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Ribeiro Frio Portela Walk – Levada do Furado
Ribeiro Frio Portela Walk is a fantastic, diverse Levada for the history of Madeira, flora and fauna, lovely nature, and superb views through remote parts of Madeira.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
Follow us in one of the most fascinating and oldest levadas owned by the Government, built to irrigate Porto da Cruz’s farmlands — Levada do Furado. We will start in Ribeiro Frio Forest Park, where we will find a charming garden, a trout hatchery, and bars. After the comfortable stop, we will join the Ribeiro Frio to Portela Levada Walk. We’ll see birds and small waterfalls along the path, and we’ll go through a few short tunnels with natural windows. You’ll feel you are in a mystical forest, with shards of sunlight breaking through the ancient laurel trees. As the walk proceeds, the scenery changes: the various shades of green through the well-preserved native forest — Laurisilva — breaks to show agricultural fields, the island’s peaks, and the ocean villages. The walk ends at the viewpoint of Portela, with fantastic views over the village of Porto da Cruz and Penha D’Águia rock formation. An excellent walk not to miss! Book now!
- Certified staff (Tourist Guide/ Mountain Guide)
- Entrance fees when mentioned
- Insurance (Required by Portuguese law)
- First aid kit (basics recommended by ATR)
- Torches, but if you prefer, you can bring your torch or head torch
- Air-conditioning vehicle
- Pickup & drop-off in the city of Funchal, Caniço and for private tours only.
- Drinks and meals (Please bring your picnic and water).
- Pick-up and drop-off services outside Funchal and Caniço:
Please request a pick-up under “Additional Information” (Order Description) during checkout.
These pick-ups require the supplier to confirm availability and pick-up time. We will send the detailed information by e-mail, and you will pay the driver directly on site.
List of transfers outside Funchal (per person/round trip): Machico, Ribeira Brava and Ponta do Sol: EUR 10; Calheta: EUR 15; Outside these municipalities, prices will be subject to availability.
Please consult our FAQs section, where we have the answers to the most asked questions.
Pick Up Funchal: 09h00 | Pick Up Caniço: 09h30
Hotel Pick-up (Departure time)
A member of our staff will pick you up at the indicated place and confirm your voucher identification. You can present either a paper or an electronic ticket for this activity. The tour will begin as soon as we finish collecting tour members.
Year-round, except on 25 December and 1 January
Tour starts at 9:00 and finishes around 17:00.
Distance & Altitude
Distance: 11 km (6 miles)
Duration: 5 hours
Max. Altitude: 880 m. (2,887 ft.)
Min. Altitude: 670 m. (2,198 ft.)
Departure Point and Time
Confirmed by email
Punctuality & be fit to walk
What do you need to bring?
Non-slip walking boots and the more waterproof, the better, camera, and a coat or a jumper if it gets cooler.
We also suggest taking your sunscreen and a hat.
We provide torches (free), but if you prefer, you can bring your torch or head torch.
Take a bag to carry your litter away with you.
We remind you to bring your own picnic and enough water, as there is nothing available on the route.
A raincoat or poncho if rain is in the forecast.
Walking poles might be a help.
Parents must bring a hiking child carrier backpack to carry their children under 4-years old.
Good to Know
The first part of the walk is smooth going, flat, for most of the day until the descent to Portela almost at the end. There are fences to protect you from the steep drops. We will cross several short tunnels, but the path itself is easy to walk, except for people with vertigo.
Not recommended for children under 8-year-old.
Don't take risks
Better to go with a guide and relax, instead of getting lost in the mountains of Madeira. If you fall or feel unwell, it is reassuring to know that the mountain guide activates the emergency system. He/she sends a warning and the location of the group to the local authorities, enabling a quick rescue. All well worth the money for the hike.
We pick you up from the place you are staying at and drop you off when finished. It is an easy and comfortable way to get to the walk. There are comfort breaks before and after the walk. It’s easy to book. Our staff are qualified. We take you to various sites we know you will want to explore. Our fundamental principles are the comfort, safety, and flexibility of both our guests and personnel.
16:30 - 17:00
Hotel Drop-off (Return Time)
The order of the itinerary as shown above may be subject to change and/or affected by local conditions.
Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!
Yes, but we will take advantage on the official advice on Levada walking and share it with you: “Walking the Levadas (ancient irrigation channels) can be challenging. Choose only the ones that are suited to your own standard of fitness and experience. Be prepared for narrow, uneven paths and heights. Wear suitable clothing and walking boots. Leave details of where you are going with your hotel reception and take your mobile telephone with you. Better still, join a group of walkers and go with a guide. Take extra care if it has rained as the ground may be slippery and unstable. Check with your tour guide or local organizer that it is safe to visit before setting off”.
Bear in mind that conditions on each Levada will vary, but the basic equipment for Madeira hikes is:
- Suitable and comfortable clothing (the weather is unpredictable depending on the season of the year but bring a raincoat as some walks go under waterfalls)
- Suitable and comfortable footwear (characteristics of the terrain can vary between dry and regular surface or more humid climate and slippery floor).
