Full of sounds, colours, and exotic species. Madeira has one of the largest survived Mediterranean Laurisilva forests, which once stretched across much of Southern Europe. It is essential for maintaining the hydrological balance on the island and is home to numerous endemic species.
Visit the forest in the summer to enjoy its vegetation abundance, butterflies, and birds at their best. Laurisilva of Madeira is a UNESCO world heritage site. Another highlight of this place is "Levadas" (aqueducts developed in the 16th century), the most famous of wich is Levada do Rei.
What is Laurisilva Forest in Madeira?
The Madeira archipelago is home to one of the most extensive surviving Mediterranean forests called Laurisilva Forest. It is considered one of Portugal's seven natural wonders, playing an integral role in maintaining the island's hydrological balance. The forest's inhabitants include several rare and unique species that make this a lush hotspot of biodiversity. Show more
Why is Laurisilva Forest important?
Laurisilva Forest's significance lies in its role of regulating the hydrological balance on the island it is found. Located in Madeira, it is a humid, moisture-rich forest that serves as a natural sponge, soaking up water from mist and clouds. By doing so, it regulates rivers and stream water levels that provide irrigation to the agricultural fields of Madeira. It's additionally responsible for preserving the island's natural history through the preservation of numerous endemic species. Show more
When is the best time to visit Laurisilva Forest?
April to September is the ideal time to explore the Laurisilva Forest in Madeira. The summer season allows visitors to experience the region's lush vegetation. It's the perfect time to see some amazing birds and butterflies in their natural habitat. The weather changes frequently, and visitors must expect unexpected downpours and carry the appropriate gear to keep comfortable and dry. Show more
What endemic species can be found in Laurisilva Forest?
The Laurisilva Forest is rich in endemic species such as the Atlantic Canary, Madeira Laurel Pigeon, Madeira Long-toed Pigeon, and Madeira Firecrest. These rare species are found only in this picturesque setting, specifically the Levadas, trails unique to Madeira and surrounded by the Laurisilva Forest. Visitors can experience a once-in-a-lifetime hike communing with nature while spotting these rare species. Show more
What is Levada do Rei and why is it famous?
Levada do Rei is a king's aqueduct, located on the Northern side of Madeira, extending for 5.8 km. This Levada offers scenic views of the Laurisilva vegetation, the crystal-clear waters of Ribeira do Paul, and is famous among hikers for its unique features. As it was built in the 16th century to transport water from the mountains to Madeira's agricultural fields, an extensive history is tied to this iconic Levada trek, making it one of the most sought-after hikes in Madeira. Show more