I recently went walkabout on Madeira and …..
I discovered an island that isn’t for the faint of heart. Madeira and its levada footpaths had been on my walking radar for years. So when friends told me of plans to sell their family home in Funchal, and that it was now or never were I to visit them, I jumped at the chance. ‘Bring a jacket for dinner’, they advised, ‘Life’s still a little old-fashioned out here’.
Gibraltar Circuit via the Mediterranean Steps & Ingliss Way
I was bowled over when I discovered this mesmerising trail so close to the hustle and bustle of Main Street. The highlight of the walk – so long as you have a head for heights – is the footpath that leads up the sheer, southern face of the Rock, popularly known as Mediterranean Steps. This giddy path has recently been restored by the Bonito Trust and you’ll be marvelling at the derring-do of those who built it.
Where Sierra and Costa meet: The Coastal Footpaths of Andalucía
The first time I get a glimpse of the sea on a walk my step feels lighter. It’s as if the vastness of an ocean view offers a perfect counterpoise to the immediacy and physical effort of walking a mountain trail. And who doesn’t feel more in touch with the Big Picture than when walking beside the ocean? If walking is good for body, soul and mind one senses that coastal walking is even more so.
Walking the Ancient Footpaths of the Ronda Mountains
From southern Spain’s battered Costa del Sol a serpentine roads loops up and up into the Sierra de las Nieves. After the best part of an hour, by which time you’ve negotiated dozens of heart-stopping arabesques, you at last drop over to the northern side of the Puerto del Madroño pass. It’s here that Ronda first comes into view, one of Europe’s most spectacular urban inventions.