Our Top 3 Hikes in Madeiras Southwest

The Hideaway Madeira, located in the southwest of the island in the delightful village of Prazeres, is just a stone's throw away of Madeira's beautiful nature. The breathtaking flower island in the Atlantic has so many hiking trails to offer: The options are limitless. To make your choice a little easier, we have put together our top 3 hiking tours in the southwest of Madeira.

About hiking in Madeira

Are you a passionate adventurer who loves to explore new places and enjoy nature to the fullest? Then Madeira, the enchanting Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, is just the right destination for you. Especially in the west of Madeira there are breathtaking hiking trails, which we would like to introduce to you in this blog article. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack and let's discover the beauty of this island together.

Starting point: GoogleMaps

Level: Easy

Duration: As long as you like

Length: The levada goes all the way to Calheta. Turn around when you've had enough.

Suitable for kids: Yes

1. A walk in the jungle: Levada Nova in Prazeres

The Levada Nova in Prazeres is a real insider tip and the best: The start of the hike is not far from the Hideaway in the center of Prazeres. After just a few steps you feel as if you are in a jungle of ficus and eucalyptus trees. From March to September, lush hydrangeas and decorative lilies bloom in white and brown along the path.

What makes this levada hike so special is its gentle slope, which makes it attractive not only for hikers, but also for joggers and mountain bikers alike. So you can decide for yourself whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or spice up your adventure with some athletic activity. If you are traveling with your family, the hike is also well suited for children. No matter what you choose, Levada Nova will inspire you with its pristine beauty.

Don't forget to bring your camera, because there are plenty of great photo opportunities along this levada. From lush plants to picturesque views, you'll regret it if you don't capture some of these breathtaking scenes.

Starting point: GoogleMaps

Level: Medium

Duration: about 3h 45 min

Length: approx. 11 km

Suitable for kids: Fanal yes, Levada dos Cedros limited.

2. A magical trip to the cloud realm: Levada dos Cedros and the Fanal Fairy Forest (PR 14)

Get ready for an enchanting adventure on the Levada dos Cedros high plateau trail and a visit to the centuries-old Fanal pond forest. This loop hike will leave you in awe and is a must-do for anyone who wants to experience Madeira's unique nature.

From The Hideaway Madeira, it's about a 45-minute drive to the Levada dos Cedros parking lot, where the trail begins. On the way you are surrounded by lush greenery, you can enjoy the tranquility and recharge your batteries. About halfway you will pass the source of the Levada dos Cedros with a great waterfall. The levada continues to lead you over a small, enchanted wooden bridge that crosses a picturesque stream, while you walk among the ancient laurel trees. Some of these majestic trees are said to have existed before the discovery of Madeira in 1419. The landscape is so unique and pristine that Madeira's laurel forest has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

But that's not all - Fanal is nicknamed the Fairy Forest because there is something magical about the place: You're literally walking in the clouds. This mystical place is surrounded by mossy trees and mysterious clouds of mist. Cows graze peacefully in a large open pasture, which is also perfect for a picnic. The place feels like you're immersed in another world. Take your time to soak up the peaceful atmosphere of the Fanal Fairy Forest.

Starting point: GoogleMaps

Level: Easy

Duration: about 1h 45 min

Length: approx. 5 km

Suitable for kids: Yes

3. An adventure along old mills: Levada do Moinho in Achadas da Cruz (PR 7)

If you want to get off the beaten path, the Levada do Moinho in Achadas da Cruz is the perfect choice for you. This trail offers an authentic Madeira feel and takes you to fascinating waterways, a historic mill, and an impressive waterfall.

After about a 30-minute drive from The Hideaway Madeira, you'll arrive at the free parking lot in Achadas da Cruz. From there it is a short walk to the start of the hike.

During this circular walk you will be surrounded by Madeira's lush vegetation. The sound of the water and the fresh air contribute to a relaxing atmosphere that will make you forget your everyday life. The hike is an insider tip. We have always encountered few visitors.

Special highlights of this hike are the visit to the old mill and the majestic waterfall and the climbing over rustic root stairs. Here you can pause, enjoy nature to the fullest and be enchanted by the wonderful impressions. Don't forget to take a refreshment break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

This easy version of the Levada do Moinho hike is very suitable for children and there is a lot to discover and marvel at. There are butterflies, cows and exotic plants along the way.

If you like it a bit more challenging, there is also a medium variant of the hike, which is about 11 km long.

Last but not least, here is a personal recommendation in which all hikes are described in detail, so you won't get lost.

When we are on Madeira, we virtually never leave home without the Rother hiking guide Madeira.

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