en.infoglobe.cz » Portugal – Madeira Island VIII

Portugal – Madeira Island VIII

Published: 29.8.2016
We leave Funchal for Santana, a town on the northeastern seaboard. There are interesting places along the way. We leave the direct rote to see such places as the Madeira’s highest peaks, a stone igloo, and the Faial bay. In case you have not yet visited the cave and volcanic center of Grutas Sao Vicente it is easy to reach along the northern seaboard starting in Santana. As we told you, Sao Vicente is a borderline between the western and eastern parts of the island

restaurant, Poiso crossroads

Use the restaurant with a bare as the place of navigation in Poiso. Right next to it there is a serpentine road leading up to 1818 meters of altitude which is the third highest summit of Madeira - Pico do Arieiro. The highest peak is called Pico Ruivo (1861 m). The middle summit is  Pico das Torres (1851 m). They are called the guardians of the island. Even though they measure 1800 meters in height, this is only a third of the entire height of the massif. These mountains are home to the Fulmar of Madeira, an endangered bird species for which Centro Freira da Madeira ornitolocigal station was established to support reproduction of the species. There is also an exhibition, various photographs, or a movie on local fauna and flora.

Pico do Arieiro – views   Pico do Arieiro – vistas

Pico do Arieiro – vistas

The vistas over the massif are amazing. Those who set off to the neighboring summit have to count with sudden changes in weather. This is nothing unusual here. Still, it can take longer than expected to finish eaither 7-kilometer or the 5,6-kilometer trail between the summits. There are two trails up to the highest summit. The shorter goes through tunnels. The longer across the middle summit. Sunny weather usually means that people choose to go across the middle summit there and through tunnels back. It is necessary to have good shoes, something to cover your head with (or ears because it is windy there), a flashlight, and walking sticks. There is significant elevation. And there are many steps.

road to Pico Ruivo

Pico Ruivo   Centro Freira da Madeira ornitological station

Pico Ruivo, the highest peak of Madeira, is accessible via much more comfortable, safer, and shorter route. It starts at Achada do Teixeira car park behind Santana. It depends on your physical condition and time you want to spend walking it. There is a radar below Pico do Arierio summit. It controls Portuguese air traffic over Madeira. This hemisphere is really easy to spot. It is situated within a fenced area. you will pass it when going to the highest summit. Formerly, there was a military space.

Pico do Arieiro, observatory

Refreshments, and a souvenir shop with restrooms are at the ornitological center. On your way down to Poiso crossroad, we make a stop at a stone igloo. It is situated on your right side behidn the turn. It is called the "freezer of Madeira". Fromerly, ice cubicles were produced there and the rich of Funchal bought them to their fridges. There was the most favorable climate to build an igloo for the temperatures go below zero and sometimes it snows there whereas at the seaboard it ranges usually between 15–20 °C in winter.

Pico do Arieiro, iglooo

We continue further to Ribeiro Frio. It names comes after a cold stream. We stop at a trout farm. They use levadas to breed trouts for fresh water still streams through them. They serve meals at local restaurant which are based on trouts. Also, this area is known for laurel self-irrigating forests, and the area known as Laurisilva. It is almost from 100% covered by original forests. These are very important from the perspective of biology. Flora and endemic fauna have preserved there as well. The ecosystem of the nature park is strictly protected. The processes there have been subject to many researches.

Ribeiro Frio, farm   Laurisilva area

Near from there, there is the entrance to Furado-Portela levada. Below is a road which takes you up to the famous Balcoes outlook. It takes about an hour to go there and back. This romantic places is beautiful. Birds sing above your head and mountains seem to be just at your fingertips. We return to this place in some other part. There is still a road to Santana and to the volcanic center of Grutas Sao Vicente ahead of us.


Balcoes, vyhlídka   Balcoes


GPS: (Pico Ruivo) 32°45'32.1"N 16°56'41.7"W

Text and photos: Monika Babická

Discussion at the article (0)

Related Articles

Portugal –Madeira Island I
Published: 28.2.2016
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.

Portugal – Madeira Island VII
Published: 4.7.2016
Today, we take a look at the eastern part of the island in the direction from Funchal to the easternmost part where are droughts. It seems as if it was not Madeira there. The landscape is vastly different and there grows almost no vegetation at all. It is only after rains when it gets bit of green there. No levada leads to this area. You can find them only in the mountains. The area is inhabited, however. Therefore, some vegetation is actually there.

Portugal – Island of Madeira IX
Published: 5.9.2016
Balcoes lookout is situated at 86é meters above sea level. A comfortable and wide enough road leads there from the trout farm in Riberio Frio. The name fits. It is a true natural balcony giving you the view of what you would consider a piece of paradise.

Portugal – Madeira Island VI
Published: 6.6.2016
Another stop to the west of the island is Porto Moniz. From Sao Vincente you travel through tunnels. Make a stop at Ribeira da Janela town. It is a place of dark volcanic rock. The lovers’ rock rises from the sea there.

Portugal – Madeira Island V
Published: 30.5.2016
Apart from famous Madeira wine (Japan is its largest importer), poncho (a liquor with lemon flavor) is another traditional beverage. You can replace lemon juice with orange or maracuja juice. It is served cold for refreshments. Or it is served also warm as prevention from getting cold. The wine festival takes place end August beginning September.

Portugal – Madeira IV
Published: 23.5.2016
A 5 thousand meters high massif of lava was created after huge explosion in the Atlantic. Today we can see only a glimpse of it and this glimpse is Madeira. The island is self-reliant. There are couple of power plants (water, wind), fertile soil and sea rich on fish.

Portugal –Madeira lll
Published: 16.5.2016
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.

Portugal –Madeira Island II
Published: 6.3.2016
It is an island in the Atlantic where you can grow almost anything thanks to humidity, high temperature and fertile soil. So where do you get water that is good for irrigation and how it works?

Related Photogallery

Portugal, Madeira Island – Funchal: Tropical Garden
Jardim Tropical Monte Palace is situated at the entrance of the cable car. The cable car goes fro...

Portugal, Madeira Island – Funchal: Botanical Garden
Jardim botanico da Madeira covers the hills looming about the capital of Funchal. The gardens are...

Related Videos

Portugal, Porto – (Not Just) Wine Center of Portugal
Port wine is wide-known. Can you think of something other when Porto comes in mind? No? It doesn'...

Portugal, Sintra – A Romantic Town
Portugal is home to many UNESCO grade landmarks. Sintra city is one of them. The city is only 45 ...

Portugal, Lisbon – the Oldest City in Western Europe
Hills, yellow trams, cable cars, and hills- this all describes one of the most visited cities in ...

Portugal – The Westernmost Outpost of the European Continent
Portugal is the westernmost country of the European continent and it is one of the 20 most popula...

Portugal, Coimbra - the oldest university town
Coimbra lies halfway between Lisbon and Porto, in Braga region, on river Mondego. Coimbra is home...


Czech republic


We were awarded the certificate even thanks to you!

Dôveryhodná firma 2017



Important Information:

Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.

Mobile application:

aplikácia Infoglobe

stiahnuť zadarmo pre Androidstiahnuť zadarmo pre iPhone



Today:monday 5. 6. 2023
monday 5.6.
14 °C
tuesday 6.6.
14 °C

TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.


TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.