|Walking Levadas & Mountains||
"FOOTLOOSE ON MADEIRA"
David and Debra walk 5 scenic trails on this
amazing Portuguese island in the Atlantic. The feature-length DVD is in
five parts which include features on history, the capital Funchal, and a
round the island drive. This comprehensive tour and walking
travelogue of Madeira highlights the spring Flower Festival in April.
1. Introduction and levada trail
|A short history and background of this spectacular volcanic island is told by Tourism Director Bruno Freitas; Story Centre guide Carla Fenandes; and walking guide authors Shirley and Mike Whitehead|
Debra and David's first walk is along the pretty Levada dos Tornos, to the town known for its wickerwork, Camacha. Along the entire length of the trail are lovely wild flowers, growing freely in this mild all -year-round climate.
Levadas are irrigation channels built onto the steep sided valleys of the island, as well as providing water from the Noth to the dry south of the island, they also provide a level footpath on one side to walk on. This classic walk on the mountain slopes above Funchal features fine coastal views, an English tea room, and a tunnel!
|PART 4. Touring the Island|
some discussion on buses, minibuses, hire-cars & taxis, the couple
decide to engage driver and guide Sabino Teixeira to explore the island.
Many of the main tourist attractions on Madeira are often reached
through the network of tunnels:
Camara de Lobos ~ Winston Churchill's artistic haunt.
Cabo Girão ~ Europe's highest cliff, unlimited vertigo!
Ribeira Brava ~ top resort on the south coast.
Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar ~ pretty surfing villages
Encumeada ~ amazing views & trails from the mountain pass.
São Vicente ~ perhaps the most attractive village in the north.
Porto Moniz ~ the resort with amazing volcanic rock pools.
Santana ~ with traditional brightly coloured A-frame houses.
Porto Da Cruz ~ super surf & a historic sugar refinery.
The tour rounds off with two brief, yet astounding trails at PIco Arieiro (1800m) above the clouds, and Balcões, a levada walk through ancient forest, to one of Madeira's finest viewpoints .
PART 2. Discovering Funchal and Monte
5. The Flower Festival
& São Lourenço trail
A stroll through Madeira's lovely capital city
shows many of the attractions. Starting in the old quarter, Debra finds
restored fisherman's houses with colourful artistic doorways. The busy market
house is stocked with an array of local flowers fruit, veg, meat & fish. Strolling along
elegant Avenida do Mar, the "Vagrant" (ex-Beatles yacht) is
discovered, restored and fitted out as a bar & restaurant! Debra finds some
interesting nautical graffiti on the harbour wall close to the cruise
of Footloose on Madeira was timed to co-incide with the amazing
spring Flower Festival in Funchal. The week-long celebrations include a
colourful and exotic flower market, traditional regional folk music
& dancing, flower carpets, parades and exhibitions.
The major attraction, held on Sunday afternoon, is the spectacular Flower Parade. Hundreds of dancers in vibrant costume, punctuated by flower-filled floats make a musical passage along the seafront, enthralling thousands of visitors and islanders.
Debra and David choose to end their comprehensive travelogue with a popular 8km walk on Madeira's eastern tip: São Lourenço. This rugged volcanic coastal trail shows just what a unique island Madeira is, with rare plant species and deeply coloured rock formations. A natural rock bridge challenges the couple's senses with steep drops on either side!
|PART 3. Trail advice and the Nun's Valley||
... Useful Links
Climate ~ Madeira
Useful BUS info
Flower Festival Information
Discovery Walking Guides for Madeira maps & trail books
© Grindelwald Productions 2012
Debra and David re-visit Shirley & Mike Whitehead to
get a good background on the trails if the island, and some advice on
difficulty and vertigo. Suugestions are made and a walk in the
astounding Nun's Valley is chosen.