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The Water's Kiss Waterfall Hike: A Wild Adventure in Rabaçal, Madeira

Are you ready for an adventure? Look no further than the Water's Kiss waterfall hike on Madeira. This 10-kilometer trek will take you on a wild journey through the Rabaçal region, crossing the four main streams that flow into the Riberia da Janela river. But be warned, this hike is not for the faint of heart. We'll be taking off the beaten path, traversing steep slopes with ropes and navigating rough terrain. But trust us, the payoff is worth it. The Water's Kiss waterfall is a sight to behold.



Hiker crossing a stream in Rabaçal valley on the Water's Kiss waterfall hike


But before you lace up your boots, here are some important details:

  • Hike Distance: 10 kilometers

  • Hike Duration: 4-5 hours

  • Hike Difficulty: This hike has a mix of easy and challenging parts. Most of the trail is well-defined, but when we deviate off the path onto rougher routes, things get a little trickier. Expect steep inclines, rope sections, and slippery rocks.

  • Hike Incline: 600 meters


View of the Lordelo Bridge and Ribeira da do Alecrim stream on the Water's Kiss waterfall hike


We recommend doing this hike with the help of a local guide or hiking group like Madeira Wonder Hikes or www.instagram.com/madeira_hiking. The trail can be difficult to navigate without proper guidance. And remember to bring a GPS or download the map before heading out.


To get to the starting point, park one car near the main parking lot of Rabaçal and the other at the end of the PR13 Vereda do Fanal hike, where the trail ends.


On our hike, we started at the Encumeada da Calheta, just down the road from the main parking lot. The trailhead was unmarked, which set the tone for our wild adventure. We descended into the depths of the Rabaçal Valley and crossed the Ribeira da do Alecrim, using the Lordelo Bridge. We briefly joined the tourist trail to stop by the Rabaçal House for a quick coffee break before continuing on our off-the-beaten-path journey.


As we crossed each stream, the terrain became more rugged and the inclines steeper. But the reward was worth it as we finally reached the Water's Kiss waterfall. The sound of the water crashing down and the mist on our faces was truly breathtaking.



Rabaçal House cafe and restrooms as a stop on the Water's Kiss waterfall hike


This hike may not be for everyone, but for those who are up for a challenge and want to see a side of Madeira that most tourists don't, the Water's Kiss waterfall hike is a must-do. And who knows, maybe you'll discover even more hidden gems along the way.





Want to take your hiking experience to the next level? We also offer guided hiking weeks on Madeira and the Azores. Imagine living and exploring the island's most beautiful spots with a group of like-minded adventurers. Contact us for more information.

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