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Lagos da Madeira Waterfall Hike In Rabacal, Madeira


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Eustacia Vizcarra



Welcome to Rabacal, a charming village nestled in the heart of Madeira, Portugal. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, Rabacal is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. One of the highlights of this stunning region is the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike, a mesmerizing trail that will take you through lush forests, picturesque valleys, and cascading waterfalls.


Located within the Madeira Natural Park, the Lagos da Madeira hike offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s pristine natural environment. As you explore the trail, you will encounter a series of dramatic waterfalls, each more captivating than the last. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience that will leave you feeling connected to nature and rejuvenated.


Getting to Rabacal is relatively easy, as Madeira has excellent air and sea connections. The closest airport, Madeira Airport, is just a short drive away from Rabacal. Alternatively, you can take a ferry or even travel by car from other parts of the island. Once you arrive in Rabacal, be prepared for a magical adventure amidst the breathtaking landscape.


Getting to Rabacal

Rabacal is conveniently located on the northwest coast of Madeira, making it easily accessible for visitors from both within Portugal and overseas. Here are some of the ways you can reach this picturesque village:

  1. By Air: Madeira Airport, also known as Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport, is the main gateway to the island. It serves numerous international and domestic flights, making it a convenient choice for travelers. From the airport, you can arrange for a taxi or rent a car to reach Rabacal, which is approximately an hour’s drive away.
  2. By Sea: Madeira is a popular stop for cruise ships, so if you’re arriving by sea, you’ll likely dock at Funchal, the capital city. From Funchal, you can take a taxi or rent a car to reach Rabacal, which is about a 1.5-hour drive away.
  3. By Road: If you’re already on the island, driving to Rabacal is a convenient option. Madeira has a well-connected road network, and Rabacal is easily accessible from other major towns and cities. The drive to Rabacal is scenic and offers stunning views of the island’s rugged landscape.
  4. By Public Transportation: Madeira has a reliable public bus system that connects various parts of the island, including Rabacal. Check the local bus schedules to find the best option for getting to Rabacal from your location. Keep in mind that bus services may be less frequent in more remote areas.

Regardless of how you choose to travel, once you reach Rabacal, you’ll be greeted by its quaint charm and natural beauty. From here, you can embark on the unforgettable Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike, which promises to be a highlight of your trip to Madeira.


Trail Information

The Lagos da Madeira Waterfall trail is a must-do for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. Here are some key details about the trail:

  • Trail Difficulty: The Lagos da Madeira trail is considered moderate in difficulty, making it suitable for most fitness levels. While there are some uphill sections and uneven terrain, the trail is well-maintained and easily navigable with proper footwear.
  • Trail Length: The total length of the trail is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) round trip. This includes the journey to the waterfalls and back. The hike typically takes around 3-4 hours to complete, depending on your pace and the amount of time you spend at each waterfall.
  • Trail Highlights: Along the trail, you’ll encounter a series of stunning waterfalls, including the Risco, 25 Fontes, and Rabaçal waterfalls. Each waterfall offers a unique and enchanting sight, with cascading waters surrounded by lush vegetation. The trail also takes you through picturesque valleys and verdant forests, providing ample opportunities to appreciate the island’s natural beauty.
  • Entrance Fee: As of [current year], there is no entrance fee for accessing the Lagos da Madeira trail. However, it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or changes prior to your visit.
  • Weather and Seasonality: The best time to hike the Lagos da Madeira trail is during the spring and summer months when the weather is generally mild and the vegetation is lush. However, it’s important to note that weather conditions can change quickly in Madeira, so be prepared for changes in temperature and pack appropriate clothing and footwear.

It’s essential to come prepared for the hike by wearing comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes, bringing plenty of water, and packing some snacks or a light meal. Additionally, consider bringing a waterproof jacket and sunscreen, as the weather can be unpredictable, and parts of the trail may be exposed to the sun.


Now that you have a better understanding of the trail information, it’s time to embark on the remarkable adventure of exploring the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike. Get ready to be immersed in the natural wonders of Madeira and create lasting memories of your journey.


