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Top 5 Lavada Walks

Devon England
Level Contributor
23 posts
160 reviews
Top 5 Lavada Walks

We are going on our first trip to Madeira on Feb 2nd staying at Camara de Lobos.

We are keen walkers and would appreciate some local knowledge on which Lavada walks would be most picturesque and within a 2 hour Bus journey from the Hotel.

Is it practical to arrange Taxis to and from the walks ?

We have the Sunflower Book,Tour & Trail,and Bus & Touring Map.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks Chris

Madeira, Portugal
Level Contributor
11,289 posts
85 reviews
1. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

February is historically the wettest month in Madeia so walking without a guide can be dangerous. Although you have the books, it is not recommended walking without the experiance and knowledge of guides as many walks are remote and can be dangerous and slippery. I know there are visitors to Madeira who will disagree with me, but we have many accidents and unfortunately some deaths on some of the walks. The terraine varies from place to place and some walks are very gentle and flat and some are likened to climbing Everest!!. Some have lots of steps and steep climbs. DO not be put off though as this is a fabulous way to enjoy the interior of the island but safety is paramount. I would recommend taking advise from experts first, even if you chose not to go on guided walks. If you go it alone, let your reception know where you are going, take a cellphone loaded with emergency numbers, torch wear sensible shoes or strong trainers. Remember not all walks are circular so you need to plan your walk carefully. Speak to these people either when you arrive or look at the website and consider using them, they only take small groups, do not 'route march' and are very knowledgeable of the island.

www-madeira-levada-walks.com

London
Level Contributor
74 posts
1 review
2. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

Flowercity is right to warn for dangers. A few fatal accidents did occur last year, but if you stick to ()fairly flat) levada walks, you only need to be careful for the ones with steep unprotected drops.

If you stay in Camara de Lobos it may not be so easy to reach many walks and get back same day.

A taxi would cost about 110 Euro for a day and then you can do all what you like.

You will probably be staying near a levada, the one from Camara de Lobos towards Ribeira Brava.

It has been a while since I last made that walk but

it will be a logical one of course.

I loved that one (number 6 of Sunflower) that goes on to Eira do Mourao and then decending to near Ribeira Brava down on 2000 steps. This is a fantastic decend and not dangerous but the steps are high. Do it slowly. There is now a road to that village Eira do Mouroa but I suppose the steps are unchanged. You should surely include that in your walks. Don't continue on the Levada do Norte beyond Eira do Mourao, it's very dangerous and only done by real experts.

From the Encumeada pass you should do the one towards the west. One route is through the tunnels to Folhadal, and before the first tunnel you can also go straight on but do that only as far as you feel fine, as that levada gets later to go just on a concrete levada wall alomg a very deep steep drop and in strong wind that is really dangerous, but you can turn back when you feel you have to and then do the tunnel route, where you need good torches and some head protection (a hat will do) in case you bump your head.

A favourite levada is the one from Santa above Porto Moniz (the last walk in Sunflower). When taking the morning bus to Porto Moniz or Santa, one has just enough time to do that and get back on the bus. Personally I think it's better to spend a night in Porto Moniz. I liked that levada even in rain (with an umbrella). It's wide so not dangerous.

Some great levadas (all the ones in Sunflower) are on Paul da Serra, like the Rabacal walks.

You have Sunflower, hopefully the 9th edition, as there are always changes and you have to have the latest edition.

Before you go, download the latest Update ( www.sunflowerbooks.co.uk/upmd.html or search on that website if I have got that wrong.

A great walk is from Eira do Serrado (walk 3) down and then doing a small part of the old levada to Funchal (it soon gets much too dangerous). Better get back soon and return by bus from Curral das Freiras. The decend from Eira do Serrado is steep but on a wide path and normally (if not slippery )not dangerous. It used to be the only connection with Curral, a long time ago.

One levada to not miss is Caldeirao Verde from Queimadas above Santana, but this would be difficult to do on public transport. You have to do that organised ( www.madeira-levada-walks.com ) but they may not go to Camara de Lobos to pick you up.

You could do it by taxi. You could arrange to be picked up in Ilha de Sao Jorge,as you can decend from that levada to that town.

On that walk you need to be careful for your head in the tunnels. Otherwise there is normally no danger.

Of course, after rain, it all can be different.

Other walks you find in the book, which contains ALL the walks which are worthwhile.

London
Level Contributor
74 posts
1 review
3. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

P.S. In the Sunflower Update link I gave, delete the last L .

Devon England
Level Contributor
23 posts
160 reviews
4. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

Hi Madeirahiker,

Thanks for all the info. We have the 9th Edition and will get any updates before we go.

Hope the tracks aren't as hair raising as El Camino del Rey www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1438490562

We will be very careful and won't take chances with our safety or any body elses

Getting excited now for our new Adventures

Thanks again

Chris n Chris

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
1,079 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

Difficult to say which are the top five but most levada walks are all good.

Suggest you look at walks Sunflower 16 or 25 or a good high coastal walk in the east, Sunflower walk 14 (the buses back are easier if done in reverse starting from Porta da Cruz ending at Machico)

I like the walk in from Faja da Nogueira which is unusual becuase it is up a valley floor (most are contouring round mountains) but unless you go for the tunnel under Pico Ruivo, then Caldeirao Verde and down to Ilha de Sao Jorge (long walk!) its an up and back walk but still good. You are right under and in the big mountains so spectacular.

Ribeiro Frio-Portela (walk 15 11 km) is excellent. Go first back to see trout farm and then left opposite start to Portela, to Balcoes viewpoint then levada.

If you are thinking of a mountain walk then Walk 4 of Sunflower is a great walk. There is now a bus up to Boca da Corrida.

Take the Currel de Freiras bus up to the very end of the Currel valley and explore local levadas there then walk back down to Curral village - most tourists stop at the village and miss this great valley.

Most can be done by from Funchal but no so easy from Camara de Lobos but you do have loads buses in and out of the village including the Encumeada and Boca da Corrida buses.

Devon England
Level Contributor
23 posts
160 reviews
6. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

Hi Flowercity

Thanks for the info and useful link

We hope to follow that up

Kind regards

Chris n Chris

Devon England
Level Contributor
23 posts
160 reviews
7. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

Hi Dedinburgh

Thanks for the helpful info

We are really looking forward to doing some safe walking and sight seeing in Madeira

Best wishes

Chris n Chris

8. Re: Top 5 Lavada Walks

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