Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.
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.
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’s not included
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.
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.
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.
We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.
For sole occupancy of a twin room, there is an additional £19 per night charge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We offer you a magnificent holiday experience in a truly stunning location.
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.
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.
There are other walking holiday companies that cover Europe but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….
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 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
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.
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.
The Levada walking is a special experience, the country is so beautiful, and Funchal is a nice city to spend time in.
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.
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.