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Explore Madeira, the Ultimate Nature Destination

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Pretty little island to the west of Morocco, Madeira is the ultimate nature destination. Traversed at its center by dizzying mountains, a hiker’s paradise, the island of flowers also offers walkers an impressive diversity of landscapes.

Follow us with these few ideas for walks and hikes between the blue of the sea, the green of the lush forests, and the yellow of the steep rocks of the coastal cliffs.

The Pointe de São Lourenço – 3 hours

Pointe Sao Lourencco Randonnée à Madère

Head to the eastern tip of Madeira to discover the island’s coastal relief. This hike on the very steep peninsula of São Lourenço offers exceptional views of the coast and the ocean. This trail is known for its impressive volcanic rock formations. You can also observe numerous fossils along the way! Thanks to its location between land and sea, it is not uncommon to spot birds on the path. Why not equip yourself with a good pair of binoculars to enjoy the flights of gulls, canaries, or even warblers?

The Balconies of Paul da Serra – 4 hours

Paul Da Serra Randonnée à Madère

Head to the center of Madeira to discover a vast plateau of 30 kilometers. Here, a lunar atmosphere is guaranteed with its arid and desolate vegetation… a complete contrast with the lush forests of the rest of the island. This “mountain marsh,” where the wind blows hard and is often shrouded in clouds, offers the hiker superb 360° views of the island and the various “Picos” (Pico Grande, Pico Ruivo, and Arieiro) in good weather. Different short hikes start from the plateau, then cross meadows, forests, or small hamlets.

Caldeirao Verde, the Laurisilva Forest – 5 hours

Randonnée à Madère

An exceptional natural park covers nearly two-thirds of the island of Madeira, including the Laurisilva forest. The largest laurel forest to date, the site is even listed by UNESCO… so it’s impossible not to hike in this unique setting.

You will start this hike from the Quimadas forest park along levadas, which will take you through dense and abundant vegetation of laurels (of course!), cedars, and beeches. If the mist is present that day, the atmosphere becomes downright mystical… On your route, you will also encounter some tunnels and secured aerial passages, to finally reach the Caldeiro Verde (the green cauldron) and its 80-meter-high waterfall. A breathtaking spectacle!

Take the time to swim under the waterfall before heading back.

Pico Ruivo and Pico de Arieiro – 6 / 7 hours

Pico de Arieiro Randonnée à Madère

The best for last with this incredible hike, reserved for experienced walkers. The exceptional panoramas of this trail are well worth the effort and are reserved for those who do not suffer from vertigo! Departure from the Pico de Arieiro viewpoint at 1818 meters altitude. From there, you will already have an exceptional panoramic view of the peaks in the center of the island. A little tip: arrive at dawn to enjoy the sunrise above the clouds, guaranteed unique memory!

Then it’s off for 8 kilometers of walking, between trails, tunnels, and impressive cliffs. Throughout the hike, you will enjoy stunning steep landscapes over the valleys and the ribeiras (deep gorges carved by rivers) before reaching the final ascent to the highest peak of Madeira at 1861 meters, Pico Ruivo. The sensation of dominating Madeira with the clouds at your feet is incredible…

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