Madeira: Flower Trail and Island Explore

NOW BOOKING FOR 2021

31 May – 9 June 2021

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FLOWER TRAIL The island enjoys a sub tropical climate with temperatures between 22-28 degrees throughout the year. You can admire flowers such as orchids, bird-of-paradise, anthuriums, magnolias, azaleas, proteas and many others, all growing in a natural environment. Madeira is renowned for its fabulous botanical Gardens with exotic plants that grow out in the open here that would normally only be found in hot-houses in other parts of the world. The soil is a rich volcanic base, making perfect growing conditions. Plants from all corners of the earth can be found here, thus Madeira gardens bloom right throughout the year. Funchal, the capital, is a gardeners paradise, full of gardens with a diversity of plants and flowing colours everywhere. The tour includes Monte Palace Tropical Garden, famous for having the largest collection of cycads in the world, which can live up to 1,000 years old. This is a lush but tranquil garden with lots of interest including two exhibition spaces, one housing sculptures and the other a unique collection of minerals from around the world. We also visit the Madeira Botanical Garden a perfect example of the luxuriant mixture of tropical and indigenous plants. These gardens are perched high on one of the steep hills above Funchal and offer fantastic views of mountains in the north and the ocean in the south. Through its beautiful landscaping, the garden reveals to the visitor a mix of harmonious shapes and contrasting colours of 2,500 exotic plants. On free days, members can visit the Orchid Garden, the Palheiro Gardens and the Santa Catarina Park. There is also the Municipal Garden in Funchal centre.

WINE Madeira has a long wine making history dating back to the 15th century. The Dutch East India Company became a regular customer, taking the Madeira wines to India. The intense heat in the holds of the ships had a transforming effect on the wine, as discovered by Madeira producers when one shipment was returned to the island after a long trip. The 18th century was the “golden age” with wine’s being exported around the world.

THE ISLAND OF MADEIRA The island is the emergent top of a massive shield volcano that rises about 6 kms from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago only 90 kms in length, which means we comfortably explore the whole island during our stay. It was only discovered in 1419 and has a population of approximately 270,000. The Pico Ruivo is the highest mountain reaching 6,106 ft. Our wonderful guide Jacqueline is an expert on both botany and gastronomy of the island. Madeira is a volcanic island with a steep and dramatic terrain. Many of these sheer slopes have terraced farming, including banana plantations, which thrive in this climate. From the high mountains run mile after mile of “levadas”, man-made irrigation channels, which bring fresh water to the drier coastal areas. They also provide a remarkable network of walking paths, cutting through the beautiful countryside, a truly unique experience. We travel through the Laurisilva Forest (laurel forest) classified by Unesco as a world heritage site. The forest originated from Teriary Era, and is considered a living relic, because of its excellent state of conservation.

HOTEL PORTO MARE The Hotel Porto Mare is a four star hotel and is situated in extensive tropical gardens on the Atlantic sea front. All your rooms have sea views with balconies. There are four restaurants and two pool side bars. There are two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools. Buffet breakfasts, dinners and 6 three course lunches Short walks to shops and one minute from the Promenade Lido for lovely walks along the sea front.

TOUR PRICE: £2,905

Single Supplement: £495

INCLUDES:

FLIGHTS: From and to the UK .

ACCOMMODATION WITH FULL BOARD:

En-suite at HOTEL PORTO MARE

Top category rooms with stunning sea views and balconies.

9 evening meals, 6 lunches.

PRIVATE COACH AND DRIVER.


PRIVATE GUIDE – BOTANICAL SPECIALIST.

ALL EXCURSIONS, ENTRANCE FEES AND VISITS:

• Municipal Market.

• Embroidery Factory.

• Madeira Botanical Gardens.

• Full day tour Venture East includes: sugar factory, Pico do Arieiro, trout hatchery, Santana and thatched houses.

• Cable Car Ride.

• Monte Palace Tropical Gardens.

• Toboggan ride.

• Santa Maria Galleon sea trip.

• Folklore dancers.

• Full day tour West Madeira includes:

Cabo Girao, Ribeira Brava, Encumeada Pass, Sao Vicente, Porto Moniz, Paul da Serra plateau.

• Nun’s Valley

• Pico dos Barcelos, Curral das Freiras and Camara de Lobos.

PLUS – An excursion on one of your free days in the morning with your guide Jaqueline, to sample the traditional cuisine of Madeira, going through the old town visiting 7 different eating places, sampling and learning the history of Madeira’s food.