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Join Go Trail - Madeira Running Tours all-inclusive yoga and running retreat in the beautiful eternal spring island of Madeira, Portugal! You'll get to explore a different part of the Island every day while running the most breathtaking scenarios of the UNESCO World Heritage Laurissilva Forest, as well as the ancient Levadas (irrigation canals) and peaks that compose the island. This exclusive retreat takes place in the best Funchal city area where you can reconnect with your inner self as you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Set in tropical palm gardens with two swimming pools and views of the Atlantic Ocean, Hotel Girassol offers modern and spacious rooms with private balconies. Accommodations at Hotel Girassol are decorated in warm colors and have floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the balcony. The rooms and suites have a flat-screen TV with cable channels.
The hotel renovated all the public areas towards the end of 2016. The spacious restaurant borders the garden and offers salads and pasta. The restaurant has a terrace and offers different choices of fish, meat, salads, and pasta. Guests can enjoy an evening drink from the modern First Lounge Bar. The pool area features a sundeck as well as a partly covered terrace. The 24-hour staff can arrange car rentals and free private parking is available.
If you're physically active, enjoy nature, and have an adventurous spirit, don't hesitate and come run with Go Trail - Madeira Running Tours. Go Trail - Madeira Running Tours adapt their tours so that you have a pleasant and comfortable experience. Madeira has a wide variety of unforgettable trails, it’s just a matter of adjusting them to your kind of run.
At Go Trail Madeira your safety is their main concern. The majority of their tours are done in marked and rail protected trails. Go Trail Madeira encourages you to pay attention to any root, loose rock, damp terrain, and a tree branch that can pose a threat. Guides at some points will reduce the pace or even stop if they see that safety is an issue.
When running, it's vital that you keep hydrated. Your wellbeing is extremely important for Go Trail Madeira. So much that it is mandatory that all runners initiate any tour with a minimum of one liter of water. There are water points along with the majority of their tours and Go Trail Madeira guides will indicate and stop at them.
The terrain will vary and depend on the chosen tour as well as weather conditions. On the trails, you can find a mix of everything - dirt, loose and wet rock, low and high grass as well as the beginning of the 20th-century handmade stonework flooring or even leaf-covered paths.
After picking you up at the airport, you'll check into your accommodation located in the best area of Funchal, 10 mins walk from the town center and also 3 mins walk from the front-sea promenade. You’ll gather for your retreat briefing after which you'll head outside for a relaxed run (road running). After your run, you’ll have some free time to freshen up before dinner.
Setting off from Machico outskirts, you'll quickly see yourselves running Machico's Levada towards Boca do Risco. From there on, the views over the ocean and the green that compose the high ground over you will set the tone for your climb to Funduras. There, you'll run deep inside the forest single tracks until you reach Degolada, a steep downhill single-track challenge, that will put your quads to the test.
This last downhill lead you to Vereda do Larano. With the view of the sea on one side and the mountain on the other, you get to run some good eight kilometers in a Jurassic Park movie set like scenario. At the end of Vereda do Larano, you will start your way back to Levada de Machico with its gorgeous views over the city and end up with a cool cinematographic running experience.
Evening Yin yoga: a passive practice that creates flexibility without strength, you hold the poses for three to five minutes in stillness, aiming to release the tension in the muscles, connective tissues, especially the fascia, while concentrating on the physical, mental, and emotional sensations that arise in each pose. It is great preparation for meditation practice.
Morning gentle flow: an active practice where you move slowly, holding each pose for a few soft breaths, to create some energy in the body, muscle activation while lengthening with awareness.
The run starts at the ancient Fanal’s Forest Support house and will take you through that same trail towards Estanquinhos, way up at the Paul the Serra plateau. This single-track trail crosses Madeira Laurel and Heather Forest.
It’s a constant up and down run, challenging at times, and most of all, it’s filled with views over the Ribeira da Janela Valley, the longest on the island with a total extension of 13 kilometers. You end your run at this green field of Madeira Laurels, usually populated with herding cows. Time on the trail is about two to three hours.
Encumeada is this running adventure starting point. Following the Levada do Norte path, with its stunning views over Ribeira Brava’s Valley, you'll reach your first long tunnel cross. These 250 meters of the hand-made tunnel will take you to the north face of this mountain that holds a big portion of Madeira’s Laurissilva Forest.
