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The Ultimate Madeira Packing List

Madeira Packing List

The small but mighty island of Madeira is beautiful and packed with a massive range of diverse environments, so it’s important to have the right gear on hand to be ready for everything Madeira can throw at you.

While this isn’t as intense of a destination as the most remote reaches of the Karakoram, you still want to have what you need to be comfortable and have an awesome time here. This Madeira packing list will help you show up fully equipped to explore all that this incredible island has to offer.

This is a comprehensive list of every item we suggest that everyone interested in traveling to Madeira for active adventures should pack., 

The island has a subtropical climate and most of the year, the weather is very pleasant but it can get warm, you will almost certainly get very wet, and even the occasional winter storm covers the high mountains in a fresh coat of snow.

Here is what to pack for Madeira Island…

Packs and Baggage

  • 60-70 Liter Duffel Bag

    Epic’s recommendation: The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel – 62 L

    Comfortable to carry with more than enough space for all you need to bring with you, this duffel bag is perfect for short trips and guaranteed to keep your belongings secure.

    This bag serves as storage for the majority of your possessions while you take the essentials with you in your daypack. Unless you are planning on camping DIY style, there’s no need to bring a monstrously-sized bag with you that carries every item you could possibly need for a lengthy trek.

  • 20-30 Liter Day Bag

    Epic’s recommendation: Osprey Talon 36 Pack

    The main thing you will use everyday in Madeira is your daypack. 

    Having a backpack that’s comfortable, not too big, and keeps all of your gear safe through Madeira’s weather is crucial. This backpack is one of our staff’s favorites. It allows you to carry all the essentials you need for the day like water, some snacks, a raincoat, etc.

    If possible, it is always idea to wear the pack a bit before coming to see how it feels. The goal is to ensure that it’s comfortable enough to wear for several hours at a time.

Boots and Footwear

Madeira Packing List
  • Hiking Boots

    Epic’s recommendation: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots

    For the last few years, these boots have been the footwear of choice for Epic founder Chris Lininger – in Madeira, and also in Pakistan. They allow you to confidently explore Madeira’s diverse terrain without having to worry too much about slipping and have the soles to keep your feet comfortable while hiking for hours at a time.

    The Lowa Renegade are solid hiking boots for both shorter and longer escapades into the mountains or coast and offer enough protection from the islands annoying patches of thorny blackberry. 

    As with any shoes, you should break in this pair of boots before heading to Madeira. When possible, it is best to avoid wearing the boots for the first time wearing these boots to be on a long day hike, because blisters suck and we want you to explore Madeira blister free. 

  • Sandals

    Epic’s recommendation: Keen Multisport Sandals or Birkenstocks

    Even if not the most attractive shoe ever created, the hybrid between hiking boots and sandals can be nice: it’s a perfect fit for light hikes while also being watersport-friendly. They’ve got the strong, clingy grip of boots and are comfortable and breathable, which is ideal in Madeira’s warm climate.

    Many hikes on the island are short but they do involve getting very wet, so you need shoes that meet the standard.

    These sandals are a balanced, affordable answer to that need, giving you the flexibility to explore Madeira’s secrets and feel good while doing so, on top of being great to wear around camp.

Personal Gear

  • Trekking Poles – Optional

    Epic’s recommendation: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

     Because our Madeira itinerary involves hiking with lots of vertical gain and loss, trekking poles are a pretty important item to pack. 

    Trekking poles give you extra balance and stability (and take pressure off of your knees), which can make a huge difference when you’re hiking on steep or slippery terrain, and Madeira has plenty of both.

  • Water Purifying Bottle

    Epic’s recommendation: Grayl GeoPress Water Bottle

    A Grayl is the ultimate water filter bottle: It’s efficient, lightweight, eco-friendly, and its filter system turns nearly any water source you might find in the wild into pure, drinkable water.

    Epic has relied on Grayl for years to provide for our water needs in the most remote places on the planet and it is a product that we swear by, so trust us when we say that getting a Grayl is one of the best investments a hiker or world traveler can make.

madeira Packing List
  • Sunglasses

    Epic’s recommendation: Knockaround Polarized Sunglasses

    The sun can feel pretty fierce in Madeira and if you are blessed to be here when it is warm and sunny, a good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must. 

Clothing

madeira-hikes
  • Travel and City Clothes

    This is Europe; bring what you need to feel and look good in the towns and villages of Madeira.

    Pack some clothes for urban/village settings on top of your hiking gear.

