In addition to its beautiful nature and flowers, Madeira is also known for its irrigation canals,
the so-called levadas.
Levadas are man-made water canals that carry water from the wet to the dry areas, thus providing the entire island with sufficient water. It is an admirable, sophisticated irrigation system, and the construction already began in the 15th century. As time went by, more and more canals were added and in 1978 the last levada was completed. The whole system comprises of more than 200 levadas with a total length of 3,000 km.
The levadas are regularly maintained and checked by employees, the so-called levadeiros, which is why there are paths beside the levadas.
Nowadays, these paths also serve as hiking trails, which are very popular with tourists as well with the locals.
Most levadas are open to everyone, although there are different levels of difficulty, depending on length and altitude. There are enough guided walks on the island, but you can also go on your own.
We can definitely recommend hiking along the levadas, as this way you can discover a very varied, breathtaking and often untouched landscape. Together with great viewpoints and panoramic views, the levadas offer a unique experience of lush nature, which can also be called green therapy.
Have fun exploring!