- Dizzy heights
Discover Madeira’s dramatic mountain scenery
- Colourful birdlife
You may see wild canary songbirds
- Dusk over Porto Santo’s beach
Porto Santo's boasts one of the best beaches in the Madeira archipelago.
- Madeira's levada trails
Levada trails lead through some of Madeira’s most striking scenery
- Natural wonders
Be intrigued by the unusual rock formations of Ana Ferreira.
- Playful marinelife
You may see dolphins dancing across the ocean waves as you hop between islands.
- Porto Santo's windmills
Porto Santo’s traditional-style windmills are a reminder of the island's simple lifestyle.
- All Inclusive
From lush mountains to golden beaches…
Set off on this island-hopping adventure to discover two small Portuguese island’s with big personalities: Madeira, and the lesser-visited sister isle, Porto Santo. Madeira is famed for its profusion of colourful subtropical flora and mountain’s clad in UNESCO-listed forests while in contrast, Porto Santo boasts dramatic desert-like landscapes, rock formations and an immense sandy beach along its southern edge. Both are fantastic destinations for walking and following in the footsteps of intrepid explorers and settlers.
14 nights in hotels
41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
Free bar open 12 hours a day at all hotels
Excursions and visits
- Scenic north coast of Madeira and visit to Quinta do Arco rose garden
- Scenic Levada walk amid UNESCO-listed Laurisilva forest.
- Island tour of beautiful Porto Santo
- Scenic hike to Pico Branco, Porto Santo
- Cable-car ride to visit Monte and the Botanical Gardens in Madeira
Plus all this…
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
The free bar, open from 11am to 11pm, serves local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
Day 1 UK to Madeira
Fly to Madeira and transfer to the locally rated 4-star Hotel Monte Mar Palace, set in Ponta Delgada, for a four-night stay. D
Day 2 Scenic north coast and gardens
Drive along the dramatic coastal road, where mountain rivers cascade over the edge of imposing cliffs into the Atlantic below, toward the pretty village of Boaventura on this half-day excursion. Continue to Arco de Sao Jorge, a graceful village which takes its name from the arc shape mountains that surround it, to visit the Quinta do Arco Rose Garden. The garden nurtures the largest collections of roses in Portugal, creating a sea of colour across the valley. It holds the World Federation of Rose Societies' Garden of Excellence award and features rare and ancient species alongside modern specimens. B, L, D
Day 3 Ponta Delgada
Enjoy an optional excursion to the west coast or a day at leisure, perhaps taking advantage of the hotel's excellent facilities. Keen hikers and walkers may be tempted to explore the surrounding mountainous area on foot instead. B, L, D
Enjoy a visit to Porto Moniz which is known for its series of volcanic, coastal pools. You then head inland to climb up to Paul da Serra, a magnificent plateau between 1,300 and 1,500 metres above sea level where clouds can sometimes be seen pooling in the valley folds.
Day 4 Levada walk
Madeira’s celebrated levada trails are an excellent way to explore the island. These paths follow ingenious irrigation channels cut across the island's mountainous interior to bring fresh water to the south's coastal communities and wind through some of the Madeira's most breathtaking natural scenery. On this half-day excursion in the company of an expert local guide, head towards Chãos dos Louros to join the island's largest path, Levada do Norte, which passes through the UNESCO-listed Laurisilva forest, a relict that survived the last ice age and is the largest of its kind in the world. B, L, D
Day 5 Madeira to Porto Santo
Travel to Funchal to catch a modern ferry to Porto Santo, 43 kilometres away. Madeira's pint-sized sister isle is just 12 kilometres long by six kilometres across and offers a look of unhurried Portuguese life. The island is sparsely populated, and surprisingly different in its terrain, with one side defined by volcanic folds and the other by sprawling beaches. It even has its own desert complete with petrified flora. The journey will take approximately two-and-a-half hours. On arrival, transfer to the locally rated 4-star Vila Baleira Resort, a 256-room resort with an enviable setting on a splendid nine-kilometre-long sandy beach. B, L, D
Day 6 Vila Baleira
Enjoy a day at leisure and perhaps stroll along the beach into sleepy Vila Baleira, the island's main hub which is just four kilometres away. Here you can experience the slow pace of life in the main square, Largo do Pelourinho, which is actually shaped like a triangle. Attractions include the church of Nossa Senhora da Pledale, the town hall, Infante Gardens and Christopher Columbus Museum which is purportedly set in the casa he shared with his wife, Filipa Moniz, the daughter of the island's founder. B, L, D
