Levada do AlecrimLevadas Walks 

Levada do Alecrim

The Levada do Alecrim, nestled within the lush landscapes of Madeira, offers a journey through some of the most serene and enchanting scenery on the island. This levada walk is beloved for its gentle paths, stunning natural lakes, and panoramic views that capture the heart of Madeira’s natural beauty. It’s an experience that blends the tranquility of nature with the rich biodiversity of the island.

Trail Overview

Levada do Alecrim winds through the Rabaçal area, a region known for its abundance of waterfalls, green valleys, and the iconic Laurisilva forest—a UNESCO World Heritage site. The trail leads hikers to the Risco Waterfall and the Lagoa do Vento, a hidden lake that lies at the end of a captivating path, offering a secluded spot for reflection and admiration of the island’s natural wonders.

Experience and Attractions

  • Risco Waterfall: Early on the trail, hikers are treated to the magnificent sight of the Risco Waterfall, a sheer drop that beautifully showcases the power and grace of nature.
  • Lagoa do Vento: The journey continues towards the Lagoa do Vento, a tranquil lake that is reached through a descending path, revealing one of Madeira’s hidden gems where the serene waters reflect the surrounding greenery.
  • Flora and Fauna: The path is lined with the rich biodiversity of Madeira’s Laurisilva forest, offering a chance to observe endemic species of plants and birds in their natural habitat.

Hiking Details

  • Difficulty: The hike is generally considered to be of moderate difficulty, accessible to most walkers with a reasonable level of fitness. The path to Lagoa do Vento includes a somewhat steep descent, which requires caution, especially in wet conditions.
  • Duration: The walk to the Risco Waterfall and Lagoa do Vento and back can take approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on your pace and how long you spend enjoying the natural sights along the way.
  • Starting Point: The trail begins at the Rabaçal car park, from where hikers can follow the signs leading towards the Levada do Alecrim.

Levada do Alecrim Preparation Tips

  • Footwear: Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes or boots, as the trail can be slippery, especially after rain.
  • Clothing: Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions, and consider bringing a waterproof jacket.
  • Supplies: Carry sufficient water, snacks, and possibly a picnic to enjoy by the lake. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery.
levada do alecrim
Levada do Alecrim 2

Best Time to Visit Levada do Alecrim

The Levada do Alecrim can be visited year-round, thanks to Madeira’s mild climate. However, the best times to experience the trail are spring and autumn when the temperatures are more comfortable, and the risk of heavy rain is lower.

Embarking on the Levada do Alecrim hike is an invitation to immerse yourself in the peaceful embrace of Madeira’s natural world, offering moments of awe and tranquility that resonate long after the journey ends.

Trail Overview

  • Type: Levada
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Regular
  • Route: Round trip
  • Distance: 6.8 km (2x 3.4 km)
  • Duration: 2h – 2h30min

Highlights and Features

  • The trail begins near the Rabaçal area, taking hikers through diverse environments including magnificent tunnels of heather and areas where the intense forest envelopes the path, creating an enchanting atmosphere.
  • Roughly 500 meters into the hike, the path crosses the Ribeira do Alecrim, which feeds into the Calheta Hydroelectric Central. This area is known for its variety of endemic species such as Leituga and the Serra Orchid, adding to the richness of the experience.
  • Several viewpoints along the route offer breathtaking views of deep valleys, including the Vale do Rabaçal and the Ribeira da Janela, presenting the natural grandeur of Madeira in all its glory.
  • Before reaching the “Dona Beja” Lagoon, the trail splits, offering a route to the challenging Lagoa do Vento on one side and the Lajeado levada on the other. The main path leads to the Levada do Alecrim’s source and the beautiful “Dona Beja” Lagoon, surrounded by other small lagoons, making for a perfect rest spot.

Preparation and Safety Tips

  • The trail is at a high altitude (above 1,200 meters), so hikers should be prepared for sudden weather changes, including fog. Staying on the marked trail is crucial for safety.
  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water, snacks, and possibly a light jacket to adjust for weather changes.
  • The levada offers easy navigation and is well-marked, ensuring a straightforward and enjoyable hiking experience.

The Levada do Alecrim not only captivates with its natural beauty but also provides an accessible adventure into the heart of Madeira’s unique ecosystem. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or someone looking to explore the tranquility of Madeira’s levadas, this trail offers a memorable experience amidst the island’s captivating landscapes.

More info: CM Calheta

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