After yet another tunnel crossing and some two kilometers, you start your ascent towards Paredão. After another fun run moment, you'll reach Levada da Serra that will get you to "Pinaculo", a point of interest that then will take you to the south face of the mountain once again.
Although you've already passed through countless waterfalls at this point, these next few ones won’t have much trail path to avoid the water, and some shower will be inevitable. A cooling, refreshing and much-welcomed adventure finish, after the kilometers you’ve already put in. You will also have an evening Yang/Yin yoga: a mix of active and passive practice, where you will move to then relax.
After breakfast, you have a 25-minute drive to Caniçal, the easternmost point of the island. Having Caniçal as background, this tour is all about the symbiosis between mountain, ocean, and having a lot of running fun. You'll get to reach the farthest eastern point in Madeira island, through the beautiful Baia D’abra’s trails until you reach Pico do Furado.
From the start until you get to Sardinha's house and the viewpoint up above, it's about five kilometers distance. It is an amazing running experience where the camera is as important as the shoes you're wearing. A nice swim in the ocean is advised as well.
Evening Hatha and pranayama: traditional practice, also active as requires muscle engagement. Encourages the body to lengthen and creates flexibility and strength simultaneously. You will take time to focus on each pose individually, taking rests in between them to reset and prepare for the next one. Pranayama: is expansion and extension of the breath, by the use of different techniques, which means longer and slower breaths, that also have a cleansing effect on the body.
After breakfast at the hotel, you'll drive out to Pico Areeiro. You'll head towards Pico Ruivo, the summit, the highest peak in Madeira, and the third-highest in Portugal - a true challenge, only for the brave. For those who really want to put their skills to the test. But let's not be fooled by the "short" 12 kilometers.
It’s a constant up and down with gorgeous views over the great central massif in direct contact with endemic fauna and flora. You will be put to the test in one of the most demanding but beautiful section of Madeira's "ultra-trail world tour" race.
There will be an evening Restorative yoga and yoga Nidra practice: same as Yin yoga but you take more support of the props to feel even more relaxed. Yoga Nidra contains several relaxation techniques based on breath, body scan, and visualization.
Starting at Poiso Shelter house, you will have your first six kilometers of warmup on a downhill section along with mountain biking single tracks. An incredible running start with views over the valley that ends up in Porto da Cruz seashore. But this run is all about green forest far away from the ocean.
Once you get to Levada do Furado, you head towards Ribeiro Frio and along these eight kilometers of amazingly beautiful scenario, you will be welcomed with gorgeous waterfalls and natural ponds. For the bravest, these cool ponds are the epic place for a dive.
After reaching Ribeiro Frio's shelter, you will start a comfortable but challenging climb towards Chão das Feiteiras, where sheep are herd and the barns are located. A cool green plateau runs just before you face your last kilometer to the finish line. In the evening, you'll have Yin/Yang yoga: you will start slow and then build up some energy so you can enjoy your last dinner (awaked) in Madeira Island and Go Trail - Madeira Running Tours will join you for that.
Goodbyes and transfer to the airport.
Frederica is a Portuguese yoga teacher whose yoga journey began in Lisbon in 2014 when she began practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. At the time, she was a lawyer and had been for almost 8 years, but she always had the sense that something was missing. Yoga had an immediate impact on her, so much that she decided to quit her job and the financial security that she has and follow her passion for this practice and to dive into the unknown.
This retreat will take place at Madeira, Portugal. Hotel Girassol is situated two kilometers away from Funchal's city center, which is a 30-minute walk away. Madeira is known as a paradisiacal island due to its views. While running, you'll reach places otherwise inaccessible, where you get to see and feel nature in a unique way. The forest, the Laurissilva, is home to all kinds of different endemic fauna and flora species. You can also glance at sunrise in Pico Ruivo or sunset in Madalena do Mar. It is encouraged that you take your camera with you so that everyone believes when you say you were in paradise.
During this retreat, you will be served with daily breakfast.
Please book your flight to arrive at Madeira Airport (FNC). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Go Trail - Madeira Running Tours will pick you up from the airport.
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