Levada do Rei Hike
Enjoy a hike of around 3.2 miles and see exotic forests, lush vegetation, and crystal-clear waters.
Exotic forest, lush vegetation
Nature sanctuary of Ribeiro Bonito
Level 4: Challenging - good mobility and fitness needed
Appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
The trail starts at the water treatment station in Quebradas, in São Jorge, and ends at the same location. It stretches 3.2 miles (plus 3.2 miles more for the return) and lasts approximately 3.5 hours round trip, at an altitude between 1,700 and 2,300 feet.
This route goes along Levada do Rei and initially crosses an exotic forest area combined with specimens of indigenous vegetation. In this initial zone, it is possible to observe the beautiful agricultural and panoramic landscapes of São Jorge and Santana. Starting halfway through the route, the levada that runs along the slope from the interior of the island crosses an old-growth forest that is rich in biodiversity.
The tunnels formed by the lush vegetation and the great variety of existing species, as well as the presence of the beautiful levada, are good examples of the natural and cultural heritage of the island.
The abundance of clear water in this area is an essential factor for its biodiversity. The vegetation is abundant and diverse, and the animals are plentiful and varied. In this place, tree species such as til (ocotea foetens), laurel (laurus novocanariensis) and vinhático (persea indica) coexist with animal species like bis-bis (regulus ignicapillus maderensis) and chaffinch (fringilla coelebs maderensis).
The first part of the hike ends at Ribeiro Bonito, where hikers can rest before returning. Ribeiro Bonito is considered a nature sanctuary due to its extreme beauty. It is covered by vegetation endemic to the most dense and exuberant forests of Madeira, the Laurissilva. It owes its lush character to its location, isolation, and abundance of water.
On the way back, you will traverse the same route and can appreciate the beauty of the area in a state of peace.
Language: English, Spanish, French, and German.
Remarks/requirements: Appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes
Walking information: Approximately 3.5 hours of walking (6.2 miles).