Archive - Levadas of Madeira

May 21, 2022

Levada - Madeira - 1 (2)

Every weekend we present a notable item from our archives.

This EPOD was originally published on March 27, 2013.

Photographer: Steve Gledhill
Summary Author: Steve Gledhill

The volcanic island of Madeira, Portugal, is home to about a quarter of a million inhabitants and is visited each year by around one million tourists. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi (644 km) from the Moroccan coast of northwest Africa, the island's dimensions are approximately 35 mi (56 km) by 14 mi (23 km). The weather can change rapidly here alternating between hot sunshine, strong wind, heavy rain and cool fog all in the course of a morning. At the same time of day, the weather can vary substantially at different places around the island in particular between the north and south coasts.

Madeira agriculture is dependent upon the manmade levadas or irrigation channels. They've been built over the centuries to move rainwater around the island from wetter areas to drier areas. Levadas may be rather small (as shown at right above) irrigating just a few terraces or large enough to transport water over several miles. A number of the levadas on Madeira's steep slopes are walkable. Photo taken on February 16, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D; Lens: EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 15mm; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 (Windows).  

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