The history of the "levadas" begins
of the colonists. The first were built
the 15th century. At the beginning, these channels were of very short
distance, composed of enormous boards in the shape of drains.With the increase in the
needs for water
for the irrigation of the fields of sugar
and the vineyards, the "levadas" were developed and improved thanks
to surer techniques (masonry replaced wood).
The new "levadas"
built out of reinforced concrete and the old ones
been restored. They
are the proof of an intensive and painful work set up by several
generations. Indeed, these "levadas" were
using rudimentary tools.
cords which were attached to the trunks of the trees or the top of the
The "levadas" remain narrow channels where water runs out
alongside them. The width of this is determined by the amount of land
available. Many of these paths are narrow, although in certain places
are so broad that they
is protected by heather,
walking on the edge of a precipice.
On your levada walks you
see unspoiled landscapes,
in particular in the
significant forest of bay-trees,
by UNESCO in 1999.
may consider this advice unnecessary but
go hiking and treking without being properly equipped. Good walking shoes, hot
rainproof clothing, an
electric lamp, a bag with water and
are essential for
good health and safety. Never
venture into the mountains
telling one of your friends or notifying
phones are undependable
because there is often loss of network.