Madeira "Levadas" – A journey to the heart of Nature
by: Paula Ferreira17 November 2015, Tuesday
From channels built in the 16th century used to irrigate crops to maze like trails explored by tourists today , the "levadas" are without a doubt one of the most famous ex-líbris of Madeira.
"Levadas" - the roadmap of Madeira
The sole purpose of the first levadas built by colonizers in the 15th century was to bring water from the north to the agricultural areas in the south side of the island. They are amongst the richest elements of Madeira cultural heritage and a perfect example of how the intervention of mankind in nature can happen harmoniously.
Today these channels cover almost the entire island, an impressive 2150 km in total. The Earth's almost imperceptible curvuture and the trail parallel to these channels make the perfect pathway throughout the Madeira island, by walk or even cycling, welcoming explorers to discover the hidden treasures in the heart of the island. How else could one access the fantastic waterfalls, breathtaking landscapes, lakes and streams of icy water where the trout lurk?
Walking along these trails you'll be amazed by one of the seven Natural Wonders of Portugal, the indigenous Laurisilva rainforest that dates back to the Tertiary period and declared in 1999 by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Properties.
Take special precautions when you decide to go on a levada. For safety reasons you should always inform the place your accomadated and never take on a levada walk alone.
You should also be adequately equiped, regardless of the difficulty of the trail:
- Mountain boots or adequate footwear
- Warm cloths like a polar sweater and a waterproof jacket
- Sunscreen and a lantern to help you cross tunnels
- Water containers and something light to eat
- And ofcourse a camera to remember the experience later on.
Come explore Madeira and its natural wonders, just choose your levada and we take care of the rest for you!
A Travel & Experiences in Madeira consultant, loves to travel and share those experiences. Knows like nobody all the fantastic innermost places in Madeira.
Return to blog homepage
Related Articles you might like