The PR7 Levada do Moinho hike: discover a stunning hidden waterfall

The PR7 Levada do Moinho hike is a stunning circular route along two levadas. The highlight is a stunning waterfall. Read here all about this hike.

The PR7 Levada do Moinho hike is a circular route that takes you along levada do Moinho and levada Nova. It is a hike with wonderful vistas in a stunning valley in the South of Madeira. If you are looking for a relatively easy levada hike in Madeira, we recommend to hike the PR7 Levada do Moinho. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the details about this hike.

hiking next to a levada in madeira

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What is a PR route?

The Levada do Moinho hike is a PR trail, more specifically PR7. There are more than 20 of these PR routes on Madeira and these are the recommended routes by the Madeira government. They are well-maintained and perfectly marked.

Our favourite PR-hikes during our time in Madeira:

What is a levada hike?

Levadas were originally created to transport water from the north to the south of the island. There are more than 3.000 kilometers of levadas on Madeira. A levada hike is a hike that follows one or more levadas. In the case of the PR7 you follow the levada do Moinho and levada Nova. The levada hikes are relatively easy because they follow the levada, that has only a small slope.

levada do moinho madeira portugel

The Levado do Moinho hike in short

  • Length of the hike – The Levado do Moinho hike is a circular trail of about 10,3 kilometers.
  • Duration of the hike – Expect to hike between 3-4 hours. The amount of time you’ll need depends of course on your fitness level and the amount of breaks you’ll take during your hike.
  • Difficulty level – This is an easy hike. The hike has 500 altitude meters. Note that the hike can be sometimes a bit hard for people that are afraid of heights. You sometimes have to follow a small trail with a steep abyss next to you. The trail is well-maintained and is clearly marked. 
  • Best season to do this hike – You can do this hike in any season.

Where does the hike start?

The starting point of this hike is at the little town Lombada da Ponta do Sol. There are different parking spots at the school and church. If you start early, you are assured to find a parking spot, as the spaces are limited. At the church, there is also a building where you can make free use of the public toilets. It takes about 35 minutes from Funchal to the starting point of the Levada do Moinho hike.

Starting point levada do moinho hike madeira

To start the hike clockwise, go behind the church and take the stairs. Then follow the levada do Moinho to the right and you’re on your way. If you want to hike anti-clockwise, take the street that goes up next to the church until you reach the first signage of the levada Nova.

Description of the Levada do Moinho hike

The Levada do Moinho is a circular route. It takes you along levada do Moinho and levada Nova, two levadas that run in parallel, but levada Nova is 100 meters higher up the mountain. We would recommend to hike clockwise. To do so, take the small trail behind the church and follow the levada do Moinho to the right. After 15 minutes following the levada do Moinho, the views become more and more spectacular as you are heading deeper into the valley.

views valley levada do moinho
The views along the Levado do Moinho hike are spectacular

The trail takes you through a wonderful forest. At a certain moment, you’ll see stairs on the right side. Take the stairs up the mountain to reach levada Nova.

From here, the best part of the trail starts, where it looks like the path is sometimes carved out of the rocks. It sometimes get narrow and  it’s best not to look down too much. Luckily, there are safety straps along some parts of the trail. After a short walk along the Levada Nova, you get at the highlight of the hike: its stunning waterfall! The path takes you even behind this roaring waterfall.

waterfall levada do moinho hike madeira portugal
The stunning waterfall at levada do moinho hike

After the waterfall you’ll pass a tunnel and continue your journey alongside the levada Nova until you reach Lombada da Ponta do Sol again.

What to take with you when hiking the Levada do Moinho hike?

  • On our hikes, we always make sure to pack lunch and take plenty of water with us. We recommend taking a Camelbak with you, as it can get hot on this hike during spring and summer months.
  • Definitely bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you from the sun.
  • Always wear clothes adjusted to the predicted weather. It’s best to dress in layers, as the weather in Madeira can change rapidly. Sturdy hiking boots are essential on this hike. A good raincoat is an essential item for hikers.
  • Make sure if you take your camera with you to protect it against the water of the waterfall. A dry bag can be a good idea to protect your gear during hiking.
  • Make sure you don’t bump your head in the tunnels by bringing a headlight or flashlight.
  • A good backpack to carry all your stuff. Our favorite brands are Vaude and Deuter. These brands offer high-quality backpacks that also look good.
  • Often forgotten but important: a first-aid kit. If it’s not to help yourself, you could help someone else. On our way on our Pico Ruivo hike, we encountered someone who had hurt her head in one of the many tunnels. With our first-aid kit, we could help her cleaning her head and make sure the bleeding stopped.
tunnel hike madeira levada do moinho

Where to stay?

Madeira has a variety of tourist accommodations to stay at. Funchal is definitely the best option to stay at when travelling in Madeira. Funchal is only a 30 minutes drive from the airport and all the highlights of Madeira are within a one hour drive from Funchal.

icon where to stay blog Check accommodation in Funchal on BOOKING.COM

madeira where to stay sign funchal

More of Madeira

Wondering what else you can do on Madeira? Read all about the highlights in our travel guide for Madeira. Up for some more hiking? These are other stunning hikes to discover in Madeira:

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide about the Levada do Moinho hike. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below.

Happy hiking!

Matthias & Mieke

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