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Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!


Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:31 pm

Date walked: 27/06/2014

Time taken: 6

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1600m

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My chief executive doesn’t mind a gentle walk, but she has no interest in hill walking at all.
So we compromised on a holiday in Madeira this year.
Madeira has a reputation for being a haven for the over 65s...

old  couple.jpg


(which is true to some extent), but it has some really excellent walking, and the purpose of this very short report (I'll let the pictures speak for themselves) is to showcase that fact in the hope that it might prove useful for any others who are looking for a compromise hol with their more relaxed partner.

There are countless walking routes on Madeira, some pretty well dead flat, others – like the one pictured below – quite challenging.

The one pictured starts at Pico Riviera (1818m), and takes in the highest peak on the island, Pico Ruivo (1861m).

Pico Arieiro Walk Map.jpg


ImageIMG_0594. View from Pico do Arieiro looking North West, at approximately 07.15am.

ImageIMG_0595. View from Pico do Ariero looking roughly South at about 07.15. Yes, cloud inversion here too...

[ImageIMG_0597. ...and looking North. Amazing volcanic mountain shapes.

ImageIMG_0598. And WHs are everywhere - this candidate for Best Wild Camping Spot on the only bit of flat land on the top of Pico Arieiro.

Image]IMG_0599

ImageIMG_0601. Early stages of path to Pico Ruivo. The path is good, though quite exposed in places. You can just about see the path in the middle of the pic.

ImageIMG_0603.

ImageIMG_0605.

ImageIMG_0607. These classic volcanic dykes were everywhere - in some ways, not dissimilar to the Black Cuillin in places.

ImageIMG_0608. In one place there was a notice saying it was unsafe to proceed, and directing one to another path. In the middle of this pic, taken from the other side of the diversion, is the rockfall that took away the path...
(about half way down the vertical cliff in the centre of the pic)

ImageIMG_0610. Terrific cloud inversion from the top of Pico Ruivo.

ImageIMG_0612. Remnants of the trees destroyed by a big fire a few years ago form the foreground to this view of Pico dos Torres.[/url]

Image]IMG_0613. And just like at home, there's clag here too....

But absolutely NO beasties...

Beestie....jpg


ImageIMG_0614. Amazing lush vegetation and flowers in many places - this is a real characteristic of Madeira.

ImageIMG_0616. The path wandered from side to side of the ridge. The cloud was just on the one side, and on this side the vegetation was dripping wet.

ImageIMG_0617. Amazing views everywhere on the uncloudy side...

ImageIMG_0618. On the way back (the route passed through several short tunnels). Cloud is building up a bit.

Image]IMG_0619. And of course the day has to be rounded off by a visit to a place of cultural, historical and architectural interest.....
Last edited by Alteknacker on Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby litljortindan » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:18 pm

Looks great. Have considered this very walk before. Was this a package trip? Temperatures?
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby orion » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:31 pm

I done the Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo route and back again last January and it was one of the best hill days I`ve had.Fantastic tortured rock formations all along the route.

The cheapest way from Glasgow was to book a package,self catering in a 4 star hotel,which came in at £300.Car hire came in at £100.You really need a car if you want to see the best of the island and get an early start on the hills.
Some of the mountain roads are steep :shock:

January is the cheapest option and prices rise after that.It was sunny every day and around the high 60`s.
One small shower of rain all week :D T-shirt mainly during the day on the hills but before dawn on the high tops I had an insulated jacket on.Some fantastic coastal scenery to be had as well.

Everyone in the hotel,mainly German,went to bed before 9.30pm :D
I should have won a prize for being the youngest person on the island :wink:

There seems to be quite a few variations on the spelling of Pico do Areeiro / Pico do Ariero so I used the one the locals told me was correct although most maps seem to favour the latter.
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:09 am

litljortindan wrote:Looks great. Have considered this very walk before. Was this a package trip? Temperatures?


No, it wasn't a package trip - we booked ourselves.

The temperature was around 20 - 23 degrees. The main thing that you have to be aware of is that in June/early July the mountains are shrouded in cloud; although my experience was that once you got above about 1500m, you were on top of the cloud (as you can see from the pics).

The place we stayed wasn't particularly economical, but it was truly amazing: effectively it comprises apartments in a botanical gardens. I can recommend it very strongly if this is your bag (Quinta Splendida).

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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:10 pm

cool. looks pretty spectacular! :D
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby sprintster » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:25 pm

I'm just back from spending Christmas on Madeira.A great time of year to visit,temperature's around 18-20c and dry all week! :D
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:07 am

sprintster wrote:I'm just back from spending Christmas on Madeira.A great time of year to visit,temperature's around 18-20c and dry all week! :D


Yep - I can imagine it makes the walking in the hills a bit easier! Did you do much walking?

We liked it enough to be thinking about going back, though it won't be winter: temperatures for beach lounging are mandatory for the CEO...
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Re: Mountain walk in Madeira - not just for old folks!

Postby sprintster » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:35 pm

I did the Risco/25 Fontanes walk as well and a couple of lavedas from Funchal but I hope to go back again next Christmas so I'll get a guide book before I go next time. 8)
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