01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
We meet as strangers and depart as friends


Strolling and Exploring the Magnificent Island of Madeira

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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.

info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

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.

  • Feb 21, Jun 6, Nov 7
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • ABTA & ATOL Protected
  • Location: Madeira
  • Flights costed separately

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

Join us on a holiday uniquely designed for solos and singles. We provide guided walking in both the UK and Europe. We also design bespoke holidays for specific groups.

If you decide to book this holiday, please complete the Quotation Request Form in full – this is the first part of the booking process… (as per ATOL requirements).

What you get on a Secret Hills Madeira  Holiday
  • Individual quotation
  • Flights
  • Transfer from airport to Madeira  hotel and return.
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
  • 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

Evening dinner

Hotel and Meals

We use the Hotel Orquidea in the centre of Funchal with en suite and twin-bedded rooms that are spacious,- 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.

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. 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

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 £20 a head for two courses.

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.

Flexibility

We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.

Single Supplement details

For sole occupancy of a twin room, there is an additional £19 per night charge.

Itinerary

This is an escorted holiday with UK tour guide supporting the local Madeiran guides. We walk for five days with one free day in the middle.  

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. 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. A walking paradise –  Madeira will surprise and enchant you.

Join us for a truly unique Madeiran experience.

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 levadas 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.

Flights and Transfers

As from Dec 13 2021 – 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, there may be a  flight supplement on the prices we have quoted on this website. New Experience Holidays will quote you and in that quote, any flight supplements there may be from the airport of your choice – will be shown- and we may also 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.

Transfers

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

 

Tour Details

On this holiday, the strolling and exploring option works as follows.

We walk at a steady, strolling pace for a couple of miles, then take a break with a coffee. Dependent on the activity for the day- visiting sites of interest/gardens/ villages – we sometimes add another couple of miles in the afternoon. Lunch is either packed or at a local cafe. Each day’s activities will be discussed during the evening before.

Underfoot conditions are generally excellent with well maintained and waymarked footpaths. Distances covered vary according to the terrain and are between 3 and 4 miles.

Holiday Highlights

  • an Island Paradise- fantastic walking on the mountains and coast of this paradise
  • scenery that is unique some as a World Heritage site
  • stay in a beautiful historic city
  • 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

We offer you a magnificent holiday experience in a truly stunning location.

Grades and Difficulty

 The walking on this tour is easy and taken at a strolling pace. There may be some slight ascents and descents.

Underfoot conditions are good but using walking boots or walking shoes is highly recommended.

 

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 single and solos 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

Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions

In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.

We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.

The quotation process – ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.

The quotation will include

– the basic price of the holiday as advertised- the land only price

– the flight cost from the airport of your choice

– single supplement if this applies

– a choice of flights if this is applicable

– any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.

– final price and payment information

The Quotation stage – who sends you your quotation

In order to conform to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.

Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna Brown and Paul Sawyer.

We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options – simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.

The Booking Process

Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form, and pay both the deposit – normally £250 – plus the additional flight costs to New Experience.Holidays  Final payment is also made to New Experience Holidays.

Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.

About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.

Once you arrive at your holiday destination

Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia 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 won 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 New Experience Holidays’ Terms and Conditions – click on the tab on their web site – before you sign the booking form.

 

Our Relationship with New Experience Holidays / ATOL Bonding

Our Partners in Europe Walking

Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience 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 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.

ATOL Bonding – New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION

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.

Location

The island of Madeira was discovered by Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco, two Portuguese explorers, in 1419, which dubbed the island ‘Madeira’ (“wood” in English) due to the abundance of this raw material.

Noticing the potential of the islands, as well as its strategic importance, the colonization of the islands began in 1425.

At the beginning of its settlement, some agricultural crops, such as cane sugar, were introduced, which quickly afforded the Funchal metropolis frank economic prosperity. This meant that, in the second half of the fifteenth century, the city of Funchal became a mandatory port of call for European trade routes.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were marked by the emergence of a new culture that would boost the Madeira economy again: wine.

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Madeira flourished for the birth of the tourism sector, quickly becoming a mandatory reference for the European aristocracy that has set temporary residence here, attracted by the natural therapeutic qualities of the island.

 The island abounds with flowers and trees – many that have landed here naturally but most brought in from the rest of the tropical world. Its famous Laura Silva forests – similar to the Canaries- are a delight. The wet north provides water, power and vital agriculture sustinance to the drier south and west. The  means of transporting the water – via water channels called levada’s -is unique to the island.

In 1976, Madeira became an Autonomous Region of Portugal, thus having the power to legislate.

 

 

 

Photos

Reviews

3 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Margery Snider

Solo Traveller

The Levada walking is a special experience, the country is so beautiful, and Funchal is a nice city to spend time in.

November 26, 2021

Lynn and Dave Bambury

Couple Traveller

Great guides. Honario and Roberto.

I would want to walk with them again.

They gave me a lot of confidence and I did walks that I would have thought would have been beyond me.

November 26, 2021

Ann Allman

Solo Traveller

The hotel was very nice..great location to shops, restaurants, town centre and the bay. Enjoyable breakfast with sufficient choices. Clean well presented bedrooms with comfortable bed however the lighting in the bedroom was poor. both guides were very friendly, congenial, knowledgeable and accommodation. They went out of their way to help and assist all the guests.

Transfers, flights, walks, restaurants .. All 5 star

You’re all doing a wonderful job and I appreciate all the hard work put in before and after the trip.

Thank you!!

November 22, 2019