What to expect
Explore the sub-tropical island of Madeira, cycling around most of the coast from Canico town to the capital, Funchal. This self-guided tour involves a few long ascents, including a stunning cycle to Europe’s highest cape. The steepest and longest climbs are softened with transfers.
Perfect for early or late season cycling, a mild climate keeps Madeira colourful all year round - exotic flowers and gardens decorate the island, so you will soak up the perfume of everything from frangipani to bougainvillea as you ride along Madeira’s quiet, panoramic roads. Sugar mills, rum distilleries and quintas (manor houses) are some of the highlights en route, along with coastal villages, ancient grottoes and traditional thatched houses. There’s also plenty of opportunity to take a break and swim off the beaches or taste local specialities, including the authentic Madeira wine. Enjoy a day off the bike with a cable car ride to the hilltop village of Monte with its grand quintas, the pilgrimage church and the Monte Palace Botanical garden.
At a glance
- Exotic year-round flowers, beautiful parks and stunning gardens
- Historic landmarks, welcoming towns and natural beauty
- Sub-tropical island with a mild, year-round climate
- Coastal rides for regular cyclists, with transfers on the longest climbs
Arrive in Canico
Arrive in Canico town and relax in the hotel or head down to the beach for a dip in the sea.
Canico – Porto da Cruz
15.5 miles (25 km) + bus transfer
Receive your bike and transfer to Camacha village, famous for basket making. Cycle on a scenic high road to the east coast village of Porto da Cruz and visit one of the last working sugar cane mills or relax on the volcanic sand beach.
Porto da Cruz – Sao Vicente/surrounding
25 miles (40 km) + bus transfer
Avoid this morning’s long ascent by taking the bus transfer and starting your cycle ride in Santana. After visiting the village’s traditional thatched farmhouses, head off along Madeira’s east coast to reach the village of Sao Vicente and its 400,000-year-old grottoes.
Sao Vicente/surrounding – Porto Moniz
22 miles (35 km) + bus transfer
Transfer to the high mountain plateau of Paúl da Serra and start your ride along a scenic road, passing grazing cows and sheep. Enjoy a long descent to Madeira’s west coast, taking in the stunning view before you arrive at Porto Moniz. Cool-off in the natural swimming pools, cut into the lava rock.
Porto Moniz – Calheta
28 miles (45 km)
Enjoy the spectacular sea views as you cycle along the west coast through fragrant forests to reach the former sugar cane village of Calheta. Full of local life, Calheta has a pretty marina, historic churches and two man-made sandy beaches, plus a famous rum distillery.
Calheta – Funchal
31 miles (50 km)
Cycle along the coast to the town of Ribeira Brava, then ascend to Europe’s highest cape (Cabo Girao) where a glass platform suspends 580-metres above the sea. Descend back to the coast and into Funchal – Madeira’s colourful and lively capital.
Enjoy a bike-free day, taking the cable car to the hilltop village of Monte for wonderful views of the bay. Experience its grand quintas, the pilgrimage church of Nossa Senhora do Monte and the Monte Palace tropical garden. Return down to Funchal on an exhilarating wicker sledge ride and follow the levadas paths beside the mini-canals.
Depart from Funchal
Check out after breakfast and make your way home or extend your holiday in Madeira.
4* hotels & one lovely 2* hotel
We use a pool of 4* hotels & one lovely 2* hotel by the sea to maximise our availability for this tour, so regardless of the time of year we do our best to secure your dates of choice. The accommodation often has a lovely local flair, with a chance to experience local life with an authentic flavour of your destination.
- 4* hotels & one lovely 2* hotel by the sea
- Breakfast included, half board available
- Secure bike storage
- Luggage transportation
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation: 4*hotels and one lovely 2* hotel
- Board basis: Bed and breakfast
- If half board is booked: daily minimum 3 course meal (or buffet), drinks included in Canica & Funchal (house wine, beer, soft drinks & water)
- Welcome briefing
- Luggage transportation
- Maps and route information (GPS route available on request)
- Bus transfers: Canico – Camacha, Porto da Cruz – Santana and Sao Vicente – Rocha Negra incl. your bike
- Cable car return journey Funchal – Monte (excluding bike)
- Local contact number for assistance
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Cycle helmets
- Tourist tax where applicable
Bike Hire & Extras
Pannier, handlebar bag, comfortable gel saddle, repair kit, spare inner tube, pump and lock all included at no extra cost when you hire a bike
Hybrid with 21 gears
You can add these when you price your trip
How to Get There
Fly to Funchal
Fly from Funchal
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
We did this tour in early October 2018 & were delighted with everything. A superb holiday. Just one word of advice... Unless you are super-fit, don't attempt without electric bikes! Even with the assistance of a motor, you will be pedalling uphill every day & getting the benefits of a workout while enjoying the scenery. Favourite resort; Porto Moniz. Best Hotel: Savoy Saccharum in Calheta. We are savouring the delights of this hotel now (Feb 2019) & revisiting the places we cycled to last autumn; marvelling at the gradients we covered then.... bike superior to car!Jane Skinner, Bishop's Stortford UK, February 2019
Lots of Madeira covered in the trip on mainly quiet roads. Beautiful scenery. Hotels good. Distances manageable given the hills. An interesting wonderful island to visit.Brenda Herbert, UK, November 2018