Best Hiking trails in Madeira: Madeira Island, located off the coast of Portugal, is a nature lover’s paradise, boasting lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and stunning coastal views. Among its many attractions, hiking is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience the island’s natural beauty up close. With an extensive network of trails that crisscross the island, Madeira offers hikers of all levels a chance to explore its breathtaking landscapes.
In this article, we will take a closer look at seven of the best hiking trails in Madeira, from the enchanting Levada das 25 Fontes to Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, Madeira’s trails are sure to offer you an unforgettable experience. So put on your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and let’s explore the best hiking trails Madeira has to offer!
Best Hacking Trails in Madeira – Top 7
– Levada 25 Fontes
Levada das 25 Fontes / Rabaçal is a trail that lures hikers to explore its stunning beauty. This 10 km long hike, with an estimated time of 3-4 hours to complete, is moderate with some uneven terrain, yet suitable for all levels. Also, the trail offers hikers an opportunity to witness spectacular waterfalls and streams.
To prepare for this hike, hikers must wear comfortable shoes with good grip, bring plenty of water, and dress in layers as the weather can change abruptly in the mountains. It is also recommended to carry hiking poles as the trail can get quite muddy and slippery.
Starting from the Rabaçal parking lot, the trail takes hikers through the forest, passing by several waterfalls, including the breathtaking 25 Fontes waterfall. As the trail progresses, it leads to a viewpoint providing stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valley and the Risco waterfall. Hikers can also observe a variety of flora and fauna, including endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon and the Madeiran firecrest.
Overall, Levada das 25 Fontes / Rabaçal is a must-visit trail for anyone travelling to Madeira. Its spectacular natural beauty and moderate difficulty level make it a unique and unforgettable experience for hikers of all levels.
– Vereda do Areeiro
Vereda do Areeiro is a challenging 7.5 km hiking trail that takes you from the third-highest peak in Madeira, Pico do Areeiro, to the highest peak, Pico Ruivo. It’s a rocky and steep ascent that can take up to 4-5 hours to complete, so make sure you have proper hiking gear, enough food and water and warm clothing.
In addition, the highlights of the trail are the breathtaking view from the Pico Ruivo, where you’ll feel like you’re walking above the clouds and the trail’s highest point at an altitude of 1,861 meters. It’s a challenging hike, but the unforgettable experience and stunning views make it worth it for any hiking enthusiast visiting Madeira.
– Levada do Caldeirão Verde
Levada do Caldeirão Verde is a moderate-difficulty hiking trail in Madeira that stretches for about 13 km round trip. It starts in Queimadas and takes hikers about 3-4 hours to reach the Caldeirão Verde waterfall. The trail has steep ascents and descents, so hikers need to wear comfortable shoes with good grip, and bring plenty of water, and snacks to keep them energized.
The highlight of the hike is the Caldeirão Verde waterfall, which is a stunning sight to behold. Hikers can also observe unique flora and fauna, such as Madeiran laurel, heather, and chaffinch. The trail offers several panoramic viewpoints of the surrounding mountains and exciting experiences, including passing through five hand-carved tunnels and crossing several streams.
Overall, Levada do Caldeirão Verde is an ideal trail for nature lovers who want to experience the beauty of Madeira’s natural landscape. Its stunning waterfall, unique flora and fauna, and exciting experiences make it a must-visit for anyone who loves hiking.
– Pico Ruivo
Pico Ruivo is a challenging hiking trail in Madeira that showcases unique flora and offers scenic views. The trail is 8 km long and takes 3-4 hours to complete, starting from Achada do Teixeira car park. Hikers should prepare themselves with sturdy shoes, warm clothing, and plenty of water and snacks for the trail’s steep ascents and descents.
