Madeira Island:

Rabacal best hiking trails on Madeira

Rabacal best hiking trails on Madeira

Rabacal is the location of some of the best hiking trails on the island of Madeira. It offers a chance to enjoy beautiful forests protected by UNESCO, great biodiversity and see amazing waterfalls. The best thing is that the trail is not that tiring and that you do not need any special equipment.

According to most, Rabacal is the best hiking location on the Island of Madeira. Visitors will be able to walk through Laurisilva forests (protected by UNESCO), enjoy beautiful nature and breathtaking waterfalls alongside levada canals, and exchange smiles and greetings in different languages with other hikers along the trail.
There are several trails that can be taken from Rabacal. The most well-known one is so-called 25 Fontes (25 fountains), which leads trough a beautiful forest alongside levada canals and numerous small waterfalls. Several kilometers further on the trail, hikers will be awarded for their effort with a more than 20 meters high waterfall that will leave no one indifferent. Apart from waterfalls, hikers can enjoy a beautiful view on the canyon beneath.

(!) Be sure to bring enough water and food for a few hours of walking. Depending on your rhythm of walking and how fit you are, it can take you from 2 hours to a few more.
(!) Do not worry, the trail is not that difficult- you don't need any special clothing or equipment. Obviously, this statement refers to healthy people, who do not have medical problems and have hiked at least a bit in their lives.
(!) Apart from 25 Fontes, there are other trails that can be taken from Rabacal. One even includes passing through a tunnel that can be flooded with water, and because of the complete darkness in the tunnel you’ll need flashlights.

In order to reach Rabacal, you need to get to the location indicated on our map. From there, there is a large van that will take you to the Mountain hut from where the trails begin. The mountain hut is equipped with bathrooms.
You can choose not to take the van to the mountain hut, however this will prolong the walk for several kilometers.

Rabacal van transportation prices
Round trip price is 5 Euros (€).
Only return costs 3 Euros (€).
Ticket price for children is 2 Euros (€).

Van transportation service working hours
From Monday to Sunday working hours are: 09:30-18:00h.

Interesting facts

  • Laurisilva or Laurel forests are forests that are located in subtropical regions, characterized by high humidity and stable temperatures. These forests are home to evergreen plants with broad leaves that make quite a shade. Laurisilva forest on Madeira is protected by UNESCO because of its biodiversity and endemic species. It is assumed that this area of Madeira Island is composed of 90% primary forest that once covered the whole island.
  • Around 76 endemic plant species and two endemic species of birds (including Madeira Laurel Pigeon) live in Madeira National Park, in which Rabacal trail is located.
  • Levada canals are canals that have been used from the time of first settlers to supply with water dryer areas of Madeira Island. Since Madeira is a volcanic island, its peaks easily reach 2,000 meters, which means they represent a convenient wall for clouds favoring precipitation. These canals redirect the excess water in some parts of the island to the areas which lack water.

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