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New member
I have recently book a holiday in Madeira and the guide books tell tails of lava tubes to visit.
Obviously, we can visit the show caves at Sao Vicente but I wondered if anyone has visited or knows about any other lava tubes on the island that we could take a look at. Thanks for your help


Well-known member
Having been there a couple of times I am sure there are more than at Sao Vicente which we had fun locating as the parking is the opposite of the road to the caves which are reached by an underpass. I did see mention of some up in the north west but I cannot recall where I found the reference. Internet searching was unrewarding unfortunately but worth another try.

The show caves are quite extensive and well worth a visit. The preceding volcano experience is not to be missed as well and takes almost as long as the tour. If you want to give the guide a shock there is a point on the way out where she points out a crawl and says if you want to take a short cut go this way. I would love to have seen her face if we had dived down it so why not take a couple of head torches and go for it! :LOL:


Active member
This page one of 22 pages:

RELVAS, Paulo; MONTEIRO, Valdemiro Grutas do Cavalum (Machico - Madeira) "Algarocho", n?9, 1?-2? trim. 1987, p. 5-8, 3 topos. Situation et description des grottes volcaniques Cavalum I, II et III, situ?es ? l'Ile de la Madeira, Portugal (AB). 88.1639

MACHADO ANTONIO Two new cavernicolous species of the genus Trechus Clairv. form the Azores (Coleoptera Carabidae) Bocagiana, Museu Municipal do Funchal (Madeira) nr.119: 8 pp. (4 fig.,6 r?f bibl.). 88.2680

MATHIAS, Maria da Luz An annotated list of the mammals recorded from the Madeira Islands "Bol. do Museu Municipal do Funchal" (Madeira), n?40 (Art. 201), d?c. 1988, p. 111-137, 1 tab., 50 r?f. bibliogr. (R?s.: E,p.). L'A. pr?sente la liste, avec annotations, des mammif?res actuels de l'archipel de Madeira, parmi lesquels il cite les 5 esp?ces de chauves-souris: Pipistrellus maderensis, P. savii, Nyctalus leisleri, Plecotus austriacus et Tadarida teniotis (AB). 88.2792

ERBER, Diether Thalassophilus pieperi n.sp. a new cavernicolous carabid beetle from Madeira Bocagiana nr.140: 7 pages  (5 fig.) 91.3495

CALANDRI, Gilberto Le grotte laviche di Madeira Bollett. del G.S. Imperiese CAI, Imperia, a. XXI, nr. 36: 19-27 (abstract) Descrizione e cenni morfogenetici delle maggiori cavit? laviche di Madeira: Caverna dos Cardais (svs. 1100 m) e Grutas dos Cardais (Gruta I svs. 520 m ). Cavit? reogenetiche di scorrimento di lave basiche (GCMG). 91.1853

RELLICH, W. Madeira, ein Gebirge im Meer H?hlenkundl. Mittlg. 48 Jhrg. Heft nr.10:  180-181. : 180-181 Brandungsh?hlen und Lavah?hlen. (RB). 92.1821

CALANDRI, Gilberto L' anidride carbonica nelle grotte laviche di Madeira Boll. Gr. spel. Imperiese, Anno 22, no.39, dic.1992: 12-19 (3 cave surveys, diagrams) (engl. summ.). Tha data during a first cycle of CO2 measurements taken in the three most important lava caves on Madeira are discussed. Very low levels were found (120-260 ppm), probably related to the soil cover and lithostructural characteristics. (RB). 93.1706

MAHNERT, Volker Pseudoskorpione (Arachnida Pseudoscorpiones) von Inseln des Mittelmeers und des Atlantiks (Balearen, Kanarische Inseln, Madeira, Ascension), mit vorwiegend subterraner Lebensweise Revue suisse de zoologie, Tome 100 (4), d?c. 1993 : 971-992 (47 fig., 3 tab.) (engl. summ.). Eleven new species of Pseudoscorpiones, mostly from caves, are described and figured from:
Cabrera (Balearic Isl.)(2 Chthonius); the Canary Isl. (3 Chthonius, 3 Microcreagrina, 1 Rhacochelifer); Madeira Isl. (1 Microcreagrina) and  Ascension Isl. (1 Apocheiridium). (RB). 93.3547

SERRANO, Artur R.M. Medon vicentensis n.sp., a new species of eyeless rovebeetle (Coleoptera Staphylinidae Paederinae) from a cave in the Island od Madeira Bocagiana, nr.165, Jul. 1993: 1-7. 94.3876

STOCK, Jan H. A new species of Ingolfiella (Crustacea Amphipoda Ingolfiellidae) from mixohaline waters in Madeira Bocagiana, nr. 159 (10/7/1992): 11 pp. (6 fig., 8 r?f. bibl.) (res. port.). Description de Ingolfiella (Antilleella) unguiculata n.sp. (AB). 94.3834

