Pack a picnic lunch and some water, then meet a driver at your hotel in Funchal for a 9am departure, traveling to a trailhead on the Paul da Serra plateau at the heart of the island of Madeira. As you ascend, you’ll enter Madeira’s Laurisilva ecosystem, a unique laurel forest that’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Set out alongside the hiking guide, leaving the road and development behind. You’ll keep a moderate pace throughout the day, covering terrain that’s great for active hikers, with a landscape full of climbs and descents. The trail from Paul da Serra to Fanal alternates between the dense forest and open sections, where you’ll have views across the Reibeira da Janela and Chão da Ribeira valleys.
As you approach the end of the trail in Fanal, you’ll enter a forest of tis trees, or ocotea foetens, an important part of the Laurisilva ecosystem. At the final trailhead, meet a driver for the return trip to Funchal, where this full-day hiking tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel.