Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island

Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island

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Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island

Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island We have explained the details of the news, step by step, below. Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island Keep reading our news. Here are all the details on the subject.

Madeira: discover the most beautiful hikes to do on the island

It is mild all year round on this Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco and you can walk there even in winter. Dizzying!

The best way to discover the extraordinary landscapes of this volcanic land? Choose your base camp from where you will hike in a star for the day. For us, it will be a small hotel in Porto da Cruz but also a stopover in Funchal, the capital, founded in 861 by the Portuguese. A bus network allows you to reach the main access points on this island of 652 km2. You can also prefer to follow a guided hike or rent a car (from 80 $ the three days at the airport) … And let’s go, to attack the splendid peaks and valleys embroidered with white villages.

The most maritime

Ponta de Sao Lourenço ( km AR, easy level)

Departure from the Ponta de Sao Lourenço car park, at 13 km from Porto da Cruz.

Long tongue of short grass swept by the wind, the tip of Sao Lourenço offers a panorama to 300 ° on the Atlantic. At the end, two deserted islets stand guard. We have a front row seat to discover the volcanic history of the island. Under our feet, the pozzolana, a basalt rock reduced to sand, gives the impression of walking on the moon. The path winds between the cliffs. A hundred meters below, the sea has hollowed out arches and caves. Our progression continues between the rocks where we can spot the Madeira immortal, which flowers until winter. Passed a narrow natural bridge between the two pieces of the peninsula, the Casa do Sardinha, a sheepfold transformed into an inn, welcomes us. For the return, we take the path in the opposite direction or we jump in the zodiac which commutes to the parking lot ( $ per person).

The most mysterious

The forest of Rabaçal
(10 km loop, medium level)

Departure from the parking lot of the levada do Alecrim, at 37 km from Funchal.

Direction the wild heart of the island on the Rabaçal plateau, at 1 158 meters above sea level. Here begins the laurel forest, the only vestige of the primary forest that covered southern $pe millions of years ago. A plant kingdom woven of strange plants, springs and waterfalls. To enter this fascinating territory, we follow the levada do Alecrim, one of the countless irrigation canals that guide the water from the highlands to the cultivated terraces in the south of the island. Along this aquatic path, on the side of the cliff, we dive into a botany manual: mosses, ferns and large houseleeks, these succulents that look like artichokes, line the damp walls. The tree heather forms a vault above our heads. We even meet giant dandelions … 2 meters high! At the end of the path, the forest opens onto the impressive waterfall (70 m) from Lagoa do Vento. It’s time for a picnic break by the lake, on the flat stones. To return to civilization, all you have to do is descend the wooden staircase that spikes towards the bottom of the valley and go under the tunnel of 800 meters cutting under the mountain …

The most panoramic

The cliffs of Larano (12 km one way, easy level)

Departure from the levada dos Maroços, in Machico, at km from Porto da Cruz.

White houses with tiled roofs, vegetable gardens with rows of sweet potatoes, beans and peppers, papaya trees, fig trees … it is in this rural setting that the hike begins from the village of Machico, where the hike begins. ‘we go by bus from Porto da Cruz (3 $). Here, everyone waters their garden with the water from the Levada dos Maroços. The path that runs along this canal guides us to the coast through hills and dry stone walls. There, a change of scenery: the Larano cliff falls steeply into the ocean. We then take the path carved into the side of the wall. Eyes full of blue, we watch for the pilot whales which sometimes trace offshore … Between two panoramas, we cut through the undergrowth, in the shade of the great myrtles of the Azores. An all-white church, a black sand beach beaten by the waves … the small port of Porto da Cruz is in sight. We tumble down the stairs to the dike to enjoy a poncha (rum, honey and Passion fruit) on the terrace.

The most volcanic

Le Pico Ruivo (17 AR km, sport level)
Departure from parking lot of Pico do Arieiro, at 18 km from Porto da Cruz.

Brrr, not hot this morning, but the view of the path that we will follow along the ridges to reach the top of the island, Pico Ruivo, at 1 861 meters above sea level, is breathtaking. Disheveled peaks topped with green, steep gorges, organs and basalt flows, we are here in the lair of the volcano formed 6 years ago 0434 year. Traced in the past by goat keepers, maintained today by the rangers of the national park, the path goes up and down, varying the points of view on the scale of the giants. A stone staircase between two peaks and we cross the Chat tunnel, dug in the years 50. At the exit, the path leads to a mineral cirque where a sea of ​​clouds floats. Further on, stands an army of ghost trees, a vestige of a forest of charred heather trees. Another metal staircase to climb, a narrow passage under a ledge, three tunnels and here is the summit … Moment of grace. To the south, we can guess the hamlet of Curral das Freiras, buried in the folds of a canyon and, due north, the blue sheet of the ocean.

Walk in Funchal

Beginning of the route on Avenue Arriaga, shaded by large jacaranda trees, which links the Place do Infante to the Sé, the black stone cathedral. After a stop at the Dos Lavradores market, head for the cobbled alleyway of Santa Maria, where artists have painted the doors of the old fishermen’s houses. A break at Fort Sao Tiago and we take the cable car (10 $ one way) to, in five minutes, be propelled from the seafront to the lush tropical garden of Monte Palace (11, 40 $ entry). Paths strewn with sculptures, ponds, tree ferns and a grandiose panorama over the bay … A little paradise from which we descend in “sledges-baskets” (30 $ for two).

I go !

• Return flight Paris Orly-Funchal from 117 $ on Transavia. Tourism information on

• Hikes with Madeira Adventure Kingdom (37 $ per day, transfers included + $ 8 for the picnic) . madeira-
• In Funchal Caju An eco-chic hotel, from 117 $ double in B&B. Kampo A very good table, dishes at 18 $. 6, rua do Sabao.

• At Porto da Cruz Jaca Hostel A warm patio house, from 40 $ double in B&B. Jaca Hostel on Facebook.

> Also to discover: PHOTOS – Here are the 10 most expensive luxury hotels in the world! The 7th is located in the South-East of France


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