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Madeira Island Expedition FAQ

Fitness Level

Easy-Moderate: Madeira is a world-class hiking destination with hike difficulty ranging from flat/easy to extreme/very steep. Madeira Island is a very hilly place so expect to encounter up and down / elevation gain and loss on pretty much every hike we do. 

Our hikes for this expedition fall into the middle range in terms of difficulty, steepness, and duration. You need to be able to hike comfortably for 4-5 hours max with a light day pack. We won’t be gaining more than 1000 meters on any single hike – and some of our hikes are far less elevation gain. 

Good preparation for this trip is simply just to go out hiking. The stair master in the gym is also a good asset. 

Who should apply?

The perfect candidate:

  • You want to explore far off the beaten path than 99.9% of the average visitors to Madeira. 
  • You are comfortable both in the city and in the mountains.
  • You love being part of an adventure team.
  • You are a passionate hiker and maintain decent fitness.
  • You’re a team player and understand that plans sometimes change.
  • You are keen to head on a real adventure.
  • You are capable of trekking for 4-5 hours a day.
  • You want to have shared experiences with cool people from around the world. 
  • You have a positive attitude and want to gain new amazing life experiences.
  • You have an open mindset.

Why do I need to book a Tour? Can I visit Madeira on my own?

People can definitely visit Maderia on their own. 

You can get to Madeira from pretty much any major European capital in just a few hours. 

BUT… you simply will not be able to do the sort of adventures offered on this trip without us. By design, this expedition is focused on providing unique experiences you can’t get anywhere else – that is what makes an Epic Expedition EPIC. 

We have spent years discovering some of the places you will get to experience on this trip – you are getting what took us years of blood, sweat, and serious exploration in one week. That’s the goal and the objective. 

So why book a trip with EBT?

We handle logistics, provide you with unique connections, and allow you to see the best of the Island in a relatively short time frame. 

Our staff are the Madeira experts with years of experience discovering the most incredible trails, places to eat, and unique things to do. 

Read more here about Why you should choose Epic Backpacker Tours

Is Madeira safe?

Madeira Island is blessed in the sense that there are no wild animals that are going to kill you, and crime rates are among the lowest in all of Europe. 

The biggest danger on the island is its natural features. The ocean is notoriously powerful and every year a few people are swept out to sea. 

The mountains and rivers present their own inherent dangers as well – which is why we plan our hikes to places we know well and that are relatively safe for most hiking skill levels. 

What is the food like in Madeira?

If you are a foodie, you are absolutely going to love Madeira. 

Fresh fish and shellfish are standard classics. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also abundant given the sub tropical climate of Madeira. 

Other classic dishes include various regional meat dishes and local twists on classic Portuguese fare. 

What kind of guides will we have?

The lead guide for this trip is local legend, Joao Freitas. Joao was born and raised here on Madeira and is probably the most knowledgeable guide living in Madeira of his generation. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K. João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

When not guiding in Pakistan, João is guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails – discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

Your second guide is Chris Lininger. 

For the last ten years, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe.

Since 2012, Chris has logged more than 6000 trail miles across five continents.

As the founder of Epic Backpacker Tours, Chris is an experienced guide with a passion for facilitating the discovery of new cultures, mind-bending landscapes, and outdoor experiences.

Chris is based in Madeira for half the year when not leading expeditions to Pakistan. 

Check out our meet the team page here.

What is the accommodation like?

We will be staying at a locally owned hotel in a small village near the sea. The hotel has an in house restaurant, gym, and a pool among other comfortable amenities. Each room has a private bathroom, balcony, air conditioning, and wifi. 

Trip prices are based on twin sharing rooms. Single rooms are available upon request (with an extra charge of $500). 

Do I need a visa to visit Maderia?

Madeira Island is in Portugal and is also part of the European Union (EU). 

Free visas on arrival are standard for most western nationalities including the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and every other country in the EU. 

What sort of equipment do I need to come on this trip?

There is no special equipment needed to join this trip. We are not camping or staying out overnight at any point on the trip, so we do not need tents, sleeping bags, etc. 

A good pair of hiking shoes, hiking clothing, a few warm layers, a small duffel bag, and a day bag is pretty much all you need to be happy on this trip. A full packing list will be provided. 

Is insurance included in the tour?

Personal travel insurance is not included.

To travel on this tour, you must have travel insurance.

We will provide recommendations and it is not too expensive either. If you don’t buy travel insurance, you will not be allowed to come on the trip.

WIll the trip run exactly as the itinerary is planned?

That’s the goal, and our team is already hard at work to ensure that the itinerary goes according to plan. Keep in mind that the above itinerary and activities are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances like weather, road closures, natural disaster, etc.

Real expeditions always involve unexpected situations so things might need to be re-arranged at times. However, it is important to remember that travel is all about the journey, and so even the unexpected situations we may face should be treated as part of the overall experience. If we encounter issues we will get them sorted to the best of our ability – this is what we excel at. 

Where will I need to fly into to start the tour?

You need to fly into Funchal (FNC) airport and be at the guesthouse by mid-morning on day 1.

Ideally, you will arrive a day early to rest and gear up for the start of our adventure. You will be picked up from the airport by a member of our team providing you arrive on the first day of the trip. If you arrive during the period leading up to the start of the tour, you’ll need to pay for your own taxi (it is not expensive, on average 20 Euros). 

Will I be able to communicate with locals?

In most of the places we visit, the locals speak English.

Even if you think you know some Portuguese, the local dialects can be difficult to understand. People from Lisbon have a hard time understanding the Madeiran language!

Learning a few words of Portuguese will always be appreciated by local folks. 

Is it easy to find ATMS?

Yes, ATM machines are present all over the island.

Is pre-tour/post tour accommodation provided?

No it is not. You are not covered for accommodation for the days leading up to the start of the tour or the days after the tour has ended. Day 1 is the first day accommodation is included and day 6 is the last night accommodation is provided. If you need an affordable place to stay before or after the tour starts/ends, we can provide recommendations.

Do I need to sign a release waiver?

All tour participants will be required to sign an industry-standard waiver releasing Epic Backpacker Tours from any liability related to any aspect of this expedition. 

Have a question about this Madeira Island Expedition?

Feel free to send us a message using our contact page!

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