Explore the dramatic topography and natural flora and fauna of Madeira and five widespread volcanic islands of the Azores.
- In Madeira I will be joined by landscape architect, Gerald Luckhurst, who has designed and built many gardens on the island. He is an expert plantsman with an unrivalled knowledge of sub-tropical flora an author of the book The Gardens of Madeira.
- The program includes six moderate nature walks ranging in length from 1.3 to 7.7kms.
- Visit subtropical Madeira and five volcanic islands from the three geographical groups of the Azores: São Miguel (Eastern Group), Terceira, Faial & Pico (Central Group) & Flores (Western Group).
- Spend 6 nights based in Funchal, the capital of Madeira; overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the city is framed by a dramatic backdrop of cloud-tipped mountains and features a wealth of historic monuments.
- Explore Madeira’s abundance of colourful and exotic flora in its parks and gardens including the Quinta do Palheiro and Monte Palace Tropical Gardens; walk some of Madeira’s scenic levada (man-made irrigation channels); and view the Laurisilva of Madeira, the largest surviving area of laurel forest containing a unique suite of flora and fauna including many endemic species.
- Meet Raimundo Quintal, Madeira’s leading environmentalist and author of numerous books including the Levadas and Footpaths of Madeira; we visit the Santo da Serra Environmental Education Camp where to learn about the conservation and recovery of the native Laurisilva forest.
- On São Miguel view the spectacular volcanic caldera: Lagoa das Sete Cidades which consists of two lagoons – the Green Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon, and at the historically active volcanic complex of Furnas view the verdant Parque Terra Nostra and the bubbling fumaroles.
- On Terceira, visit the UNESCO World Heritage port town of Angra do Heroísmo featuring a formidable 16th-century fortress and a pristine Renaissance old town. We also descend to the island’s core at Algar do Carvão, a 90m-deep volcanic lava tube.
- Flores, well known for its abundance of flowers, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. View the Poça da Ribeira do Ferreiro – a lagoon formed by a dozen waterfalls streaming down lush cliffs.
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture: a remarkable man-made landscape of volcanic walls dating to the 15th century, built to protect the thousands of small, contiguous, rectangular plots from wind and seawater.
- On Faial view the beautiful ashen landscape of Capelinhos, the last volcano to erupt in the Azores in 1958; visit the lighthouse, now the Volcano Interpretation Centre, which covers the events of this eruption as well as the tectonic forces shaping the Azores’ extraordinary landscape.
- Join a marine biologist for a 3-hour whale-watching expedition; sperm whales are resident species and live in the waters all year round.
For more information or if you wish to book please contact Australians Studying Abroad
T +61(0)3 9822 6899 E email@example.com
Images: Top – Lagoa Comprida Flores, Azores – courtesy Turismo Azores, 1. Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores – a UNESCO World Heritage site. by Jose Lorenzo, 2. Poça da Ribeira do Ferreiro, Flores, Azores. Photo by Vianney Dugrain, Pixabay, 3. Aloes, Cliff Suites, Madeira – gardens designed by Gerald Luckhurst, 4. Parque Terra Nostra, São Miguel, Azores, 5. Lagoa das Sete Cidades, São Miguel, Azores. by Samuel Monteiro Domingues, wiki commons. 6. Curral das Freiras, Madeira