Madeira is not only all about green and the sea. The island’s sights are not limited to the coasts. The inland is equally beautiful offers scenic viewpoints and has a lot to offer especially for hiking fans.
Madeira may be just a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic. But its mountains reach far in the sky and this gives you the great and rare opportunity to see the clouds from above, (rare at least outside from a plane). Seriously, this is beautiful.
Pico do Arieiro
Pico do Arieiro is the third highest mountain of Madeira and the highest to be reached by car. Some meters below the summit there’s a parking lot and the start of a great hike to the two higher summits of Pico Ruivo and Pico das Torres.
On clear days you can even see Ponta de São Lourenço from up there. But even if not, the view over the valleys and the clouds is worth the drive up here. For our small rental car, it was really a challenge, though.
Tip: For your way up, we recommend you take the panoramic route. To get there, leave the VE6 in direction of Eira do Serrado and then turn right to take the steep road up. It’s less crowded and offers plenty of great viewpoints. Definitely worth the steep drive.
Miradouros do Paredão
One of those lesser known viewpoints on the panoramic route. Two views, to be precise. One covers the view over Funchal, the second is in direction of Curral das Freiras.
Eira do Serrado
As I just mentioned it: You’ll have the best view over Curral das Freiras from here. So, of course, plenty of buses take the narrow and steep road up here, too.
Curral das Freiras
The Valley of the Nuns is one of the most beautiful and impressive places on Madeira. Our opinion. The houses in this small town seem to be so small compared to the huge mountains surrounding it. We wondered whether the people were afraid of the mountains sometimes. We would be!
Sitting in the Sabores do Curral restaurant in great afternoon light, enjoying great food and the splendid view – you can’t beat this.
Another great place in Madeira’s inland: Ribeiro Frio. It’s famous for its trouts and as a starting point of the Balcoes Hike, which takes just 30 minutes and is very easy. Actually, it’s not a hike but an easy walk.
But the view is amazing and you wouldn’t expect it after walking through the woods. After your walk, go for lunch in the village and enjoy a trout. Of course, it’s quite touristic but delicious.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Or if you want us to add something to the list.
More about Madeira here:
The North and East Coast of Madeira!
This makes me happy. We wanna do Madeira when Ill be 30w and Im terrified of not being able to hike and enjoy the scenery, but it looks like you can do that with a car and a bit of walking!
yes you can definitely do it this way. Have fun!