Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

Difficulty:
8/10

Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo might just be the challange you were looking for. Climb your way to the top of the plateau to enjoy a spectacular view.

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

facts & Live Weather of Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

Ribeiro Frio, Portugal

> Duration: 2-3 hours
> Length: 5.60 km
> Suitable for people with acrophobia: Yes
> Best-Time-To-Walk: Before 10:00 AM – best time to avoid tourist crowds
> Accessible with Public Transport: Yes
> Secured: Partly Secured
> Refreshment stops available: At the start of the trail
> Loop trail: Yes

Location of Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

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

Highlights of Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

Description of the Walk Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

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.

ALSO NOTICE

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.

History of Ribeiro Frio & Feiteiras de Baixo

Ribeiro Frio is a little village located at the center of Madeira. The name of the town translates to “Cold Stream”; which is being put to good use by the trout farm that is located here. Ribeiro Frio is a tourist attraction. Mainly, because it is the starting point of two Levadas. One is called “Balcões” (which roughly translates to Balconies of Ribeiro Frio) and the other one “Levada do Furado”. Both are well-known and therefore highly frequented.

Feiteiras de Baixo is a plateau at roughly 1170 meters above sea level. If the weather conditions are favorable, you will have an amazing view of Ariero, Pico das Torres and Ruivo. Equally mesmerizing is the surrounding vegetation which includes subtropical mountain forests with laurel trees.

How to get there

The best way to reach the Levada Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo 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 Ribeiro Frio. Follow this link to see the official schedule of all public bus lines on Madeira. The buses stop directly in the center of the town.

Important to know & GPS-Data

For this Levada it is recommended to bring along a jacket. The temperatures in Ribeiro Frio can be quite chilly (it is called Frio = Cold, for a reason) and during the walk you won’t get a lot of exposure to the sun. Additionally wear good hiking-shoes and bring a lot of drinking water with you – trust me, you will need it. I also recommend to pack both a second pair of pants and an extra t-shirt. The walk is quite exhausting and you will want to change after completing it.

The weather on the plateau can occasionally be very bad, with fog covering up most of the area. If this is the case, you should delay your hike to another day.
The walk that we are covering here, is the more challenging alternative to the famous “Levada Walk to Portela”. This has one big advantage – you will have less traffic on the trail. I still recommend that you start your hike early in the morning. This way you will avoid the big tour buses that frequently drop off tourists in Ribeiro Frio.

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.

The Walk

Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo is a loop trail, it will give you two possible hiking routes. I recommend starting with the Levada walk to Portela. This will allow you to warm up your muscles for about 30 to 45 minutes. A warm-up that will come in handy, once you start ascending towards the “Feiteiras de Baixo”-plateau. Furthermore I enjoy leaving the best parts of the Levada for last. It just feels more satisfying.Rib

Carlot

If you arrive via car, you will find a good parking spot at approximately 200 meters up the street from the starting point of the “Levada da Portela”. Leave your vehicle in the parking area and you will be fine.

House on the levt with car in the back

The parking area is where we will begin. Start by heading further down the street. On the left-hand side you will pass a trout farm. It is definitely worth checking out. I recommend to stop for about 5 minutes and take some pictures.

Bar with Souvenirs

After checking out the fish proceed further down the street. There will be two houses on each side of the road. Stay right, because this is where the Levada starts.

Sign to Portela

Proceed further and after about 10 meters you will come across a sign that says “Portela”. Head in the direction the sign is pointing in.

Nice walk in the woods

Now you will cross the actual “Ribeiro Frio” (Cold River) and be able to see the beginning of the “Levada do Furado”. The Levada will be to your right, while on your left-hand side you will be able to see a demolished building.

Irigation System

For the next 45 minutes just follow the path. Take in the amazing view of the “Levada do Furado” and (sometimes) the valley. At one point you will reach “Ribeira do Poco do Bezerro”. This is where we will part ways with the Levada and start our ascent.

Levada Bridge System

You will pass this gully to your left.

Old Levada without water

Follow the path upwards. Next to you there will be a Levada. It rarely carries water and thus will be dried up most of the time.

Broken Levada

After about 20 minutes you will come across the most dangerous part of the route: You will have to cross a little river. Please watch your steps in this section. The stones can be quite slippery and falling off the hillside can lead to severe injuries.

Start of a Levada

After you have safely passed the river, keep on going up for another 20 minutes until you come to the spot pictured below. The pile of stones indicates the direction you will have to head in. Before you proceed, though, you should follow the path on the left till the end. This will take around 2 minutes and you will reach a magnificent pond with a few fish in it. Don’t ask me how they got there. Relax, enjoy the calmness and then head back and up!

Getting into drier zone in Madeira

Soon you will notice that the vegetation gets dryer and dryer the further you go up. You will feel like you have been transported to an entirely different place.

At the Platou of Feieiras

After about 10 minutes you will exit the woods and reach the plateau that is covered with a lot of fern. You will also notice that it is pretty quiet up here. Enjoy the silence while following the path upwards.

Still at the Platou

The higher you get the more open the space will be. In the springtime and in summer you will be able to see goats and their offspring grazing here.

Sign to the farmhouse in Feiteiras de Baixo

Don’t forget to turn on a regular basis to take in the spectacular view. Follow the path further and you will come across a sign that says “Trailrun”. You almost made it; only 4 more minutes until you have reached the top.

The famous Farmhouse of Feiteieras de Baixo

Once you have reached the top you will see an old farm called “Chão das Feiteiras”. If you are lucky and the weather is bright and beautiful, you have a chance of seeing the “Pico Aerio” in the distance. Take a breath and head to the farm.

Farmhouse of Feiteiras de Baixo with Stables

Once you have reached the farm house follow the road on the right.

Old Street of Feiteieras de Baixo

Keep left on the road. If you see parts of a former brick road on the floor, you know that you are heading in the right direction. Follow it for about 50 meters, until…

Waypoint marked by Stones back to Ribeiro Frio

…you come across another pile of stones. Take a left. The new path we are on will take us back to Ribeiro Frio.

Way back down to Ribeiro Frio

This is the most exhausting part of the walk, as you will be heading downwards for roughly 20 minutes. It can be quite tiring, especially for your knees.

Getting back to the main Road going to Ribeiro Frio

At the midway point of our downward hike you will reach a street (see picture below). Turn right and follow it.

Back at a good parking space for the Levada Walk

After about 200 to 300 meters you will see a parking space on the left side of the street. Go there and turn around.

Another way down to Ribeiro Frio

Now you will see a new trail. Take it.

Old way covered with stones

Unfortunately you have to take some steep stairs again. This time downwards.

Very nice Levada Waterfalls in Ribeiro Frio

After about 5 minutes you will see the parking spot where you started from. Don’t go to your car yet! Instead turn left and follow the little path for one minute. You will come across the lovely spot seen in the image below. It is a wonderful place for taking pictures.

Now that the photo session is complete, you can head back to the parking area. There you can use the tables for some much needed stretching exercises. I also hope you followed my advice and brought an extra t-shirt. The one you are currently wearing should be soaking wet by now. 

High five yourself and your friends, for completing the Levada Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo!

Congratulations!

Detailed map of Ribeiro Frio to Feiteiras de Baixo

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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