Nature Meetings Supports Haiti

Haiti Earthquake

On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. With these tragic events in Haiti, the guides at Nature Meetings decided to donate all the money that they received during the Madeira Walking Festival to the International Red Cross. As this gesture is very much appreciated, the management of Nature Meetings decided to triple the amount donated by the guides.

Others around the world are joining efforts to assist the earthquake victims. Your donation can help disaster victims rebuild their lives and their communities.

Certified Mountain Guides

Madeira is a walking paradise for any “Nature- Lover”. To ensure that you enjoy your walk, we strongly recommend that you walk with Certified Mountain guide. Your safety is paramount and to ensure that you receive the best possible service available on Madeira, we only employ local guides who are in possession of a Madeira Mountain Guide Certificate.

For obvious reasons, safety starts before the walk and it is crucial that everyone is prepared for the challenge what is waiting for them. Walking the Levadas of Madeira or any other Nature walk brings its challenges and therefore we advice that every walker is wearing layered clothing (what is easy to remove) and has water proofs with them. Other requirements are: sun protection and water (if possible a torch).

Certified Mountain Guide

The highly trained mountain guides studied for 1 year, coffering everything in relation to walking on Madeira. This combination of responsibilities from both parties and Madeira’s walking facilities will give you a pleasant and relaxed walking experience.

Unfortunately, over the years more and more people have entered the walking industry, pretending to be a guide. These illegal “guides” are putting walkers life’s at risk, and are unable to supply the service, information and safety.

This situation has caused great concerns on Madeira and due to this there is an increase of accidents. To ensure that your guide is qualified with what he/she is doing we advise you to ask your guide to show you their license. Certified guides are proud with their profession and with their commitment to follow the very intensive guiding course.

Over the last few years we have seen more and more walking groups visiting Madeira. As walking lovers, we are very excited showing everyone this beautiful island. However some of these groups are bringing their own walking-leader who has no (Madeira) experience nor are qualified to guide. This is not only illegal according to the Portuguese law, it´s also very dangerous.

Low Cost Madeira

Due to the Financial crises, more and more holiday makers are looking for bargains on the web. Unfortunately, Madeira normally focused on visitors with less financial restrictions. However in the last 7 years Madeira has realized that the market is changing, and therefore they have also changed into supplying holiday facilities for the visitor with a lower budget.

Since 2008, Madeira’s authorities allowed Low Cost Airlines such as: Easyjet and Airberlin to travel to Madeira (and with great success). Other then cheap flights, we now also see that other organizations are changing their services towards the tourists needs in general.

Unfortunately, this might result with a reduction in quality and the ignorance of the requirements determined by the law.

By offering excursions on Madeira, the law has defined very strict requirements. To offer a visitor an excursion (Island Tours, Boats, Safari’s, Nature Walks etc), the organizing company must work with certified personnel, that are in possession of licenses that proves that the staff have followed a professional education on Madeira.

The holiday company requires special licenses and insurances to offer excursions on Madeira

For walks for example: the guide must be a registered “Guia Montanha” (Mountain Guide) with a license from Madeira (mountain guides with a license obtained from abroad are not allowed to guide walks on Madeira). Even if they are Alpine Mountain Guides or any other International mountain guide, they are not allowed to guide on Madeira.

Madeira is fortunate to have some reliable organizations that are covering all the excursions that visitors might want to join and with the licenses to do so. However the prices for these excursions might differ. This has to do with shops and organization that using excursions to approach visitors for Time share. By offering extremely low prices, they try to introduce guests into Timeshare.

Therefore, Madeira is actually not a Low Cost destination. However with the introduction of Low cost flights, we see that the local tourist industry is changing towards the needs of potential visitors, and by using the internet facilities you are now able to visit Madeira whatever your budget is.

Introduction

Nature Meetings has introduced a weblog, as we see this as service between walkers across the world. Walkers can share their experience with stories and pictures.

Every walker should be aware of the safety, and it is crucial that every walker is fully prepared before they step in their boots to explore their chosen route.

Madeira has fantastic walking opportunities, with a net work of Levadas (small water channels) covering large parts of the island. The sub tropical climate makes Madeira a walking paradise the whole year around.

How can you beat exploring your holiday destination on foot? Walk through the nature with its exotic flora and the unique Laurisilva forest (Unesco World Heritage). The Levadas on Madeira are spread out over all main parts on the island, available for all ages. However, as Madeira is a volcanic island you might pass locations with vertigo and tunnels. Therefore we would recommend that you study your walking route before entering the beautiful nature of Madeira.

Every holiday maker has worked hard, saved and made all the necessarily arrangements to enjoy their break. To ensure that you make the most out of your visit to Madeira, we strongly recommend that you walk with a guide.

Transport on Madeira is satisfactory; however you will experience problems to find the hidden Levadas. Bus services to/from these locations are very difficult and it will take a lot of your pressures holiday time. A taxi service is an alternative, however you will pay more than a guided walk, secondly you won’t receive interesting information relating to the walk from our Qualified Mountain Guide. As your safety is paramount, all our guides are “First Aid” trained and are fully equipped during the walk.

The weblog is available for everyone, you can write in your own language, write about anything on Madeira, and if you have a picture you want to share with us please add them to your article.

On behalf of our team do I wish you an enjoyable reading time.

Gerry Sluiter