Vereda dos Balcões
Starting at Ribeiro Frio, at the regional road – 103, this short walk follows Levada da Serra do Faial, and provides access to the Balcões belvedere with superb views over the valley of Ribeira da Metade and the parish of Faial.
From the Balcões belvedere there is a splendid landscape of green valleys of Laurissilva forest, Madeira’s indigenous forest that takes on added importance as a “water producer”.
Along this levada, the varied endemic species include Canary laurel (Laurus novocanariensis), Indian bays (Persea indica) and Madeiran orchids (Dactylorhiza foliosa), as well as non-native trees such as oaks (Quercus robur) and London planes (Platanus x acerifolia).
During the walk you may catch sight of birds such as the Madeira frecrest (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis), the Madeiran chaffnch (Frigilla coelebs madeirensis), the Madeira buzzard (Buteo buteo harterti) or the very rare Madeira laurel Pigeon (Columba trocaz).
On days when visibility is good, you will be able to see the central mountain chain and the island’s highest peaks, Pico Ruivo, Pico do Areeiro, Pico do Gato and Pico das Torres.
Distance: 1,5 km (+ 1,5 km return)
Highest point: 860 m
Lowest point: 830 m
Start: E.R. 103 (Ribeiro Frio)
Finish: E.R. 103 (Ribeiro Frio)
Recommendations: The path may be slippery; wear non-slip footwear.
Access: Buses 56 | 103 | 138