PR 10 - Levada do Furado
This trail begins at Ribeiro Frio in the municipality of Santana and follows the pathway accompanying the levada of Serra do Faial at an elevation of 860 metres up to the station where the waters divide, descending from there to the area of Lamaceiros and terminating at the Portela belvedere in the municipality of Machico.
The Levada do Furado, which begins at Ribeiro Frio, is one of the oldest levadas belonging to the state, having been acquired through a contract signed in 1822 between the first Count of Carvalhal and the Board of the Royal Treasury, for the purpose of irrigating the farmlands of Porto da Cruz. Due to its connection with the levadas of Juncal and of Serra do Faial, which join it soon after its beginning and continue on beyond its terminal point at Lamaceiros, it is said that this levada carries three waters: the water that is gathered in the valley of Ribeiro Frio and irrigates the terraces of Porto da Cruz; and those that come from the mountains of Santana and are stored in the reservoir at Santo da Serra for later distribution.
Along this levada you will note the manifold tones of green presented by this well-preserved zone of the islands native forest the Laurisilva made up predominantly of the laurel, or bay tree (Laurus azorica), the lily-of-the-valley tree (Clethra arborea), the Madeira laurel (Ocotea foetens), Madeira mahogany (Persea indica), as well as the yellow, or Madeira foxglove (Isoplexis sceptrum), the pride of Madeira (Echium candicans), Mandon´s Chrysanthemum (Argyranthemum pinnatifidum), and the Madeiran orchid (Dactylorhiza foliosa).
One may see the firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis), the smallest bird residing in Madeira, and the intrepid chaffinch (Fringila coelebs maderensis). Less likely to be seen is the Madeira long-toed pigeon (Columba trocaz trocaz), a species endemic to Madeira.
The landscape is dominated by the valley of Ribeiro Frio, with the amazing farm fields of Faial, São Roque do Faial and Porto da Cruz. The spectacular rock formation of Penha de Águia protects the bay of Faial to the east, and to the west the Ponta dos Clérigos.
It is at Lamaceiros that the waters are separated and here ends the Furado Levada and the descent to Portela begins. Crossing the forested area of Lamaceiros and passing the Forestry Station of Lamaceiros, the trail follows a dirt road until it meets the Portela Levada, which goes around the left side of Lombo das Faias, coming to an end where it meets the Regional Highway ER102.
Danger of vertigo; tunnels en route, carry a torch; the path may be slippery, wear anti-slip footwear.