The 10 most beautiful walks in Madeira

Randonnée à Madère

For adventurers looking to explore new wild paradises, here are the most beautiful hikes to do in Madeira!

Sometimes nicknamed the « Flower Island », Madeira is a treasure trove of lush, unspoilt nature. Indeed, on this corner of the world off the Portuguese coast, nature is everywhere, and always spectacular. In fact, it has long reigned supreme, since the island and its archipelago were discovered late by sailors.

Unlike other volcanic islands, Madeira has the distinction of being very green. Vegetation coexists in harmony with dark rock and turquoise water to create an idyllic picture. And perhaps you’ll be one of the lucky ones to have the privilege of exploring its many and varied trails! To guide you, we present Madeira’s most beautiful hikes.

Find your drop-off point close to your Madeira hike:

1. Pointe de São Lourenço

randonnees-madere

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 7.4 km
  • Difference in altitude: 412 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

This exploration of the São Lourenço headland is one of Madeira’s must-do hikes. It takes you to a spectacular peninsula. This spit of land unfurls in deep blue waters, offering superb ocean views.

In fact, the spectacle is even more magical at the end of the day, under a golden light. And we’d advise you to avoid the hot hours, as the trail, at times quite physical, is completely exposed.

So don’t forget to bring sun cream and plenty of water! The restaurant at the end of the trail is also a good place to refresh yourself.

2. Pico do Arieiro – Pico Ruivo

Pico do Arieiro – Pico Ruivo

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: 4h
  • Distance: 10.8 km
  • Ascent: 1,180 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

Discover Madeira’s mountains with this spectacular high-altitude hike. In just ten kilometers, you’ll have the privilege of exploring the island’s three highest peaks. In the process, you may well walk above the clouds, making the experience all the more impressive!

This mountain hike requires a minimum of physical preparation and equipment. But you’ll be amply rewarded for your efforts with breathtaking panoramic views. And once you reach Pico Ruivo, you can stretch your legs with a snack at the refuge.

3. Levada do Caldeirão Verde

Levada do Caldeirão Verde

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 11.7 km
  • Ascent: 1,265 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

After the sea and the mountains, this hike in Madeira will introduce you to another aspect of the island’s landscape. Here, you’ll have the impression of being in the heart of the jungle, thanks to the lush vegetation. But also because the area is often wet! As a result, the vertiginous cliffs are often shrouded in a mist that makes the scenery even more mysterious.

On your moderately challenging walk, you’ll discover a number of nuggets. The main one is undoubtedly the superb waterfall at the end. It’s also worth noting that you’ll pass through several tunnels. We therefore advise you to bring a flashlight.

4. Vereda do Pico Ruivo

Vereda do Pico Ruivo

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 5.5 km
  • Height difference: 479 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

If you want to limit your efforts but still enjoy Madeira’s most beautiful scenery, this is the hike for you. In fact, it’s an ascent of the island’s highest peak, Pico Ruivo. After a few kilometers of climbing on a well-groomed path, an incredible panorama opens up.

In fact, you’ll soon feel like you’re on top of the world, high above the clouds and with the sea on the horizon. And for an even more unforgettable experience, take this hike during off-peak hours. The ideal time is early morning, when the softly lit scenery is even more magical.

5. Levada do Canical – Vereda do Larano

Levada do Canical – Vereda do Larano

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 8 hours
  • Distance: 24 km
  • Height difference: 1,937 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

Given its length and steep gradients, this Madeira hike is for experienced walkers only. But it’s well worth the effort! The trail will give you a glimpse of Madeira’s diverse landscape.

You’ll discover superb coastal cliffs, as well as verdant mountains. What’s more, you’re sure to come across some amazing samples of Madeira’s flora and fauna.

And if you’re tempted by this hike but find it too strenuous, it’s possible to do just the outward journey. A bus or cab will take you back to your starting point.

6. Levada do Alecrim

randonnees-a-madere

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 6.8 km
  • Difference in altitude: 254 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

In the heart of Madeira’s countryside, this easy, leisurely hike will delight families in particular. It takes you along a pleasant, little-traveled path, mainly through undergrowth. But above all, you’ll discover a beautiful waterfall. What’s more, you’re sure to marvel at the heavenly little lake that forms at its foot.

What’s more, it’s the perfect Madeira hike for hot days. Moderately difficult, it follows a shady path and offers the possibility of a swim.

7. Monte – Camacha via Levada dos Tornos

Monte - Camacha via Levada dos Tornos randonnée à Madère

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: 4h30
  • Distance: 17.4 km
  • Height difference: 822 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

On this long walk, you’ll alternate between wilderness and civilization. You’ll set off from the village of Monte and begin by exploring its spectacular botanical gardens.

You’ll then follow the Levada dos Tornos, a testament to the island’s agricultural tradition. Levadas are small irrigation channels typical of Madeira. Finally, you’ll reach the pretty village of Camacha, from where you can take the bus back to Madeira.

8. Caminho do Pinaculo e Folhadal

Caminho do Pinaculo e Folhadal

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: 6h30
  • Distance: 18.2 km
  • Height difference: 1,395 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

Rather difficult, this itinerary has the advantage of being relatively uncrowded. Yet it is undoubtedly one of Madeira’s most beautiful hikes. Indeed, it offers courageous walkers a superb selection of varied landscapes. From mountains and waterfalls to tunnels and levadas, it’s got it all.

Alternating pretty wooded sections and technical passages on the mountainside, the trail is rich in emotion. But the more adventurous also enjoy it for jogging!

9. Pico Grande

Pico Grande randonnée à Madère

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: 2h30
  • Distance: 9.2 km
  • Difference in altitude: 702 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Rising to 1,654 metres, Pico Grande is, as its name suggests, one of the island’s great peaks. Its ascent is therefore one of Madeira’s must-do hikes for mountain lovers.

From the volcanic ridges, you’ll discover breathtaking scenery. Jagged rock and vegetation form an impressive picture that opens onto beautiful, deep valleys.

And while the walk is generally of moderate difficulty, there are a few surprises in store. First of all, one section at the summit requires you to hold on to a wire rope to climb a steep slope. Secondly, the route is not always well signposted, so it’s best to be accompanied by someone who knows the way.

10. Vereda do Balcoes

Vereda do Balcoes randonnée à Madère

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Distance: 2.6 km
  • Height difference: 117 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

To round off this selection, here’s one of Madeira’s most accessible hikes. In fact, it’s a particularly short and easy walk. And yet, it gives you access to the Balcões, from where you can enjoy a superb view.

In fact, you don’t necessarily have to walk for miles to admire Madeira’s superb mountains! However, be careful to avoid cloudy days, to avoid seeing the panorama spoiled by a large cumulus cloud.

Between ocean, mountains and wild jungle, Madeira has a lot to offer motivated hikers. But on the island, nature has such a great part to play that all it takes is a short stroll to discover breathtaking landscapes. However, more challenging itineraries will enable you to access hidden treasures, while avoiding the crowds.