Funchal (Madeira), Portugal
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 4½ Hours
Meals not included
This 2½-hour, 3½-mile walk offers a fresh and fascinating glimpse of Madeira, a chance to stretch your legs, and a very different series of manmade and natural highlights.
Depart the pier by coach and head to the Referta Levada Walk trailhead. Among Madeira's most famous levada walks, the Referta walk offers a view and perspective of the island that will become an enduring memory. The levadas, originally dating back to the early 1500s, are mini-canals, and Madeira has developed a complex system of these channels and aqueducts to bring irrigation water from the north end of the island to the drought-prone south.
You'll set off along the levada path that wends its way through agricultural Madeira, offering stunning views as you skirt irrigation channels, fields, hillsides and valleys. You will pass villages on the north coast and learn how local farmers access their land in this challenging environment. The water in the canals comes from natural springs and travels some very long distances to irrigate the island's farms, orchards and plantations and vineyards. The levadas cross mountains, plateaus and valleys, covering more than 1,500 miles and irrigating more than two thirds of Madeira's arable land.
At the end of the walk, you'll stop at a local bar to taste Madeira's traditional beverage -- Poncha. This is a blend of local rum, lemon juice and honey.
Afterwards, re-board the coach to return to Funchal and the cruise ship.
Please note: Because you are following the gravity-fed path of the water, the dirt trail is mostly a gentle incline, but there are uphill sections and uneven ground to negotiate. Most of the walk is in single file, as the trails are narrow. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Participants must be physically fit. Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots; bring a hat and sunscreen. Bring a jacket as it can be cooler at higher elevations. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel or alter the tour due to adverse weather conditions or maintenance to the levada (irrigation channel) network or its paths.