Opening hours
  • Monday 9am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 9pm - 5pm
  • Wednesday 9am - 5pm
  • Thursday 9am - 5pm
  • Friday 9am - 5pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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Madeira Island Discovery

Madeira, Portugal - Trip code MDR Discovery
Days 8
Deposit From NZ$180
Price from NZ$1800
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Explore Madeira's best known sights and learn why it's known as 'the pearl of the Atlantic' with its dramatic mountainous scenery criss-crossed by levadas and colourful flora. This highlights trip is based in the coastal city of Funchal and has a mix of full and free days.

  • Calheta - Discover the history of Madeira's rum industry and sip a potent glass of the local tipple, poncha
  • Levada walk - See the rugged landscapes on an easy walk along a small part of Madeira's vast levada network
  • Afternoon tea - Take in the ocean views, as Churchill once did, at Madeira's colonial Reid's Palace Hotel
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Lunch: 2

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader

    Driver(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Boat

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    Accommodation

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    Trip pace:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    12 - 18

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Trip information

Country information

Madeira

Portugal

Climate

Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a trip to Portugal - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The northern high plains has both extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. The islands have very different weather patterns due to their positioning and can have sudden rain falls throughout the year so waterproofs are recommended even in the summer.

Time difference to GMT

0

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Portuguese

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


There are a range of optional excursions for you to choose from on day six of this trip:

Porto Santo:
Full day trip to the Golden Island including transfers, ferry (in tourist class) to the island and one hour island tour is €99.00 per person.
Visit to Columbus House Museum (Casa Museu Cristovao Colombo) is €2.00 per person or €1.00 per person if 65 or over.

Island tours:
Nun's Valley Tour half day tour is €28.00 per person.
Lakes of Madeira full day walk including transfers and a local guide is €37.00 per person.
Vale Paraiso half day walk including transfers and a local guide is €24.00 per person.

In Funchal:
Cable Car Funchal to Monte is €11.00 per person one way or €16.00 return per person.
You can extend the cable car to Monte Botanical Gardens, which is €24.00 per person one way or €31.40 per person return including entrance to the gardens.
Wicker toboggan ride down to Funchal from Monte is €25.00 for one person, €30.00 for two people or €45.00 for three people, which is the maximum per toboggan.
Lido Bathing Complex (which has a salted pool and access to the sea) is 10 minutes from Funchal centre by bus - entrance is €5.00 per person.
Ponta Gorda Complex (which has a salted pool and access to the sea) is 10 minutes from Funchal centre by bus - entrance is €5.00 per person.
Formosa Beach (a sand and pebble beach) is 15 minutes from Funchal centre by bus and access is free.
Barreirinha Beach is 15 minutes' walk from our hotel and entrance is €2.00 per person.
Public buses are about €1.95 per way. The fare is paid on the bus or you can buy prepaid tickets for €3.20 for two trips.

Clothing

July and August are the warmest months, though the islands are freshened by cooling sea breezes. Waterproofs are essential at any time of the year, as are gloves, a hat and a warm jacket, jumper or fleece for higher altitudes and evenings.

Footwear

Comfortable walking shoes and trainers or sandals for relaxing. Plastic sandals are useful if swimming off lava rocks.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a day pack for personal items. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage - so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

We recommend taking a reusable water bottle, sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and also a torch and first aid kit in case of emergencies. Bring a swimming costume, small dry bag and towel for swimming opportunities on this trip.

We will be visiting a local market on this trip, so we recommend bringing your own reusable shopping bag in order to avoid using plastic carrier bags.

During the included boat trip to the Desertas Islands sometimes there can be some wave motion on board, so if you suffer with sea sickness then please consider bringing anti-sickness medication with you.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.

Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £20 of local currency for tipping. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

Madeira

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Foreign Exchange

Portugal

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£18
Beer price
£2.00 - 3.00 depending on your location, well touristed areas are usually slightly more expensive.
Water price
£1.4
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
Cash-point machines are available in all major towns. Bankcards with the Cirrus logo are accepted.
Credit Card Acceptance
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers cheques can be exchanged in all major towns but are not recommended due to the high rate of commission.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat

Accommodation notes

On this centre based holiday our hotel is central located within Funchal city centre and is around 10 minutes' walk from the beach and 5 minutes from the Old Town. It's a recently renovated 4 star hotel. Facilities include a bar, rooftop outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and a laundry service (additional charges apply). Bedrooms have modern decor in neutral colours and each has cable television, mini bar, telephone, hairdryer, Wi-Fi (additional charges apply) and a safety deposit box (additional charges apply). All rooms are en suite and most have a shower over bath. Bedrooms do not have air-conditioning.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Portugal: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

Madeira

Portugal

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Sat 15 May 2021 - Sat 22 May 2021
MDR_2021
NZ$1860
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$490

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 12 Jun 2021 - Sat 19 Jun 2021
MDR_2021
NZ$1800
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$420

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 21 Aug 2021 - Sat 28 Aug 2021
MDR_2021
NZ$1960
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$530

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 18 Sep 2021 - Sat 25 Sep 2021
MDR_2021
NZ$1860
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$490

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

Reviews

Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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