EWS Travel Madeira, Portugal

An exclusive EWS Travel experience on the island paradise of Madeira

EWS and H+I Adventures have joined forces to bring you EWS TRAVEL. We’ve crafted this first EWS TRAVEL adventure to harness the spirit of exploration; dropping you into the Atlantic Ocean and the island of Madeira.

European, yet with a touch of the Tropics, Madeira brings the ultimate sense of adventure to the EWS race scene. It provides the ideal location for this week-long EWS TRAVEL experience where you can immerse yourself in the local riding culture and the legacy of the EWS.

Your expert guide for this adventure is part of local MTB folklore. He’ll guide you through spectacular wilderness trails, and singletrack built specifically for the race, so you can follow in the tracks of your heroes.

  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Fitness level: 5/7
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • £1,695 / $2,458
  • 11 – 18 Jan 2020 (TRIP FULL)
  • 20 – 27 June 2020 (6 PLACES)
  • 03 – 10 Oct 2020 (7 PLACES)

Trip Highlights

This EWS TRAVEL experience is not your average Madeira MTB tour.

Alongside incredible trails and camaraderie we’ve also crafted a whole host of highlights that set this trip apart from other ‘enduro’ adventures…

  • Get your own EWS goodie bag, exclusive to the tour
  • Pro-photographer afternoon photoshoot on the classic trail
  • Expert guiding by the EWS Madeira event organiser + trail builder
  • Enjoy iconic EWS trails built solely for the race, but without the pressure of the clock
  • Ride singletrack through a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage forest
  • Make your mark on the next EWS trail with an EWS trail building master class
  • 13% of trip costs go straight back into employing trail builders


“The riding in Madeira is out of this world. This tiny island has some of the most diverse terrain on earth, with everything from high alpine to rainforest, and the added bonus of 360° panoramic views of the Atlantic ocean. There’s no other place I can think of that offers such an incredible riding experience that is so easily accessible from both Europe and North America.”
Enduro Travel Madeira - Chris BallCHRIS BALLEWS Director

EWS Travel experience Madeira Itinerary

This, the first EWS TRAVEL experience in Madeira will take you to all four corners of this diverse island paradise. You’ll ride ocean ridge lines and thick forest singletrack in the shadows of your mountain bike heroes, sampling traditional food and culture as you go. Most of your riding will be shuttle-assisted, and your local expert EWS guide has hand-crafted the perfect combination of trails. Be prepared for a lot of downhill, fun and fist pumps on this tour, but don’t be fooled, you still have work to do – after all, the EWS isn’t easy…

+Day 0 - Pre-tour arrival day

If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Madeira to join this world first adventure, then we would recommend arriving in Funchal a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip

+Day 1 - Arrival day + group meet-up + bike build - explore Funchal

Your guide will welcome you at the H+I preferred hotel at midday, then will go through the all-important pre-trip briefing as you sit on the balcony overlooking the ocean enjoying some lunch. He will set the tone of the week ahead, explain the trails to come and answer any questions that you may have.

After your guide meeting you’ll build your bikes or set up rental bikes, before setting off to explore the town on foot enjoying a quick snack and a beer looking over the water front. If time and desirable we can hop on a very special form of transport: the “Monte sledge”. These basket work sledges are pushed through the steep streets by two sledge drivers over a course of 2km. Bob-sled without the ice!

In the evening your guide will take you to a traditional restaurant for a typical “espetada dish” and to try the local “Poncha” drink at Camera de lobos fishing village, setting you up properly for tomorrow’s riding!

Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: L, D

+Day 2 - “Poiso” North East EWS trails + Alpine ridge lines

As you eat breakfast on the balcony, sipping freshly squeezed orange juice, watching the waves break below, your thoughts will turn to your first taste of the EWS trails around this mountainous town.

Your guide will meet you for a coffee before catching a shuttle to take you high up Parque Ecologico do Funchal at the back of town, and your drop off point at around 1300m.

Don’t worry, your guide will build you up progressively to warm up the legs and the mind, with a collection of trails that will have you grinning from ear-to-ear. With the sensational views up here, the hardest part is keeping your eyes on the trails.

Mid-trail we will stop for a typical lunch – always choose the dish of the day! You will get the real flavour of this mountainous island that way.

As you set off again with heavy stomachs you will pick off a selection of EWS trails from the 2019 race, newly hand-built by your guide, so follow his lines and be prepared to be blown away.

You will then return to your hotel by shuttle before heading out for dinner.

