Levada do Furado and Balcões Viewpoint BY LOCAL BUS!
Levada do Furado has to be one of the most popular and easily accessible levada walks out there. It fits in quite nicely with the local bus schedule and is a relatively easy hike, compared to some of the longer and tougher hikes in Madeira. So we decided to go out and do all the work for those of you looking at hiking this path by local bus!
Firstly, you want to do this hike on a weekday (more buses) and get the first bus out of Funchal, which is the Santana bus no 56. Currently this bus is departing at 8:10 and costs 3.35 euros per ticket. The bus departs from the bus stop by the cable car entrance, the cable car that goes to Monte. There should be a few buses there so make sure you get on the right one! In case this information is outdated by the time you see this blog, you can check out the Horarios do Funchal website for more information on what time the bus leaves;
Once you’re on the bus it’s a 50 minute ride to Ribeiro Frio. You’re going to want to take the second stop at Ribeiro Frio and not the first, if in doubt ask the driver to let you know when you’re at the “Faisca Bar”, that’s where you’re going to want to jump off, for some breakfast poncha or maybe just a coffee before the hike.
Head up towards the Balcões Viewpoint, of which the path starts right next to the Faisca Bar. After climbing a few steps, it’s a 10 minute walk towards Balcões where you can enjoy the view and feed the birds, no bread please!
On the way back, follow the levada towards Ribeiro Frio. Once you get to Ribeiro Frio (not Faisca) you can then visit the trout farm, have another poncha or carry on towards Levada do Furado and Portela. You’ve probably done about 3 km by now and there’s another 11 left. It’s reasonably flat and not a bad first hike for those who aren’t too sure whether they can hike the levadas or not. The views are amazing and you get to see the Laurissilva forest in all it’s glory.
Remember not to go on your own and to follow safety protocols at all times! Make sure you’re prepared for the hike with adequate water, food, snacks, waterproofs, first aid kit, proper hiking boots, walking sticks if you want and enough battery power on your phone should you need it.
Once you arrive at Portela, there is a snack bar where you can refresh and get ready for the bus ride back into Funchal. If you don’t want to take the bus, there are usually taxis waiting and you can get a ride back to Funchal for somewhere around 30 to 40 euros.
There are 2 bus routes back to funchal with 3 different time schedules; 13:30, 14:50 and 16:05.
The bus stop is just in front of the snack bar and it takes roughly 90 minutes to get back to Funchal, you will be stopping at various different locations on the way and it costs around 4 euros per person. In case this information is outdated, here are the links for the 2 different bus routes passing by that area:
Of course we made an entertaining video explaining the entire process! We’re introducing a new mini series on our YouTube channel called “Madeira Local Bus Adventures” of which we believe the title explains the idea! So don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so that you can be updated when new adventures come out 😉
Also, if you’re not keen on riding a bus and would like the full experience, remember that we’re offering 21 percent off all of our tours booked in 2021, you can book for 2022 as well and still take advantage of the discount, by inserting the promo code TWENTYONE at checkout on this website.
Hope to see you guys all soon and yeah, Let’s Hit The Road!