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“Amazing Vistas Levada walk”
Review of Nature Meetings

Nature Meetings
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US$43.82*
and up
Madeira Levada Walk - Rabacal Lakes and Fountains
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Walking in Madeira with Nature Meetings.Nature Meetings offers daily guided walking on the various "levadas" (water channels) and "veredas" (mountain paths) from easy short walks to the more challenging treks, some through UNESCO World Heritage Laurisilva forests.Madeira with Nature Meetings be it: walking, flowers, outstanding vistas, jeep excursions, dolphin and whale watching on boat trips in our warm Atlantic waters and consequent bird watching. For the more adventurous we can also organize canyoning.
Howden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Amazing Vistas Levada walk”
Reviewed 3 August 2013

My partner and I chose the Amazing Vistas Levada walk, available on Thursdays and Sundays priced at €27 per person, for what is described as a half day excursion. The driver arrived at our reception at the allotted time of 8.30am prompt, but unfortunately had to wait for two girls who came strolling out of breakfast 15 mins late! There was quiet a long drive around to pick up the other passengers (14 in total - 10 Germans, 2 Dutch and us). The mini bus was not air-conditioned as I had expected, which whilst ok at 8.30am, was a different matter when returning in the afternoon - open windows and a great deal of buffeting were the order of the day.

The walk itself was a flat, level route and took approximately 2 hours to complete. Walking boots were not necessary, but I would recommend sensible trainers or sandals. There were lovely views of the coast and countryside and plenty of opportunity to take photos. The guide was fluent in both English and German and took time to explain everything in both languages. He was extremely informative and more than happy to answer any questions – whether related to the walk or not. There was a set of steep, uneven steps to descend towards the end of the walk and an ever so slightly uphill section along a quiet road to a small café where refreshments could be purchased/toilet visited, before re-embarking the mini bus back to Funchal.

In summary, I enjoyed this walk very much and would recommend to anyone wanting to experience a pleasant stroll at a steady pace, with no strenuous uphill sections!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank FrazBabyBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
naturemeetings, Owner at Nature Meetings, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Many thanks for your review and I will make sure our guide and the Nature Meetings team also get this feedback, especially what is appreciated by our visitors.
It is also important to us that you appreciated the stops at local coffees as we feel it important that we all contribute to distributing tourism income across all stakeholders.
Although we try to concentrate pickups as much as possible, we are sorry for the delays and hope that this did not spoil the walk for you. We will also look into the air conditioning issue which our own buses all have.
We hope to welcome you again in Madeira soon, where we offer walks and many outdoor activities all year round.
Many thanks
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Vienna, Austria
1 review
“Some excellent, some not really good”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

We spent two weeks in Madeira and went on 5 walks with 'Nature Meetings':
- The peaks was a very nice walk despite being extremelly hot in the afternoon. Due to recent fires that destroyed almost all the vegetation in some areas, the last part of the walk is not as nice. The path is very narrow and step at times. Good knees required to cope with so many steps!
- The 25 fountains and Rabacal is indeed a very nice walk but in July the place is extremelly crowded. Avoid Tuesdays and Thursdays when many operators offer this walk.
- Caldeirao Verde was my favourite walk. Even with hot weather it is nice to walk through the paths. Nice views, beautiful flowers and cool tunnels.
- Peaceful views is simply boring! Very easy but not much to see. Although this walk includes a stop at a Snack restaurant at lunch time if you order lunch you get a bag with sandwhiches and fruit that have to eat standing outside! Really silly! The afternoon part is even worse as you walk towards the outskirts of a town. Very disappointing! Not even flowers, birds or butterflies you see...
- our last walk was a disaster: we booked and paid in advance for the Calheta walk but when we were picked up we were told this walk was cancelled as we were the only two participants. We had no choice but to join another group for a half day walk in Ribeira Grande. What a awful walk! Nothing to see and there were dead rabbits everwhere! We were refunded for the difference between the all day tour and half day but not for the lunch we had paid in advance and ended up with two bags with the usual bread and sandwiches despite being back at the hotel at lunchtime. Again, very silly!

