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.
En general, los otros municipios le atribuyen un papel fundamental haciendo una descripcion de los diversos tipos de itinerarios por el paisaje natural madeirense a traves de las veredas y levadas
(canales de irrigacion que recorren mas de 2150 kilometros de la isla y que constituyen uno de los elementos mas ricos de la Identidad historica de la reglon) que pueden ser usufructuados por los turistas (Figuras 1 y 2).
, or narrow aqueducts, carry fresh water miles form the high plateaus to towns and villages.
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.
Today a network of over 200 levadas
is vital to agriculture, industry and the domestic water supply.
With more than 200 levadas
criss-crossing Madeira's beautiful landscape, the island is already a firm favourite with walkers and nature lovers alike.
Though a whole tourist industry has grown up around the levadas
, with many local companies offering guided walks suitable for all fitness levels, it's still possible to walk for hours without seeing another soul.