Levada das 25 Fontes (PR6 & PR6.1)

Hike in Ribeira Brava (Madeira)

Levada Das 25 Fontes-Madeira
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

The Levada das 25 Fontes hiking trail in Madeira is a popular destination, drawing tourists from around the world. The trail offers breath-taking views of the weeping wall with 25 streams cascading into a refreshing pool, and the impressive Risco Waterfall can be admired from a viewpoint along the route.

  • Distance: 4.3 km (8.6 km round trip)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Start/End: Rabaçal (E.R. 105) / 25 Fontes
  • Max. Altitude / Min. Altitude: 1288 m / 964 m

How to get to Levada das 25 Fontes (PR6 & PR6.1)

Levada das 25 Fontes by car: From Funchal, you will drive to Rabacal in just under an hour, where you will also find free parking. There are two car parks to choose from the “Rabaçal parking lot ” on the ER110 and the “Parque de estacionamento Levada 25 Fontes” on the ER211. This guide starts at the car park on the ER110, but it is easy enough to walk between the two!

Hiking Transfers: If you don’t have access to a car, don’t worry, this full-day self guided Transfer to Levada das 25 Fontes and the Risco Waterfall is an excellent alternative option. There is also this option which includes an experienced guide and a jeep safari with hotel pickup and drop-off service from Funchal!

To the Rabaçal Forestry House

The official hike starts about 2km down the paved road at Rabaçal Forestry House. There is a shuttle bus that runs regularly to take you there which operates 10am to 6pm and costs 3€ one way – 5€ return.

To the Risco Waterfall (PR6.1)

The Rabacal Route offers stunning valley scenery, beautiful waterfalls, and a slightly more inclined terrain. Despite the initial downhill stretch on a paved road, the trail takes you through a picturesque landscape with waterfall viewpoints along the way. The forest section is particularly enchanting, with corkscrew tree branches creating captivating tunnels overhead.

Around 2 kilometers into the hike, there’s a fork in the road the one on the right leading to the Risco Waterfall and on the left, Levada das 25 Fontes. Most people will walk the 800m (each way) to the Risco Waterfall, is highly recommended for its spectacular views. After enjoying the waterfall, hikers can easily return to the fork and proceed to the main trail leading to the Levada das 25 Fontes.

The Risco Waterfall itself is a magnificent sight, especially after heavy rains, when it dramatically flows into the valley. Although a trail under the waterfall has been closed due to landslides, the viewpoint still provides a breath-taking experience.

To the Levada Das 25 Fontes Viewpoint

The trail between Risco Waterfall and Levada das 25 Fontes is considered the highlight, featuring fun ledges, thick forests, and charming waterfalls along the way.

After covering 5 kilometers of the trail, it’s time to lighten your load as you reach the enchanting destination of the 25 fountains. The focal point of this miniature amphitheatre is the weeping wall of waterfalls, where vines and plants gracefully cascade over the walls, creating a truly magical scene. While many waterfall hikes in Madeira are best experienced after rainfall, even during the summer, there was enough water for the 25 fountains to maintain their flow.

This spot serves as an ideal location to pause, enjoy your snacks and lunch, and immerse yourself in the surroundings. Shaded areas and a substantial boulder provide comfortable seating for everyone. It’s worth noting that, given its popularity, this intimate amphitheatre can quickly become crowded. During my visit, I counted a bustling crowd of 75 people at one point.

Return trip

You can either return you way you have come or take a detour  through the 0.8lm Tunel do Rabaçal. The Tunel do Rabaçal takes you from near the Rabaçal Forestry House towards the carpark on ER211 road. If you on a guided tour sometimes you are dropped off at the first car park and picked up at the second.

The Levada das 25 Fontes (PR6 & PR6.1) appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Ribeira Brava (Madeira)!

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Visiting Levada das 25 Fontes (PR6 & PR6.1)

Address: Rabaçal ER110 15 Portugal
Duration: 3 hours

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