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Madeira Island: Lost World of Europe

Hidden trails. Wild Canyoneering. Vibrant Culture.

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

MAX ALTITUDE: 1600 meters

TOUR DURATION: 7 days

LODGING: Local Quinta
(bed and breakfast)

GROUP SIZE: 12 people

Overview

Welcome to Madeira Island. This is not the Europe you thought you knew. 

Located nearly 1000 kilometers from the coast of West Africa, Madeira is a Portuguese island loaded with everything we look for when designing an Epic Backpacker Tours expedition. 

UNESCO Laurisilva  forests. Towering mountain peaks. Lush subtropical jungle. Vibrant local culture. Forgotten paths commissioned by old kings. This is where the landscapes of Hawaii meet the history and traditions of old Europe. 

We have spent years handcrafting a 100% unique itinerary that gets you off the beaten path in one of Europe’s most far-flung destinations.

This is the side of Madeira you won’t discover anywhere else. 

Discover the Magic of Madeira Island

Who This Trip is For

  • BALANCE BETWEEN TREKKING AND COMFORT: For those who are looking for a more raw adventure vibe but still want to have a glass of red wine and a bed at the end of the day. Our motto for this trip: go hard during the day, chill in comfort at night.
  • VARIED LANDSCAPES: Madeira truly has a crazy variety of different landscapes considering its size. Mountains, coast, jungle, alpine – you will explore vastly different landscapes over the course of a single day.
  • A UNIQUE ITINERARY: Is it possible to visit Madeira on your own? Sure it is. We can just guarantee you that you won’t be able to go to the places we go or have the kind of unique experiences that we offer on this trip. 
  • FOOD FOCUSED: Food is a very important aspect of this trip. We have sought out some truly fantastic spots to sample local food and drink. Even most locals don’t know about all of the backyard cellars, Poncha bars, and hidden BBQ spots we have found. 
  • ADVENTURE PHOTOGRAPHY: Discover why traveling in Madeira is a true adventure photographer’s dream. Get professional photo tips from your guide and expand your portfolio as we take in the island. 

Gallery

Upcoming Dates

Dates

Places

Deposit

Full

November 5th - 11th (2022)Available$500$1990
January 28th - Feb 3rd
(2023)
Available$500$1990

REFUNDS RELATED TO COVID-19 :  
Clients are entitled to have FULL TRIP BALANCE moved to a future trip (credit) OR request a FULL REFUND if we cancel the tour due to complications related to Covid-19

  • GENERAL REFUND POLICY :
    Cancellation Less than 90 days until the start of the tour: NO REFUND. Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip.
  • Cancellation with more than 90 days before the start of the tour: 50% of the trip balance payment (less the deposit amount). Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip.
  • Cancellation with more than 160 days before the start of the tour: Full refund minus the trip deposit. Trip deposit can be used as credit towards a future trip. 

 Read our full refund policy here 

Have a question or ready to book?

Whether you’re just curious about this trip or are ready to make a deposit, we’re here for you.

To submit an inquiry or make a trip deposit, please fill out and submit the form below.

    Your Trip Leaders

    Joao Frietas

    João has born in the mountains of Madeira Island in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare.

    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.

    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. 

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Go on three off-the-beaten-path treks unique to this trip
    • Experience canyoneering down a 60-meter waterfall
    • Learn how to make the traditional drink of Madeira in one of the island’s oldest Poncha Bars
    • Discover local food traditions and practice your fire cooking skills yourself on a team BBQ day
    • Learn about the history and culture of Madeira
    • Sleep in comfortable accommodation
    • Travel with a group of fun adventurers from around the world
    • Experience Madeira with our expert staff

    Itinerary

    Today is the day all the fun begins.

    Our staff will meet you at the Madeira Airport and transfer you to our accommodation. 

    Here you will have time to chill out, sip a coffee, grab a snack, or a quick rest before our first team meeting introductions. 

    In the afternoon, we head out to the main city of Madeira, Funchal for a look around the old town and traditional market. 

    For dinner, we are taking you guys somewhere really special – here we will taste some delicious local food and wine while we go over the week and schedule. 

    We will have an early night tonight; tomorrow is a busy day!

     

    We leave our accommodation in the dark, bound for a secret sunrise spot. 

