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PR16 Levada Fajã do Rodrigues

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Fajã do Rodrigues Footpath


levada pr16 Dificulty Level:Medium Distance:7.8 Km
levada rating
Start: Ribeira do Inferno Finish: Faja da Ama
Time(going): 3:30 hrs Time(back): 3:30 hrs
Highest point: 580 m Lowest point: 580 m
levada pdf Leaflet (Detailed Info PR16-Fajã do Rodrigues)
levada bus Nº: Unavailable nearby walk: Only by car

This trail begins at Ginjas in the municipality of São Vicente and follows the walkway beside the Fajã do Rodrigues levada or the Fajã da Ama Levada, the two names by which it is known, ending at the source of the levada in Ribeira do Inferno.

ATTENTION: Long tunnel en route, carry a torch; danger of vertigo.


Santa Cruz

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“…passing by a turn made by the land, they entered a beautiful cove in the beach, where they saw a beautiful and delightful valley covered by trees, where on land they found some old logs blown down by the weather, from which the captain ordered a cross to be made, which was then raised to the top of a tree, giving the name Santa Cruz to the place, where later a noble village was founded.” 

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent.

Located on the south coast of the island of Madeira, with an area of 95.9 km2, the municipality of Santa Cruz includes five parishes: Caniço, Camacha, Gaula, Santa Cruz (municipal seat) and Santo António da Serra. This municipality has demonstrated an ever-increasing growth in terms of population, economy and tourism, and is therefore a location worthy of an obligatory stop.


When you visit Camacha, be sure to see the wide variety of works of art made out of wicker. Because the climate here is a little cooler and more humid, the planting and cultivation of willows was a success, and served as the basis and raw material for the manufacture of objects in wicker, such as baskets, furniture, animals and other decorative pieces.


Since the municipality lies along the coastal strip, local gastronomy is enriched with the tremendous variety of fish and seafood. Grilled limpets, snails, wrasse, red sea bream, hake and grouper are recommended favourites. Other specialities include cornmeal with fava beans and maize cakes cooked in kale leaves. Among the beverages, try the cider from Santo da Serra, made from apples.

Nature and activities:

The municipality of Santa Cruz has a variety of offerings for those who love the sun and beach:  Bathing Complex at Palmeiras Beach in Santa Cruz, the Waterpark in Santa Cruz, the only one in the region, and the Complex at Reis Magos Beach in Caniço. Santa Cruz, specifically Santo da Serra, was the cradle of golf in the archipelago of Madeira. The Santo da Serra Golf Club was built here in 1937, being redesigned in 1991 by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, who designed a new golf course with 27 holes. The Madeira Open, a tournament included in the PGA European Tour, is held every year at this golf course.  In Caniço, at Garajau, there is a diving centre open to the lovers of this sport. Dives are organized to give the visitor a view of a new world, the underwater world, with its diversity of species and colours, an activity that shouldn’t be missed. The Garajau Nature Reserve in the same area, where various sea species are protected, is also worth mentioning.


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“This village of Machico (head and seat of this
first Captain Tristão) although small, and has few neighbours, is very well laid out, pleasant,
with many vegetable gardens and orchards,
set in the middle of a stream so fresh and superb”

Jerónimo Dias Leite, 16th Cent

The municipality of Machico is considered a place that is truly important in the unfolding of the historic evolution of Madeira, because it was here, on the beach of Machico that João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz disembarked for the first time, in the 15th century. Besides this, there is also the legend of Machim, according to which the English Robert Machim and his lover Ana d’Arfet arrived here, because of a change of course caused by a storm, and where later they died. The curiosity of the story resides in the fact that the two lovers would have been the first two to set foot on the island and that their tombs were found by the Portuguese navigators; the origin of the name of the municipality is therefore derived from “Machim”.
The municipality presently has five parishes, Porto da Cruz, Caniçal, Machico (municipal seat), Santo da Serra and Água de Pena.

Must-see Places:

The Whale Museum, located in Caniçal, relates all the history of whale hunting in Madeira, which began in 1940 and ended in 1986.  This activity had a dominant role in the region, which led to the creation of a factory that produced by-products from whales. Therefore, the museum portrays all this involvement using photographs, artefacts, miniature models of boats and the factory. The belvedere of Pico do Facho is one of the attractions of Machico, providing a fabulous view over the bay of Machico.  It is said that the name of this lookout owes itself to the fact that, to warn the population of occasional attacks by pirates or corsairs, torches (fachos) would be lit on this hilltop.


