Holidays to Caniço

Summer holidays in Canico provide a laid-back bolthole for exploring Madeira

Caniço is more charming than a chocolate on a pillow. It’s much quieter than Funchal, so if you want to switch off a bit and explore the island – this is the place for you.

There’s a small square where you can have a look around the lovely shops and restaurants. Go a little further down to the coast for the promenade to get sea views and sunny bathing platforms.

Love diving and snorkelling? You’re in the perfect spot…

Water babies, walk this way 

The Garajau Partial Natural Reserve is a marine reserve that was set up to keep underwater life thriving. You’ll be dropping into crystal-clear waters to see giant manta rays and the dusky grouper – among many others. 

Pop to the top

The Cristo Rei lookout point never fails to impress – there’s the incredible view but you’ll definitely be getting your phone out for a shot of the dramatic Cristo Rei statue.

Basecamp for exploration 

Caniço makes a great base for exploring the island and having somewhere relaxing to come back to. If you get the urge to pick up the pace, you can take a quick trip to Funchal for all the perks of city living – there’s a super reliable bus which makes it easy to get to.

Make the most of the great outdoors 

There’s a huge amount of activities in Madeira so choose what takes your fancy – the Levadas walking trails, boat trips, dolphin watching, festivals, events and lots of lovely local food.

Why book a summer holiday in Caniço with Inghams?

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Caniço include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Madeira's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

Plus, we've included two optional guided walks every week in Madeira. Join a professional walking guide and really get to know the area (see more details in the ‘walking’ tab below).

Added value

Guided Walks included (subject to availability)

All holidays include flights from the UK and transfers

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

Walking in and around Caniço

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Each day, a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking in Caniço

We love Caniço as a base for walking, with most levada walks a short journey away. Here, you have a quiet coastal location just a bus ride from the city of Funchal and all there is to do there. Caniço caters to everyone, you can relax and wander through the town taking in the incredible views, or travel a little outside Caniço and walk along the traditional levadas. 

The trails and Levadas are what make Madeira a truly unique destination for walking – the mountains make for some fantastic scenery along the way and the mild year-round climate doesn’t hurt either. From Caniço you’re only a short journey from some of the nearby levadas but we always recommend walking with a professional guide as starting points can be hard to reach and routes can be difficult to navigate so it’s always good to have an expert on hand. You can also join an included guided walk. You get two included with your holiday but if you’re looking to do more, no problem, head to our excursions to see what additional walks you can join (extra charge).

Guided Walks

Don't forget, you have the option to join two included guided walks per holiday, with a local, professional guide. Get to know our favourite walking trails with insider knowledge. Pre-booking is essential - check out the Guided Walks section below for more information.

Getting around Caniço

Public Transport

If you’re staying in Caniço, there are regular buses to get you to Funchal, the journey takes around 20 minutes and is reasonably priced, all our hotels in Caniço have bus stops located near-by. 

If you’re looking to explore different parts of Madeira then we recommend booking onto some of our excursions to see more of the island as the bus service outside of the local Funchal area is less reliable and hard to navigate.

Guided Walks in Canico

Guided walks - included in your holiday

We’ve included two walks per holiday in Madeira. Join a small group and be led by a professional walking guide on some of their favourite trails. It’s a great way to get to know the area.

There will be a full-day walk on Tuesdays and a half-day walk on Thursdays. You can add them onto your holiday at the time of booking, through My Booking or by calling us on 01483 319 652.

Routes may vary from week to week but as a guide you can see some of our planned routes below:

Paradise Valley with an afternoon tea

On this walk you will have the chance to walk along a Levada surrounded by marvellous views to the mountains and sea. Then heading to the rock valley where you will be greeted by wild flowers and magnificent landscapes. The final stop will be at a local tea house where you can not only enjoy the views and visit the herb garden but will be served a fantastic afternoon tea, which will include sweet potato bread, homemade jam, cakes, and fruit of the season.

Grade: Easy

Distance: 3km
Duration: approx. 4 hours (walking time approx. 1.5 hours)
Ascent/descent: Walking path is on a low level
Terrain: Mostly level, but can be uneven in some places
Useful information: You will be collected from your hotel and be taken to the starting point of the walk (return to hotel also included). There is a point to re-fill your water bottle on route. Please also note that there is nowhere on this route to access toilets until the end of the walk.

Caldeirão Verde

Join us for this full day walk where you'll find a majestic waterfall, wonderful views over the village São Jorge, a variety of plant species, and dramatic mountains. Half way through the walk you'll find yourself at a Levada located in the Laurissilva Forest which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999. Make sure to pack your torch! Along the way you will find some tunnels to walk through, finishing the walk at Caldeirão Verde where you will see the huge waterfall cascading on the crystalline lagoon – dreamy!

