Climb to the highest point of the island of Madeira, and by the road less travelled. A long and demanding hike in diverse environments. Beautiful viewpoints on the route and, at the top, a beautiful 360° view.
N.B. Due to the steep crags of Madeira, the displayed altitude difference is overestimated and, therefore, so is the estimate of the time. Expect the elevation to be more in the order of 1,200 m in both directions.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Starting point at Bocca da Encumeada (pass). Access is via the road through the island across its width between Sao Vicente and Ribeira Brava in the north to the south.
Red and Yellow markings (route No. 1.3).
(S) From the pass, take the path called "Vereda da Encumeada" which heads south-east. After a few hundred metres the path becomes steeper and then gives way to stone steps leading up a winding path. The road heads north-east and passes near Pico da Encumeada.
(1) The path heads south-east and remains high up by alternating short climbs and short descents. The slope changes to climb Pico do Jorge.
(2) Continue down east to reach Bocca das Torrinhas a pass and a crossroads with a nice view.
(3) Cross the route No. 2 with its north-south orientation (approximately) and go uphill to the north east. Around the 1,500 m elevation mark, the slope becomes more gentle momentarily before again becoming steeper. Veer to the south-east to head round the Pico do Coelho, then continue uphill to the east to the Pico Ruivo.
(4) Turn right (south) to climb in loops to the summit.
(5) The descent is along the same path as on the way out.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 2.02 - alt. km 2.02 - Near the Pico Encuemeada
2 : km 4.3 - alt. km 4.3 - Pico do Jorge
3 : km 5.32 - alt. km 5.32 - Bocca das Torrinhas
4 : km 9.5 - alt. km 9.5 - Split in the path at the foot of Pico Ruivo
5 : km 9.73 - alt. km 9.73 - Pico Ruivo - Summit
D/A : km 19.44 - alt. km 19.44
The trail is laid out in places: paving or stone steps, cable rails on the sides. Nevertheless, good hiking shoes are essential.
The climate is changeable, it is recommended to start this long hike early. Despite the latitude, warm clothing is recommended.
No water or supplies available on the trail: plan accordingly.
With two cars, you can park one at Bocca Encumeada (S) and another in Achada do Teixeira in the car park located at the end of the EN-101-5 road from Santana. In this case, after coming down from the summit and arriving at the point (4), instead of retracing your steps to the west, take the east route no. 1.2 to Achada do Teixeira. Allow about 1.5 hours for the walk at least but at least 1 hour to Achado do Teixeira and Bocca Encumeada by car.
Still with two cars, the hike can be walked in the opposite direction (east to west), which significantly reduces the ascent.
Another option (not tested) is to spend a night in the Poussada do Ruivo (shelter), located a few hundred metres east of point (4).
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
From the summit there is a 360° view of the island of Madeira and the ocean.
On the way, the environment varies greatly: it starts in a wooded environment, the vegetation gradually becomes less dense and, at the first summit, it is essentially a open rock.
A hike at eastern end of Madeira in the only semi-desert environment of the island. Beautiful scenery on top of colourful cliffs, beautiful views of the sea and a way to escape.
It runs along the three very different Levadas, all interconnected by sloping paths. The route covers a varied landscape, crossing over diverse vegetation, and with beautiful views of the waterfalls. A hike whose direction and length can be adjusted depending on wishes or circumstances.
N.B. The displayed altitude difference is higher than reality (and consequently so is the average time for completion). Expect more in the realm of 600 metres in altitude.
Madeira Island is filled with irrigation canals, the Levadas. This short hike takes you along the Levada do Norte, one of the most significant of the island, located in an elevated part of the island. You'll find stunning viewpoints along the way and go through a beautiful forest with various species.
N.B. The altitude displayed is most probably over estimated as the trail is relatively flat along the Levada following the contour line.
Climb to the highest point of the island of Madeira, taking the easier route. Beautiful mountain scenery and a superb 360° panorama at the top.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.