Funchal
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Our most recommended Funchal Birdwatching

Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

1. Madeira Walks - Rabaçal and the 25 Fountains

Rabaçal is a nature reserve on the island of Madeira that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It is an area of intense natural beauty, brimming with waterfalls and unique flora and plant life, all of which you can experience on this wonderful guided walk. The 25 Fountains Walk starts by heading down the biggest valley of Madeira towards the Rabaçal reserve. Along the way you will walk along two of the oldest Madeira levadas each boasting a remarkable evergreen landscape with beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout. The 25 fountains refer to the 25 natural springs you will discover on the walk. Each spring falls into a small crystal clear lake surrounded by dense vegetation. Once you arrive here you may never want to leave! In this paradise-like oasis you'll be immersed in beautiful surronds, listening to the murmuring sounds of the water and the quiet chanting of the birds. For nature lovers this walk is an invitation into a unique and awe-inspiring slice of heaven. Rabaçal is a paradise of waterfalls, lakes and enchanting fountains and there is no better way to experience it than on a guided walk.

From Funchal: Skywalk & Rabacal 25 Fountains Levada Walk

2. From Funchal: Skywalk & Rabacal 25 Fountains Levada Walk

Depart Funchal and journey west to the Paul da Serra viewpoint in Calheta. Upon arrival, embark on a hike of the famous Levada das 25 Fontes e Risco walk and encounter the amazing waterfalls that give the nature trail its name. Then, go to Pico da Urze for lunch in a typical restaurant at your own expense. Continue off-road to the village of Ponta do Sol to see the stunning south coast of Madeira. Get bird's eye views from the coastal town of Ribeira Brava. Make your way to the highest cliff in Europe at Cabo Girão for stunning vistas 580 meters above sea level.

Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

3. Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

Journey from the center of Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio, two of the main points of interest on Madeira Island, visited not only by tourists but also by residents. Walk through a forest road passing by the Trout Fishing Park, where you can relax for a while, having a tea or simply enjoying the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the amazing nature at the Levada, enjoying every step while you appreciate the wide variety of endemic flora and fauna of Madeira Laurisilva. Discover open areas that offer magnificent views of the valley and peaks of the island. Continue walking along the levada, enjoying the energy of all this pure nature surround you.

Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike

4. Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike

Once having been collected from your Madeira accommodation, drive through the mountains before arriving to Ribeiro Frio. Following a short but grandeur walk through the beautiful Laurisilva Forest, arrive to the fabulous Balcões’ belvedere. From this belvedere it’s possible to contemplate the many peaks of Madeira Island, from which Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro stand the highest. Pico do Gato, Pico das Torres, and the well-known Penhad’Águia also constitute part of this breathtaking scenery. This area is also ideal for bird watching, due to the fact that it is home to a huge variety of different species. These birgs include the firecrest, the chaffinch, grey wagtails, blackbirds, robins, buzzards, and the very rare Madeira's long-toed pigeon.

Madeira West Island Full-Day Tour with Levada Walk

5. Madeira West Island Full-Day Tour with Levada Walk

Start your West Island Tour with hotel pick-up between 8:00 and 9:00. Your first stop will be at the famous fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, where the famous Sir Winston Churchill spent his days painting when he visited the island of Madeira. Continue to Cabo Girão to view the highest sea cliff in Europe. The tour's next stop is at Ribeira Brava, where you will make a quick visit to the church there. You will then discover Ponta de Sol. This name literally means "point of the sun," an apt description for the most beautiful village on the island. Next enjoy a scenic drive through the Laurissilva Forest up to the plateau of Pául da Serra. Stop for a short, flat, easy walk along a levada (an irrigation channel unique to Madeira). The tour proceeds to the northwest side of the island where you can visit the Porto Moniz, famous for its volcanic rock pools. If it's not crowded, the tour will stop here for lunch and quick swim. You could also continue down the scenic coastal route to Seixal for lunch and a swim. After lunch you will travel the coastal road, taking in the famous waterfalls en route to São Vincente. Then discover Encumeada Pass. The views here are breathtaking. Enjoy a final stop at a famous bar where the proprietors make "Poncha," a traditional spirit drink mixed with honey and orange juice. Return to the hotel at around 17:00.

Madeira: Ilha to Pico Ruivo Trail

6. Madeira: Ilha to Pico Ruivo Trail

You will be picked up from your accommodation in Madeira and transferred via your own private transportation to the small village of Ilha, where you will will meet your professional guide. From Ilha you will walk the serene trail to Pico Ruivo, the highest point of Madeira Island. At 6106 feet it offers breathtaking views of the island and the ocean. Enjoy marveling at the island’s fauna and flora on your way to the top whilst learning about its culture from your guide. You will experience the rich greens of Laurissilva Forest along the way, and in the mild subtropical climate natural to the Mediterranean.