The Parish Church of Machico is located in a square, in front of the town hall, a building ordered built by the family of the donatary-captains. It dates back to the 15th century and beginning of the 16th century, still maintaining today its original features of the end of the Gothic period final gothic characteristics and the Portuguese style of architecture developed under D. Manuel I.  Inside, the beautiful gilded carved altars are outstanding. The fort of São João Baptista, next to the wharf of Machico, is strategically situated high up on a cliff. It was built by the order of the Governor of Madeira, captain general Duarte Sodré Pereira, in the year 1708. It is also called the Forte do Desembarcadouro (Fort of Departure), because the island’s discoverers disembarked close by.  The interior contains a neo-Gothic chapel, dedicated to the saint which gives the name to the fort.  In later times, it served as a hospital and, then as a holiday retreat for children from the convent of Santa Clara in Funchal. The Piedade chapel, in Caniçal, deserves full mention, for it is situated on the top of a small hill.  The year in which it was built is not known for sure, but the chapel is thought to be from the 17th century. On the third Sunday of September, the festival of Nossa Senhora da Piedade is celebrated, when the image is taken in a procession by sea to the base of the rocky slope, and the rest of the route is completed on foot.

Nature and Activities:

In the municipality of Machico there are various walks that are available for those who love nature and hiking.  Among them we mention the Levada da Portela or the Levada do Castelejo in Porto da Cruz, the Levada do Caniçal and the trail at Ponta de São Lourenço, in Caniçal. The overlook of Portela is also recommended, because of the dazzling view over Porto da Cruz. In the municipality there are various places to go swimming, but Machico beach, the little beach (Praínha) of Caniçal, the pools of Porto da Cruz and the beach of Lagoa in Porto da Cruz are a few that stand out.


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«(…) uma freguesia de invocação de Santa Ana (…) são terras de lavrança, de muito pão e criações; tem muita castanha e noz, e muitas águas e fructos de toda a sorte».

Gaspar Frutuoso, Séc. XVI

Located on the north coast of the island, the municipality of Santana is made up of six parishes: Arco de São Jorge, São Jorge, Ilha, Santana (municipal seat), Faial and São Roque do Faial, being elevated to the status of municipality in 1835. Its name is derived from Sant’Ana, the patron saint of the municipality. For many years, the main economic activities carried out in the municipality were essentially directed towards agriculture, thanks to the nature of the land, which was favourable to the growing of cereals, sugar cane, vineyards, horticultural products and fruit trees. Faial’s wine and custard apples are worthy of special mention.

Must-see places:

One of the obligatory stops in the municipality of Santana is the Madeira Theme Park, one of the main tourist attractions. This infrastructure is located close to the centre of the city of Santana, not only transmitting the historical evolution of Madeira, but exploring as well the natural aspect, with pedagogical contents and activities, perpetuating the ethnography of Madeira in terms of handicrafts, traditions, habits and customs through pavilions and open-air exhibits.
Next to the City Hall, the Santana Municipal Government has placed at the disposal of visitors some examples of one of the houses characteristic of the region, the so-called “Santana House”, an A-frame house made out of wood and covered with a thatched roof. 


Although the various regional dishes are prepared in almost all areas of Madeira, it is worth mentioning that Santana is particularly known for its wheat soup (sopa de trigo), a thick soup that served to sustain the men who worked in the fields all day. 

Festivals and Events:

Custard Apple Festival in Faial Regional Folklore Festival, known as “48 Horas of Dancing”  At Carnival, be sure to see the Festa dos Compadres.

Nature and activities:

Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve, Ribeiro Frio, Queimadas, Caldeirão Verde, bathing area at the mouth of the Faial brook. Don’t pass up the chance to visit Pico Ruivo, the highest point of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, at 1861 m elevation. The footpath begins at Achada do Teixeira, going up to the summit of Pico Ruivo, returning to the starting point. It is about 3 km each way (6km there and back) and can be easily done in 3 hours.w

Ribeira Brava

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“To the west, one league from Campanário, lies Ribeira Brava … The stream (ribeira) is so furious when it is full that is sometimes takes many houses and causes a lot of damage, because it comes from great  mountains and high hills, and it is for this reason they came to call it Brava (wild).”

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent

Ribeira Brava is one of the oldest settlements of the island of Madeira, whose importance is due to the local terrain, where a stream cuts through that once ran with wild waters (águas bravas), hence the reason for calling the area Ribeira Brava. The source of the stream is at an elevation of 327 m, the waterway then running a distance of 8 km alongside the road that leads to Encumeada, an excellent starting point for unforgettable walks. This area has played an important role in the communication between various points of the island, especially with the interior by means of its harbour.  The municipality was created in 1914, being made up of the parishes of Campanário, Ribeira Brava (municipal seat), Serra d’Água and Tabua.

Must-see places:
Promenade of Ribeira Brava
Madeira Ethnographic Museum. Belvedere at Cruz 
This belvedere is just a few metres from Ribeira Brava, on a turn-out to the left of the road from Campanário, and offers a view over Ponta do Sol and Ribeira Brava, and to the east, views from the mountains of Campanário to Fajã da Ovelha.

