Take a hike! 😊
But we didn’t want to leave too early… This hike was one of the best trips that we have done so far. A bit dangerous, a bit scary, but with stunning views and decent group of people…
Pico Do Areeiro at 1818 meters above the sea level is a popular all year-round tourist attraction in Madeira Island. With the clear sky, it is possible to see the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, located 48 km from Madeira! It is estimated that even 1000 people can pass that area during the peak times…
Depending on the weather (especially during the summer), make sure you pack long-sleeved clothing, something to cover your head from the sun, and good comfortable shoes, as you will be hiking up and down, climbing some steps as well. If you prefer, use the sunscreen too.
Hikers usually start at Pico Do Areeiro to get to Madeira’s highest point- Pico Ruivo, which we highly recommend seeing, if the weather allows.
We did climb it in July when the conditions were good but some of the hikers didn’t want to go additional steps to get to the Pico Ruivo and missed out a lot!
The scene from the top was stunning and it provided us with a panoramic view of the island from coast to coast.
But let’s start from the beginning of the journey.
The area is quite popular, and you can find a lot of information online these days, that’s why a lot of people choose to go by themselves, but we have decided to use a local guide. We do believe in supporting the small business when we can afford it. Also, if you do it with the guide- they pass a lot of interesting information about the trail, history of the area and flora and fauna.
The guide will pick you up from your location at the specified time and will take you and the others to the starting point. You will be informed of the duration of hike, the stops you will take, and other necessary information.
Once we were taken to the starting point, I was informed that now was the time to go back to the car if you are not sure if you want to do it- either due to fear of heights, not knowing if you will be able to finish the hike, as there won’t be any mobile services if you decide to go back. I was battling with my thoughts if maybe I should go back and wait but finally decided that my fear of heights cannot keep me from experiencing things in life. One lady overheard me talking to my boyfriend and asked if I will go back with her, as she decided she is not going to continue the hike. I respectfully declined her offer 😊
The beginning of the walk seemed quite chilled and windy as the area was most exposed, so we put our jumpers on, but the further we went, the hotter it got.
The trail looks flat at first but there will be some climbing up ahead, also there are different types of surfaces as well, stony, and sandy. Some of the areas are more exposed and have no handrail but the path isn’t narrow, therefore it feels safe to walk past.
Once you continue to walk, you will pass few tunnels here and there so may be a good idea to have your phone ready to use the torch, as some of the tunnels may be slippery due to the water collection.
Our guide Nestor had a lot of knowledge as he travelled some places in Europe and outside just to experience some hiking. He pointed out to the specific flowers and birds that are native to this beautiful island. The flora and fauna of Madeira are just spectacular, and the untouched forests are really to be experienced.
From every spot you stop at, you can take stunning pictures but also, they are great stops to breath in and think about the important things in life. You can really take a moment to reflect on things, calm your head and feel what it means to be alive.
Just before you climb Pico de Ruivo, there is a small café called Casa de Abrigo do Pico Ruivo (URL to be added) where you can use the toilet and have something to eat and drink. Interesting fact is that workers must carry the food and drinks on foot to stock the shelves, the distance they walk is around 2.5 km from Achada do Teixeira, located below, which is wild…
As mentioned before, some people from our group decided to stay there and wait, as we were given some break time.
The sky was so clear that the view from the top was breathtaking. I can only imagine how magnificent the sunrise and sunset from that viewpoint must be… Apparently you can book an overnight stay at Casa de Abrigo, so you can experience a sunrise from the summit, if you don’t want to start the hike too early.
Quick tip- if you are not having any health issues- make sure you see the summit as it is beautiful and not that difficult to make that extra journey, we have seen a couple with two little babies at the very top and they were changing their nappies- so it is doable😊
From the highest peak of Madeira, you can experience a stunning panoramic view and neighbouring island of Porto Santo.
From that point, you will have around 1 hour left of walking down to the Pico Ruivo’s parking lot where the driver awaits to take you back to your accommodation.
At the last bit of hiking, you feel a bit tired but happy and fulfilled to experience this amazing walk. You can turn around and see the mountains you crossed became smaller and looking different to what you just experienced.
The whole hike is approximately 11 kilometres long and may take between 3-5 hours, depending on your speed, experience and if you travel alone or with the group.
From all the tours we have done at Madeira, this was my favourite one by far.