Every spring, when Madeira’s magnificent flora is at its most resplendent, the island’s capital comes alive with the colours and scents of its beautiful flowers. Streets and shop windows are filled with decorations and people gather to enjoy the carnival of traditional music groups that accompany vivid parades in celebration of peace and hope. We combine time to absorb the revelry with excursions to explore this wonderful island, from the botanical gardens in Funchal to the fantastic views over forest clad mountains that cover Madeira’s heartland.
7 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
8 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 2-8) 1 lunch (day 5)
VOX portable audio headset system on excursions
3 included excursions and visits
Funchal city tour, including an embroidery factory, Botanical Gardens and wine tasting at the Madeira Wine Company
Full-day Island tour including lunch
Excursion to Eira do Serrado and Monte
Plus all these benefits
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
Services of a Titan local representative
International flights (prices are based on return flights with British Airways from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Madeira. On arrival we transfer to the centrally located Pestana Casino Park Hotel (5T), with spectacular views from its cliff-top position.
This morning in the centre of town, the first procession of the festival - the Children’s Parade - will take place. Children gather in colourful costumes to parade through the streets, carrying a single flower to symbolise peace and hope for themselves and future generations. The ‘Wall of Hope’, at the Municipio Square, turns into an abundance of colour as the children ceremoniously lay their offerings.
Today is the main floral procession, where colourful floats decorated with inventive floral creations parade through the streets. Folklore groups in native costume mingle with the crowd, bringing Funchal alive. The festival also brings an abundance of events including concerts of classic and modern music, dance bands and live shows, activities including the construction of delicate floral carpets and the Flower Exhibition.
We take a tour of Funchal, including a guided walk through the market, full of exotic flowers, freshly caught fish and succulent fruits. We visit an embroidery factory for a chance to see the material being prepared and to purchase the finest of handmade products. Some of Madeira’s more exotic species of flora can be found at the Botanical Gardens before we conclude at the Madeira Wine Company, where you may sample the delicious local wine. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy as you choose.
Enjoy a full day exploring Madeira’s western sights, passing through the pretty fishing town of Camara de Lobos. We see Ribeira Brava, one of the island’s first parishes and drive through the mountains via the Encumeada pass, where incredible views of both the south and north coasts can be admired. We stop for lunch at São Vicente, a popular seaside village set at the mouth of a beautiful valley. A small chapel stands at the inlet, where St Vicente is said to have appeared. Our final stop is the charming Pousada dos Vinhaticos, surrounded by a gorgeous, rolling green landscape.
Today is free for you to spend as you wish. Take an optional excursion or return to the city’s centre to stroll along its narrow cobbled streets with interesting old buildings, take a cable car to Monte, where wealthy Portuguese and foreign aristocratic families have built their homes, and 18th century Monte Palace sits amongst wonderful tropical gardens, or discover the local countryside - there are numerous trails to follow for varying capabilities and distances.
Eira do Serrado - Monte
This morning we travel to Eira do Serrado, located amongst steep volcanic mountains and high above dramatic valleys filled with chestnut trees. Nestled between the mountains, in the Valley of the Nuns, you will spot an isolated village, once only accessible by foot or donkey and a place of refuge from the pirates who frequently attacked Madeira. Travel on to visit Our Lady of Monte Church. The most important pilgrimage site in Madeira contains the austere tomb of Charles I of Habsburg and a revered statue of Our Lady of Monte. We return to our hotel to enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Day 8 Funchal - UK
We transfer to the airport for our return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.