Grade: Moderate

Distance: 13km
Duration: approx. 8 hours (walking time approx. 4 hours, 30 minutes)
Ascent/descent: 100m ascent and descent
Terrain: Mostly level, uneven in a few places along the way
Useful information: You will be collected from your hotel and be taken to the starting point of the walk (return to hotel also included). Please note you will need to take a packed lunch with you. There is a café on route ‘Cafetaria des Queimadas’ which may be available. There is a public comfort stop, which costs €0.50pp. On top of the recommend items of clothing, we also recommend for this walk a flash light, as you will go through some tunnels. Please be aware that whilst the tunnels are very impressive and dramatically built into the rocks they are very dark, narrow and low in places so you may be required to crouch down. There are around five tunnels that vary in length on this route, some can take a few minutes to pass through and there are no alternative ways around them.

For every walk you will need: suitable walking shoes with good grip, appropriate clothing, sun cream, sun glasses, rain jacket, a warmer layer, rucksack, at least a litre of water and a snack. You may find walking poles useful and a torch is recommended for the Caldeirão Verde walk.

Early booking is strongly recommended as spaces are limited. All walks are subject to availability of local guides, weather conditions and maximum numbers. Planned routes are subject to change. Any times, distances and ascents/descents stated are approximate. Full details of the walks with the meeting points and routes will be provided to you on arrival. In some instances there may be a small charge for local transport that is payable locally. In resorts where the walks run over more than two days, the day of the walk will be allocated to you by your Rep in your welcome meeting. Where we cannot confirm your preferred option in resort, we will endeavour to offer an alternative subject to the above conditions.

Please ensure you are comfortable with the grade of walk, planned distance covered and terrain before booking. The decision of the guide on the suitability of the walk for you is final and no compensation will be paid where the guide believes, in their professional opinion, that it is not suitable. Please ensure you are well-equipped for the walk have suitable clothing and footwear. Walks are not recommended for guests under 12 years. Any guests under 18 years will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Useful Information & Guidelines

Recommended Equipment

The weather can be unpredictable in Madeira and whilst it can be sunny by the coast the weather in the mountains may be quite different and can change quickly. We recommend taking rain jackets and suitable walking clothing that caters to changing climates. Always ensure you have the correct shoes for hiking that offer good grip and support and don’t forget to bring a rucksack with plenty of water, lunch and supplies.
If you're challenging yourself with a steeper walk then we'd recommend getting some adjustable walking poles that you can take with you.

Hiking Guidelines

Maderia has lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • We always recommend hiking with a professional guide in Madeira
  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • We always recommend walking with a professional guide as starting points can be hard to reach and routes can be difficult to navigate so it’s always good to have an expert on hand
  • The sun sets very quickly in Madeira so always make sure you plan enough time to complete your walk before nightfall
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers
  • Don't leave the marked trails or venture into technical walking routes without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking flowers or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them and don't climb over fences
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

  • from£910pp
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  • 166 rooms
Botanical Garden 15

A beautifully-restored 19th Century mansion nestled in the Quinta Splendida Botanical Gardens. The hotel offers a tranquil escape, with restaurants, bars, and a swimming pool on-site, as well as the 30,000 sqm gardens to explore. Within easy walking distance (and accessible via public transport) you can enjoy the small steeply-terraced town of Canico, pebbled beaches, and crystal clear waters.

  • from£1110pp
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Galosol 3216 Sea View 001

A picture perfect position next to the cliffs of Caniço, you will find the Sentido Galosol. Relax in the spa, indoor and outdoor pools or enjoy something more fast paced like the fitness centre or squash courts. 

 

 

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GALOMAR PISCINA 11072018 MG 1627 0028

The Hotel Sentido Galomar is adult-friendly and offers fantastic modern facilities, dreamy, coastal pool-side views, excellent dining and is sustainability conscious.

Things To do

A quiet sanctuary just a short journey from Funchal

Caniço might be a quiet town but you'll have the best of both worlds with a peaceful, coastal location yet you're just a short bus ride from all Funchal has to offer. 

Make the most of Caniço's coastal location

Dive, snorkel or paddle in the crystal clear waters of the Garajau Partial Natural Reserve, it’s a real gem of the area as its one of the most protected marine reserves in Portugal. You won’t be disappointed, marine life thrives here and if you thought the landscape was impressive on land then you’ll no doubt love the natural wonders in the water.

For those looking to stay on land you can still appreciate the blue waters set against the dramatic cliffs of Caniço. An impressive statue, called the Cristo Rei Statue is perched on the cliffs, it can be a little tricky to get here, its a very steep walk from Caniço so a taxi may be your best option, whilst here you'll also find Garajau beach which can be accessed by cable car. Take a journey down to the pebbled beach, dip your toe in the water and enjoy the natural reserve.

