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Day 3 - Levada do Caniçal to Porto da Cruz

Wanderung · Portugal
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Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The north coast of Madeira
    / The north coast of Madeira
    Foto: Suzel Gary, Macs Adventure
  • /
    Foto: Suzel Gary, Macs Adventure
m 400 300 200 100 -100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

The wide Machico valley and its green terraces give way to a magnificent panorama on the highest point of the track. Thereafter, the trail unfolds on the cliff side, dug in the rocks. The final descent connects the rural part of Porto da Cruz to the village on the shore.

For this walk, 2 options are available: OPTION 1 takes the same route as OPTION 2 from km 3.18 onwards. 

OPTION 1 starts on the Levada do Caniçal.

OPTION 2 starts in Machico, enabling a visit to the town centre (see route notes for this option under “Day 3: Levada do Caniçal to Porto da Cruz OPTION 2”) 

Strecke 12,4 km
4:30 h
225 hm
420 hm
420 hm
2 hm
You will have a pleasant stroll along the levada water channel before cutting off to climb up to Boca do Risco. Here, the North coast will open out in front of you, and you will work your way along the cliff paths and down to the charming village of Porto da Cruz.


The south and the north coasts reveal their distinctive features all along the way. Steepness, erosion, land use, vegetation and even the ocean are different. The coastal trail used to be the main route for the inhabitants of this area, namely for wine transport on people’s back. Nowadays it offers fine views to the ocean and São Lourenço Peninsula already visited on Day 2. 

Allow some time to discover Porto da Cruz.

Profilbild von Laura Paterson
Laura Paterson
Aktualisierung: 19.01.2022
Höchster Punkt
420 m
Tiefster Punkt
2 m


  • When path is narrow, walk carefully on the trail, not on the vegetation. 
  •  In case of landslides, do not proceed if there is any hazard.

Weitere Infos und Links

Points of Interest 

  •  Porto da Cruz – a relaxed and charming village that produces an excellent dry red wine "Seco Americano" and agricultural rum, the latest being the main ingredient of the famous poncha. 
  •  Sugar cane mill is open for visits (usually closed on sundays). Engenhos do Norte
  •  Time permitting it is possible to enjoy the swimming pools by Porto da Cruz sea front. Alagoa beach near the sugar cane mill might be an alternative (do not enter the water on the sea front on the swimming pool side as it is dangerous regardless of sea conditions). Bathing complex

  •  Santana is a beautiful village on the north coast, famous for its small triangular houses built of natural stone and thatched with straw. Near Santana townhall, you can visit some of these colourful fairy tale houses hosting small shops. Santana houses


  • Machico is well served with banks, supermarkets, numerous bars and restaurants, a pharmacy and a bus station 
  • Bars, restaurants and shops in the village of Porto da Cruz.

Food & Drink 

Nothing en route. Picnic and water required. 


Levada do Caniçal (220 m)
32.732786, -16.764144
32°43'58.0"N 16°45'50.9"W
28S 334695 3623040


Porto da Cruz


You will be picked up from your hotel at 9:00 am.  

0.00 km – AHEAD, and ACROSS the road you will see the entrance to Levada do Caniçal, next to a small white house. For orientation, the road tunnel is on your right. You will follow the levada for 3.3 km, which should take about 45 minutes. The turn off to Boca do Risco is not obvious and is easily missed.  

After enjoying the views, follow the path, which runs upstream alongside an irrigation channel (levada). 

0.25 km – AHEAD near the houses.  

1.81 km – TURN LEFT, after crossing the road and down the slope to join the levada again.   

Be careful now as you will only be on the levada for another 1.5 km. Watch for some structures build next to the levada, on the left-hand side, where a way crosses the channel diagonally. Look carefully for the sign VEREDA DA BOCA DO RISCO high up to your right.  

3.32 km – BEAR RIGHT up the rocky path, following the sign for Boca do Risco. Keep on the main trail uphill.  

Just before reaching the pass, there is a small junction providing access to Boca do Risco viewpoint (an ideal place for a picnic). TURN LEFT on the little trail passing a shelter dug in the rock and climb to the viewpoint. Return the same way to the pass where a wooden sign indicates LARANO.  

4.92 km – TURN LEFT downhill when facing the ocean. Now on the North Coast, follow the narrow path that you can see cutting into the cliffs ahead. Take care and use the grab-rails where available. You will follow this narrow path for about 4.5 km.  

Initially bordered by vegetation, the path then enters a section with fine views of the ocean and São Lourenço peninsula. After a sharp bend on the left, the trail enters a forest of eucalyptus trees and soon the village of Porto da Cruz is visible at the bottom of the Penha d’Águia distinctive hill.  

AHEAD when the way becomes wider.  

9.50 km – AHEAD near the house down on the concrete road past the cable car. Watch out for some steps on both sides of the road in a bend on the right-hand side. Signposts indicate trail running tracks.  

9.86 km – TURN LEFT down the stone stairs in the middle of the terraces. TURN RIGHT on the minor levada and after a few steps BEAR LEFT down the steps near the house.   

9.97 km – TURN RIGHT on the small levada and follow the channel until a small junction with trail running signs. BEAR LEFT down the concrete ramp slope and down the steps to the tarmac road.  

10.45 km – TURN LEFT down the road and continue on the tarmac road heading to Porto da Cruz, past the signs indicating CAMINHO DA CHÃ and CAMINHO DO BOQUEIRÃO. 

11.08 km – TURN RIGHT where the road sweeps round the left near the letter boxes, DOWN the concrete way of CAMINHO DO BARREIRO. AHEAD near the houses on the concrete footbridge and along the minor levada.   

NOTE: this path is very narrow in some sections.  

11.55 km – DOWN the paved steps and AHEAD, across the road and down the steps again.  

11.65 km – ACROSS the bridge PONTE DA MAIA and along the sea shore, heading to the village.  

AHEAD at the end of the rough way, across the open gate, and on the paved road.  

12.32 km – TURN LEFT on the playground and climb the steps up the front entrance to the church of Porto da Cruz, where your transfer will collect you at 5:00 pm and take you to your hotel in Santana.  


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


Transfer to levada do Caniçal in the morning and transfer from Porto da Cruz at the end of the day.


32.732786, -16.764144
32°43'58.0"N 16°45'50.9"W
28S 334695 3623040
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad


  • Raingear.  
  • Walking boots. 

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Fotos von anderen

12,4 km
4:30 h
225 hm
420 hm
Höchster Punkt
420 hm
Tiefster Punkt
2 hm


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