The Madeira hike along the two trails of Levada do Moinho and Levada Nova (PR7) is a connection of two almost parallel levadas, which offer you unbelievably beautiful views of the coast and the mountains. The Levada do Moinho starts in the small village of Lombada da Ponta do Sol in the south of Madeira. From there it goes completely flat further and further into the valley and you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view all the time.
At the end of the Levada do Moinho you change to the Levada Nova, which leads back the same way. But a lot higher and with a view that is second to none. At the end of this wonderful hike you will arrive back at the place where you started. For us this was one of the most beautiful levada hikes in Madeira. What we loved about this hike and what you can expect on this levada you can now read in our travel report. Have fun reading.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
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Levada Do Moinho & Levada Nova
This levada hike in Madeira combines two almost parallel running levadas. So you don’t have to walk the same way back, but you still have a phenomenal view of the valley and the nearby sea from both ways. The Levada do Moinho is the lower of the two levadas and leads you to a picnic area where you have to cross a river twice to get to the somewhat higher Levada Nova. There you will walk about 100 meters above the Levada do Moinho back towards the start of the hike.
The river crossing is unfortunately not that easy and you have to be quite surefooted because of the slippery stones. Therefore, there is also a shortcut to the Levada Nova. About 300 meters before the turnaround point, a staircase on the right leads directly to the Levada Nova. You will miss the river crossing and the picnic area there. But this is not so bad and if you are not sure-footed, then it is definitely the better option.
The Levada Nova is not well secured in some places, so you should be a little more careful than on the way there, otherwise you fall several meters into the abyss. The highlight on the Levada Nova is, besides the great view, the waterfall that awaits you behind a corner of the levada and that is really very special.
Length and Duration of the Hike
In total, you walk 9 kilometers, combining 2 levadas into one circular route. It took us about 4 hours, but we also took some photo breaks. If you take fewer photos and also take the shortcut between the two levadas (instead of the river crossing), then you can certainly do it in 3 hours.
Difficulty Level and Altitude Difference
Since you only walk along the levadas, the trail is actually completely flat. Only at the change of the levadas there is a difference in altitude, which adds up to a total of 150 meters. So the path is doable for everyone. Somewhat dangerous are only the places that are not really well secured. A dark tunnel is also part of this Madeira hike.
And especially the crossing of the river at the end is quite dangerous. But since you can avoid this part by taking the shortcut, this levada can be described as easy and good to hike.
Levada Do Moinho & Levada Nova | What to expect?
After parking your rental car near the church and finding the small access to the Levada do Moinho, you will be immediately captivated by the first amazing view of the long valley in front of you. Almost to the end of this long valley you will walk with this view in front of your eyes and then, with a slightly different perspective back again. The outward path of the levada is well secured and there is always a railing when necessary. From some places you can also see the Levada Nova, which is about 100 meters higher, and thus you already have a view of the way you will go back.
After about 4 kilometers there is a staircase to the right that leads to the Levada Nova. You should take this shortcut if you don’t want to or can’t cross the river. We walked the last 300 meters and had to cross the river first, which is quite easy at first. Then you get to a large picnic area with tables, running water and also a small waterfall.
After the picnic area, you will have to cross the river again to get to Levada Nova. Either we didn’t find the right way or we were really stupid, but the crossing was really not easy. The rocks you have to walk over are big and slippery and you have to be careful not to slip into the water. Nevertheless, a very adventurous and fun way. On the other side you have to go up a few steps and you are on the Levada Nova.
The Highlight of the Hike
After only a few hundred meters you will come to the highlight of the Levada Nova, the waterfall that seems to have drilled itself into the rock. You walk along behind the waterfall without getting wet.
Directly after the waterfall comes a short but very dark tunnel before it continues with a great view in the direction of the starting point. The view is really awesome, but you really have to watch out, because often there is no barrier or anything else that would keep you from falling down.
The whole time you look at the sea while the green mountains stretch out to the right of you. A wonderful panorama, and we even had the sunset in front of us the whole time. Beautiful, but unfortunately we had to hurry because we wanted to be at the car before nightfall.
Back at the Starting Point
After about 9 kilometers you will come out at a road that will lead you back to the small town and thus to your car. We totally enjoyed the hike and were not knocked out despite the many kilometers, because there were hardly any climbs to do. For us (besides the Levada do Caldeirão Verde and the hike to Pico Ruivo) one of the most beautiful Levada hikes on Madeira.
Arrival and Parking
The start of the Levada Do Moinho or Levada Nova is very easy to find. The hikes start and end in the small village of Ponta do Sol. It is best to park right next to the church Igreja da Lombada da Ponta do Sol. There are some free parking spaces (Google Maps). Unfortunately, there is no possibility to get to this hike by public transport. The Levada Nova ends a bit above the village. So you have to walk about 700 meters back to the village on the less frequented roads to get back to your car.
Best Time for the Hike
Since the Levada Do Moinho and Levada Nova hikes have almost no shade, it makes sense to start early in the morning in summer so that you are not too exposed to the midday sun. In addition, you should keep in mind that the waterfall on Levada Nova naturally has the most water in the rainy winter months and therefore looks the most spectacular. In general, you can do this hike at any time of the day or year.