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.
- Baby Rain Suit
- Men’s North Face Waterproof Hiking Pants
- Women’s North Face Waterproof Hiking Pants
- Men’s North Face Waterproof Rain Jacket
- Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Women’s Waterproof North Face Rain Jacket
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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