How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes


The Levada das 25 Fontes Hike located in Madeira, Portugal is one of the most popular hikes on the island and for good reason.  With two impressive waterfalls to see along the way and sweeping rainforest views throughout, the 25 Fontes hike in Madeira, Portugal is not one to miss. Here is our guide on how to hike the 25 Fontes hike in Madeira, Portugal.  

Levadas are aqueducts that help with water flow throughout the island. There are many levada hikes throughout the island.  See our Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira, How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes and How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde guides for more information on other stunning levada hikes in Madeira. Also, see our Top Things to do Madeira guide for more on our Madeira trip.

FYI: We took this trip and hike when our daughter was 18 months old.  For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts. 

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How long is the 25 Fontes hike? How much elevation gain? 

Per our iWatch tracking, the 25 Fontes Levada Hike is 6.5 Miles with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  These stats include hiking to both the 25 Fontes Waterfall and Risco waterfall. This also includes hiking to the trailhead from the parking lot.  Note, the logistics of this hike on All Trails are not completely accurate, particularly elevation statistics which are dramatically higher than the actual elevation gain. 


How long does it take to hike the 25 Fontes hike?

The Levada das 25 Fontes hike took us 3 hours and 15 minutes to hike. This included hiking to the 25 Fontes Waterfall & Risco Waterfall.  This also was with 35+ lbs on one of our backs with baby and gear. Based on most reviews, this hike takes most people about 4 hours.  We hiked this trail on a rainy day but did not find it to be slippery or to need to hike slower because of the trail being wet. 


Can you take a shuttle to shorten the Levada das 25 Fontes hike?

You can take a shuttle from the parking lot to the start of the trailhead for the 25 Fontes hike and this will cut off about 0.8 miles (1.6 miles roundtrip) and about 500 feet of elevation.  This shuttle costs 5 Euros.  However, you can walk the path in less time than the shuttle goes back and forth most times as the schedule is inconsistent and variable.  Due to the shuttle being inconsistent and unreliable, we opted to walk to the trailhead from the parking lot and that was included in our hike statistics above.  We ended up hiking to/from the parking lot faster than the shuttle went back and forth to the trailhead. 


Is hiking the extra 1600m to the Risco waterfall worth it?  

Yes, hiking to the Risco waterfall on the 25 Fontes hike is completely worth it.  The hike to this bonus waterfall is a completely flat walk and the Risco waterfall is truly stunning, arguably more impressive than the 25 Fontes Waterfall as it is much bigger.  We both agree this short and flat detour to see this bonus waterfall is completely worth it! 

25 Fontes Hike

What are the logistics of the hike?

The 25 Fontes Levada waterfall hike starts from the parking lot.  For the first 0.8 miles, you are on a paved road and descending to the trailhead.  Once you reach the trailhead, you hike on a well maintained rocky trail.  You descend further into the valley intermittently from here on several staircases.  The elevation changes on this hike once you are off the paved trail do not feel overwhelming.  You will hike along the levada on a narrow trail. On the trail, you will get sweeping views of the rainforest along the way as well as many forested views along the levada. 

We hiked on a day that was not busy. However, with the narrow nature of the path, it can be hard (and frustrating) at times to pass people going the same way or the opposite way. In many narrow sections on busy days, you will have to wait for others to pass before proceeding on the trail.

You gain almost all your elevation on this hike on the way back to the trailhead and parking lot on this hike so be sure to save some energy.  


Where is the Levada das 25 Fontes hike located? 

This hike is located in Rabacal in the middle, west part of the island.  


What waterfalls do you see on this hike?

On the 25 Fontes Levada hike, you see several gorgeous waterfalls. The stunning 25 Fontes waterfall is the highlight of this hike.  However, you can also see the very impressive Risco waterfall for only an 800 meter detour.


Is the 25 Fontes hike busy? 

Yes, the 25 Fontes waterfall hike is very busy as it is one of the most popular hikes on the island.  Try to get to this hike early or go on a more overcast day.  We hiked on a on/off rainy day with overcast skies and saw few other people and only several groups.


Do you need rain gear on the hike?  

25 Fontes Hike

Yes, we would suggest great rain gear on this hike. It tends to be more rainy on this part of the island and the weather in the rainforest is not always predictable.  Here is the rain gear we use and love.  And Baby G looks pretty cute in her Baby Rain Suit.

Gear we recommend to have to explore: 


We hope this guide helps you plan how to hike the 25 Fontes hike.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira


There are many different levada hikes on the island of Madeira. Levadas are aqueducts that aid with water flow throughout the island and trails run adjacent to many of them.  The paths next to these levadas offer some of the most scenic hikes with lush flora on the islands given the ample water supply the levadas provide.  These levada hikes also often lead to some of the stunning waterfalls and magnificent flourishing mountain valley views.  With there being so many of these hikes on the island, we did our research to find the best ones to hike while on Madeira. We had limited time on the island rather than weeks to hike them all.  Here is our guide on what we consider the top 3 levada hikes on Madeira that you should be sure to hike during your visit.  


#1 Top Levada Hike: Levada do Caldeirão Verde

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is one of the most magical and picturesque levada hikes on Madeira.  From sweeping mountainous rainforest views, to hiking through narrow caves to stunning waterfalls, this hike does not disappoint.  This hike was recommended to us by several as the ‘best hike on Madeira’ and we would agree. This overall flat hike is not overly strenuous or technical and with astounding views.  The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike in Madeira is a must-do hike while on the island. If you are only going to do one levada hike on Madeira, do this one. 

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is an out & back hike that is 8.5 miles round-trip and is essentially flat the entire journey.  This hike is located near Santana (in the North Middle part of the island),  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde on Madeira.


#2 Top Levada Hike: 25 Fontes Waterfall Hike

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is one of the most popular levada hikes on Madeira and for good reason.  With two impressive waterfalls to see along the way and sweeping rainforest views throughout, the 25 Fontes hike is not one to miss while visiting Madeira. The 25 Fontes waterfall and Risco waterfall you see on this hike are truly astounding.  

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is 6.5 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  This hike is located near Rabacal (in the middle west part of the island).  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes on Madeira. 


#3 Top Levada Hike: Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a peaceful loop trail along two different levadas that leads you to two different waterfalls.  One of the waterfalls you can even walk behind!  Although not a very popular hike, it was one of our favorite hikes on Madeira.  Beyond the waterfalls you see on this hike, the valley mountain views here are incredible. The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a hidden gem on Madeira. 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova is a 5.6 miles round trip hike with just under 500 feet of elevation gain and is a loop trail.  This hike is located near Ponta del Sol (middle south part of the island).  For more information on the hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Moinho on Madeira.


General Levada Hike Tip: Hike with Rain Gear

It only rained one day during our visit. However, Madeira is a tropical island and it rains frequently. Even if it was not raining on many of our hikes, we needed rain gear to stay dry when we had to go hike through different areas due to water run off.  We highly recommend having good rain gear for your visit to Madeira, particularly hiking most levadas. Here is the gear we use, love and recommend. 


We hope this guide helps you plan what levada hikes you want to do while visiting Madeira.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! For more information on our Madeira trip see our Top Things to do Madeira post.

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