Distance cycled: 30km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L

+Day 3 - “Poiso” South East trails + classic sky-to-sea Porto da Cruz trail

After breakfast we’ll load the van and head to the south east of the island. When we reach our first drop-off point we will be high above the dramatic shore with views over two coast lines.

You will set off on high alpine trails giving you 360° views, leading down rugged ridge lines, through thick forest singletrack and even some urban riding to top off the morning.

After a lunch of a typical “espetada dish” you will hit the trails again and embark on the longest trail of the day; a solid 12km of rough, loose and flowing ridge line singletrack that will see you weaving through endemic UNESCO natural world heritage forest all the way to the far south east bay of Porto da Cruz, one of the toughest EWS stages ever!

The shuttle back to your hotel will be short, in time to relax at the pool and head out for dinner.

Distance cycled: 40km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L

+Day 4 - Levada tunnels + waterfalls + loamy half pipe trails

Madeira is well known for its levada systems, water channels that criss-cross the island for the irrigation of crops as diverse as bananas and potatoes.

Today we’ll ride the trails that follow these waterways around the island, linking descents with perfect traversing levada trails, to a very remote corner of this island. You will come face-to-face with the waterfalls that fill the levadas, and then, with bikes by our side and head torches showing us the way, we’ll creep through the narrow irrigation tunnels carved through the mountainside.

As if today wasn’t special enough, the trails awaiting you are outstanding and some of the most memorable on the island; fast, flowing, natural half pipes, to wide-open flat out ridge-line trails with sea views on both sides that will be etched on your brain for years to come.

Your return to your hotel today will take around one hour – remote corners of this island are spectacular but require some driving.

Distance cycled: 35km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L

+Day 5 - Machico iconic EWS trails

Today we start high on the mountain tops that dominate the backdrop the South East of Madeira, dropped into thick cloud and forests, it makes for a dramatic start to the day.

The trails today are all stages of the 2019 EWS race, with a few new sections added for this year’s outing of the world’s best! And you will have the privilege of riding them, without the pressure of the clock. These trails swoop in and out of thick forest, at times feeling very jungle-like, and occasionally giving tantalising views of the ridge you are on and the coastline far below you.

Just as your stomach starts to tell you it’s lunchtime you’ll be delivered out on a trail straight into the restaurant car park for a helping of “dish of the day” and a coffee to aid digestion.

After lunch we head high into the hills again to start the “classic”, one of the most playful and rewarding trails of the year! This is THE iconic Madeiran trail and it’s all yours this afternoon.

We’ll finish up at the beach where we’ll grab an ice cream or beer, before heading back to your hotel for a well-earned shower and another wonderful meal where you can relive the stages of the EWS that you rode all day today!

Distance cycled: 38km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L

+Day 6 - North West century Laurels swoopy singletracks + Far west ridge lines

Our ride in the North West of the island is a trail of two halves. You will ease your way into the day on some trails called “Laurels swoopy singletracks”; fast and flowing singletracks weaving through the forests of this, sometimes wet, mysterious corner of mountain bike paradise.

Your guide will be in a great mood after these trails, as he hand-built most of them, so be prepared to get the inside scoop on the best combinations and line choice, before stopping of in one of your guides favourite local cafés next to some famous lava pools for lunch.

After lunch you will have time to digest your food as we take a longer shuttle back up into the high alpine again, to take on some rugged north west ridge lines that will have the spine tingling at the sight of the trails.

Following the spine of this ridge line will take you ultimately to the sea cliff 800m below us, taking in trails with names like Red-Line and Black-Line, and finishing with a scenic singletrack along a clifftop trail to the conclusion of today’s riding.

The transfer back to your hotel is around one hour from here, so settle in and relive the day’s trails with your riding buddies.

Tonight’s meal will be very close to the hotel, so that you can get food soon after arriving back from the day’s travels.

Distance cycled: 30km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L

+Day 7 - South West ridgeline + Sunset trails

Located on the rugged far west corner of the island, today’s riding is the perfect way to cap off a week exploring Madeira and its world-class trail network. Your trails today start in the high alpine ridge lines, dropping you down through natural half-pipes that resemble liquor smugglers’ trail, then onto fast and swooping trail that nestle deep in the eucalyptus and pine forests.

After lunch we will go back up to the alpine to complete our last three of six runs today, culminating in the longest trail of the day. This trail boasts all aspects of riding style this end of the island has to offer, dropping you into some village street riding, clifftop trails and finishing at a fishing and surf village.

