Hike between 2 of the highest peaks in Madeira

The Pico Ruivo is the highest point on Madeira standing at 1,862m above sea level. Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on Madeira. The route between them is not for the faint hearted as it traverses steep ridges, passes through tunnels and steep slopes. A one way trip takes around 3 hours and covers 5.2 miles. This is the most popular route and during the height of the tourist season the path can be busy with walkers and tour groups. To avoid the crowds start earlier in the day but never start the hike late in the day. One of the factors which makes this hike so popular is the easy access to the summit of Pico do Arieiro from Funchal (12 miles to the south) and there is a good tarmac road right to the summit suitable for all cars. The reason for the good access is that Pico do Arieiro is the site of a NATO radar installation. When you arrive at Pico do Arieiro you will pass by the gift shop and cafe. If you follow the stairs to the top you will be on the summit of Pico do Arieiro. To the left of the summit is the trail head for Pico Ruivo. Remember that the mountain range reaches up to the clouds so plan to go on a clear day so you have maximum visibility.

If you plan on making a 1 way trip plan on leaving a car at the end of the hike at Pico Ruivo, or have someone pick you up. The address for the Pico Ruivo parking lot is PR1.2 Vereda do Pico Ruivo, Santana, Portugal. Alternatively, you can make this a much longer day by doing it as an out-and-back. 

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Appropriate Clothing
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 2276 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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