SERRANO, A.R.M.; BORGES, Paulo A.V. A new subspecies of Trechus fulvus 1831 (Trechus fulvus madeirensis n. subsp.) from the Madeira Island with some biogeographical comments First Symposium Fauna and Flora of the Atlantic Islands, 4-9 Oct. 1993, Funchal Madeira, Abstracts / Resumos: p.58. Localisation et morphologie sugg?rent que cette sous - esp?ce est troglophile. (AB). 94.3875

STOCK, Jan H.; ABREU, A.D. Talitridae (Crustacea Amphipoda) from non - marine habitats in Madeira Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, n? 44 (Art. 240)/ dec. 1992 (publ. 1994): 115-129 (43 fig., 23 r?f. bibl.) (res. port.). Etude de quatre esp?ces de Talitridae avec description de Orchestia monticola n.sp. de Madeira. (AB). 94.3835

STOCK, Jan H.; ABREU, A.D. Three new species of Pseudoniphargus (Crustacea Amphipoda) from the Madeira Archipelago Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, n? 44 (Art. 241)/ dec. 1992 (publ. 1994): 131-155 (11 fig., 21 r?f. bibl.) (res. port.). Description de Pseudoniphargus portosanctii n.sp., Ps. macrurus n.sp. et Ps. littoralis n.sp. de Madeira. (AB). 94.3836

MADEIRA, Fernando Bioespeleologia de Portugal (ens. bibliografico) Associa??o Portuguesa de Investiga??o Espeleol?gica, Lisboa, 1994: 27 pagg. Edit. F. Madeira, rua Elias Garcia 380 2E; P - 2700 Amadora. Mise au point des connaissances relatives ? la faune cavernicole et des eaux souterraines du Portugal. Bibliographie comprenant 107 titres publi?s entre 1929 et 1976. Index syst?matique. Index des cavit?s. (RB). 94.4069

CAROUGE, M. Tunnel de lave ? l'?le de Mad?re Lave, n?56 / 1995: 20. Description rapide d'un am?nagement touristique, dans une cavit? de 2 km de d?veloppement. (PHA). 95.2009

RODRIGUES MADEIRA, Fernando Jos? Antropo - espeleologia de Portugal (Ensaio bibliogr?fico) Edit. APIE Associa??o Portuguesa de Investiga??o Espelel?gica, Amadora 1995: 1-51. 692 titres. Index sp?l?ologique, g?ographique et par mati?res. (RB). 95.2014

MADEIRA, Helder; DE CASSIA PINHEIRO LEMGRUBER, Rita Expedi??o Po?o Azul Informativo SBE n?68, nov.-dez. 1996: 18-19. 96.3548

STRINATI, Pierre; CONDE, Bruno Grottes et Palpigrades de Mad?re M?m. Biosp?ol., 22: 161-168 (5 fig., 1 tab.). The taxonomic position of the specimens is unclear inside the mirabilis - berlesi complex. (JM). 96.3928

SERRANO, Artur R. M. Medon vicentensis n. sp., a new species of eyeless Rove Beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Paederinae) from a cave in the Island of Madeira Bocagiana, n? 165, juil.1993: 7 p. (3 fig., 13 r?f. bibliogr.) (engl. abstr.; r?s. port.). Description d'une nouvelle esp?ce anophthalme de Staphylinid? (grotte de Cardais, S. Vicente, Madeira) et consid?rations sur le genre Medon. (AB). 97.5466

HARTMANN, Helga Die Gruta de S?o Vicente, eine Schauh?hle auf Madeira H?hlenkundliche Mitteilungen, 53. Jahrg. Heft 9, Sept. 1997: 178-179. Bericht des Besuches eines Lavatunnels, das erst 1996 f?r Besucher er?ffnet wurde. (RB). 97.5159

ASSING, V. Zur Kenntnis der Staphylinidenfauna der Atlantischen Inseln : neue Arten, Synonyme und Nachweise (Col. Staphylinidae) Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte, 42, 1998/3: 139-146 (engl. summ.). On the staphylinid fauna of the Atlantic Islands Madeira, Canarias, synonymes and records. Three new species are described; Medon feloi n.sp. from La Palma is an anophthalmous endemic species.  (RB). 98.3802

ERBER, D.; AGUIAR, A. M. F. New and rare Coleoptera from Madeira Bocagiana, no 202 : 10 p. Ten new and three quite rare species of the coleopterons fauna of Madeira are listed and discussed. (author, AB). 2004.4702

See also Furnas do Caval?o
On www.showcaves.com  under Portugual.


We went last year for a few days, the show cave was closed for maintenance, boo hoo, and we couldn't find much helpful info on other lava tubes....but....we had a smashing time walking the levadas which have many long tunnels so it felt like a caving experience!  The mountain walks are brilliant too!  :)



solidjelly said:
We went last year for a few days, the show cave was closed for maintenance, boo hoo, and we couldn't find much helpful info on other lava tubes....but....we had a smashing time walking the levadas which have many long tunnels so it felt like a caving experience!  The mountain walks are brilliant too!  :)


Agree; levadas and their tunnels great, no experience of the caves though  :(  My top piece of advice would be to avoid 'scabbardfish with banana'; it's like toilet paper dipped in baby food.  Absolute yuk.