Leaving the Lido where our tour begins, the first stop is Camacha, a beautiful small village a few kilometres out of Funchal. It's best known as the centre of Madeira's willow craft industry and for it's traditional folklore dance groups.
Our drive continues towards the mountain Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1818 metres it is the third highest peak on the island and affords breathtaking views.
After visiting the highest (driveable) peak in Madeira, we head down to the coast through original forest to the last home of Madeira's emblematic straw-roofed houses. Passing pretty villages and stunning seascapes, we arrive at the very eastern point for some superb views of the bold north and sunny south coasts in one panoramic vista.......
On the northern slopes of the island the tour reaches a popular starting point for 'levada' walks, Ribeiro Frio. With its interesting trout pools, this area still has much of its original vegetation. The island was once completely covered by 'Laurissilva' forest, a relic from prehistoric times.
Time for lunch in Santana that is characterised by its small thatched triangular houses.
Next stop not to be missed is the place known as Penha d'Águia in Porto da Cruz, here the views are absolutely amazing with an imposing rock that separates Porto da Cruz from Faial.
Past Portela we will go towards Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island, this is the place where a fantastic combination of rocks, sea and nature combine.
The last town to be visited is Santa Cruz where Madeira's new Intercontinental Airport is situated, boasting a runway of 2781 m length which has given the island a new image for the new millennium.