Madeira is known by numerous beautiful waterfalls, so in case you ever find yourself visiting the island, seeing at least one waterfall is a must!
Tripadvisor is a good place to search info about different waterfall hikes and tours. You will find everything there, from hike duration , to difficulty, options for guided tours etc., so in case you don’t know which waterfall to choose, Tripadvisor is the answer.
Visiting the “25 Fontes Waterfall” is one of the best memories I have from Madeira. It’s also one of the most known waterfalls in Madeira, therefore it can get really crowded there as well. Taking this into consideration, we intentionally chose a day with bad weather, so the chances of this place being crowded were smaller. In this case bad weather does not mean cloudy or rainy, but it was really windy, rainy and foggy all at once. Visibility was decreased, but we decided to hike anyway.
You start this hike from the pass, where the weather was the worst. There is a huge parking lot in the beginning of the hiking path, usually packed with cars. When we arrived, we were the only ones there. I think this happens only in such weather condition or in the middle of the night haha. We sat parked in a car contemplating whether to go or not to go, eventually we decided to go. Let me remind you, winds were so strong you had to be careful how to open the car door, if the wind thrust was strong enough in that moment, it could just rip off the door. Nope, I am not kidding! You think we were stupid to decide to hike somewhere we’ve never been before in such bad weather and visibility? Yes, we might be a bit reckless, but it turned out to be the best decision of the day! Why? Read further.
As soon as we have decended into the valley, the weather instantly changed – for better. The wind eased off, the rain stopped and the fog became thinner. Suddenly hiking conditions were much nicer. In fact this hike tuned out to be everything I love the most – woods, a bit of fog for that extra mystical feeling (haha), no one around, beautiful waterfalls and views. It was amazing!
There was no one, we were all alone and I’ve heard and read sometimes it’s hard to walk due to instant cues of hikers. How lucky were we? I’d go with very!
We came to a waterfall where we were alone as well. I’ve read it’s really hard to take photos of the beautiful waterfall since there are so many people there all at once. And trust me, this place is something you’d want to take photos of, that’s how beautiful it is. We had one of the most famous waterfalls in Madeira for ourselves, how amazing is that! We hanged there at least an hour, admired the waterfall, had lunch, fed the birds etc. It was kind of romantic as well haha.
As we were ready to leave the waterfall and head back, the weather cleared and on our way back we came upon first people heading the same way we came from. Suddenly there were more and more hikers walking eagerly to see the waterfall. As we have almost reached our starting point there were literal queues of tourists coming from parking and in the end it was really hard to walk and move away from hikers, since the paths are pretty narrow at some points. I guess that’s how it is when the weather is nice.
Ugh, I wouldn’t exchange our “private waterfall” experience for anything.
I am not telling you, if unsure under given circumstances, you should just go somewhere, no matter the consequences. Not at all. You should always think twice, be aware of all the things that might go wrong and of course know yourself good enough, to make the right decision. But I am trying to tell you that a bit of recklesness and persistence sometimes does pay off.
And if something is not ideal (like weather in our case), this does not mean everything from here will get even worse. There is always something good in a bad, and as cheesy as this sounds it is true. In our case it turned out being not only“good” but a lot more than that. I think we hit jackpot with that waterfall visit, even though as we parked the situation seemed pretty much hopeless.