Casas da Levada

Ponta do Pargo, Madeira, Portugal Book from Book from £62 per night

A delightful collection of rustic houses for 2-10 in Madeira’s pastoral Wild West (fully self-catering)
Tucked away in the rolling emerald foothills of Madeira’s untouched western corner, Casas da Levada is nestled as contentedly as if it had been here for a thousand years. This small collection of 6 eco-conscious casitas started life as a bucolic getaway for a Funchal-based couple. The project quickly grew to encompass surrounding homes (many of which were crumbling stone huts), and when their sons stepped in as architect and property manager, a gem was born.

Once synonymous with chain hotels, blue rinses and golf courses, Madeira is experiencing a renaissance among the adventurers of the world, who adore its verdant scenery and dramatic landscapes. And only 45 minutes from downtown Funchal (but worlds away from bingo and set menus), Casas da Levada is a brilliant base for getting your boots muddy along the island’s best hikes. Then, as the sun sets, you get to retire to a peaceful bolthole, snuggled amongst apple orchards, for home-cooked dinners by a log fire.

Highs

  • A stunning natural setting, with several levada walks starting close by
  • Cool architecture and thoughtful modern design blended with charming rustic touches (think tree-trunk side tables and knitted Madeiran quilts)
  • The gardens and the gorgeous shared infinity pool, which gazes out to sea
  • A variety of house sizes, from bijou nests for 2-4 to group houses for up to 10
  • Incredibly good value!

Lows

  • No restaurant, and local eateries are a drive away (2km)
  • Supermarkets are 20 minutes away. There is a small honesty shop in reception but you'll need to stock up on groceries on your way here
  • While near beautiful sea cliffs, swimmable beaches are a 20-minute drive away
  • Staff presence is minimal; this is best suited to independent types
  • Casa da Vaca is traditionally Madeiran rather than modern in design (though we found it charming)

Best time to go

Madeira is a year-round destination with mild seasons and a sub-tropical climate. April-August sees the driest weather but the hottest temperatures. If you plan to do a lot of hiking, come in the spring, as the midday heat may be a bit too stifling in July and August (though that's a great excuse to sit by the pool!).

Our top tips

While roads in the more built-up areas of Madeira consist of long stretches of concrete tunnels, this is one of the few parts of the island to still keep its original network of serpentine cliff-side roads. If the weather is nice, take an aimless, windows-down drive with some good tunes and the breeze through your hair (just don’t look down!).

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Rural Houses
  • 6 casas for 2-10
  • Self-catering. Restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

Casas da Levada’s 6 houses are lovingly crafted with respect for nature. Handmade birch furniture rests on cool concrete floors, warmed with bright splashes of Madeiran colour and unique framed artwork (much of it by family and friends). The houses are stark yet supremely cheerful.

Each is different in size and layout, with 1-4 bedrooms, but all are welcoming with their own distinct appeal. We stayed in Casa da Cascata (which was our favourite): an open-plan studio for 2, with a grassy terrace on the roof and a tiny wood-burning stove. Note, only Cascata and Vaca have woodburners but all houses have heaters and dehumidifiers.

All of the smaller houses can accommodate a baby cot or extra bed, and the larger houses can be connected to welcome groups of up to 10. Casa dos Pereiros is split into 2 halves; T1, sleeping 2-4, and T2, sleeping 4-6.

Bathrooms have lovely poured concrete squared sinks, but in keeping with the eco theme, all except Vaca have showers rather than baths, and no toiletries are provided.

Features include:

  • Barbecue (on request)
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Heaters
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Nespresso
  • Phone
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • WiFi

Eating

We loved our bijou kitchen, with its sweet touches (fresh-cut herbs in a jar, hand-knitted coasters), a Nespresso machine and a couple of high-quality pans. Whilst basic, it was perfect for preparing light meals (pasta, salads); the larger houses have more comprehensive kitchens for more complex catering.

