Cascata das 25 Fontes

(Levada das 25 Fontes)

Cascata das 25 Fontes is the end of one of the most popular hikes on Madeira, the walk along “PR6 – Levada das 25 fontes”.  The trailhead of the walk is located in Rabaçal (Paul da Serra) on the Island Madeira, part of Portugal.

From the main road along the coast there are several roads that can lead to the trailhead of “PR6 – Levada das 25 fontes“. When we visited Madeira (Oktober 2023) we took the road up at Calheta (ER211). At the end of the road turn right onto the ER110 and shortly after there are two parkings (gps 32.755132, -17.134129). Early in the morning it is already very crowded (certainly in the main season), so try to be there before 10 a.m. Parking is for free and you can’t miss the trailhead (gps 32.754910, -17.133903).
pr6-cascata dos 25 fontes

The asphalt road goes steep down to cafe Rabaçal. The walk takes approximately 25 minutes and is pleasant to do with marvelous views. Halfway you can climb down to a small and picturesque waterfall that somebody called Cascata da Estrada. You can also take the shuttle bus (€3 one way). Cafe Rabaçal is the last place where you can go to the toilet (coin of 50 cent needed)!! There aren’t many spots to go the toilet in nature…
From cafe Rabaçal the trail goes further down through the forrest until you see a crossing. You mus take the detour to cascata do Risco, one of the highest waterfalls on Madeira and Portugal. I think one of the best waterfalls to visit on Madeira. After taking a lot of pictures you have to take the same path back. Follow the signs for Levada das 25 fontes.

You will see that there are a lot of groups doing the same hike, but sometimes the trail is to narrow to cross each other normally, so you have to wait. I know that in teh main season it is a big frustration with waiting times of more than 5 minutes. But at the end it is al worthwhile. The trail itself I find not very special (compared to the earlier walks we did) but at the end you will be rewarded with a very photogenic pool where 25 waterfalls are coming down into a nice pool. Most of the drops are low volume but normally there is one bigger waterfall. When we where there it hadn’t rained for months so there wasn’t much water in the waterfalls…

Levada Cascata das 25 fontes - Madeira Levada das 25 fontes - Madeira

Nevertheless, the pool with its drops is amazing and I took so many pictures. It is also the perfect place for a lunch, together with many other people. But this is the perfect place for me. There re also many small birds which people where feeding out of their hand, bringing birth seed with them.

We took the same way back (as most people do) and I already saw a long line at cafe Rabaçal, to take the shuttle bus back. There where two busses, but I walked up in 27 minutes, a little faster then my wife who had to wait for the shuttle bus and had to pay €3:) I think in the main season the cue will be much longer.

The roundtrip time of the hike “PR6 – Levada das 25 fontes” was exactly 4 hours, including lunch, taking a lot of pictures and the detour to cascata do Risco. It isn’t a very difficult hike but I saw people who had problems with ascending. Although it is a very touristic hike, I don’t regret doing it.

Because this part of Madeira is so beautiful with the best views, we drove further west on road ER110 and (unfortunately) experienced the devastating power of bush fires. Along road ER210 to Prazeres, you still could see and smell burned woodland. Sometimes we even saw some smoke. It went all down to the first houses of Prazeres. Luckily it stopped there but a big piece of the beautiful Island of Madeira was destroyed and it will take a while to recover. When we went home after a week it started raining, so there is hope!

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About Cascata das 25 Fontes

CountryWaterfalls in Portugal
RegionMadeira Islands
LocationRabaçal, Calheta
RiverLevada das 25 Fontes
Best visitIn a wet period

Most nearby waterfalls

WaterfallDistance (linear)Rating
Cascata do Risco 1 km
Cascata Miradouro Véu da Noiva 6 km
Cascata Ribeira do Passo 7 km
Cascata da Levada 7 km
Cascata do Córrego da Furna 7 km