Festivals and Events:
Feast of Saint Peter in Ribeira Brava on June 28 and 29. 

Pináculo and Folhadal Path 
Starts next to the E.E. 110 at Lombo do Mouro, climbing to Paul da Serra, and ending at Encumeada. Covering a distance of about 14km, it passes through various tunnels, and therefore you will need to carry a torch with you. 

Church of São Bento
Fort of São Bento

Câmara de Lobos

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“… they sailed further down until they came to a narrow rock, …, which enters out into the sea, and, between this rock and the other, there is an arm of the sea at rest, where nature made a large den, in the style of a chamber of rock and stone; here the skiffs were put ashore, and they found so many sea wolves that they were amazed…so that they called this quiet bay Câmara de Lobos (Chamber of Wolves)…”

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent

Câmara de Lobos owes its name to the people that discovered and populated this island.  When the sailors João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, sent by Prince D. Henry, started to explore the coastline of the island, they found a small bay densely populated by monk seals (Port. Lobo marinho  = “sea wolf”).
Because of this, João Gonçalves Zarco named the place Câmara de Lobos (Chamber of Wolves). Câmara de Lobos, situated a small distance from the capital of the island, owes its fame to its fisherman that have as their principal specialty,  the black scabbard fish, and with their very typical, picturesque boats “os xavelhas”,  they paint the bay that opens to the sea. It is this unique picture that the former English prime-minister Winston Churchill could not resist painting, when he visited the island on January 8, 1950.  The municipality came into existence in 1835, being separated from the municipality of Funchal, presently combining the parishes of Câmara de Lobos (municipal seat), Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Jardim da Serra, Curral das Freiras and Quinta Grande.

Must-see Places:
Centre of the city
Cabo Girão
Winston Churchill Belvedere
Eira do Serrado Belvedere

St Sebastian’s Church

Chestnut soup
Poncha and Nikita, typical local drinks
Black scabbard fish
The “gata” (kitefin shark), also known as “Câmara de Lobos codfish”.

Nature and Activities:
The walk from Corticeiras to Boca dos Namorados, returning back to Corticeiras is not to be missed.  You can enjoy various views, including an exceptional view of Curral das Freiras.

Funchal City

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” The village of Funchal was settled, to which the captain gave the name beacause it was a beautiful valley of unusual groves of trees, full of fennel (funcho) to the sea … “

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent

The municipality of Funchal, the name of the capital of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is made up of ten parishes, Santa Maria Maior, Sé, São Pedro, Imaculado Coração de Maria, Santa Luzia, São Martinho, Santo António, São Roque, Monte and São Gonçalo. It is one of the oldest municipalities of the region, and it always affirmed itself as having the economic, social and cultural potential of a big city.

It was the first city created by the Portuguese in the Atlantic Ocean.

The city offers multiple leisure activities. One can visit its magnificent gardens, go shopping, get lost in its squares and picturesque streets with pavements of Portuguese mosaic stonework or simply enjoy the pleasant moments of rest in one of the esplanades of the central cafes. It is worth your while to get to know the various museums and city monuments.

Must-see Places

  • Palace of São Lourenço
  • Museum of Quinta das Cruzes
  • House-Museum of Frederico Freitas
  • Sugar Museum
  • Museum of Sacred Art
  • Museum of Embroidery
  • Story Centre
  • Monte
  • Botanical Garden


Santa Clara Convent (15th century)

  • Funchal Catedral, built in the 16th century
  • St John the Baptist Church
  • Monte Church, where the tomb of Emperor Charles I of Austria is located, the site of one of the most famous religious festivals, the festival of Nossa Senhora do Monte on August 15th.

Festivals and Events

The municipality of Funchal is truly rich in cultural events, namely in regard to Carnival, with two Carnival processions, and the Flower Festival, with a parade various floats decorated with the most varied types of flowers and truly colourful arrangements.

New Year’s is something else that should be noted, with special attention to a spectacular fireworks display that can be watched from all the different areas of the capital city.

São Roque do Faial Party

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The São Roque do Faial Party happen at São Roque do Faial parish, in the last weekend August, where is celebrated the existence of this parish.

This party has as objective to celebrate his patron which has the mass with the procession. After this initiate the traditional village with lots of music, drink and food.

Vereda of Penha d` Águia

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The Vereda of Penha d` Águia is situated in Faial parish at Penha d` Águia site.

This place is known to have a huge rock where this vereda is performed in this rock which has an amazing view to Faial parish and to the river that exists in this parish.

Recreation Area of Faial River

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This space was created in 2011 at Faial parish in Foz da Ribeira do Faial with the propose to give a huge space destined to sporting practices.

The Recreation Area of Faial River has a big set of services such bar and a “Patinódromo”. This one is considered able to conduct national and international competitions in line skating.

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