and the Quantocks
to the walks
► The Exmoor
► The Exmoor
► Western Exmoor
► The Brendons to the coast
► Bampton and
► The Quantock Hills
► Further afield
places and themes
About the author
The Janela valley
Madeira is my
favourite walking location outside the UK.
This Atlantic island is sometimes called 'the garden of the Atlantic'
or 'God's floating flowerpot', but beyond the warm and flower-filled south
coast it is an expanse of mountain and moorland. It is about the same size as the Exmoor and
Quantocks region and there are some parallels - high moorland, deep valleys
and ancient woods - but it rises nearly four times higher with some serious
mountains and dramatic landscapes.
Much of the walking is alongside levadas, channels built for irrigation
and to transport water from the wet north and centre to the drier south. Some of these are bucolic and floriferous,
a few cross moorland, but some cling to mountainsides and are only suitable
for walkers with a good head for heights.
There's also pleasant strolling around towns, villages and gardens,
along with a very good bus service that makes it easy to plan linear walks.
mini-guide to the island, last updated in 2019:
Notes from a Warm Island
text, photographs and maps © Stan Lester 2019-2023