Get to know the delightful north-east coast of Madeira on this easy, charming and fully-guided walk. The route follows the course of one of the island’s famous ‘levadas’, man-made water channels that twist their way through the landscape, affording a unique insight into the region’s agricultural and historical heritage.
The origins of levadas can be traced back to the 16th century, when early Portuguese settlers recognised the need to transfer water from those parts of the island blessed with plentiful rainfall to relatively dry areas. Owing to the mountainous terrain, this sometimes required prodigious feats of engineering, including tunnelling and carving channels out of faces of sheer rock. Fortunately the levada you will be walking next to provides a very gentle and relaxing path that takes you through fertile countryside and spectacular terracing. Accompanied by the constant sound of running water, it is hard not to be beguiled by this enchanting landscape, while marvelling at how it has been shaped by nature and the generations of farmers who have toiled in its fields.
Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel lobbies in Funchal, Canico and Machico. Duration: Three to four hours. Start/opening time: Between 9am-9.30am. End/closing time: Between 1pm-2pm. Languages: Portuguese, English, German and French.