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Anyone done any easy walks, hikes on Madeira Island?

Anyone done any easy walks, hikes on Madeira Island?

Old Feb 13th, 2015, 06:14 AM
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Anyone done any easy walks, hikes on Madeira Island?

We will be in Madeira next month. We will be staying on the North coast near Sao Vicente, and we will have a car.

On previous trips we have loved easy hikes, walks in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and England. Spoiled in Switzerland and Bavaria for being able to take a cable car up and walk down!

We will not have hiking boots.

Has anyone taken any hikes or walks they can recommend? Some of the Levada walks look a little treacherous to say the least.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 11:49 PM
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The one Levada walk I did certainly needed boots with a decent tread and ankle support (and I was glad of my walking poles too). A replacement walk we were taken on when the planned mountain walk was scuppered by the weather could well be doable without boots (my only reservation would be the possibility of turning an ankle, but that can happen stepping off a kerb) - the coastal walk along the Ponta de Sao Lourenco. It has plenty of ups and downs, so I don't know if you'd call that easy. On the other hand, there is some spectacular scenery even at the very beginning from the car park.

Some photos showing the type of paths and steps here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrick...57650231750830
http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrick...7650231750830/
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 06:26 AM
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Thanks Patrick, will take a look!

How easy/difficult is the walk from Ribeiro Frio to the Belvedere at Balcoes?
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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Not the faintest idea, I'm afraid. I was only there for a week and we did the walk from Rabaçal to 25 Fontes.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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>>How easy/difficult is the walk from Ribeiro Frio to the Belvedere at Balcoes?<<

Very easy - that's one of the shortest and simplest levada walks on the island and the views at the end are staggering. It takes only about 25-30 minutes each way and is a relatively wide and completely level path, though sometimes muddy in places.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 12:01 PM
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Thanks Gordon! Do you have any other recommendations?
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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We took a trip which delivered us to Ribeiro Frio in a bus. We then walked a few hours along pretty level levadas and the bus picked us up the other end. I'll try and find out where the walk ended.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Patrick's already mentioned arguably the most famous one: Rabaçal to 25 Fontes, though this does have quite a bit of steps. I really like Curral dos Romeiros though the bit west of Choupana hills is not for the faint-hearted due to the sheer drops. The Levada Grande out near Porto Moniz is also excellent.

May I suggest you get hold of the excellent "Madeira: Car Tours and Walks" by John and Pat Underwood:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Madeira-Car-...8Landscapes%29

This book offers a selection of levada walks from easy to difficult and gives detailed information for each one. One thing to watch out for is that levadas can sometimes be closed due to weather damage or maintenance. It's important to take heed of any warning signs.
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