Rabacal, 25 Fontes
Key information: Rabacal, 25 Fontes
- Rabaçal sits in the steep Jamela valley, below the western rim of the peculiar Paul de Serra plateau. Exceptionally verdant, even by Madeiran standards, with waterfalls gracing the bosky slopes.
- Three levadas run close, the best known being the Levada das 25 Fontes, which takes you round the hillside to a ferny beautiful cauldron into which numerous waters tumble and dribble.
- Walkopedia rating91
- Natural interest17
- Human interest12
- Negative points0
- Total rating91
- Length: 11km
- Maximum Altitude: 1,100m
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.
Rabaçal sits on a ledge in the steep sides of the Jamela valley, below the western rim of the peculiar Paul de Serra plateau. It is damp, exceptionally verdant area, even by Madeiran standards, with waterfalls gracing the slopes of thick old tree heather, laurel and broom.
Three levadas run close to each other here, and you can walk all or some of them.
The uppermost, the gorgeous Levada de Risco, leads to the superb 100m Risco waterfall in half an hour or so.
The middle and best known, the Levada das 25 Fontes, takes you round the hillside, in approaching an hour, to a beautiful, ferny cauldron, a truly magical place, into which numerous falls (never 25 nowadays, apparently) – from rivulets to dribbles – tumble. The lovely levada is sometimes in a tunnel of huge heathers, sometimes teetering above high, scrubby precipices. It is written up as being somewhat risky and not for the vertiginous, but has been post-and-wired and is a doddle. We have to say, we were a tad disappointed, and it comes nowhere near the in theory similar Caldeirao Verde walk.
The lower, the Levada de Rocha Vermelha, has longer walkable stretches, and leads to a group of waterfalls in the Ribiera dos Cedros valley and beyond to the north. Not many people make it onto this levada.
All 3 levadas are 11km/4hrs. The first two are approximately 8.5km/2hr 20m.
This area is very popular, and in all guidebooks and on all local walk company itineraries, and the 25 Fontes levada was overcrowded, to our taste, when Walkopedia was there (admittedly a Saturday): we encountered files of 15+ people, and spent a lot of time stepping aside for oncoming traffic, or thanking people who had done likewise.
Always unpredictable weather, come prepared.
Getting there: 2km down a small road from a carpark on the E105 road. No cars allowed, so minibus or a pleasant walk. you can drive. No buses, so car is the only realistic option.
The excellent Walking in Madeira by Paddy Dillon for Cicerone and Sunflower’s Madeira Car Tours and Walks describe these walks between them. Find these and other books on Amazon.
See our Madeira page for further information on Madeira and walking photos, and detailed practical information, including weather and transport.
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Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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