Pico Do ArieiroCurrently Open
- Address: 9030, Funchal, Portugal
- Timings: 24-hrs Details
Sunset at Pico do Arieiro, one of Madeira island’s third highest peak, is a gateway to heaven. Passion will drive you up the levada pathway. Gaze down at the clouds which is like a fluffy white blanket gathering around the mountain peaks. As the sun sinks, threads of light mingles with the rolling cloud, colouring the heavens first orange, then red, then dark blue, and finally a chalky mauve. The radiant sun dims and disappears below the horizon, leaving the ocean gleaming in her last rays.
The levada or mini canals are irrigation systems which were developed to distribute water from the wet North regions to the drier South. The network of levadas run around the entire mountain and even delivers water to the banana plantation, vine yards, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens as well as to the hydro-electric power stations all over the island.
This magnificent mountain walk begins from Pico do Arieiro, heading into the complex interior with its jagged pinnacles and immense towers of volcanic rock enriched with lava veins, and ends at Pico Ruivo.
This rugged mountain walk has precipitous steps which are safe and signs to guide the tourists and is accessible by car till the starting point. The easterly route by steps is tougher than the westerly one. There are several tunnels but none too long or dark.
Madeira is warm but there may be weather changes creating restricted visibility due to low clouds, and there are strong winds, and sudden temperature drops and occasional rain fall. If you are on this trek during summer, remember it gets darker earlier.
Start at the cafe at Pico do Arieiro, go across the plateau till you come to a view point showing a glorious view of Ruivo. From here the path divides into right and left. The left leads you over some precarious routes and vertiginous sections, and if you are not an experienced mountain trekker, you will feel desperate. Take the right and follow the easy section which is take you to the picnic spot. From here you see the summit of Pico Ruivo and visit the Pico Ruivo’s Hut. The return journey is the same route back to the main path below the hut.
For experienced travellers, an alternative way is to go through a tunnel, as you descend from the hut. This is a short but more dangerous route to Arieiro.
During winter, locals come here to witness stunning snowfalls. There is a freezing chill in the air, that brings crispness to the leaves but this will not deter them from coming here to the rugged winter wonderland.
Pico Do Arieiro Travel Tips
- Hike time is 3 hours each way.
- On some parts of the walk, the path narrows with a sheer drop of 300 metres.
- There is a reasonably priced cafe and gift shop.
- The trek is not meant for the people with heart/respiratory problems.
- It is also treacherous for people who have fear of heights.
- Keep this trek for later, build up your fitness because of the steep ascents and descents along the entire walk.
- There are tunnels along the hike so it is advisable to keep a torchlight.
- Take your wide angle lens and picnic.
- Be sure to wear sturdy foot wear and carry plenty of water.
- You will need sun protection for the day and waterproof jacket depending on the weather.
- Although the fences constructed at the edge of the path, are strong, do not lean over, stand and take in the panoramic view.
- Pay attention to your feet, pace yourself, relax and enjoy the rugged scenery.
- It’s fully disabled friendly with wheelchair access to all except the viewing points.
- Toilet facilities are available, however they are locked up for the night.
How to Reach Pico Do Arieiro
- Accessible by car
- Sabores do curral- valley flavours
- Vale das Freiras
- Ribeiro Frio Restaurant
- Estrela Restaurante
- HortensiaTea Room
11.3% of people who visit Funchal include Pico Do Arieiro in their plan
2 PM - 3 PM
42.86% of people start their Pico Do Arieiro visit around 2 PM - 3 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see Pico Do Arieiro
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Pico Do Arieiro