    After sunrise and a quick breakfast, we will head off on an awesome hike down in the valley. This hike is one that very few people n the island know about and involves some truly spectacular views, massive waterfalls, and a few epic surprises. 

    Hike distance= 10km
    Altitude gain= 500m

    After the hike it is time to try some famous Madeira seafood at one of our all time favorite spots for lunch. 

    After lunch, it is time to learn about one of the most important aspects of Madeiran culture: Poncha
    There is a reason that Madeira used to be called the rum island. 

    To get the real expereince of what Poncha is about, we will head to a very local establishment on the North Coast to get a first hand lesson on the history and process of making Poncha. 

    Folks are free for dinner on their own tonight.  We can provide a plethora of good recommendations depending on what you want to eat. 

    Today you will expereince a totally different side of Madeira. 

    The south coast is the land of banana farms, passion fruit groves, and plenty of sun all year round. 

    After a walk around one of the most picturesque villages on the whole island, we will take a break for lunch at a classic local spot. 

    After a few shots of espresso, we will head to a different part of the south coast for an epic sunset hike. 

    Hike distance = 10km
    Altitude gain = 300 m incline

    We will grab dinner together as a group nearby. 

    After a few busy days, today we take it a bit easy. 

    Free time in the morning to catch sunrise, read your book, visit the city, etc. 

    The afternoon is dedicated to feasting on epic traditional Madeirain meat cooked on fire called Espetada – this is the plan.

    We will also have side dishes and other items as well like fish if you are not eating red meat. 

    We will have an optional coastal hike or a forest hike (depending on weather) after the lunch. 

    There are also multiple options for incredible sunset view points in the area, (again, depending on the weather). 

    Time to get wet! Into the canyons we go. 

    Canyoneering in Madeira is a special expereince for many reasons. We will get to explore deep canyons and river systems while descending massive waterfalls few others get to see due to their inaccessibility without ropes and the proper equipment, etc. 

    You do not need to have expereince canyoneering to take part in the activities. Our expert staff will give every member safety and best practices training before we start. 

    Because the water in the river and waterfalls is cold, we will don thick wetsuits, helmets, and gloves before heading off into this wild side of Madeira.

    After our team has finished the roughly 5 hour excursion, we will head to one of the best spots on the island to try local seafood. 

    Our final day of the trip is no time to relax (at least not until the evening). 

    We will start early with the objective to climb one of Madeira’s largest and little known peaks before descending into one of the most beautiful valley’s in the Central Mountain range. 

    Hike distance = 15 km
    Altitude gain = 800 m incline

    After the hike, we will return to our accommodation to clean up and rest. 

    In the evening, we have something truly special in store for our final feast. 

    Think fine dining meets home cooking, mountain vistas, and local wine. Very few locals even know about this place; we are STOKED to bring you here to expereince it. 

    We will have our final group briefing and head back to our accommodation to get a good night’s sleep before the time comes to catch flights home the following day. 

    We say goodbye and arrange for transfers to the airport for those who are flying out today.

    A final breakfast is included at our accommodation. 

    Room check out is around 11 am on this day. You can choose to stay at the same hotel if you are not flying home right away or move to the city of Funchal, though any additional nights at the hotel are not covered by EBT.

    What People Have to Say

    Refund Policy

    Worried about booking an adventure trip in times of Covid-19?

    We have updated our refund policy to give our clients the maximum peace of mind when booking an adventure with us. Read more about our policy here.

    FAQ

    Madeira is a Portuguese Island Located nearly 1000 kilometers from the coast of West Africa. 

    There are daily direct flights from Lisbon and other major capitals in Europe. 

    Madeira is notorious for having interchangeable weather. It might be raining buckets on what part of the island, misty in the mountains, and totally sunny on the other coast. 

    Generally temperatures are mild since Madeira is a subtropical island. They grow bananas here, but also the high mountains get the occasional dusting of snow in the winter. 

    ​​Part of what makes our trips so awesome is the kind of people attracted to our adventures. On average, our trips are made up of 5-8 different nationalities. Over the years, we have had a nearly equal amount of men and women travel with us. The average age of a trip participant is 35. The oldest person to join us was 70 and the youngest was 19.

    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). 

    Didn’t find the answer you were looking for? Try reading our trip FAQ Page first where we break down questions about the tour in more detail or feel free to get in touch with us using the contact page!

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