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Welcome! You will find here everything you need to register or support a participant of the 2020 edition of the Madeira Island Challenge.

Discover Madeira Island


9th to 19th, October 2020

Duration of the trip

11 days

Level of difficulty


Throughout this adventure, you’ll discover some of the hidden gems and of the less frequented areas of Madeira Island. The varied routes lead from fields to forests, mountains to coastal trails and from wilderness to typical villages. You’ll often follow the “levadas”, a formidable network of more than 2000 kilometers of irrigation canals, which use high altitude vegetation as their source of moisture. The “levadas”, often lined with agapanthus, lily and hydrangea, channel water from the northern slopes to the southern coast of the island, via the mountain and tunnels dug into the cliffs thereby irrigating the terraced fields. You’ll be treated daily to spectacular vistas of lush green mountains and the sparkling blue sea.


  • Day 1, October 9, 2020 - MONTREAL - FUNCHAL : Participants meet at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal. Registration assistance followed by your flight with correspondence to Funchal, Portugal.
  • Day 2, October 10, 2020 - FUNCHAL – MACHIC : Arrival in Funchal. Welcome by your local team then take a short transfer to Machico and your accommodations. Dinner included.
  • Day 3, October 11, 2020 - MACHICO - POINTE SAO LORENZO : Today starts with a 10 minute transfer to Abra Bay and a hike to São Lorenzo Point, at the eastern end of the island. By way of a narrow and rocky path, you enter into a unique world surrounded by mineral deposits and multi coloured cornices. Between the quiet Abra Bay to the south and the ever-restless coastline to the north, the ocher and red of the basaltic rocks contrast with the deep blue of the ocean. On a good day, you can see Porto Santo, the deserted islands and the central mountain range with the Island’s highest peaks. Return to Machico in the afternoon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 7 km / Approximate duration: 4hrs. of walking / Elevation gain: + 500m / -500m
  • Day 4, October 12, 2020 - CROSSING THE PICOS : Today you head towards the Picos (1810m) for a vertical hike up to Pico Ruivo, the highest point of Madeira (1861m), for what may well be one of the most scenic days of your stay. This peak is named for the colour of the pyroclastic rock, which is composed of slag and lapilli emitted by volcanic eruptions. From Pico Ruivo, you are treated to stunning views of the entire island, the green and wild valleys of the north coast, the Caldeirao Verde valley with Sao Jorge and Santana, Porto da Cruz and the tip of the Eagle, as well as Sao Lorenzo Point, which winds its way to the water.
  • Day 5, 13 OCTOBER 2020 - VALLEY OF BOAVENTURA : After a short transfer to Lombo Do Urzal, discover the laurisilva of Madeira, covering the wetlands. Follow the levada bypassing the valley to a dense laurel forest, protected by Unesco. In the afternoon, work your way to the village of Arco Sao Jorge by way of a footpath with views of the ocean. Return to Boaventura for the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 10 km / Approximate duration: 5hr. walk / Elevation: + 350m / -750m
  • Day 6, October 14, 2020 - BOAVENTURA - PONTA DELGADA - PORTO MONIZ : Today, discover the forgotten Madeira as you immerse yourself in the boundless nature of the Boaventura Valley, with its green terraced fields and rugged terrain. On your walk between the sea and the mountains, you encounter endemic plants and lush vegetation, lost villages and superb views of the Atlantic Ocean...In the afternoon, visit Ponta Delgada, a peaceful village on the north coast of Madeira, ideally located between sea and mountains. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 10 km / Approximate duration: 4hrs. of walking / Elevation gain: + 300m / -450m
  • Day 7, October 15, 2020 - LEVADA DE MOINHO : Discover the western part of the island, less rugged than the rest where you’ll marvel at the charm of the pine forests, valleys and levadas. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 13 km / Approximate duration: 5hrs. walk / Elevation gain: + 200m / -600m
  • Day 8, October 16, 2020 - FAJA OF OVELHA - PAUL DO MAR : Today, you set out for the village of Prazéres, by way of a charming footpath. Then make your way to Paul do Mar via a scenic trail cut into the multicolored rock. This path was used as the ancient lines of communication between villages. Notice the sculpted landscape reminiscent of the hard working Madeirans who built the "poios", the famous cultivation terraces. As you descend, you’ll follow a waterfall ending at the port of Paul do Mar where the main livelihood of the locals are fishing and small banana plantations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 10 km / Approximate duration: 5 hrs. of walking / Elevation gain: + 500m / -500m
  • Day 9, October 17, 2020 - PLATEAU DE RABACAL AND THE 25 FOUNTAINS : Transfer to the plateau of Paul da Serra (1290m) where two colors predominate: the exuberant green of the "Laurisilva" forest which lines the mountains, and the deep blues of the ocean and sky. At this altitude, the heather, whose size can reach 6 m, dominates the surrounding landscape. The trees form dark and damp undergrowth the ideal habitat of ferns, mosses and fungi. Visit the Rabaçal forestry guard’s house then it’s on to Risco. Follow the path which leads you to a spectacular waterfall (100m) surrounded by majestic green mountains. You’ll later come across a small lagoon, surrounded by vegetation and small water falls from different springs, thus, the 25 fountains. On your way back, you’ll come across an 800m long tunnel leading to the southern slope and its eucalyptus forest. Return to Jardim do Mar in the afternoon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 11 km / Approximate duration: 4hrs. of walking / Altitude difference: + 200m / -200m
  • Day 10, October 18, 2020 - LEVADA DE BOA MORTE - CABO GIRAO - FUNCHAL : A 15 minute transfer takes you to Madalena do Mar where you’ll visit a banana plantation and taste the very fragrant, small fruit. Continue on to Boa Morte. Take in the panoramic views over the valley, forest and glittering Atlantic Ocean. The southern coast of the island provides spectacular views, with cliffs that fall steeply to the ocean below. Following the longest levadas (62km) through the lush vegetation terraced fields dotted by a spattering of local dwellings, you’ll marvel at this breathtaking natural countryside. The aromatic pine and eucalyptus trees of this lavish sub-tropical forest dot the path on your way to Cabo Girao, known as the second highest cliff in the world at 589 metres above sea level. From the observatory you’ll see a parcel of cultivated land (fajã) accessible by boat or funicular (2003). Transfer to Funchal in the late afternoon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Distance: 12 km / Approximate duration: 5h walk / Elevation: N / A
  • Day 11, October 19, 2020 - FUNCHAL - END OF STAY : Transfer to the airport according to air schedules. End of the stay. Lunch included.

The CRS Challenge program is a series of fundraising travel campaigns to benefit the cancer research. Program participants have the opportunity to take on physically challenging expeditions, and in the process dig a little deeper into their own souls. The challenge for participants is twofold: (1) to push their physical limits; and (2) to raise substantial funds for cancer research.

Learn more about the CRS Challenge