To admire more of Caniço's coastal views you can also stroll along the promenade. The views are wonderful and the path hugs the coastline allowing you access to some small pebbled beaches along the way.

Delight in the flowers of Madeira

For those that love all things flora and fauna then Madeira is a paradise. Its mild climate caters to tropical flowers, green covered landscapes and plants of all shapes and sizes. From town centres to nature spots, flowers are found across the island, think blue agapanthus swaying in the breeze whilst the purple beaked birds of paradise bathe in the sun. For those wanting to discover these tropical delights then one of our hotels situated in Caniço, the Quinta Splendida, has 30,000m² of Botanical Gardens to explore, it’s a special property with lots of history and the gardens are magnificent, with endless plant species to gaze upon.

If you’re willing to head a little further out of Caniço then go to Funchal and take a ride on the cable car that whisks you up to Monte where you’ll find beautiful botanical gardens as well as the Monte Palace tropical gardens. The Monte Palace has scenic paths to explore whilst you pass by tropical plants, water channels and cascading fountains, it’s a colourful, floral display set in the hills of Funchal.

Festivals in Madeira don’t get much better than the annual flower festival which is held in either April or May. The streets of Funchal become free of traffic but full of festivities with parades passing by, dancers adorned in floral creations and of course, plenty of plants and flowers to see. It’s a lively event that encapsulates the islands pride and love of flowers.

Admire local monuments

The statue of Christ the King of Garajau (but often termed the Cristo Rei statue) can be found on the cliffs of Caniço looking out across the ocean. You may want a taxi to get there from Caniço's centre but the views aren’t to be missed with the Atlantic Ocean in front of you and the Garajau Nature Reserve below. This incredible monument dates back to 1927 and if that doesn’t impress you then the views will.

Hop to another island

We love the small and charming pebbled beaches near Caniço but if you want to feel the sand between your toes then beaches don’t get more beautiful than on the island of Porto Santo. It’s a bit of a journey to get there (around 2 hours 30 minutes by ferry) but it’s worth it, with a nine kilometre stretch of golden, sandy beach and clear blue waters it’s no wonder it’s been voted one of the best beaches in Europe. Those golden sands aren’t just easy on the eye either, they’re said to have therapeutic properties making Porto Santo a popular day trip for those in search of health and wellness. Ferries only operate one outbound and one inbound departure from Funchal per day so booking and paying in advance is advised, make sure you plan your trip carefully.

Culture seekers head to Funchal

For those in search of museums or galleries then your best bet is to head to Funchal where you’ll find a variety of museums on offer. One of the oldest museums you can visit is the Museum of Sacred Art, positioned in Funchal and found within a 16th Century Palace with an enviable collection of Portuguese and Flemish art. Another museum where you’ll also find a great collection of painting, sculpture, furniture and ceramics is the Casa Museu Frederico de Freitas, this pretty building holds many unique pieces.

For something a bit different you can also find the 3D Fun Art Museum, which, as the name suggests, is a bit of light-hearted fun, step into the paintings and make yourself part of the masterpiece. Football fans will no doubt love to visit the CR7 museum, honouring Madeira’s own Cristiano Ronaldo. The museum details his football career and you can even see some of the many trophies he’s won.

Enjoy Madeira's calendar of events

Madeira offers a busy events calendar. From the Madeira roller Marathon to classic car events, there’s lots to enjoy. Please be aware that some events are ticketed and may need to be booked and paid in advance, event dates are approximate and should be checked before booking. Here are a few of our favourite events listed below:

  • Madeira Flower Festival, usually held in either April or May – Arguably Madeira’s most iconic festival, experience the parade, the flower carpets or the Wall of Hope amongst many other celebrations taking place across the event.
  • Carnival, usually held early to mid-February: Take in vibrant costumes, music and dance on the small parades travelling through the streets of Funchal and other events taking place across the city
  • Madeira Rum Festival, usually held around mid-April: You’ll find local rum producers at this event along with a lively atmosphere and maybe even the chance to taste the product
  • Madeira Classic Car Revival, usually held at the end of May: Car lovers and non-car lovers will enjoy this event, some of the best classic and vintage cars are brought in from across the region for spectators to marvel over
Excursions

Pre-book your excursions online or give us a call

Flavours of Funchal from £51 per person (half day, 4 hours)

The ideal excursion to get to know the city of Funchal. Experience the vibrant market, full of exotic flowers, tropical fruit, and local craftwork. After this, a visit to the embroidery factory to see the production of the internationally-renowned Madeiran embroidery - synonymous with Madeiran culture - and then it's on to the botanical gardens, where you can take in the panoramic views of the city. Round off the day with a visit to the wine lodge to taste the famous Madeira wine and Madeira honey cake – delicious!

