Day 2 to 3
During our time in Porto Moniz we will be taking in the following walks:
Levada da Janela - A great introduction to levada walking on Madeira. At the start of our walk near the village of Lamaceiros there are stunning views through a terraced valley down to the sea. The flat levada path is lined by lush vegetation including agapanthus and eucalyptus. There are tunnels to go through, waterfalls and views inland into densely covered hillsides. We return to the café in Lamaceiros for refreshments before the descent back to Porto Moniz, enjoying views of the north coast on the way.
17km / 10.5 miles, +50m, -460m, 5 hours
Levada Moinho - We join the levada after an uphill walk through woodland from Achadas da Cruz. The path is narrow at times, but well protected. The levada is often fast flowing, used as it was to power mills. There are wonderful views of the coast and steep hillsides with cultivated terracing. We can detour to the source of the levada, then follow it to Santa where we stop in a café, then continue down the traditional cobbled steps to Porto Moniz.
12km / 7.5 miles, +150m / -900m, 5 ½ hours
Day 4 to 7
Today we transfer to our second centre of Ponta do Sol. After the transfer we will walk the Lombo do Mouro - Our transfer bus takes us up on to the stunning Plateau of Paul Da Serra where we will have our first views of the Big Peaks. As we start to descend towards Encumeada the bus will drop us off and continue to Ponto Do Sol with our luggage. We will descend, initially on a small levada with open views of the Big Peaks to the east. We continue through Eucalyptus forest, emerging to fine views down the Ribeira Valley. We continue the descent through small villages to the coast at Ribeira Brava where there will be time for a drink before prearranged taxis will take us to the hotel at Ponto Do Sol on the south coast.
10km / 6 miles, -1300m, 4 hours.
Our remaining days in Ponta do Sol will see us take in any number of the walks below:
Levada do Paul & 25 Fontes - We start this walk at Christo Rei close to the Plateau of Paul Da Serra. We walk along the quiet Levada Do Paul with uninterrupted views to the south coast. Upon reaching Rabacal we continue through Laurissilva forest either on Levada Das 25 Fontes or Levada do Risco, both of which have impressive waterfalls at the end. 25 Fontes (springs) is a group of waterfalls 30m high tumbling down to a rock pool and has become a premier tourist spot in Madeira, therefore extremely busy. Returning from the waterfalls we continue through the Calheta tunnel, then taking a pleasant woodland path to Atouguia and the end of the walk.
15km / 9miles, minimal ascent / -850m, 5 hours
Cabo Girão & Levada do Norte to Faja - We begin with the visit to the Cabo Girão sea cliffs at 580m which wiith its glass skywalk it is now the most popular tourist attraction in Madeira. Leaving the cliffs behind we walk along Levada Norte around valleys and through sunny cultivated terraces. We will stop at a pleasant bar at Boa Morte at lunchtime before continuing towards Ribeira Funda. Leaving the levada below the village we take a stepped path down to Faja in the Ribeira Valley. The path down has 1600 steps but has been well improved and is a spectacular descent.
17.5km / 11miles, minimal ascent, 580m descent, 5 – 6 hours.
Fontes & Chao dos Terreiros - Beginning in the village of Fontes we complete a circuit of the hills to the north of the village before descending to Meia Legua in the Ribeira Valley. Heading uphill towards Terreiros the views begin to open out towards Boca Da Cerro, Pico Grande and the Big Peaks. After a well earned rest at the summit we return to Fontes. For those not wishing to undertake the descent transport can be taken from here back to the hotel, however the views on the descent route are well worth the effort and the path although narrow in places is now much improved.
14km / 9 miles, +500m, -900m, 6 hours