One of the best ways to see the interior of the island and to get to know Madeira a little better is to walk along one of the footpaths alongside the unique and complex Madeiran irrigation system of levadas.
The levadas were constructed primarily for agricultural/industrial use – today they are just as important for tourists and local people alike who want to enjoy outdoor adventure activities inaccessible by car.
"Levada" is a Portuguese word derived from the word "levar" - which means to carry and is roughly translated as "carriageway", but more correctly defined as mini-canal. These channels have been dug into the mountainside to carry water from high up in the mountains, down to the fields and villages below.
This excursion starts with a drive, passing through Avenida Luís de Camões on our way to Vale Paraíso. Here you start your hike – a gentle stroll, mostly on level ground, to Camacha (2,296ft/700m). The walk along the traditional levada, surrounded by forest, takes about 1.5 hours. In Camacha village you can enjoy some free time. This one of the largest inland villages and the centre of the wicker industry producing the well-known Madeira wickerwork. Take time to stroll around or just take some refreshment in a local bar (not included), before we drive back.