Took 4 full day trips with Madeira Free Spirit and would certainly recommend them!
The pickups were with a comfy new minibus. Alvaro, the manager, drove us safely to every destination and the drives tended to be not only informative but quite entertaining as well. Had the pleasure to hike with Susanna and Ruben; both highly knowledgeable and keen on sharing many delightful details of the local flora. Was pleased with the small group size (8) as well as the safety-consciousness. The friendly attitude and kind attentiveness were appreciated and the humorous banter was amusing. Fluent English and German etc.
Did The Lakes, Kings levada, Rabacal and the Peaks. Liked all of them and they were different from one another, but my favourites were:
The Lakes, because it was so utterly beautiful and rich with flora and some friendly fauna and because it was the least crowded and thus most peaceful.
The Peaks, because it was absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful! We were lucky with weather. Due to past experience (acrophobia) I was somewhat apprehensive of this particular hike but after careful contemplation decided to give it a go. I think Ruben was just the right expert guide for this hike. Because of his vast knowledge, good humour and adaptable and encouraging attitude, the day ended up being the best experience! By no means was it easy (and did not expect it to be), in fact the 25000 steps taken were challenging for both mind and body, but am so happy I was able to do it - thank you!