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Hiking trail

The 25 Springs of Rabacal and Risco Waterfall

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
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    Photo: Laura Paterson, Macs Adventure
m 1200 1100 1000 900 10 8 6 4 2 km
A mainly easy and enjoyable walk in beautiful surroundings. Some exposed areas.
Distance 10 km
4:00 h
287 m
567 m
Arrive at Rabacal National Park by private transfer (1 hr). One of the most iconic walking spots on Madeira, the sub-tropical forests and pretty waterfalls have earned this spot UNESCO world heritage status. Following a levada path you come across the 25 natural springs of Rabacal—a collection of waterfalls. Continue on a detour to the Risco waterfall– the tallest on the island. You will be picked up and taken to your next destination (35 mins); Jardim do Mar. On the return journey, you have the opportunity to visit a sugar cane factory– part working factory and part museum.   
Profile picture of Laura Paterson
Laura Paterson
Update: January 16, 2018
Highest point
1,278 m
Lowest point
963 m

Safety information

Look out for branches at head height and exposed roots and rocks at some sections of the path. Bring a head torch for the 800m long Riders Tunnel which is not lit.


Rabacal National Park Carpark (1,277 m)
32.754618, -17.133511
32°45'16.6"N 17°08'00.6"W
28S 300126 3626098


Rabacal National Park Carpark

Turn-by-turn directions

These maps and routes are designed to be used in conjunction with our traditional documentation. We have recently embarked on a conversion initiative to bring the two elements together, and this itinerary will be covered in due course.

In the meantime, using the two elements alongside each other should go a long way to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem free day.


all notes on protected areas


32.754618, -17.133511
32°45'16.6"N 17°08'00.6"W
28S 300126 3626098
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others

10 km
4:00 h
287 m
567 m
Scenic Botanical highlights Flora and fauna


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