Pico Ruivo

Madeira known for its beautiful gardens and flowers, such a lush green island but not quite the same as you head to pico ruivo, the highest peak on the island. After driving to what feels like the highest peak your four hour hike begins, we left the hotel with a temperature of 22 degrees C and arrived to start the walk at -1 luckily we were well equipped with coats and waterproofs.

Unfortunately the day we booked the hike was awful, cold, windy, rainy and very cloudy. Several arranged hikes go to pico ruivo daily but the weather was so bad all tours were cancelled, except ours. We might have had the whole place to ourselves but this trek wasn’t to be so easy.

The hike is up and down the whole way along rocky paths and steps. Due to the weather it was slippery too, this hike cannot be done without the correct footwear weather depending or not. Lots of the paths have loose rocks and stones. Getting higher and higher we could occasionally see the amazing views from the breaks in the cloud. At some points you have to walk through tunnels carved into the big grey rocks they are cold and dark.

It was a shame that the weather wasn’t on our side as we never saw the View from the very top,it was just too cloudy. I do plan to return and walk it all over again. It was amazing !!! Our guide was very good, not only informative but he set the pace well and gave us short breaks when needed. There are lots of very steep steps that take your breath. Remember to take plenty of water and snacks there is nothing along the way at all. Not even a toilet so be prepared.

Apart from hikes and walking there is much more to Madeira, the old town is very pretty with cobbled colourful streets, full of shops, bars and restaurants. Don’t forget to try the local poncha. It’s a delicious lemon flavoured punch, it’s also very strong. We caught a boat to see the island from the sea and made friends with dolphins. Hiring a car is also a good way to see the island, the island is small and you can drive around the best part of it in a day. The roads are quiet and easy to navigate. I’ve added pictures below of a few places along the way of our road trip.

Natural swimming pools a bit too cold for me in January
Sem idade cafe one of the prettiest views for lunch
Traditional Madeira houses
Poncha !!
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