From the tip of Sao Lourenço to Pico Ruivo, Madeira has breathtaking landscapes: jagged coastline, terraced crops, grandiose peaks sculpted by erosion
The journey in summary
Nature has been generous in Madeira, land of eternal spring, the island of flowers. Volcanism has shaped fascinating landscapes: tormented peaks, craters, waterfalls and deep valleys. The terraced crops irrigated by the “levadas” climb the steep slopes. With the discovery of the most beautiful natural sites of the north, east and central mountains, you will also be conquered by the kindness of the Madeirans who is matched only by their generosity and their culinary talent. Feel free to complete your hike with a seaside break in Porto Santo!
The strong points
- Possibility of leaving the province
- 6 full days of varied hikes
- Transfers by private bus for greater comfort.
Reception at Funchal airport and transfer to Machico or Santa Cruz, by the sea. Installation at the hotel. Free dinner.
Transfer time: 10 min.
Machico – Levada dos Maroços – Porto da Cruz
Briefing with your companion and transfer to the levada dos Maroços. After having followed a flowery levada that winds between houses, terraced crops, and mimosa forests, we climb to the Boca do Risco pass, from where we enjoy a breathtaking view. We will dominate the ocean and the north coast, while we begin to guess the bay of Porto da Cruz. A magnificent balcony path above the ocean takes us there. We go back down to the sea by a path that sneaks between homes and cultures. Transfer and overnight in Santana in rural hotel.
Walking time: 6h. Altitude difference: + 200m / -370m. Transfer time: 40min.
Transfer to Rancho, near Pico das Pedras, a peaceful levada leads us to the bucolic garden of Queimadas. After admiring the flowers of this enchanting garden, we continue the levada to Caldeiro Verde, where some small air passages and tunnels await us. Caldeiro Verde is a gigantic natural pot, where a magnificent waterfall rushes into a basin of emerald water. Back by borrowing a few moments the same way to go, but we leave to reach Ilha de Sao Jorge by a path crossing the cultures and offering beautiful views of Santana and the ocean. Transfer to Santana.
Walking time: from 5:30 to 6:30. Altitude difference: + 150m / -550m. Transfer time: 45min
Pico do Arieiro-Pico Ruivo-Achadas do Teixeira
A magnificent crossing awaits us; but it will take a transfer of 40 minutes to Pico do Ariero (second summit of the island). Wear warm clothing: if the weather is nice and there is no wind, you will wonder why, but if the wind rises and the clouds decide to play hide and seek with the sun. .. the question will not arise anymore! After climbing to Pico do Ariero, we descend into a circus, with breathtaking scenery of grandeur and beauty. Huge walls with red rocks, brown, black … plunge into the abyss and the mist. The decor is really unreal. Some tunnels to cross, and we are at the foot of the highest point. We pass a last tunnel, which makes us switch on the slope “cloudy”, but we will dominate the clouds arriving at the top of Pico Ruivo (1862 m.). The view is sublime. Descent to Achadas do Teixeira, before passing “Homem em Pé” strange natural figure. Transfer and night in Santana.
Walking time: 5h. Altitude difference: + 500m / -600m. Transfer time: 1h40.
Santana – Cabanas – Achadas do Gramacho – Santana
Short transfer to Cabanas for a beautiful coastal hike. Descent to the ocean through lush vegetation. Then climb to Sao Jorge through terraced cultivation of vineyards, fruits and vegetables. We will take the “Caminho real” Royal Road to descend on Calhau and once again climb this time through a Mediterranean vegetation to Achadas do Gramacho. Transfer and overnight in Santana.
Walking time: 4h. Elevation: + 600m / -600m.
Ribeiro Frio- Portela – Santana
Transfer to Ribeiro Frio (25min). Visit the gardens of Ribeiro Frio. You will start this hike by a return trip on the Balcoes lookout to admire the largest peaks of the island. Then you will go to one of the island’s oldest levada, the Levada do Furado, which offers a panorama of the surrounding valleys and the eagle rock with the ocean as a backdrop. It will take you to Portela, one of the most beautiful views of the island.
Walking time: 4h. Altitude difference: -250m. Transfer time: 30min
Ponta de São Lourenço
Transfer to Baia d’Abra (20min) not far from Caniçal, a small port where whales were hunted until recently, for a beautiful walk that leads us to the tip of Sao Lourenço Point. We will discover volcanic cliffs with multicolored rocks that plunge vertiginously into the ocean, and small coves with clear water in which we can swim; diving enthusiasts may cross colorful fish … In summer, the landscapes are reminiscent of Morocco, while in spring, the places are lined with an extremely rich endemic flora. Transfer to Funchal and free afternoon to discover the city. Night in hotel in Funchal.
Walking time: 3h. Elevation: + 300m / -300m. Transfer time: 30min
Transfer to the airport and flight home.
Transfer time: 30 min.