Rabacal is situaded at Higway ER110 in the Paul de Serra Highlands. Park your car. Take the bus down to Rabacal. From there you can walk to the Risco waterfalls or to 25 Fontes.
We chooose to go to 25 Fontes.
The 25 Fontes (literally "25 Sources") is a group of waterfalls located in Serrado, Ribeira da Janela, near the town of Porto Moniz in the Madeira Islands.
The waterfall is 30 feet high, consisting of a group of different water streams coming vertically down the mountainside. At its foot there are rocks covered in small plants and a small natural pool.
A new road traverses the 1004 m high Encumeada pass. Starting in Ribeira Brava at the south coast, the road winds up to Serra d’Água (which was the island’s first water power station) and arrives at the top of the valley giving incredible views of both the south and the north coast.
The shortest north-south way is the tunnel highway, but then you miss a fascinating landscape!
I wouldn't go there, but I was taken there. Santo da Serra is a somewhat plane area in a generally steep island, and that's why (maybe) it became the destination of golfers in Madeira.
It has an interesting organization to preserve biodiversity.
The northeast end of the island makes a strong contrast with everything else - rocky and arid, it has a few endemic plants, protected as a natural reserve. It has a small beach, the only with black sand in the island, good to swim.
Not far from Funchal, Estreito de Câmara de Lobos is the centre of Madeira wine producing. It has an interesting church, a few chapels and "levadas", but the main touristy attraction is the typical kebab.
Encumeado is a viewpoint that is a bit off the beaten track on Madeira island, but it´s a really nice viewpoint and one of the only places where you can see both the north and the south coast of the island at the same time.
The viewpoint is way up in the mountains though and the entire place might be coverd in clouds when you get there so never count on the getting the good view if you go there.
If the weather is nice then there are some really good hiking trails in the area too that are worth exploring if you bring your hiking gear.
If you arrive by car then there is a parking lot and a little shop with a cafe and public toilets, so you can get your cooffee and your pee.
Pico de Arieiro is the highest place on Madeira that you can reach by car and it is standing 1810 meters above sea level.
It´s up on a high plateau where you mostly have some very cold weather so be prepared to bring some warm clothes if you go up there.
The place is often coverd in clouds and snow is not uncommon there so be prepared.
It´s a bit surreal that a tropical island like Madeira can have such a cold place just 10 kilometers from the coast where you have nice and warm climate year round, so i think it´s woth driving up there just to experience the difference even if it´s mostly damn cold and pretty miserable up there.
One of the things Madeira offers are the "lavadas" the walks around the irrigation sistem the island has.For somebody that has no training for hikeing long distances then Rabacal is the best place to start.
The fantastic views and the forest around makes the walk shorter then it is and at the end of the trail the view of the water fall is worthy.
Dont forget to take with you water and food in the car for when you back from the walk, you'll need it!
Get suncream protection couse the sun can burn even if youw aling under the trees.
Dont forget your hiking shoes!
If you want to have your breath taken and to see stunning views then the place to be is the hike trail between Pico do Areeiro, Pico das Torres and Pico Ruivo. Those 3 tops are the highest on the island. The hike trail is good and difficult, if you not a hiker then better think twice before you start walking...
The advice is to have water, sun cream protection adn hiking shoes with you.If you go there by car make sure you have spear water, shoes (slippers) food and dry t shirts with you.
The trail goes up and down, has alot of stairs and tunels, great views and it will make you forget the pain you get in your leggs, trust me.
We not at all hikers but we adventured to make the longest hike 14km and it was worth the pain. It took us around 4 hours round trip. Was exosting but we proud we did it.
All i can say is enjoy.
Leaving Funchal drive to Pico do Arieiro from where you should start the walk to Poco da Neve, an ice storage facility (shaped like a well), dug into the ground in the early part of the 19th century. It was easy to keep ice here because of the low temperatures.
Ilheu da Viuva is the newest protected area in Madeira. The clear blue waters, the macaronisien species make this place a different spot to visit. With the new cablecar you can go down the beach. Enjoy!
1.st flore on the cafe at Monte squere, is like a time machine, not much changed for the last 50 years. And the soup was good at a fair price.
If you arraive on a boat their is teleferit from Funcial harbor.
Monte is a hilly village just outside Funchal, the capital of Madeira. It was used to be the place where rich English merchants used to live to escape from the hotness of the seaside. Actually, it is still very pictoresque. I would reccomand, however, to go there only for a visit without staying there, although the "Quinta do Monte" is pretty attractive (but no comparison with Casa Branca, which is much better and much closer to Funchal centre). In Monte you can visit a very nice church and experience a very strange means of transportation, born in the last centuries. Some white-dressed people pull and push a sort of basket where one person or more can sit and go down (for 1 mile more or less) just taking advantage of the gravity. I did not have enought courage but people who did seemed to have a great time. You can't miss it, when you arrive in Monte.
Actually I found it was terrebly expensive: I think 20 € was the minimum fee for one person ride.
On the way back down to the coast from our visit to Fontes (see my earlier tip) we were in sun and decided to pick up and walk a short section of the Levada Norte where it crossed the road above Adega (parked at the side of town football pitch just below the Levada at the side of the road). We walked along for approximately 2 miles to a viewpoint from a concrete balcony down into the Ribeira Valley and the area around Faja. This was a very pleasant stretch of Levada, particularly around Boa Morte with good coastal views.
This was in fact a short version of Walk 6 in the Sunflower book.
It was a showery day. Made bad decision as it turned out to do a walk from Fontes up to Pico da Cruz (1312m). Walk 5 in the Sunflower book. You can reach Fontes by driving up from Ribeira Brava. As we parked, a friendly villager from Fontes called out and pointed to the sky forecasting rain higher up the mountain.
It is a circular walk which would have given great views from the top section if it hadn't been for thick cloud. Lots of jeep trips passed us on their way down the stony track as it's one of their favourites for taking tourists up high for scenic views over the island. Sadly, on this day, they would have been disappointed fare payers due to the low cloud and mist. Reserve this walk for a clear day when we feel sure it would be superb. It takes about 2½ to 3 hours walking.
Still, on the positive side we had a nice break in a local Fontes bar when we returned and the sun came out and we met our friendly weather forecaster again.