The good news is that there are dozens of excellent walks of all types on this beautiful island. As the summer heat abates and the August visitors leave, it’s an ideal time for a walking holiday. Our resident researcher/author on the island, Shirley Whitehead, has just sent in the following important updates affecting a few routes; some changes are temporary while Shirley suggests alternative detours for some of the walks.
Volume One – Walk 9 – Monte – Bom Sucesso – Funchal
This trail is temporarily closed due to erosion of the pathways and levada following severe fire damage in 2016. Unlike most other water channels, this levada is privately owned and therefore repair work is not at the discretion of the authorities.
Volume Two – Walk 6l – Pico do Areeiro – Pico Ruivo (PR1 Vereda do Areeiro)
This route is shown as ‘Conditioned’ on the official Tourism website describing the trail as accessible along the whole length of the western footpath which passes through tunnels to arrive at Pico Ruivo. However, the route along the eastern part of the trail via Pico das Torres is temporarily closed. This situation has been apparent for some considerable time but our notes will be updated as and when the alternative route reopens.
Volume One and Volume Two – Walks 27 – 64 – 66
Due to the construction of a large reservoir on the Paúl da Serra plateau, scheduled for completion in 2020, the following walking routes are shown as amended or closed. Those affected are as follows:
Walk 27 – Levada do Paúl – Cristo Rei – Fatima Chapel, Rabaçal
This route is closed from Wp.7 where the channel crosses the regional road until it reaches the chapel of Nossa Senhora de Fátima and the Rabaçal car park on the ER105 at Wp.8.
As an alternative route, follow the notes until reaching the regional road at Wp.7 turning right for 300 metres to the junction with the ER105. Turning left from here, it’s around 1 kilometre to Wp.8 at the Rabaçal car park.
Note: the changes to the timings and distance from the original notes are negligible.
Walk 64 – Calheta Slopes – Levada da Rocha Vermelha – Levada Nova – Estrela da Calheta
This route is temporarily closed due to extensive construction work around Wp.3 where the trail becomes impassable in the area of the riverbed and Levada da Rocha Vermelha.
Walk 66 – Rabaçal: Ribeira Grande -Lajeado – Paúl da Serra
This walking trail is impassable beyond Wp. 10. As an alternative we suggest two options: (1) to follow the trail to Pico Rabaçal as a (linear out and back) or, (2) to head in an easterly direction from Wp.9 following the broad moorland path until it reaches the ER209. Turning right here, it is around 800 metres to the cross roads with the ER105 and turning right, passing the Jungle Rain Restaurant, the original trail can be picked up again from Wp.17 to return to the starting point. This alternative section is around 4.8 kms in total making the timings and distances with the original notes negligible.
For further information of closures and conditioned sections of the Officially Recommended Walking Routes go to www.visitmadeira.pt “Notice to Walkers”
Forget the tabloid image of all-night clubbing, loud music and young visitors in various states of inebriation and undress.
The real Ibiza is a beautiful place, blessed by a wonderful climate with many hours of sunshine each month.
Numerous fine white beaches and little coves tempt the swimmer and sun-worshipper, while walking/biking trails meander through wild flowers underneath a canopy of fragrant pine woods.
A few Ibizan facts:
- Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean east of the Spanish mainland.
- It’s a naturally beautiful island with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and verdant pine woods, olive groves and wild flowers.
- The island has a long history of invasion by various forces including the Ancient Romans, the Vandas, Byzantines, the Moors, the Norwegians and were finally claimed by Spain. Nowadays, the ‘invaders’ are tourists.
- Ibiza is 572.56 square kilometres (221.07 sq miles) land area.The highest point of the island is Sa Talaiassa, at 475 metres (1,558 ft).
- The population is estimated at approximately 132,500.
- Eivissenc, a dialect of Catalan, is spoken on Ibiza, as is Spanish. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
- Though renowned for its clubbing scene, there are beautiful beaches, pine woods and walking/biking routes across the island.
Late summer, when most of the tourists have gone and the sun is kind rather than fierce, is a perfect time to explore this gem. Take the best map on your adventures – more info here.
Springtime! The northern hemisphere’s Spring is well under way now. For those interested in flora, there’s nowhere quite like Madeira in the Springtime.
Madeira is always green – now it bursts into colour and perfume. Many of the plants you’ll come across while walking its levadas and country paths are endemic and exclusive to the island.
Two of the many beauties to look out for are orchids and the rare Yellow Foxglove. If you enjoy seeing wonderful plants growing strong and free, Madeira is the place to visit.
For information about the Garden Island, including books and maps, see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/mad.htm
(The plant images here were taken by Shirley & Mike Whitehead, authors and researchers resident on the island of Madeira.)