The reward at the end of a short trail, the PR11 Levada Dos Balcoes viewpoint gives you stunning views across the Ribeira da Metade valley. Here is a complete guide.
How To Get To Levada Dos Balcoes Viewpoint
The trail to get to the PR11 Levada dos Balcoes viewpoint starts from the village of Ribeiro Frio, 17km inland from the city of Funchal.
From Funchal, take the ER103 north all the way to Ribeiro Frio and you will see the start for the trails off this main road once you reach this village.
It takes about 30 minutes from Funchal, along mountainous roads with hairpin bends that may seem a little difficult but remember that tourist buses manage these roads all the ti
There is free parking when you arrive but not a lot and it does get busy here due to various hikes all leaving from this point. However, it is acceptable to park along the roadside.
It is possible to get a taxi to Ribeiro Frio and this is best organised through your accommodation.
Otherwise TAXIIN app (similar to Uber) is popular on the island.
This would be the cheapest and easiest option for small group of people.
There are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
One such tour is Madeira: Private 1.5-Kilometer Levada dos Balcões Hike PR11 , great if you don’t want the hassle of arranging everything yourself.
Levada Dos Balcoes Viewpoint Entrance Fee
It is free to visit this viewpoint.
Levada Dos Balcoes Viewpoint Opening Times
The trail and viewpoint is open all year round.
Best Time To Visit Levada Dos Balcoes Viewpoint + Tips
It’s one of the best viewpoints in Madeira. So this popular tourist attraction in Madeira gets pretty busy, especially during peak season, therefore early in the day is advisable if you want to beat the crowds.
Also, there is not a massive amount of parking so, if driving, that’s another good reason to arrive early.
As Levada dos Balcoes viewpoint is located in between the mountains it can often get misty. Therefore, getting a perfectly clear view is not always guaranteed whatever the weather.
August and September are the hottest months of the year in Madeira. Although Madeira has a sub-tropical climate that offers sunshine throughout the year.
Takes some seeds to feed the birds – the chaffinches are very friendly.
What To Pack
What To Expect At PR11 Levada Dos Balcoes Viewpoint
The PR11 Levada dos Balcoes viewpoint is located in the heart of the Ribeiro Frio Forest Park, a beautiful, natural park surrounded by mountains.
When you arrive at the parking area, you will see various restaurants and other facilities. These are all part of the Ribeiro Frio Forest Park and great for a stop off before or after your walk.
You just need to follow the ‘Balcoes’ signs to the start of the trail.
Follow the ‘Balcoes’ signs to the start of the trail and the viewing point is approximately 1.5km along a flat and well maintained path. Therefore this is an ideal family activity for young and old.
You walk alongside one of the many Levadas in the area which are irrigation channels created many years ago for agricultural and industrial use.
Nowadays the maintenance paths alongside the Levadas are used as walking trails to allow locals and tourists alike to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
At the end of the trail you will reach the platform of the PR11 Levada dos Balcoes viewpoint, from where you have breathtaking views across the lush green Ribeira da Metade valley.
As well as the beautiful valley, you are also able to see the island’s Central Mountain Range, including the two highest peaks, Pico do Areeiro and Pico Ruivo.
Furthermore, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the ocean and the well known Penha d’Aguia cliff. Consequently, there are some great photo opportunities to be had from this viewpoint.
In addition, this area is also home to a huge variety of birds including chaffinches, blackbirds, robins, grey wagtails, buzzards. As well as the rare trocaz pigeon (also called the Madeira laurel or long-toed pigeon), only found on the island of Madeira.
It’s definitely worth taking the short walk to get to the PR11 Levada do Balcoes viewpoint as the vistas and wildlife are amazing.
Where To Stay In Madeira
Luxury – The Vine Hotel
Recently awarded as Europe’s Leading Design Hotel, the luxurious Vine Hotel is located in Funchal.
It offers a fusion restaurant with stunning views, a Wine Therapy Spa, access to the fitness centre and a rooftop infinity pool.
Each room features an LCD TV with in-room movies, free WiFi and a laptop-size safe.
The roof terrace sports a heated infinity pool, massage facilities as well as a 20 yard hot tub, with views of Fort São João and the mountains.
Mid-Budget – Hotel Baia Azul
The newly renovated 4-star Hotel Baía Azul is ideally situated a 4-minute walk from Funchal’s beachfront.
It offers 3 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, a Spa and a sun deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the gardens.
The hotel has a total of 215 bedrooms with sea-inspired decor. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom, bath amenities and a hairdryer.
Not only that, but a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, a kettle and a safe deposit box too.
Free WiFi access is provided in all rooms and common areas.
Budget – Funchal Apartments – City View
Funchal Apartments – City View is venue is set in Se district, around a 10 minute walk from Funchal center, and features a terrace with the cathedral view.
The property includes free WiFi, plus express check-in and check-out.
There is also a shared kitchen, ATM and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms include a wardrobe, a desk and a shared bathroom.
For more places to stay in Madeira, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.