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Top 10 Levadas in Madeira

Madeira Island is a stunning destination that features breathtaking natural landscapes and lush green forests. One of the best ways to explore the island’s natural beauty is by hiking the well-known Levadas.

Levadas are narrow water channels that were built to distribute water from the mountains to the agricultural fields in the lower parts of the island. Nowadays, these levadas are used as hiking trails that offer visitors a unique and adventurous way to explore Madeira Island.

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Levadas in Madeira

What are the benefits of hiking Levadas?

Cardiovascular Health

Reduce Stress

Improve Mental Health

Top 10 Levadas

This is a challenging Levada that takes you through a beautiful forest and ends at the stunning Caldeirão Verde waterfall. In the heart of the Laurissilva forest, an 18th century ‘levada’ canal carries abundant water to nourish the agricultural lands of the parish of Faial.

The trail is about 9 km long, but the views are well worth it.

Details

8,7 km

Moderate

6h30

This trail begins at Rabaçal and follows the Levada do Alecrim, which is located at an altitude of 1300 meters. It continues along this path until it reaches its spring at Ribeira do Lajeado.

Moreover, you will come across heather tunnels that provide an extraordinary ambiance, adding a touch of uniqueness to your walking adventure.

Details

3,5 km

Easy

2h30

Beginning at Rabaçal, this is one of the most popular Levadas in Madeira Island.

The trail takes you through a lush green forest, where you can discover Lagoa das 25 Fontes. This lagoon is formed by the cascading waters originating from Paul da Serra, where they emerge gracefully through 25 natural springs in this very location.

Details

4,3 km

Moderate

3h00

Beginning at the Paúl da Serra plateau, this trail offers hikers the chance to cross a vast green area of the indigenous Laurissilva forest.

Vereda do Fanal ends at Fanal, where you will find a small volcanic crater classified as a Rest and Quiet Reserve by the Madeira Natural Park.

Details

10,8 km

Moderate

4h00

This trail goes mainly downhill as it winds its way through the landscape. It starts at regional road ER 209, situated in the forested area that offers views of the small town of Ribeira da Janela.

Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the agricultural region, characterized by its terraced fields ingeniously upheld by sturdy stone walls.

Details

2,7 km

Moderate

1h30

This trail starts at the Water Treatment Plant of Quebradas in São Jorge. Along the way, you’ll witness São Jorge and Santana’s agricultural landscapes and captivating vegetation tunnels.

The highlight of the walk awaits at Ribeiro Bonito, an isolated natural sanctuary embraced by the lush vegetation of the Laurissilva forest.

Details

3,5 km

Easy

2h30

This trail leads to the highest point of the archipelago: Pico Ruivo, standing at 1862 meters.

Along Vereda do Pico Ruivo, you’ll pass by shelters designed for the ever-changing weather in the area. Prepare for the possibility of being surrounded by clouds or above them, creating unforgettable images.

Details

2,8 km

Moderate

1h30

The trail begins at Ribeiro Frio, offering views of the lush greenery of the Laurissilva forest.

Along Levada do Furado, hikers can admire the farmlands of Faial, São Roque do Faial, and Porto da Cruz, as well as the majestic Penha d’Águia rock formation. Don’t miss the chance to recharge at the Portela viewpoint towards the end of the trail.

Details

11 km

Moderate

5h00

This short trail unveils indigenous and endemic species. At the endpoint, the Balcões viewpoint provides a magnificent scenic view.

On the way back, you can visit Ribeiro Frio Forest Park, home to the Aquaculture Centre and a rainbow trout nursery.

Details

1,5 km

Easy

1h30

In this trail, you’ll experience the island’s natural heritage up close. Along Levada dos Cedros, you can enjoy the peaceful Fanal area, classified as a Rest and Quiet Reserve in the Madeira Natural Park.

Here you can encounter a centuries-old Til forest, existing since the island’s discovery.

Details

7,2 km

Moderate

3h00

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