- A torch as some walks go through tunnels
- Cap and sunscreen to protect you from the sun on the more exposed walks
- Walking stick to help you along the walk, especially if the walk is more inclined.
- Enough water and food (you can purchase when booking this hike (add-ons))
- Our Guides are equipped with First Aid basics but due to the new rules of the UE, bring your own wound disinfectant.
Lunch/ picnic is not included in the price. Please, bring your own picnic. Consider the distance and length of the walk and bring enough water and food to provide you with the energy you need.
For hotels in Funchal: For all tours, we will collect you and drop you off at your hotel.
For hotels outside Funchal: Please note there maybe be an extra charge for such pick-ups and drop-offs.
If you have your own car, please select that option, and we will set the time and the meeting point in Funchal.
Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and emergency phone number.
Our vehicle will have a very clear card (a banner) with our company logo on the windscreen and in case of being a group, the name of the group printed on it. Our driver or Mountain Guide will also have a list with the passenger’s name.
Along the Island, there are several routes with different difficulty and characteristics of the terrain that allows walking with the children (not recommended for children under 8 years old). Please get in touch to let us know what you would like, and we will do our best to arrange it.
Besides our tours for mainland travellers, we also offer great value options for people who travel by cruise ships. You can choose one of the existing tours or create your own customized itinerary. Get in touch to arrange your tour!
Our staff is the backbone of each successful service. We look for people who are not only qualified and experienced but who are also passionate and love what they do.
Yes, private tours are available for all tours listed on our site, but at a different rate. Please get in touch for any further information about any listed tours.
Any of our private tours/ hikes run every day and can be customized to suit your preferences, please get in touch to let us know what you would like to see and do, and we will do our best to arrange it.
No, we offer tours in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and German. Other languages on request.
Please get in touch as soon as you become aware you may be unable to make your tour, so we can try to accommodate you. If you are unable to make your reserved tour for reasons out of your control, and we have spaces on the tour for the following day we will happily change your booking free of charge. Please see our Policy for further detail.
We will make every effort to try to re-schedule your tour if you are unable to make it for reasons out of your control. In the instance you wish to cancel your tour all together please see our Cancellation Policy for details on refunds.
One of the great things about Lux Madeira is that we have no minimum requirements for our tour to run, so we will still go ahead if just one person has booked. The size depends on the number of bookings, but you can always choose to upgrade to a private tour at a different rate.
Prices for all our shared services are quoted per person, except in the case of our private services.
If you are happy with the service you receive, it’s customary to tip your driver and Mountain guide. This is entirely at your discretion.
Madeira island holidays are the ideal getaway all year round. Madeira weather in coastal areas is temperate and mild with no great extremes-although the temperature can drop the higher you go on the island so, whatever time of year you visit, be sure to bring warm clothes when visiting the mountains. Obviously, rainfall is higher in the winter and you’ll probably need to pack a raincoat or umbrella. Madeira’s average temperatures range from 18C in winter to 25C in summer, with sea temperatures being nearly the same due to a warm Gulf Stream that surrounds the Island all year round, 18C to 22C, which makes walking possible in any season.
The dress code for our tours is comfortable and casual. Dressing in layers gives most comfort as you can shed and add items when the climate varies. Consider packing.
- Comfortable walking shoes
- An all-weather coat
- Comfortable clothing.
For walking and hiking, please see our Other details page.
In the case of rain or inclement weather, and since the variety of hikes allows us to choose the best areas to walk, your Mountain Guide will modify the tour (if possible), or we will try to postpone the hike to another day. It never hurts to have a raincoat and an umbrella on hand.
Whatever level of walker you are, we recommend booking a guided walk. Is worth the money, you are picked up at the place you are staying, taken to the start of the walk and picked up at the end. You are also accompanied by a knowledgeable mountain guide that will take you to the most beautiful spots.
We are aware that many people do not like to be in groups, but it is easy to get lost on some walks. Here’s a notice issued by the authorities recently following many accidents on walks. Again, tourists have been rescued having disappeared when walking alone or deviating from the recognized paths. In both instances, the tourists were found alive and in reasonably good health by the Forest Police Corps and other emergency services. As a result of the increasing number of these occurrences, the Regional Directorate of Forestry and Nature Conservation has issued a warning to walkers against “randomly and recklessly” deciding to use footpaths in mountainous areas other than those recommended, and against walking unaccompanied. Both actions, the DRFCN reminds visitors, are “contrary to basic safety rules and conduct of hikers”.
Due to the occurrence of landslides or to maintenance works, some footpaths might be temporarily closed. Please check HERE and HERE before you go. The best thing to do is to turn back if you come across a closed path, bad weather conditions, a particularly wet area or a rockfall. If you do not have the ProCiv Madeira mobile application with you, you can use the following contacts:
National emergency number: 112
Civil Protection: 291 700 112
Police (GNR): 291 214 460
The ProCiv Madeira mobile app takes advantage of the potential of today’s smartphones, such as GPS location, and allows you to make a request for help in case of emergency.