Overall, I like Madeira and the walks in general but I am not impressed with the service offered by this company. You really need to be lucky with the guide you get and that your walk is not cancelled. Nature Walks should consider better service and better selection of paths. Next time I will choose a different company.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Palmira S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
naturemeetings, Owner at Nature Meetings, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Many thanks for your review - it is important for Nature Meetings to get this feedback: what is appreciated by our visitors and what didn´t work so well.
Nature Meetings offers a variety of walks, some "levadas" along water channels and some "veredas" which are mountain paths. Some set in a forest environment and others in drying climates.
We will add this information and differentiation to our walk descriptions to better manage our clients expectations as well as address some walks which are less popular. With regard to the rabbit issue, the Forestry department are trying to collect as many dead rabbits as quickly as possible.
We hope to welcome you again in Madeira soon, where we offer walks and many outdoor activities all year round.
Many thanks
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maspalomas, Spain
1 review
“Co-operation as supplier”
Reviewed 10 June 2013

Dear colleagues,
we like to thank you for the very very nice co-operation we had the last months with our (hike) groups in "your" island.
Our staff member, who participated in your several hikes, returned very satisfied to our base.
We are also pleased to tell you that several of our guests also sent us their positiv comments.
As we also have the priviledge to show "our" island Gran Canaria on foot to our guests. Several of our guests also like to discover other places.
We will not hesitate to continue to recommend you guys as soon as our guests ask for information about guided hiking in Madeira both for groups aswell individually.
Keep on working as you do until now....
Best greetings,
Jose
Happy Hiking Gran Canaria

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jose V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
naturemeetings, Owner at Nature Meetings, responded to this review, 24 June 2013
Thank you for your kind review, with Nature Meetings as Happy Hiking partner in Madeira. It is great to confirm that your tour manager and above all your clients returned home happy.

We look forward to develop our relationship in the Macronesia, co-promoting our mutual destinations of Canaries and Madeira Islands as well as the Azores.

We look forward to welcome you and your groups again soon and hope to contribute with groups to visit you shortly.

Best regards
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern England
Level Contributor
223 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Great way to see the countryside”
Reviewed 23 April 2013

Levada walks are fun and relaxing, not at all strenuous if the one we went on was a good example. We did 'Amazing Vistas' (half day for 27 euros each) and had Sandra as our guide. There were about 20 in the group and walkers are picked up at the hotel (but usually only a couple of stops are needed to fill the bus). We learned a great deal about the native flora and birds from Sandra, who was also informative about how people earned their living and general facts about life in Madeira. The actual walk did not seem like 6 km, because the pace was very relaxed (which might not suit dedicated walkers). At the end, we were taken to a pleasant snack bar, where our minibus was waiting for us.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank leisure-traveller44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
naturemeetings, Owner at Nature Meetings, responded to this review, 24 April 2013
Thank you for your kind review and I will make sure our guide Sandra reads the review too!

Nature Meetings offers a variety of walks from easy half days to more challenging full day walks and more recently Culture Tours.

We hope you will join Nature Meetings again soon.

Best regards,
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
Level Contributor
78 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Terrible Customer Service”
Reviewed 8 February 2013 via mobile

Booked and paid in advance for the big peaks walk. The day before we got back from a day out to find a message timed at 4.48pm to say the walk was cancelled. the staff at the hotel tried other guides but as it was 7.30 pm it was too late. Our last weekend, not impressed at all.

Helpful?
1 Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
naturemeetings, Owner at Nature Meetings, responded to this review, 12 February 2013
Many thanks for your feedback - I have checked with our Operations Manager who informed me the following:

We were informed that the walk between Pico do Arieiro - Pico Ruivo (PR1) on Friday 8 February 2013, less than 24 hours before the walk on Saturday 9th February was to start.

Our Manager contacted all our distribution partners and spoke all our internet booking clients directly, explaining the situation as well as the information that Nature Meetings only offer this walk on Saturday and do not offer other full day walks over the weekend and hence could not offer any full day alternative. He understood that you were satisfied with this explanation and hence I am rather surprised that you classified our customer service as terrible.

Nature Meetings´ safety record is something we are proud of and as the owner of the company, I stand by what all our brochures say: "the guide´s decision is final" as no one knows the routes, information and Madeira´s rapid changing climate better. If walks are closed by the Forestry department, who manage the routes, we naturally respect these decisions and will only offer the walk once it is reopened and our guides have confirmed its safety.

Outdoor activities have this variable nature, and your reservation was naturally made some time in advance. The walk route was closed less than 24 hours before the walk started. Nature Meetings contacted you whilst you were still in Madeira and your booking agent to refund your walk in full. As the walk is still closed, no one is currently operating the walk and our experience is that clients do not accept an alternative to this great walk between the highest peaks on the island. I am happy to read that no other walking company or guide offered the walk as it is still closed.

We hope you will return to Madeira and enjoy the great walking and trekking as well as many more outdoor activities in our fantastic climate we are still enjoying as well as carnival which is still being celebrated.

Best regards,
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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