For my last day a walk – about 6 or 7 miles. It was so lovely on the day (although my legs have ached since!). As with many popular places in Madeira there were plenty of people. But there was enough space between us to enjoy the solitude too. I went on my own, not on a tour. It was very achievable as it was all signposted. Levadas are water channels which bring the water from the wetter parts of the island to the drier sections. Some are over 400 years old – Moorish technology in action. They have always been so good with water.
I walked down from the car park (about 2km) and then on to Risco waterfall, which was relatively flat, but not without bumpy bits. I met a lady in flip flops – she recommended something more sturdy…
The falls were fun, and I could see the levada following the mountain round – too dangerous for walkers.
I then retraced my steps and followed the signs to 25 Fontes. The first bit is the hardest with a lot of steps, so don’t be deterred if you ever go! It flattens out, although there are some really narrow bits without passing places, and there are quite a few bits where you are right next to some substantial drops, not all with fences. The 25 Fontes – 25 fountains – drop into a beautifully coloured pool. It was very atmospheric, held in the bowl of mountains.
But the best bit is just walking in the mountains next to the cool levadas. What a great day.