Madeira: Levada Brasileiro to Moinhos Private Walking Tour

7. Madeira: Levada Brasileiro to Moinhos Private Walking Tour

Inspire the soul and the spirit as you hike with a variety of landscapes and terrain that awakes all the senses, in a truly unique experience within the region of Madeira. Begin with a descent to Levada do Brasileiro, with a rather irregular, and steep path that goes deeper into the heart of the Laurissilva forest until you reach the levada. Continue your trail along the water in a rustic surrounding, with endemic species of flora and fauna. Visit the Lagoa do Bardo and enjoy a break before continuing along a pleasant path with open fields with denser vegetation, and taking in the beautiful views. Walk through Levada do Moinho until you find the forest road which you should take to return to the road, near to the starting point.

Madeira: Levada Prazeres Private Guided Tour

8. Madeira: Levada Prazeres Private Guided Tour

This pleasant walk starts in Prazeres, and travels to the south of the Island to the area of Raposeira. You will be picked up from your accommodation in Madeira by your driver and professional guide and taken to the beginning of the guided tour. Through the Levada, you can see some rich wilderness and wildlife and learn about it all from your expert guide You can enjoy views of the valleys, the eucalyptus and pine trees and learn about the Levadas, which were carved into the cliff to help carry water down to the farms and plantations. You will also pass some traditional houses and their residents at work farming.

Madeira: Levada do Paúl da Serra Private Walk

9. Madeira: Levada do Paúl da Serra Private Walk

Journey through Levada do Paul da Serra, 1400 meters above sea level. Take in the beautiful natural surroundings and stroll along the mountain trail. Begin your journey from Levada do to Paúl da Serra, starting in the plateau, 1400 meters above sea level. Experience one of the most spectacular hikes throughout the island. Continue towards Paúl da Serra, following the opposite direction, for about 5 kilometers. Arrive at the emblematic Rabaçal area, where a great variety of pedestrian routes begins, such as Levada do Alecrim, 25 fontes and more. Discover one of the most important zones of the island that generates renewable energy, as well as solar panels. Walk side by side with the Levada, following the flow of water. Make some breaks along the way and enjoy nature and its scenic surrounding. Keep caution, as you may come across a few cows along the way.

Madeira: Private Levada Ribeiro Frio - Portela Walk

10. Madeira: Private Levada Ribeiro Frio - Portela Walk

This tour ranges in altitude from 641-886 meters. You'll begin at Ribeiro Frio and end at Portela, covering a distance of 11 kilometers. This trail is a real stunner even for the seasoned traveler, without a doubt one of the most beautiful in Madeira. Enjoy the natural heritage of the island and its endemic species of flora and fauna. The magnificent vegetation will envelop and recharge you in its oh-so-peaceful environs. Watch sunbeams peak cheekily between the laurels and other plants of the area, birds cooing gently all the while. On this softly quiet walk, you will progress parallel to the lovely levada that flows along the trail.

Frequently asked questions about Funchal Birdwatching

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 76 reviews

My friend and I completed the walk with Amilcar, he was very competent, calming and understanding of each member of the tours fitness abilities. He was funny and caring, especially to a woman who had a lung condition within the group, taking the time to ensure she was okay on steep inclines. He drove the taxi in a safe manner ( and trust me when you see the high roads of Maderia you want to feel confident about the person behind the wheel). The walk is beautiful and worth completing. Its a busy route, however we all share this planet so be patient! If you want empty mountain's to hike best come to Ireland :) Overall, you will feel comfortable with this company - they are time efficient and our tour guide, Amilcar, was extremely good at his job! Thanks again, we will be back!!!! Hannah and Maire

The guide/driver was genuinely very funny. Honestly I just found it incredibly impressive the sheer effort he put in. He talked to every couple as we joined the jeep to build rapport and was constantly cracking jokes, some good banter and some flat, but I really enjoyed it! He kept us upbeat but the main thing that came across was his extreme depth of knowledge of fauna, Madeira and customer service. It was incredibly informative and probably the most professional tour I’ve ever had. The walk + lunch + off-road + skywalk offered great balance & the shortcut on 25 fontes was a life saver, on the way back that became clear. This was likely the best value for money experience in Madeira we had!

Nice 11km walk next to the Levadas. Not too much training needed as it was mostly going down or flat. Last part through a tunnel. Not advisable for people with extreme fear of heights or claustrophobia. All our group (18 people) enjoyed a lot. One person from another group had to return because of fear of heights - this was taken care of very professionally with an alternate route and I think the person enjoyed also in the end.

Carlos, was an absolutely fantastic guide, knowledgeable, friendly, great guy!!! We entirely enjoyed our day! Highly recommend to anyone who wants to spend a day exploring this beautiful island. Thank you Carlos (you are the best) and the team. Petra & Andrew

It was very encouraging walk, because there are steps, and the walk was long. But it was very nice because the quide was the best one I had in my life