In addition, the hike offers panoramic views of surrounding mountains and valleys, which can be seen from several viewpoints. Hikers can also explore the endemic flora such as the Madeiran bellflower and laurel forest. The trail’s architectural features, including tunnels and bridges built into the rocky terrain, add to its excitement. The summit offers a breathtaking view of the island, and hikers may spot various bird species like the Madeira firecrest and chaffinch. Pico Ruivo is an excellent option for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts visiting Madeira.
– Levada do Rei
The Levada do Rei is a popular hiking trail that follows a centuries-old irrigation channel in Madeira. Starting from the Ribeiro Bonito viewpoint, the approximately 10 km long trail takes around 3-4 hours to complete and is rated as easy to moderate. Hikers should wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.
The scenic highlights of the Levada do Rei include lush green forests, picturesque waterfalls, and several stunning viewpoints, such as the Ribeiro Bonito and Levada do Rei viewpoints. The trail also offers a unique landscape of endemic flora, including Madeiran laurel and heather, and exotic bird species like the Trocaz Pigeon and Madeira Firecrest. Hikers must pass through a tunnel, adding an exciting element to the experience. The Levada do Rei is an excellent choice for hikers of all levels looking to experience Madeira’s natural beauty while enjoying a leisurely walk.
– Vereda São Lourenço
Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is a spectacular hiking trail located on the easternmost point of Madeira Island, known for its stunning coastal views and unique landscape. The trail is approximately 8 km long and takes around 3-4 hours to complete, starting from the Baía d’Abra car park. However, the hike is rated as moderate to difficult, so hikers should be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes, plenty of water and snacks, and appropriate clothing for the changing weather conditions.
The Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço offers a unique and rugged landscape that is sure to impress hikers. This 8 km long trail, located on the easternmost point of Madeira Island, winds through natural reserves that are home to endemic flora and fauna. As hikers make their way along the trail, they will be treated to breathtaking coastal scenery, with clear blue waters and contrasting red and white rocks that create a stunning contrast. Several scenic viewpoints, such as the Cais do Sardinha and Pico do Furado, offer spectacular views of the rugged coastline and natural arches carved by the sea.
– Levada do Furado
The Levada do Furado is a popular hiking trail in Madeira, known for its stunning scenery and cultural significance. This trail follows a centuries-old irrigation channel that runs for approximately 10 km and takes around 3-4 hours to complete, starting from the Quebradas water treatment plant. The hike is rated as moderate and requires hikers to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.
The trail passes through a unique landscape of endemic flora and fauna, including Madeiran laurel, heather, and exotic bird species like the Trocaz Pigeon and the Madeira Firecrest. Hikers can enjoy several scenic viewpoints, such as the Ribeira Funda viewpoint, which offers stunning views of the valley below, and the Levada do Furado viewpoint, which overlooks a beautiful waterfall. Moreover, the trail is rich in cultural history, as it was built by slaves in the 18th century to transport water from the mountain springs to the farmlands, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.
In summary, the Levada do Furado is an excellent choice for hikers of all levels looking to experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Madeira. This trail offers several opportunities to witness breathtaking scenery, including stunning waterfalls, lush forests, and rich biodiversity, making it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Madeira.
To explore the natural beauty of Madeira Island, hiking is an ideal way to experience the stunning landscapes up close. Madeira Island offers a wide range of hiking trails suitable for hikers of all levels. This article introduces seven of the best hiking trails on Madeira Island, including Levada das 25 Fontes, Vereda do Areeiro, Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Pico Ruivo, and Levada do Rei. These trails showcase the beauty of the island, from breathtaking waterfalls and streams to panoramic views of mountains and valleys. Each trail has its unique characteristics, offering unforgettable experiences for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Madeira Island is indeed a nature lover’s paradise, and its hiking trails provide an excellent opportunity to explore its natural beauty.
Renting a car on Madeira Island is a great idea to explore hiking trails. The island’s mountainous terrain can be challenging, and having a car provides flexibility in choosing the trailhead and accessing remote locations. It also allows for easy transportation of equipment and supplies, making for a more enjoyable and comfortable hiking experience. Rent your car now at 7M Rent a Car.