peter Gibson

Solo Traveller

Alan, Many thanks for a really enjoyable week in beautiful, sunny Madeira. Miriam and I, and our friend, Betty, really appreciated the Strolling and Exploring experience you personally organised for us – levadas, coastal walks and flowers everywhere! At the same time we know that the more ambitious walkers on the holiday experienced great walks lead by Honorio.
Everyone in the group was very friendly and we enjoyed spending time together during meals at the great restaurants you took us to. I will always remember the strawberry flambé dessert!
We look forward to exploring more Secret Hills with you on another occasion. Peter

March 23, 2022

Hilary Clifford

Solo Traveller

It 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. Hilary

March 23, 2022

Madeleine Delucchi

Solo Traveller

Guided walking excellent. All good. Will recommend to friends.

March 23, 2022

David Sharp

Solo Traveller

I had never experienced a guided walking holiday but the selection of walks, the guiding (with Roberto and colleague) and Alan’s organisation of the walks, evening dinner arrangements, lunches etc were all excellent… I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday, very sociable group and great walking / hiking experience. Many thanks to Alan and team.

November 30, 2021