Madeira: Day 3 – Alecrim Levada Hike

Day 3: Cabo Girão: As if 580 metres wasn’t high enough to give you vertigo, in 2012 a glass skywalk, the highest in Europe, was fitted to the top of the cliff, taking the braver souls several metres out from the cliff edge. If that leaves you feeling hungry, try Faja dos Padres, an organic restaurant accessible by cable which is a short drive away ...

🙂 Levada Hikes. Free entry to Cabo Girao.

We were due to start the day with a game of golf at the scenic Santo da Serra Golf Club. However, when we arrived it was completely shrouded in fog – the lady then told me it was always worth calling ahead as the weather conditions on top of the mountain often differed to the rest of the island!

We decided to head to Cabo Girão. It is a popular lookout point with the highest cliff skywalk in Europe at 580m. Due to Covid it was very quiet and free. It is quite something looking down at the beach below through the glass floor!

We had booked Faja dos Padres, a secluded organic restaurant on the beach which is only accessible by cable car.

It is a lovely walk through all the freshly grown vegetables.

We had read good things and were very excited. It is a lovely setting but service was very slow. We ordered the obligatory Ponchos. Paul ordered the octopus which he enjoyed (Sadly after watching My Octopus Teacher on Netflix I will never eat octopus again!). Although the food was good we did not really see evidence of the freshly grown vegetables from the surrounding gardens – maybe it was just not quite seasonal.

We then took a scenic drive to the Calheta sugar cane mill and museum in Calheta. Spirits are not really our thing but it was very inexpensive to sample all tipples on offer so we had a sip of each!

After all that eating and drinking we all agreed that it was time to get some exercise so we agreed on the Alecrim Levada Walk which is 7Kms return. For nature lovers, walking alongside a levada is one of the most unique experiences to have while staying in Madeira. These are man-made channels created to carry water for irrigation of agricultural fields around the island. The island’s irrigation system now comprises more than 200 levadas with an impressive 3000 m (1864 miles) of channels, including 40 km (25 miles) of tunnels – and the work started centuries ago.

The walk was really quiet, peaceful and scenic following the flowing levada. At the end is a waterfall where you can have a dip. Just perfect. We later discovered that this is one of the two sites where they take you canyoning – the jumps here are much higher than the site we visited (phew!).

I had originally booked two nights at this fairly hippy type joint called One Love in Maktub, Paul do Mar where there are spectacular sunsets and the surf is up! The street outside is lined with surfers enjoying sundowners. Unfortunately the rest of the family were not as keen as I was to get in touch with my bohemian self and vetoed the accommodation. We lost our £365 for the two nights as it was non refundable on The owner was a nice chap and we still enjoyed one of the best meals we had on the island here. He said it was frequented by a lot of South Africans due to the surf scene. Food was great – Divine red snapper! Starters were excellent. Good wine… and stunning sunset to chilled tunes. Caitlyn kept herself occupied with the parrot!

We headed back to Funchal feeling quite laid back. We checked into the Savoy Palace which was the new option of choice decreed by the majority and headed to the Sky Bar for a final cocktail before bed – all in all a great day had been had by all!

Go Back to: Madeira OR to Day 1&2: Funchal OR Go forward to Day 4: Swimming with Dolphins

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