a clear volcanic origin just like its neighbours, the Canary Islands, to the
south of Madeira in the Atlantic.
activity, followed by erosion, formed an
impressive landscape: steep cliffs, large
canyons and gullies, dominated by a number of peaks and needles, which thrust
themselves from the abyss out to the heavens in walls of verdejante green –
conquering the vertical and providing awesome jaw-dropping vistas.
The great escape from the office!
the island has peaks and mountains of considerable elevation,
Pico Ruivo being the highest one with
1862 m in altitude,
reaching these peaks
by hiking from all the way from the bottom of the valleys
has not been very popular, and as such is
still something of an undeveloped sport or pastime on the island.
walking in general appeared only quite recently, a few decades ago, mostly
brought on by the very intrepid English who sought initially to take advantage
of the very lesisurely level walways along the levadas (water irrigation
channels of about a metre wide) for which the island is now famous for.
of the island lies in the eastern part. It is a crater like hole – the remnants
of a former volcano – where we find the village of the
Nuns Valley or “
Freiras”. A popular lookout point or belvedere is situated at
Serrado (1095 m) above the village. This has been a popular destination for
recent mountain walkers.
Views down canyons, gullies and ravines
most popular spot for looking at the awesome peaks of Madeira from close has to
Pico do Areeiro. At 1818 m
above sea level it is the
accessible point by road and has an outlook top including a 4 stars Pousada (a
type of hotel) plus parking with restaurant at the road head below it.
This is the
traditional way on Madeira: walking far
is unlikely what both the islander and the usual tourist want or are used to!
mountain huts, like in the alps, aren’t just simple shelters but comfortable
hotels for the slightly more advanced in years to look out at the scenery from
behind the window. But things are changing and younger people are starting to
discover Madeira as a spot for various mountain sports.