The highest position of Madeira
This area is the best that Madeira has to offer in alpine tourism. In addition, access to Pico do Arieiro is easy, ie by car on a mountain road to the parking lot at an altitude of 1818 meters above sea level.
The drive to Pico Arieiro starts in the capital Funchal on the ER103. The gradual climb offers nice views.
On the roof of Madeira
We are greeted in the parking lot, nice views, or the surrounding mountains gradually emerge from the morning clouds.
Miradouro Ninho da Manta
From the parking lot, go up the stairs and then along a cobblestone path, in about ten minutes we will reach the Miradouro Ninho da Manta viewpoint. There is also a nice view of the mountain ridge, which we will follow during the hike. The road can be seen in incredibly steep terrain.
The attractiveness of these mountains lies, among other things, in their sharp volcanic shapes, which reflect the massive explosive processes that model their appearance.
Distant twin waterfalls
The path continues around the eastern wall of Pico das Torres, descending along it (partially secured by a railing), and after crossing the Pico do Gato tunnel (wet, dark, several tens of meters long) we reach a crossroads. We choose the left variant, for which three tunnels and wonderful mountain views are gradually waiting for us, for example to the distant twin of waterfalls.
The winter vegetation here is very sparse and its shape corresponds to the torn landscape of the surrounding walls.
In front of the tunnel
Still looking west to the left down into a deep mountain valley and we go to the last tunnel. Here, too, it is very humid, sometimes long puddles of water that cannot be bypassed, so a headlamp is definitely suitable.
Behind the tunnel we reach the crossroads again. On the left we can continue on the way to Pico Ruivo (1862 m above sea level), we choose to return to the right along the road, which will lead us by a gradual descent to the original crossroads behind the Pico tunnel to Gato.
View over the abyss
From the road you can sometimes turn carefully to the edges of the cliffs, from where there are nice aerial views.
Before returning to the parking lot
Through the Pico do Gato tunnel we return to the starting point of our journey. We climb sharply and then reach the first viewpoint Miradouro Ninho da Manta again. This time we get to know the mountain trail we walked more clearly. Beautiful landscape and mountain hike.
At the very end, the Pico do Arieiro peak will reward us with a view of the capital Funchal and, if we are lucky, a large ship in the port.
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