  • Down Jacket

    Epic’s recommendation: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

    The island’s diverse weather means that it can also get chilly – especially in the Central Mountains – especially early in the morning during sunrise missions. Having a down jacket is pretty much all you need to stay comfy in the event of cold weather in Madeira.

  • Rain Jacket

    Epic’s recommendation: Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket

    Though Madeira is a place known for sun, it can rain at any time of the year. Also, some of the Levada hikes on the island have you passing under waterfalls and you will be getting wet!

    A rainshell helps to keep you dry even if there are waterfalls pummeling you on the track. 

  • Hiking Shirts

    Epic’s recommendation: Lightweight Base Layer

    Let’s face it, you are coming to Madeira to sweat and suffer a bit. To keep yourself comfortable on the trail, it’s best to avoid cotton and so we suggest going with synthetic materials. Merino is best. 

    This hiking shirt is an affordable base layer that’s designed to keep you from overheating in hot weather and getting too cold when the temperature drops, so it’s an excellent fit not only for Madeira, but also at home.

    We recommend bringing a few spares for the trip as well.

  • Trekking Pants

    Epic’s recommendation: KUHL Renegade Pants

    Like the shirt, with pants it is also best to avoid cotton and so we suggest going with synthetic materials.

    Shorts are also a fine option on many of the trails, but if you are doing anything off the beaten path – like Epic does here – the threat of blackberries should make you reconsider the shorts. 

  • Swimsuit

    What swimsuit you prefer for the pool and for canyoneering as well.

  • Warm Hat

    Epic’s recommendation: Lightweight Beanie

    Even with its subtropical climate, the early mornings and mountain peaks can feel cold sometimes, and a beanie is a must-have to keep your head and ears warm.

    When you are watching the sunrise, you will be grateful that you brought one along.

  • Socks

    Epic’s recommendation: DarnTough Micro Crew

    Bringing socks that are fit for hiking is important – don’t try to use thin, athletic, cotton socks on the trail because that will become unbearable, fast. Make sure to bring multiple pairs as well, since you’ll be going through them pretty quickly.

     

  • Light Gloves

    Epic’s recommendation: Flash Power Stretch Gloves

    We never consistently see freezing temperatures on the island but some days might be cold if it cloudy or windy, so having a pair of light gloves to keep your hands comfortable in the chill will come in handy.

  • Sun Hat

    Epic’s recommendation: Columbia Hat

    Protect your head and neck in all types of weather, a sun hat is another tool you need to ensure that you’re prepared to handle Madeira.

    It’s lightweight and thin, so it keeps your head dry and safe from the sun while being comfortable to wear. This is a cheap item to add to your inventory and not something you should skip out on.

  • Light Gloves

    Epic’s recommendation: Flash Power Stretch Gloves

    We never consistently see freezing temperatures on the island but some days might be cold, so having a pair of light gloves to keep your hands comfortable in the chill will come in handy.

Other Stuff

  • Deodorant

    Do your fellow hikers; pack deoderant and avoid being the stinky guy/girl. 

  • Sun Cream and Lipbalm

    An absolute must. Sun cream of at least 30 SPF is vital to keeping your skin protected from intense sunlight. SPF lip balm is also something not to forget. 

    Sunburn is painful and leaves a pretty nasty mark on what otherwise is an incredible experience, so make sure you’re fully geared up to protect your skin from the sun.

Final Thoughts: Madeira Packing List

best time to visit Madeira

So there you have it: a complete list of every piece of gear you need to complete your active adventure Madeira packing list.

Madeira Island is the ultimate adventure destination in Europe. Here you will find canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, surfing… and the list goes on…

Pack what you need to be comfortable so you can get the most out of your wild experience on the island.  

More from the blog

Welcome to our Journal!

snow lake trek pakistan

Here at Epic Expeditions, adventure is constantly on our minds. 

Our blog – or Journal as we like to call it – contains epic trip stories, photo diaries, and news about new tours. 

Thanks for checking it out! 

What's new in the journal?

The trip we're most stoked about

MONGOLIA
Horse Trekking in Mongolia Expedition

Next trip: September 3rd - 17th, 2024

Adventure Guide

Hailing from the Toronto region of Eastern Canada, with a background as a former standout athlete (hockey of course) and a  love of mountain adventure, Clark is a welcomed addition to the Epic team.

In addition to being a keen photographer and adventurer, Clark brings his brilliant sense of humor, leadership skills, and positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. 

When he is not leading trips, he is working on taking over the hard apple cider game in Canada as a skilled craft brewer. 

