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  Walking Levadas & Mountains

from our shop on AMAZON 


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.

This will become part of a twenty + episode "Footloose in Europe" television series for international distribution ...see Broadcast 
Original music by Barnaby Smith



PART 1. Introduction and levada trail 
to Camacha
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
After 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 Giro ~ 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.
So 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 Balces, a levada walk through ancient forest, to one of Madeira's finest viewpoints .

PART 2. Discovering Funchal and Monte

PART 5. The Flower Festival 
& S
o Loureno 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 ships. 

Walking up past the pint-sized city cathedral, the black and white mosaic-paved streets lead to the Municipal Square. Avenida Arriaga, with electric blue jacarandas lining the street is perhaps the prettiest avenue in Funchal. Brightly coloured  city gardens are seen on the Footloose trail which finishes at the old forts on the harbour. 

Extending the tour, Debra takes a bus to the amazing Botanical Gardens. from here she risks the cable-car to Monte with more gardens and a church to see. The must- do on any trip to Madeira is the downhill toboggan ride, and mad coverage of this event is shown in the film!

Filming 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: So Loureno. 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

Madeira's Gardens
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.

Taking a white knuckle bus ride to a high viewpoint at Eira do Serrado, Debra and David take the zig-zag mountain path which descends 400m to the historic hidden village, nestling between the high peaks. Below, the once inaccessable settlement run by nuns as a refuge, is now one of the most popular tourist spots on Madeira.