Time to strip off bike clothes for a swim in the ocean; then a mojito and a special dinner of fresh fish, that has been ordered from the fishermen the day prior, all at a reggae bar right on the sea front with the sun setting like a private theatre show.

It is your last night, so time is not a concern for you, we will enjoy the food, take in the sunset and relive the past week exploring this diverse and surprising little island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

Distance cycled: 35km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Funchal
Meals included: B, L, D

+Day 8 - Departure day

Sadly this is the end of your EWS Travel experience in Madeira. It’s time to pack your bike and head for home. Your guide will arrange pick up times from your hotel and deliver you to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight home!

Meals included: B

Please note: Your EWS Travel mountain bike tour of Madeira is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Madeira and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience on our EWS Travel mountain bike tour of Madeira.


EWS Travel adventure in Finale 2019 trophy of nations
+Tour price

EWS Travel Mountain Bike exploration Madeira Price

£1,695 / $2,458 USD per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)

We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider of the same sex you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £210 / $305 USD will be payable. Please note: a single room may not always be available at time of booking.

H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe. Price includes:

  • Services of fully-qualified, English speaking expert mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
  • All breakfasts and lunches, first and last evening meals.
  • All shuttles during the course of your tour
  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • Support driver
  • All ground costs
  • Airport transfers
  • EWS goodie bags
  • An afternoon with a pro-photographer on the classic trail
  • All group safety equipment
  • Global Rescue emergency services

Price excludes:

  • International/ domestic flights
  • Bike rental – we can arrange bike hire for you at a cost of £465/ $675 USD for the duration of the trip
  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Tips in restaurants and hotels
  • Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

+Skill + fitness levels required

Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect mountain bike tour for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other mountain bike tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.

Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.

Skill level: Advanced

  • You are very confident handling most types of riding and obstacles, including drops (up to 1 foot mandatory and 6 foot optional), rocks, logs, switchbacks, larger rock gardens and sustained technical singletrack
  • You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
  • You have excellent bike handling skills and can lift front and rear wheels, do small jumps, corner, climb and descend steep trails
  • You have considerable experience of riding on a wide variety of technical terrains including: rocky, rooty, muddy, loose, fast singletrack, exposed trails, bedrock for extended periods
  • You ride at least twice a week and rarely get off and walk sections
  • You can climb and descend comfortably on technical singletrack for as long as required

Fitness level: 5

  • You have a good level of bike fitness, exercising at least three times every week throughout the year, for an hour at a time
  • You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three or more consecutive days
  • You can tackle two or three fairly significant climbs a day, up to 600 metres each

Typical trails you’ll be riding

  • Much of the riding you’ll do on our EWS Travel MTB tour in Madeira will be done on EWS racing trails, which are steep, sometimes loose, slick when wet, and consist of rocks, roots, berms, drops and off-camber sections
  • Double track: undulating forest roads made up of hard-packed dirt (that can be very slippy when wet) and small rocks
  • Singletrack: singletrack, mainly forested and ridgeline trails and through forests with roots crossing the trails, and at times you will encounter golf ball-sized rock gardens, and purpose built MTB trails
  • Some of the trail sections are hundreds of years old, so are not always buff purpose built trails, they are natural walking trails and irrigation channels that link villages across the region and surfaces may be soft and muddy at times

+Arrival + departure details

Your EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira will start and end in Funchal, Madeira.

We advise you arrive the day prior to your tour start date and spend one night in Funchal, allowing for any delays to flights and luggage. Your guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel and he/she will be holding an EWS TRAVEL and H+I Adventures sign and wearing an EWS TRAVEL and H+I ride top.

On the last day of the tour, your guide will ensure you are dropped off at Madeira airport on time to catch your flight home. Therefore, we would advise booking your flights home no earlier than 10am on your day of departure.

If your departure flights differ from this, we would be happy to help book you into an airport hotel overnight, if needed.

+Travelling to Madeira

Funchal, Madeira is well-served by many major airlines from all over the world.

For up-to-date timetables and booking visit: www.ba.com; www.jet2.com; www.condor.com. You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport.

Here are some tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.


UK citizens passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. US, Canadian and European Citizens do not require visas to visit Madeira.  As long as you have a passport which is valid for six months from your date of entry, you will typically be granted 90 days in the region.

+Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure

Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira, so that you have everything you need!

