Trails and waterfalls

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Madeira has been nicknamed “The Hawaii of Europe” for their green and lush forests and vast height differences due to its volcanic nature. Obviously, forests can only be green and lush if there is plenty of water, so when hiking under the treelines there are small streams and waterfalls everywhere of the water running down the mountains.

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All over the island you’ll be able to find levadas - aqueducts specific to Madeira that carry water from the humid mountains to drier areas.

Nowadays, levadas have been turned into hiking trails around the island. As levadas are supposed to carry water, they often pass by bigger waterfalls.

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Our spontaneous hikes through the forests were very soothing and refreshing, and also wet as water was dripping and running in small creeks everywhere. The temperatures were still much warmer than in Denmark, so we didn’t mind too much.

The alternating landscapes of sparse and rocky landscapes and wet and dripping forests with waterfalls and creeks everywhere reminds a bit of Scotland and its Fairy Glens.

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The forests on Madeira are very different. There are tall eucalyptus trees, banana plantages, there is Fanal Forest. On our way to one of the waterfalls, we came through another forest with a very enchanted atmosphere. The trees were crooked and covered in moss and creating a roof over the path.

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As excited as we are for waterfalls, there were so many on Madeira that we didn’t even photograph all of them. Some are falling down epic cliffs far away from the road, some fall down right on the road that you drive through, others are hidden in the forests.

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The waterfall on the road is one of the most famous ones on Madeira and will likely show up in most travel guides. It was fun to drive under and set the car’s various proximity alarms in actions, but in our eyes it was the most boring waterfall to photograph. Without beautiful light or a model for portraits, there wasn’t much exciting or beauty to capture. Also, the location was rather busy with people driving by and tourists snapping selfies of themselves.