A few days ago I spoke about Madeira. We had the opportunity to enjoy some days in this Atlantic island and go hiking in its mountains.
As I already commented, hiking is the main tourist attraction in Medeira. Madeira has 2,500 miles of trails and Levadas and in this post I wanted to explain to you with a little more detail what the «Levadas» are.
The Levadas are an endless network of canals to carry water between the different parts of the island. They were originally created to provide water for the southern region, drier than the northern region. So in the mid sixteenth century, the island inhabitants began building these water channels along all of Madeira.
As the Madeira orography is very mountainous, the construction of these channels implied a large effort by the inhabitants of the island. Many Levadas are literally carved into the cliffs of the mountains, and often goes through tunnels. In fact, there are over 40 kilometers of tunnels throughout the island of Madeira.
In total there are over 2,200 kilometers of Levadas on the island, just so you can get an idea of the magnitude of this hydraulic engineering.
Well, these Levadas can be walked, meaning that we can follow many trails that run parallel to these wather canals or sometimes on the same wall of the Levada.
Some Levadas are in hidden corners that provide the traveler with a great experience in remote and beautiful landscapes in the interior of the island. Other times they are located along cliffs at the seaside.
To hike one “Levada”, it is indispensable to carry a flashlight and a waterproof raincoat. Also in some of them you must be extremely careful because they have very aerial zones without protection.
All the tours that we propose here are the most spectacular of the island (in Spanish):
- 25 Fontes – Cascada do Risco
- Boca do Risco – Espigao Amarelo
- Caldeirao Verde
- Camino de la Costa de Sao Jorge
- El balcón de Ribeiro Frio
- Levada Nova
- Península de Sao Lourenço
- Pico Arieiro – Pico Ruivo
- Pico Ruivo
- Ribeiro Frio – Portela
We´ve also left the link to download the tracks and waypoints of all these routes: Tracks and waypoints hiking in Madeira
And if you prefer the PDF: PDF Hiking in Madeira