An out and back walk of two distinct parts - a delightful easy levada path for 2 miles or so, then a hill path climbing for nearly 1 mile to the Boca (pass) do Risco, for views of the wild north coast. The levada is without hazard, progressing from the suburbs of Machico to a rural hinterland, with good views over Machico. Although the hill path has some rough rock underfoot, there are no serious problems. From the recommended parking place it is a short drive/walk to a superb viewpoint picnic area just below the top of Pico do Facho. At 975ft the hill towers over the adjacent town.
Machico is the second town of Madeira the landing place of Zarco on his discovery of the Island in 1419. The town centre and adjacent sea front are very pleasant with an old fort, an interesting 15th century church, plenty of shops and restaurants, and open areas lined with mature trees.
In just under 2 miles go round a long right-hand bend. The ‘old’ tunnel is a little more than ½ mile further. Immediately before the tunnel turn right into a minor road signposted to ‘Pico do Facho’. There are a few roadside parking spaces.
Getting there by car/taxi: Getting there by car / taxi: From HPB drive along the motorway to Machico. Leave the motorway at the ‘Machico’ on the south (2nd turn-off). Go through the town, crossing the main river/stream and rising to the north towards Caniçal.
Start - Start - Cross the main road, with the tunnel to your right. Forty yards from the mouth of the tunnel is a water house with a well-tended garden and the Levada do Caniçal. The Levada do Caniçal which will be followed for about 2 miles, before turning away from it, to go up to the Boca do Risco.Ribeira Seca. There are views over Machico to the sea. Further up the valley the countryside becomes wilder, with many of the cultivation terraces apparently abandoned. Having travelled approximately 1¼ mile, cross a tarmac road and re-join the Levada path on the other side. Continue walking ¾ of a mile or so. At this point look carefully for a junction with a path rising from the left, and a path signed Vereda da Boca do Risco on the right. A minor power line along the valley on the left is evident.
Map Point 1. Turn right at the junction to follow the path which initially rises quite steeply with rudimentary steps and a section over bar rock. The path is narrow but well defined, with a stone wall on the right. As the gradient eases, pass a small patch of woodland. There are a few isolated agricultural buildings as the Boca comes into view ahead. Continue the ascent through wilder country to reach the top of the pass. (The path continues along the north coast but this is a difficult route, with potentially dangerous sections).
Map Point 2. Return by the same route.
Situated approximately three miles from the seaside town of Carvoeiro, in the centre of the Algarve, Rocha Brava is a large development of fine villas and apartments which benefit from a raft of facilities and amenities. Please click here for further details.