Departs on a Wednesday morning

Classic Madeira mountains and valleys from £27 per person (half day, 4 hours)

Take a journey to the heart of the island to explore the beautiful Nun’s Valley and Monte village. Your first stop will be at Pico dos Barcelos - a viewpoint at 355 metres above sea level that looks out over Funchal city and the Bay of Funchal. From there you'll be heading up into the mountains to the viewpoint of Eira do Serrado. Often talked about as one of the most beautiful places in Madeira, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the village of Curral das Freiras – the Nun’s Valley. Finally, your guide will take you to the picturesque village of Monte - famous for its beautiful church and gardens.

Departs on a Monday and Saturday morning

Classic west side tour from £36 per person (full day, 8 hours)

On the west side of the island you'll find dramatic landscapes and unforgettable views at every turn. The highlights of this multi-stop tour include the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos, and Cabo Girão where, if you dare, you can walk the suspended glass platform at one of the highest sea cliffs in the world. From there you'll head on to the Encumeada Pass. At over 1000 metres in altitude, you can enjoy spectacular views over the north and the south coastlines, and the deep Ribeira Brava and São Vicente valleys. Your final stop before lunch will be Porto Moniz, famous for its natural volcanic rock pools. After a lunch in Porto Moniz you'll visit the vast volcanic plateau of Paul da Serra. The day ends with visits to the beach town of Calheta - the warmest place in Madeira, and to Ponta do Sol - a picturesque village surrounded by banana plantations and vineyards.

Departs daily

Santa Cruz Walk from £36 per person (half day)

Explore the beautiful municipality of Santa Cruz - one of the oldest settlements on the island. Taking you from the ocean's edge to the mountain top, this guided walk incorporates history, nature, and local cuisine. Beginning with a stroll along the promenade, you'll visit charming gardens, the quaint market, and a 16th Century church. A quick 15-minute coach trip into the hills takes you to the village of Gaula. You'll be welcomed with a glass of wine, and a scrumptious cheese board served with locally-made sweet potato bread.

Difficulty: Easy, Distance:2km, Walking Duration: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Departs on a Friday morning.

Maroços and Mimosa valley from £27 per person (half day)

A gentle walk along the Mimosa Valley, following a traditional 16th Century irrigation system ('levada'). Walking the levadas is a must-do for your Madeira holiday, and there's a variety of Madeira's fauna and flora to enjoy along the way.

Difficulty: Easy, Distance:5km, Walking Duration: 2 hours. Departs on a Wednesday morning.

Ribeiro Frio from £38 per person (full day)

A full day exploring the Ribeiro Frio Natural Park in the north of the island. Set in a deep valley and surrounded by mountains, the park is home to Madeira's UNESCO-protected Laurel forest. Enjoy the quiet, explore the waterfalls, and discover some of the flora and fauna endemic to the island.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, Distance:11km,Walking Duration: 4 hours. Departs on a Monday and Friday. 

Rabaçal and the 25 Fontes £38 per person (full day)

One of Madeira's most popular walking areas, the trails from Rabaçal take you through dense vegetation and into the Calheta mountains. Enjoy a waterfall walkway along the route, and discover the Lagoa das 25 Fontes. Here, water from the Paul da Serra plateau re-emerges via 25 springs ('fontes') and waterfalls - the weeping wall - creating a small natural pool.

Difficulty: Moderate, Distance:11km, Walking Duration: 4 hours. Departs on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mountain bike tour from £68 per person (half day, 4 hours)

Explore Madeira by bike. A fun and eco-friendly way to get to know the island, the trails take you through rural villages and protected natural areas. The tour starts at Pico de Arieiro, the second-highest mountain on the island at 1818 meters above sea level. Cycling through beautiful landscapes, you'll discover the Montado do Pereiro forest park, Levada de Serra do Faial, and the village of Santa da Serra. The route ends at Miradouro da Portela, with stunning views of the port of Cruz. This bike tour circuit is around 35km and the difficulty level is considered as easy

Difficulty: Easy. Included bike and helmet hire. Departure day is confirmed before holiday departure, around 48 hours after making the booking. 

Good to know

Hiking trails: Around 3000 kilometres of trails to explore across Madeira

Terrain: Mountain terrain. Levadas can be narrow and require sure-footedness

Best time to go: Madeira has a mild climate year-round with it cooling off a little in the winter months

Recommended for: Regular and experienced walkers

Fly into: Madeira airport (Funchal)

Transfer time: approx. 15 minutes by

24/7 Support and advice: Over the phone from our local resort team

Inghams Guided Walks included

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