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The "Levada" Self-guided Trek (Madeira Island, Portugal)
Madeira open-air botanical garden – a true paradise for nature lovers.
You can find weekly return flight ticket around 90 pounds!
For more information please provide me your email and mobile number.
A “levada” is a canal, which takes the water down from the rainy mountains to the dry lowlands where it is used for irrigation. Canals that last for hundreds of kilometers built centuries ago and still well maintained. The first “levadas” date back to the 15th century and the whole “levada”- network is around 2150 km long. The paths along the “levadas” take you through unspoilt nature, scenic landscapes, gorges, luxuriant banana groves, vineyards, pitch-dark tunnels and ancient pine forests.
♦ Machico Was the first point of landing in Madeira for the discoverers - It has a fascinating landscape, with its high mountains and deep valleys covered by exotic vegetation and colourful flowers;
♦ Madeira Natural Park - It is in the exuberance of the landscape that if finds one of the greater tourist attractive of Madeira Island;
♦ Levada de Serra - One of the most fascinating features of Madeira is the vast network of open-air water canals that cover the island bringing water from the mountains to the plantations below.
Day 1. Funchal Airport - Machico
Arrival at Funchal Airport. Transfer to Machico Madeira’s second largest town is situated in a green valley between the slopes of Ribeira do Machico. Accommodation in hotel in the charming old quarter.
Day 2. Machico - Ribeiro de Machico
An easy walking tour north from Machico up to Pico de Facho with a “vigia” – a viewpoint from the 17-th century. Spectacular view over Machico and all the way to Ponta de Sao Lourenco in the east. From there we walk along by the side of Levada do Canical – a relatively new irrigation channel – from its point of emergence from a 750m long tunnel all the way to its source near Ribeira de Machico. Transfer back to Machico. Overnight in a hotel.
Walking distance: 12km; walking time: 4hrs; uphill/downhill walking 400/50m.
Day 3. Monte to Camacha
Transfer from Machico up to Monte, famous summer resort from the 19th c. Monte’s main attractions are its tropical garden (where a short sightseeing is more than recommended), the white church of Nossa Senhora do Monte with its beautiful garden and the wickerwork sleighs on which you can slide down to Funchal. From Monte you follow for a while the Levada dos Tornos and then you climb up to join the Levada da Serra at an altitude of 750 m. We follow it around the head of the Valley of Paradise to Camacha where you will be transferred to Santo da Serra. Overnight in Santo da Serra.
Walking distance: 12,5km; walking time: 5hrs; uphill walking 200m.
Day 4. Camacha - Santo da Serra
Transfer from Santo da Serra to Camacha where you walk along by the green side of Levada de Serra at an altitude of about 800 m. Beautiful view over the long and very narrow Ponta de Sao Lourenco peninsula – Madeira’s most eastern point, expects you there. The walk ends in the village of Santo da Serra where you stay overnight in hotel. Before dinner you can make a short stroll in the local botanical garden.
Walking distance: 14km; walking time: 5hrs; uphill/downhill walking 100/150m.
Day 5. Santo da Serra - Santana
Walk Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio. Today you follow the Levada do Furado up into the wild forested hills of
the Madeira Natural Park, with magnificent views at a number of points, but not a walk for severe sufferers of
vertigo. There are many places where the levada path is narrow with big drops to one side, these are however
mostly thick with trees and bushes helping to reduce the feeling of exposure. At Ribeiro Frio (Cold Stream,
850m above the sea) you are met and transferred to Santana, a village set on a plateaux 400m/1300 feet above
the north coast. (Transfer included in tour price). Overnight Santana. The pick up at Ribeiro Frio will be
between 16.00 and 16.30. Note that today you do need to carry an adequate lunch and some spare food.
Walking time: 6hrs; uphill walking 200m.
Day 6. Achada do Teixeira - Encumeada
Drive to Achado near the famous Homem em Pe rock. From there it’s about an hour easy climb to Madeira’s highest peak - Pico Ruivo (1862m). You descend to Encumeada along a high ridge with breath-taking views on both sides. This is a strenuous walk, only for experienced hikers as it ends with numerous steep steps, which can be very hard on the knees. Overnight in hotel in Encumeada.
Walking distance: 14km; walking time: 6hrs; uphill/downhill walking 300/800m.
Day 7. Encumeada - Corticeiras - Funchal
A scenic walk across the lush green valley of Ribeira do Poco, sprinkled with the traditional thatched cowsheds, and up to the viewpoint of Fenda do Ferreiro. An old track – part of the ancient main road running north-south across the heart of the island, known as the Mountain Garden. From Corticeiras there is a regular bus service to Funchal, where your luggage will be waiting for you. Overnight in Funchal.
Walking distance: 16km; walking time: 6hrs; uphill/downhill walking 250/500m.
Day 8. Departure
Transfer to the airport. (approx. 30min).
Luggage transportation: Luggage is taken care throughout the whole journey, and so are the transfers from place to place as specified above.
Included in the price: ►pick up/drop off transfers to Funchal airport ► private transfers (days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) ► luggage transfers ► accommodation 2 nights at 4**** hotels, 5 nights at 3*** hotels with breakfast included and 3 evening meals (Days 3, 4 & 6)► detailed roadbook and map in English;
Not included: ►flight tickets► alcohol drinks► personal expenses► tickets for public transport not mentioned above ►If you break the trip plan you pay on your own the extra expenses for transport and accommodation.
Other expenses: Single room supplement: 100 pounds; solo departure fee (on top of the basic price): coming soon!
Prectical information: It is a good idea to take a daypack, lunchpack, hat, sun glasses and sunscreen lotion. Light hiking shoes with good sole for wet/slippery parts along the road (sometimes it is very humid above 500m a.s.l. and the rocky “levada” banks may be slippery, which can cause danger in the steep parts of the gorges). See General in the trip dossier for the full list with recommended items.