Our EWS TRAVEL Madeira adventure is for Advanced riders with level 5 fitness. The ideal bike for the Madeiran trails is a good quality full-suspension bike with around 150-170mm of front travel. To get the most out of your mountain bike tour in Madeira you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you must ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.

We recommend that you travel with your own bike, and have some handy tips on how to do this, however if this isn’t possible for you we can arrange bike rental for you for a high quality full suspension mountain bike for the duration of your mountain bike tour in Madeira.

+Your mountain bike guides in Madeira

Our mountain bike guides in Madeira are of the highest level.

They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of Madeira.

Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of the Madeira area and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.

Not to mention he  is part of local MTB folklore, EWS race organiser, chief trail builder on the island and could be the mayor for all we know. He’ll guide you through spectacular wilderness trails, and singletrack built specifically for the race, so you can follow in the tracks of your heroes.

+Accommodation + food

One of the things that sets our adventures apart from others is the local accommodation we use. We aim to use the best, locally-run accommodation in each country, and that which is traditional to that specific area, whether it be city or mountain.

On this EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira you’ll be staying in one hotel for the duration of your visit. The reason for this is that the island is small enough that we can reach all four corners within one hour of Funchal, allowing us to work with the weather to deliver the best trail experience each day.

We will enjoy a wide array of food on our EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira. From traditional food influenced by surrounding countries, all prepared with the greatest of care and skill, to a reggae beach bar.

+Health + safety

No vaccinations are required for visiting Madeira.

We recommend you check before drinking tap water, but 99% of this is safe for consumption. Bottled or filtered water will be readily available throughout the trip.

Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.

You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.

Your health and safety is on our EWS TRAVEL Madeira tour is our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.

+Currency + foreign exchange

The official currency of Madeira is the Euro. ATM machines are readily available throughout Madeira.


It is not compulsory to tip your guides or drivers in Madeira, but if you feel that you have had a good service or experience on your mountain bike tour in Madeira, you can tip at your discretion.

It is not compulsory to tip in restaurants, however should you wish to tip your servers, 10% of your meal cost would be acceptable.

+Holiday insurance

You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.

We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.

Please note: our EWS Travel mountain bike tour in Madeira is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Madeira and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) EWS Travel mountain bike tour in Madeira

  • Q. How many people will be in the group?

We only run small group mountain bike tours to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally groups of 7 people on this experience. We can stretch to a maximum of ten if it’s a group of friends. The minimum number of people we require to run this mountain bike tour in Madeira is four.

  • Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?

Our EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 65-years-old. As long as you have a good level of physical fitness and advanced mountain bike skills you will enjoy this EWS TRAVEL MTB tour in Madeira no matter what your age.

  • Q. What style of mountain bike tour is it?

This EWS TRAVEL Madeira adventure is a guided mountain bike vacation, ideal for advanced mountain bikers. The terrain you’ll be riding on consists of double track and singletrack through thick forests, villages and coastal mountain ridges. You’ll encounter some steep descents and rooty sections, as well as fabulous, swooping descents. Remember, these trails are part of the EWS racing series, so can be technical. Some of the trails are very slick when wet. Altitude is not a factor here.

  • Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?

The distances we cover each day range from 30km to 40km, in accordance with the technical demands of the trails, and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain a lot of your height via shuttle, but you will still need to ride and climb. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.

  • Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?

No, you only need to carry a day pack with you whilst riding, with all of your spares and repairs, warm and waterproof clothing. Your main bags will stay at your centre based accommodation throughout the tour.

  • Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?

Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills help during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!

  • Q. Who will be guiding us?

Your mountain bike guides are local to Madeira and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Madeira. They are also the trail building masters of the island, who host the EWS races when they are in town. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour in Madeira. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.

  • Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?

On this mountain bike tour in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean you will be staying in one hotel in the main town of Funchal. The reason for this is each corner of the island can be reached within an hour, which is very helpful due to the ever changing weather on the island. We can choose the best trail each day depending on incoming weather!

  • Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?

All breakfasts, all lunches, and dinner on the first and last nights.

  • Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?

A good quality full suspension with 150-170mm front travel would be ideal for this EWS TRAVEL mountain bike tour in Madeira.

  • Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?

The daytime weather and nighttime temperatures vary greatly in this part of Europe, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a down jacket for the evenings. It is possible that you will experience some rain during your trip, so you must remember to bring a waterproof jacket too. You should bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike adventure.

  • Q. Will there be a chance to get laundry done?

Yes, you will have the chance to have laundry done each evening.

  • Q. Can I bring a drone with me?

Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.