Lagos da Madeira Waterfalls

The Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike is renowned for its captivating series of waterfalls that adorn the trail. Here are the three main waterfalls you’ll encounter during your hike:

  1. Risco Waterfall: The first waterfall you’ll come across is the majestic Risco Waterfall. With a height of approximately 100 meters (328 feet), it is a breathtaking sight to behold. The cascading water plunges down into a crystal-clear pool below, creating a mesmerizing display of nature’s power and beauty.
  2. 25 Fontes Waterfall: Continuing along the trail, you’ll reach the enchanting 25 Fontes (25 Fountains) Waterfall. As the name suggests, this waterfall boasts a stunning array of 25 small waterfalls that flow into a peaceful lagoon. The lush green surroundings and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect spot to take a break, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak in the natural beauty.
  3. Rabaçal Waterfall: The final waterfall on the trail is the Rabaçal Waterfall, a charming cascade that adds the perfect finishing touch to the hike. While not as towering as the Risco Waterfall, it still captivates with its elegance and serenity. Take a moment to appreciate the soothing sound of the water as it descends gracefully into the pool below.

Each of these waterfalls offers a unique experience and provides a picturesque backdrop for memorable photos. The combination of the thundering water, lush vegetation, and rugged cliffs creates a truly enchanting atmosphere that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s wonders.


It is crucial to respect the natural surroundings and adhere to any safety guidelines or regulations in place. This helps to preserve the beauty of the area and ensures that future generations can also enjoy the magic of the Lagos da Madeira Waterfalls.


Remember to stay on the designated trail, avoid littering, and be mindful of your impact on the environment. By doing so, you can play a part in preserving this natural treasure for years to come.


Hiking Tips

Embarking on the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike is an exciting adventure, and with a few helpful tips, you can make the most of your experience. Here are some hiking tips to keep in mind:

  1. Come Prepared: Ensure you wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes that provide good traction. The trail can be uneven, so having proper footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable hike. Additionally, bring a backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, a waterproof jacket, and a camera to capture the stunning natural beauty.
  2. Check the Weather: Before heading out, check the weather forecast for Rabacal. The weather in Madeira can change quickly, so it’s good to be prepared. Bring layers of clothing to adjust to changing temperatures, and if rain is expected, pack a rain cover or waterproof gear.
  3. Follow the Trail Markers: The Lagos da Madeira trail is well-marked with signposts and arrows. Follow these markers to stay on the correct path. Taking a map or guidebook is also recommended to familiarize yourself with the trail’s route.
  4. Respect Nature: While it’s tempting to take souvenirs such as plants or rocks, remember that it is important to leave nature as you found it. Don’t disturb the flora and fauna or litter along the trail. Help preserve the beauty of the area for others to enjoy.
  5. Hiking in a Group: Consider hiking with a companion or in a group. Not only is it more enjoyable to share the experience, but it also adds an extra layer of safety. If hiking alone, inform someone about your plans and expected return time.
  6. Know Your Limits: Be aware of your fitness level and the difficulty of the trail. Take breaks as needed and listen to your body. Stay hydrated and pace yourself to fully enjoy the hike without pushing yourself too hard.

By following these hiking tips, you’ll have a safe and memorable experience on the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, breathe in the fresh air, and create lifelong memories amidst the captivating landscape of Madeira.



The Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike in Rabacal, Madeira, is a truly remarkable experience that immerses you in the breathtaking beauty of the island. As you venture along the trail, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic waterfalls, lush forests, and picturesque valleys that surround you.


Getting to Rabacal is convenient, with various transportation options available, including air, sea, and road. Once you arrive, you’ll find yourself in a charming village that serves as the perfect starting point for exploring the natural wonders that await.


Make sure to come prepared for the hike, with comfortable footwear, essential supplies, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Respect the trail, follow the markers, and remember to leave no trace to preserve the beauty of the area for future visitors.


Along the Lagos da Madeira trail, you’ll encounter the awe-inspiring Risco Waterfall, the enchanting 25 Fontes Waterfall, and the graceful Rabaçal Waterfall. Each of these cascades showcases the power and beauty of nature, leaving an indelible impression on your heart.


Remember, the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike is a moderate trail, suitable for hikers of varying fitness levels. Take your time, enjoy the journey, and embrace the sights and sounds of the natural surroundings. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking to immerse yourself in Madeira’s beauty, this trail is a must-do.


As you conclude your adventure in Rabacal, you’ll take with you memories of a truly unforgettable experience. The Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike will leave you feeling connected to nature, rejuvenated, and inspired by the sheer magnificence of Madeira’s natural landscape.


Come, embark on this remarkable journey, and allow the Lagos da Madeira Waterfall hike to fill your heart and soul with the magic of Madeira.