The Balcony of Ribeiro Frio

Difficulty:
1/10

Even though the Balcony of Ribeiro Frio might be the shortest and easiest Levada walk you can do in Madeira, it is worth checking out for the spectacular view of the mountains.

Facts | Location | Highlights | Description of the Walk | GPS | Detailed Map

facts & Live Weather of the Balcony of Ribeiro Frio

Ribeiro Frio, Portugal

> Duration: 1 hours
> Length: 2.80 km
> Suitable for people with acrophobia: Absolutely Yes
> Best-Time-To-Walk: Before 10:00 AM – best time to avoid tourist crowds
> Accessible with Public Transport: Yes
> Secured: Secured
> Refreshment stops available: Yes
> Loop trail: Yes
> Family Friendly: Yes

Location of The Balcony of Ribeiro Frio

Tip:  This map will automatically show you the best route from your current location to the start of the trail.

Highlights of the Balcony of Ribeiro Frio

Description of the Walk to the Balcony of Ribeiro Frio

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

We from Madeira-Portugal-Guide are all for safety. That is why we recommend to never walk any of the Levadas alone. Some of them can be dangerous and involve passing high altitude areas. Falling off a steep slope or cliff, can lead to severe injuries or worse. If, for whatever reason, you decide to go alone, let someone know which Levada you will hike and report back to them, once you have safely returned.

All information on this page is made to the best of our knowledge, belief and care. A guarantee for the correctness can not be given, a liability due to the contents is therefore excluded. The use of the information is at your own risk. For accidents, which might be due to our information, is not liable. Mountain hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing are potentially dangerous activities. Each hiker must decide for himself whether the goal he aspires to corresponds to his mountaineering abilities. He has to inform himself before the tour about the current weather conditions and the degree of difficulty of the tour and decide for himself whether this tour meets his abilities. The suggestions on this page do not mean that the destination is easily accessible, unforeseen weather events can make the most harmless way impassable! This applies to every altitude. Meanwhile, the track or parts of this track can be locked.

About the Viewpoint Balcoes

What makes this hike special, is the amazing view that you have of the steep valley that encompasses the mountaintops of Pico Arieiro, Pico das Torres, Pico Ruivo and Pico do Gato. 

How to get there

The best way to reach this trail is by car.  Go to the Location section and let Google Maps show you the optimal route from your current position.

Of course, you can also use public transport to reach the Levada. To do so take the bus 56 to Santana. Follow this link to see the official schedule of all public bus lines on Madeira. To head back to Funchal take the bus line 103.

Important to know & GPS data

This Levada is one of the easiest to hike on our site. It is also one of the most famous. Once you reach the end of the walk, you will see why. The viewpoint called “Balcoes” (Balcony) is simply amazing. Just make sure that you are on the path early in the morning (preferably before 10:00 AM). After that the Levada can get pretty crowded.

Make sure to bring some bird seeds with you. The feathered friends that roam the area will thank you for it. Additionally make sure to pack a jacket. The region is called “Cold River” (Ribeiro Frio) and not “Hot River” (Ribeiro Quente) for a reason :-D.

While following the Levada you will pass some remote areas where you will not be able to access the internet. I recommend to you, to save this guide as a PDF on your mobile device.  To do that, click on the Printer-Button in the share-section and save this page as a PDF file. This will allow you to access the trail description without the need for a stable internet connection.

GPS-Data

While following the Levada you will pass some remote areas where you will not be able to access the Internet. I recommend to you, to save this guide as a PDF on your mobile device.  To do that, click on the Printer-Button in the share-section and save this page as a PDF file. This will allow you to access the trail description without the need for a stable Internet connection.

If you like to use the GPS data for this walk please download the GPX or KLM data here.

The Walk

Carlot of Ribeiro Frio

This Levada-Walk is one of three walks that start in Ribeiro Frio. The other two are “From Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo” and “Levada Portela”. There are plenty of spots to park your car. Once you have found a suitable place for your vehicle, stay on the left hand side whilst following the road downwards.

Starting point of the Levada to Balcoes

At the curve you will see the Levada do Furado. You can start following it from here.

Sign showing the way to the Balcoes

Soon after you will reach this board to your left, which will show you the hike in detail. 

Path from Ribeiro Frio to Balcoes with Levada

From here it is basically just following the Levada.

The famous bridge on the way to Balcoes

After about 10 Minutes you will come to a little lovely bridge which you will have to take.

Little canyon on the way to the Balcoes

Soon after the bridge you will get to a part which I call the “Indiana Jones Canyon”. Every time I pass this little gorge I feel like I am in an Indiana Jones Movie searching for a lost pyramid.

Nice bar on the way to Balcoes

At the midway point you will reach a lovely snack bar called “Flor de Selva”. When you head back you can take a break here. They have delicious food and good poncha 😀

Flor da Selva - Best bar on the way to Balcoes

You know a bar has good poncha when you see so many mixers right at the entrance 😀

Sign pointing to the Balcoes

5 minutes later you will come to the first of two cross sections. Luckily a big sign that reads “Balcoes” shows the way. 

Another Canyon with the sign Balcoes

Just follow the path.

Last sign pointing to the Balcoes of Ribeiro Frio

Approximately 5 to 10 minutes later you will come to the second cross section. Like before just follow the sign that reads “Balcoes”.

Balcoes of Ribeiro Frio with yellow sign

2 minutes later you will have reached the end of this Levada Walk. You will be at a wonderful balcony with an exceptional view of the mountaintops of Pico Arieiro, Pico das Torres, Pico Ruivo and Pico do Gato. Take out your bird seeds, if you brought them, and feed the winged masters of the sky. As a thank you they sometimes will pose for a picture.

To get back to your car, follow the Levada back to where you came from :-D.

Detailed map

Tip: This map can also display the elevation of the route. To use this feature press play. Then go to the top right corner, click on menu and select “Hills”. 

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