Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here
to go to our general FAQ
, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach about Madeira
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans
and Pinterest boards
that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, lead your hikes, and introduce you to our local friends.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
This trip has three strenuous half-day hikes with lots of hiking uphill and downhill.
Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page
. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com
to request a single room.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5 pm and 7 pm), where you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with instructions for the next morning.
The drive time from Funchal Airport (Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport) on Madeira Island to Santana village on the northeast coast is 25-30 minutes by taxi. A taxi from the airport is around 25-30 euros.
If you prefer public transportation, you would take the 103/138 line bus towards Cabanas, which takes just over 1-hour and the cost is about 4 euros. The Depois do Colmo stop in Santana which is less than a 5-minute walk to the hotel. This bus is on a limited schedule and leaves once every 1-2 hours.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (Weekdays 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. GST)
+44 20 7243 9870
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact: +44 7817 262 559
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Health & Safety
- N95/KN95 Face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
- Hand sanitizer
- Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (at least 3)
- Water-proof, wind-proof rain jacket
- Rain pants
- Personal clothing for cool weather (mostly in the mid 50s) – we recommend packing 5-6 days of outfits so you don’t have to do laundry
- Sturdy walking shoes or light hiking boots
- Hiking pants
- Thermal underwear top for hiking Pico do Arieiro (the coldest part of the trip)
- Wool socks
- Sun hat
- Water bottle or bladder (like a Camelback)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Toiletries – Important: Some hotels do not give you soap and shampoo
- First-aid kit, including lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
- Hiking poles
- Travel pillow
- Money belt
- Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can also buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
- Ziplock bags
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
- Light fleece top
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- EUR/USD cash
- Credit or debit card
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels. You can also use a local laundromat, if need be. We recommend packing enough clothes so you don't have to do laundry.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double-check the information we provide below by searching here
Americans do not need a visa to travel to Portugal. Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Portuguese embassy to find out if they need a visa.
Portugal is part of the Eurozone, and the unit of the currency is the euro (EUR). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that, if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers such as waiters if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, €30-40 EUR per person per week can be used.
GEEO cannot provide any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here
Your trip begins in Santana and ends in Funchal. You will be flying in and out of Funchal Airport (Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport). Most flights to and from Madeira will involve transferring in Lisbon. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Madeira. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but we strongly urge you to arrive by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for our group meeting. You can depart any time on the final day of the trip.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Portugal uses a type F two circular prong plug. This socket also works with type C and type E plugs. Their voltage is 230 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.
- You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
The Gulf Stream brings warm waters to Madeira and keeps the weather consistently mild year-round. It’s usually a bit warmer and drier in the south and west (e.g., Funchal) due to the mountains that shelter these parts of Madeira from north easterly winds. April is a great time for hiking in Madeira, and the coastline will be teeming with up to 20 species of whales and dolphins. Average temperatures are in the mid-50s. It may rain during one of your hikes, so make sure to bring wet weather hiking gear.