WE spent a few hours walking the levadas
with a guide from Madeira Adventure Kingdom.
If you've a head for heights, walk along the levadas
(paths alongside water channels with steep drops) peer over 1,935ft high cliff Cabo Girao or trek the peaks at Pico Areerio.
Try taking a cable car up to the historical Jardim Botanico, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Funchal, or explore a banana or sugar plantation, practise your golf swing in Palheiro or walk along one of the levadas
through the mountains.
The walk in question, near Sao Jorge in the north of the island, was along one of Madeira's levadas
- the 1300-mile network of irrigation channels that have been bringing water down from the mountains for centuries.
Protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the Laurissilva offered a variety of walks along levadas
- the mini canals flowing down the mountain providing water to Madeira's farmers.
Nesta localidade rural madeirense a memoria da agua reproduz-se nas recordacoes colectivas, suportadas pelas levadas
, nas suas inumeras estruturas, (7) e ainda, pelas regras sociais (8) e praticas culturais que gerem o recurso hidrico.
are water courses running round the mountains - irrigation channels bringing water down from the hills, and built by the first settlers.
Mostly, we walked on narrow paths along irrigation channels called 'levadas
', first built in the 1700s when Madeira was a prosperous Portuguese province at the heart of Atlantic trade.
Mostly we walked on narrow paths along irrigation channels called "levadas
", built in the 1700s when Madeira was a prosperous Portuguese province at the heart of Atlantic trade.
The government of Madeira has confirmed that they are to invest EUR3 million to improve the island's network of 'levadas
' (walking trails).