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Horta ,  July 11, 2014

"Caminho da Levada" on Faial Island to be part of over 60 pedestrian trails approved in the Azores

The Regional Government has made a global investment of nearly 150 thousand Euros to open the "Levada" trail, an 8-km pedestrian trail that heads towards the greatest work of hydraulic engineering in the Azores, which was concluded in the 1960s. The trail will become part of the network of approved trails in the archipelago, with over 60 pedestrian trails.

The new trail, whose opening was marked by the Regional Directors for the Environment, Hernâni Jorge, and Tourism, João Bettencourt, runs along a water course ("levada"). It features a diversified flora and fauna as well as distinctive geological features.

Hernâni Jorge stressed that this intervention was carried out in several phases; "it allowed the renewal of an extension over four kilometres that had been severely affected by the 1998 earthquake and the recovery, with all the safety conditions, of a dozen bridges (culverts)."

"In addition to this investment, the cleaning of the trail was also carried out by the staff of Faial Natural Park during seven months," added the government official.

In turn, João Bettencourt stressed "the quality and safety" of the regional network of approved trails, emphasising that "pedestrian trails are one of the main tourist attractions of the Azores in the area of nature tourism."

Opened in 1964, the "Levada" of Faial was considered to be as the greatest work of hydraulic engineering in the Azores. It took four years to be built and seven to be planned. Its main goal was the generation of hydropower by collecting water at various points along its course.

Throughout the trail, hikers can observe several fauna species that can be found in the Azores: Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), Common blackbird (Turdus merula azorensis), Goldcrest (Regulus inermis) and Madeiran Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebes moreletti).

With regard to the flora, various endemic and Laurel Forest species can also be found along the trail: Azorean laurel (Laurus azorica), Azorean Buckthorn (Frangula azorica), Azorean Holly (Ilex azorica) and Azorean blueberry (Vaccinium cylindraceum).

Other relevant species, such as Myrsine retusa, Myrsine retusa, Great horsetail (Equisetum telmateia) and Daboecia azorica may also be observed in the course of the trail as well as a wide variety of fern species.

Along the Levada, which is part of the island's recent volcanic complex, it is still possible to observe the alignment of cones that formed the peninsula of Capelo.

Near the end of the trail, there is a large rainwater retention basin with capacity for 1,400 m3. Further ahead, visitors can climb the "Cabeço dos Trinta," a volcanic cone covered by vegetation, and visit its inside.


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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