Day 7 Porto Santo island tour
In contrast to Madeira's green mountains, Porto Santo is a ‘golden island’, so called for its beach and parched interior. Set off on a half-day tour to discover the key sights, beginning with a visit to the often-deserted Ponta de Calheta, which marks the south-west tip of the island and where the beach abruptly ends. From here you can view the pretty Morenos viewpoint which is framed by conifers, olives and dragon trees, the latter of which once dotted the island and are now being reintroduced. Continue to Picos de Ana Ferreira where the island's volcanic origins are laid bare. Here you can ponder slender rock columns which are known locally as ‘the Piano’. Afterwards visit the ruined Pico do Castelo, a 16th-century fort built to defend against marauding pirates. Continue to Camacha's Museum of Cardina which is full of island curiosities and where you enjoy a wine tasting. Round off the trip with a visit to the Portelo viewpoint where you can admire three traditional windmills and panoramic views of the south coast of the island. B, L, D
Day 8 Vila Baleira
Enjoy another relaxing day at leisure where you’re free to take advantage of the hotel’s excellent facilities, which include two restaurants, a bar, in-house animation team, plus discounted golf rates, bike hire and two free circuits in the spa centre. You also have the opportunity to join an optional boat ride. B, L, D
For a different view of the island, take to the water on a boat trip heading to one of six islets dotted around the coast, Ilhéu de Cima. Pass the Pedra do Sol rock formation en route before disembarking and climbing stairs to reach the islet's summit. Following trails to Cabeco das Laranjas and on to the lighthouse where you can enjoy a well-deserved break sampling typical local produce, such as port wine, juice, water, cake of the shard, shrimp, honey and melon.
Don't miss the chance to seek out the marinelife – such as dolphins, turtles and seabirds – that inhabit these chores on a leisurely boat ride. There will also be the opportunity to go diving (goggles and respirator provided).
Day 9 Pico Branco hike
Join a half-day excursion which will reveal the natural plant life that once clad Porto Santo. Begin by following the walking trail which starts at Serra de Dentro, observing the mountain scenery en route. The Pico Branco, so called for the columns of white stone, is the second highest peak on the island at 450 meters above sea level. It's clad in Aleppo pine, cedar and echium nervosum, a woody flowering shrub endemic to the islands. B, L, D
Day 10 Vila Baleira
Enjoy a day at leisure. B, L, D
Day 11 Vila Baleira
Enjoy a day at leisure. B, L, D
Day 12 Porto Santo to Madeira
Return to Funchal by ferry for a three-night stay at the localy-rated 5 star Hotel Enotel Lido which, as its name suggests, is set right on Funchal's promenade. B, L, D
Day 13 Monte and Botanical Gardens tour
Today's half-day excursion will reveal panoramic views of Funchal's stunning setting in a natural ‘amphitheatre’ between the sea and the mountains during a cable-car ride to pretty Monte and Madeira's famed botanical gardens. The garden is divided into five main sections –indigenous and endemic; tree garden; succulents; tropical, cultivated, aromatic and medicinal; and Loiro Park – and is home to a fascinating collection of a wide variety of plants, with more than 2,500 specimens on display. It also has an area dedicated to research and conservation and a Museum of Natural History. B, L, D
Day 14 Funchal
Enjoy a day free to explore Madeira's capital at leisure. It's a small yet cosmopolitan city that's a popular port of call for cruise ships that can dock almost in the centre of town. It's pedestranised heart is great for a spot of people watching from one of the pavement bars and cafes. Landmark sights include the ancient cathedral, the Governor’s Palace and the beautiful public gardens. Alternatively, you can join an optional Madeiran wine tour. B, L, D
Step into the cool cellars of the Blandy Wine Lodge for an introduction to one of Madeira's most famous exports, Madeiran Wine. Not only will you learn about the process, from vine to wine, but you'll hear the saga of the Blandy family who have been part of the island's history for over 200 years. Highlights include standing inside a massive vat once used to age the wine and sampling the different types, from a dry aperitif to sweet digestif.
Day 15 Funchal to UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B
7 nights all inclusive.
Spend longer on the island of Madeira and enjoy an extra week at the locally rated 5-star Hotel Enotel Lido.