A social network for the international community of Madeira
M3A supports an active lifestyle by encouraging and facilitating walking opportunities for those who enjoy getting out into nature and appreciating the wonderful scenery that Madeira has to offer.
How does it work?
M3A subscribers who choose to receive mails about walks will receive all emails on this topic. So if you want to find out what walking opportunities are coming up, make sure that you are on the “Walking List” by accepting the code of conduct (see below) expected of you. This acceptance automatically signals that you want to receive mails about walks. [Note: You need to be a subscriber to M3A mails generally, accepting the walking code will not mean you get mails. See “How to Join“]
You remain on the walking list once signed up for as long as your general subscription to the M3A social network continues.
Walks are organised by individuals who are fully responsible for deciding on the date, time and place and the nature of the walk.
1. We try to have at least one walk per month which is publicised in advance in the Dates for your Diary email, as well as circulating more detailed information about the walk about 2 weeks prior to the date on which it takes place.
The walk coordinator on the M3A Admin team, in the interests of safety, works with organisers to have a reasonably consistent grading of walk difficulty, so that you do not find conditions tougher than you expected. These monthly walks aim to be both active and social, usually followed by a lunch at a selected local that you are free to join or not.
2. À la carte walks. Any subscriber on the walking list who plans to do a walk of any description at any moment and is looking for company on the walk, can advertise this (for free) by email to be sent to all the walking group. This can be for walks at short notice when the weather for a particular walk is ideal – for example no cloud on Paul da Serra, or something that requires longer planning, such as a walking holiday to the Azores or the mainland.
Safety, responsibility and behaviour
Walking in Madeira is principally about walking in the mountains and on the levadas. All walking in mountains is not without its dangers. M3A has a Walker’s code of conduct together with general information about walking in Madeira , and your responsibilities when joining with others on walks. It is a necessary precondition to joining any notified walk that you accept this code and your personal responsibilities.
Knowing what is expected of you will help towards safer, and more agreeable walks.
By defining clearly the limits of responsibility of walk leaders, it is hoped that more people will be prepared to lead others on their favourite walks, especially “á la carte” walks.
There are more walking opportunities than with M3A
If you haven’t discovered them already, there are a number of Madeiran groups that organise walks – see list below.
They usually happen at weekends, which is why M3A walks take place during the week, and vary in length and degree of difficulty. It’s a great way to meet local people of all ages, see parts of the island you might never see, and improve your Portuguese if you want that.
Most of these groups provide transport by bus to the start and with bus pick up at the finish, which is ideal for longer walks where start and finish are far apart by normal roads. Buses leave mainly from one of the larger centres, sometimes with pick-ups on the way if the route to the start allows that. Cost of participation ranges from €10 to €15 per person.
Local Walking groups (non-members are allowed)
Relaxed rambles : Amigos do Parque Florestal
(Saturdays, walks every 2 months, bus organised from Funchal and leaves @ 9am)
Intermediate walks: Club de Campismo
(Saturdays, about twice a month, bus from Funchal leaves at 8:30am)
Also Caminhadas da “Sónia e Companhia” – see FB page
Based out of Ribeira Brava
Energetic walking : Amigos da Levada
(Sundays monthly walks, own transport to get there)
Serious walks : Amigos da Natureza
(Sundays every 2 weeks, bus provided from Funchal, leaving @ 7:45am) Mail to walkers.