Adventure Guide

Noemi grew up in the mountains of German-Speaking Switzerland where she naturally developed a deep love and respect for mountain environments.

She is a talented photographer, aspiring climber, and speaks at least 5 languages fluently including Arabic (and probably a few more that we don’t know about), which she taught herself in a matter of months by watching YouTube videos. 

Noemi has spent the last several years traveling, hiking, and photographing her way around many different countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe, and we could not be more stoked to welcome her to the Epic team! 

Adventure Guide

As our man on the ground in Mongolia, there is not much this legend can’t do. As a native the Bayan-Ölgii province of the Western Mongolia Altai, Syerik has been working as a guide and tourism entrepreneur…

for the past several years and is one of the rising stars in Mongolia adventure travel industry. 

He is currently building a beautiful Ger (Yurt) camp near his hometown where he will host Epic Mongolia team members on our trip as well as other travelers from around the world! 

He is the perfect guide for your trip to Mongolia. Serik did an amazing job giving us a well rounded experience in the Altai NP region and down in the Gobi…
The food was fantastic and Serik gave us many opportunities to learn about the Kazakh culture in that region including traditional meals. (I can’t recommend enjoying the milk tea enough!)

– Coastal

Head of canine operations

Choriza started off life as a care-free vagabond on the streets of Madeira Island without any place to call home. From the moment we met her, we knew this dog was just different, and it was pretty much love at first sight. 

She gave up the dog street life in favor of joining her new dad Chris to become a full-time member of the Epic family towards the end of 2022.

These days she can be found listening in on the fringes of important Epic business meetings while half-asleep on the couch. She is a keen hiker, lover of mud, rare steak, and might just be the sweetest little dog we have ever seen. 

Adventure Guide

An experienced trek leader and
IFMGA aspirant ski guide, avid alpine climber, devoted adventure photographer.

Organized and guided trekking expeditions, climbs and ski tours in Tajikistan’s Pamirs, Patagonia, Peru, Morocco, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Russian Caucasus and Kamchatka.

A full member and meets the organiser of the British Alpine Club. Visited over 40 countries, lived in the UK for four years. Certified first-aider.

We joined Andrew on a fantastic trip to the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan, pure nature and magnificent scenery! Andrey was super prepared and led us safely up and down numerous passes and through some rough and icy cold rivers. Thank you for a very memorable trip, your planning and prep was excellent!

– Monika Steinlechner

epic expeditions team

Adventure Guide

Our man in Nepal, Sandip is what we like to call a “Swiss Army Knife”. There is not much Sandip can’t do when it comes to helping Epic to run our expeditions smoothly in Nepal.

His tireless work ethic, passion for all things trekking in the Himalayas, and smart decision-making mean that Sandip is a truly invaluable member of our team.

Sandip is passionate about showing visitors to his country an amazing time, and he goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. 

His company Himalayan Masters is Epic’s trusted partner in Nepal and one of the country’s top new tour agencies.

We really enjoyed the entire journey, and I would like to say that Sandip is truly professional. He guided us and he is a hardworking person, providing us with the best service and taking care of each one of us. Plus, he is super funny! The kind of professionnal you always want to find on your path for your explorations! 

– Alexandra Ruth

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, and sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions. 

After trekking to K2 Base Camp and exploring all over Northern Pakistan, he fell in love with the country and the local people. His experiences resulted in his desire to share these feelings with the world.

João is one of the most experienced guides at Epic and his skillset and positive mindset in the mountains is second to none

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro lead his 11th tour in Iran with Epic in spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Expeditions, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Coastal

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Expeditions and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 gondogoro la trek

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Expeditions, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

Since he started exploring the world, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 70 countries along the way. 

Over the last 10 years, Chris has logged more than 7000 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

A few years back, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and the people of Pakistan led Chris to co-found Epic Expeditions at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 20 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

He lives in Madeira Island when not leading expeditions in far-flung lands. 

Chris also works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan.  

Read this interview our staff did with Chris to learn more about him!

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Pakistan is a magical country! Had 3 of the best weeks of my life thanks to Epic Backpacking Tours with owner, and one of our awesome guides, Chris. From detailed itinerary, preparation with an equipment list, and visa assistance. To amazing food, great porters, helpful guides, and great accommodations. Epic really hit home run after home run. […]

Their desire for adventure and amazing trip is just as high as yours. Bring a good pound of coffee for the trip. French press coffee every morning and no average tin coffee, plus you’ll be in your guides good books.

– Clark Tyler

epic backpacker tours

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