Ingredients for a simple but satisfying country breakfast are available on request, and will be placed in your fridge each day for you to cook at your lazy leisure. Expect delicious smoked bacon, homemade quince jam, and fresh eggs from the clucking hens in the garden.

For other meals, there are a few simple restaurants in nearby Ponta do Pargo - O Farolim is particularly recommended. For self-catering, we'd advise doing a supermarket shop on the way here. Reception has a small honesty grocery shop with pasta, rice, olive oil, canned products, preserves, wine, beer, soft drinks, etc, but bigger stores are a 20+ minute drive away.

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • There are several levada walks and hikes less than 5 minutes from the casitas, and multitudes more a short drive away. A levada is a long channel specific to Madeira, historically used to irrigate and bring domestic water to areas without running water. They often weave through stunning deserted woodlands or along coastal cliffs
  • A mind-boggling array of excursions and activities can be arranged for you - everything from paragliding and windsurfing to canyoning and rock climbing
  • Explore the nearby village of Ponta do Pargo, with its famous lighthouse perched precariously on dramatic chartreuse cliffs
  • Take a scenic drive to the town of Porto Moniz (30 minutes) for a dip in its natural volcanic-rock swimming pools
  • Day-trip to picture-perfect Funchal, which has a colourful port and cobble-stoned Old Town

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Canyoning
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Rock climbing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Casas da Levada is brilliant for active, outdoorsy families. There's soft grass to play on, orchards to explore, and the friendly farm animals (chickens, sheep and rabbits) are always happy to say hello. There's a kids pool and the nearby town of Calheta (20 minutes’ drive) has a sheltered, sandy beach.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Casa da Horta, Casa da Vaca and Casa da Cascata can all accommodate a baby cot or extra bed for families of 3. Casa dos Pereiros T1 can accommodate up to 4, Casa dos Pereiros T2 can accommodate up to 6 (T1 and T2 can be linked together to take up to 10 adults), and the large Casa do Pastor can accommodate up to 10.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • A potty

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Farm animals
  • Kids pool
  • Games room
  • Badminton
  • Boccia
  • Books and toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches (20 minutes' drive)
  • Dolphin- and whale-watching trips, where you have the opportunity to swim with cetaceans

Families Should Know:

The infinity pool and kids pool are both unfenced and unsupervised, and staircases have open sides

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour 10 minutes' drive (Funchal)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes' drive
  • Shop: 5 minutes' drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Casas da Levada is set on a gently sloping hill outside the village of Ponta do Pargo in Madeira’s westernmost corner, with sweeping sea views. It's just over an hour's drive from Funchal Airport.

By Air:
Funchal (68km) has scheduled, budget and charter flights from airports across the UK and Europe. Click on the links below for a list.

By Car:
You'll need to hire a car to get here and travel around during your stay as public transport is very limited.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Madeira and getting around

Airports:

  • Funchal 68.0 km FUN

Other:

  • Beach 13.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
8/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Beautifully restored and designed houses in gorgeous grounds with a spectacular view towards the sea. Great breakfasts with eggs from the hens and a daily bread or croissant bag. The spring water pool is stunning, and kids will love the very cute rabbits nibbling the grass around the place, as well as the ducks and sheep. You can walk the levada in either direction from 2 minutes down the road. Really helpful owners who've built something special and sustainable.

10/10,

We stayed in casa de levada for 4 night with 1 year old and it was fantastic! We wished we could stay for longer. Rooms are very spacious, air and have stunning view. Food is fresh and soured from the farm or local farms. Owner has been very friendly and helpful. Situated on the hill so you need to have a car. We would definitely recommend it and can't wait to be back.

10/10,

The rooms are lovely. With Casas da Levada you are left entirely to your own devices. Having said all that, the location is lovely (although quite a way from the nearest supermarket) and the rooms are excellent quality.

6/10,

A lovely stay with very nice tenants in an outstanding architectural and natural setting. A greatly enjoyable holiday on this spectacular island. Thank you!

10/10,

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Rates for Casas da Levada

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