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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 was 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 experience 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 experience 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 Madeiran 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 experience 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 experience 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. All gear is provided including a helmet, booties, and the wetsuit.

 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 experience 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!

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands 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.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions.

After his trek to K2 Base Camp and other adventures in the north of Pakistan, the love of the country and the local people resulted in his desire to share these feelings with world.

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

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic Backpacker Tours team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Backpacker Tours, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Saisun

Touring Iran with EBT in May 2022 was way above our expectation: itineraries well planned and carefully executed, perfect mix of sights and trekking, delicious food, nice accommodation, great guides and wonderful fellow travellers. Trekking can be handled by anyone physically fit. Highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Iran.

– Sumera

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Backpacker Tours and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 base camp trek guide

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Backpacker Tours, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

For the last eleven years, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 65 countries along the way. 

Since 2011, Chris has logged more than 6300 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

In 2017, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and people of Pakistan led Chris to found Epic Backpacker Tours at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 15 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

Long-distance hiking, learning languages, meaningful conversations, all things Turkish food, mountaineering, and making tasty coffee above 6,000 meters rank among his favorite things in life. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

When he is not leading or planning tours, Chris works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan. 

 

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Alicia Anne Bjerkseth