5 Magical Places in Madeira

5 Magical Places in Madeira

5 Magical Places in Madeira

Jul 06, 2020

 

Do you like to venture into green mountains? Here are the 5 magical places on Madeira island that you must include in your itinerary.

If you are looking for mountain ranges and stunning viewpoints, walking routes that give you the opportunity to touch the clouds or a beautiful sunset, know that the island of Madeira fits the bill..

Come find these 5 places and have fun exploring different landscapes.

 

Fanal, Paúl da Serra

 

5 Magical Places in Madeira - Fanal

Photo: Francisco Correia

 

Go explore an acient magical forest located in the Laurisilva forest on the mountain plateau Paúl da Serra in the north-west part of Madeira.

The Laurissilva forest is classified as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO since December 1999 and it’s a member of Natura 2000 network.

When the first explorers came to Madeira, the island was covered by Laurisilva forest, now only 20% of the forest is left. Here, its beauty lies not only in imposing and ancient forests of til (Ocotea foetens), as in the spectacular scenery surrounding it. 

 5 Magical Places in Madeira - Fanal Madeira

 

Tips: 

The best route to Paul da Serra is by ER110.

From here you only have a short walk to all of those lovely trees. It can be muddy though and cows also graze here so watch out for the cow dung.

Several beautiful walks can be done in the area of Fanal, such as Vereda do Fanal (PR13) and Levada dos Cedros (PR14).

 

Garganta Funda Waterfall, Calheta

 

5 Magical Places in Madeira - Garganta Funda Waterfall

 

Garganta Funda waterfall is one of Madeira’s highest (+/- 140 meters high) and most spectacular waterfalls located in the parish of Ponta do Pargo. The walk is short and the scenery is stunning, lush green with wild flowers.

The waterfall itself is beautiful and just below the viewing platform you can climb down to a nice warm place to rest on the grass with the blue sky and sea all around you. There are lovely walks along the cliffs and if you are lucky you will see the Bertholet's Pipit - a bird found only on these islands.

The access to the viewpoint is done on foot, in a small route of about 600 meters, in areas, once dominated by vineyards, the old mill existing in the middle of the route, dating from 1935, is proof of this.

 

Tips:

There is no official parking at the end of the road. Try to park in a way that does not disturb other possible drivers. Park your car here: N 32º49.154 / W 17º14.824

If you wish to continue the roundtrip, you'll have the chance to contemplate the spectacular views over the Atlantic ocean and the lighthouse. 

It is a huge waterfall after a few rainy days, otherwise it trickles its way down.  So if you can, go visit it after a nice rainfall.

 

Guindaste viewpoint, Faial

 

5 Magical Places in Madeira - Guindaste Faial Sunrise

 

Located on the north side of the island, in Ribeira do Faial, this viewpoint offers a phenomenal panoramic view over the sea and the north coast of the island, from Faial to Ponta de São Lourenço. On the other side of the parking lot you can see Fajã do Mar and in the background Ponta do Clérigo, from there the Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve begins.

 

Tip:

This viewpoint’s geography seems to be tailor-made to “sunrise hunters”. The road ends right next to the belvedere, so you’ll get easy access to unforgettable views. 

 

Montado do sabugal, Faial

 

5 Magical Places in Madeira - Faja da Nogueira - Montado do sabugal

 

For this one we propose a walk through the forest. The forest path departs from the Fajã da Nogueira hydroelectric power station, and gives access to the magnificent Til nucleus at Sítio do Chão do Nateiro, in Montando do Sabugal, in the heart of Madeira Natural Park. These trees are thought to be prior to the discovery of Madeira in 1419. 

 

Tips:

Here you can start a beautiful levada walk until Caldeirão do Inferno, where you can find several tunnels, waterfalls and lagoons. 

This forest path is located 2 km from the main road and can be crossed on foot but we suggest you to go with a jeep or 4x4 car.

 

Chão da ribeira, Seixal

 

5 Magical Places in Madeira - Chao da Ribeira

 

Located in a deep valley overlooking Seixal, you can find this not well known place where the Laurissilva forest and human activity coexist in harmony. This area of ??the parish of Seixal encompasses a portion of the vast area of ??laurissilva, the original forest of Madeira that currently occupies 20% of the island's surface.

This bucolic place is occupied by agricultural land and their respective houses of implements with a collection of Cow sheds that were once used as warehouses to support the activity.

Chão da Ribeira was one of the pre-finalists for the election of the 7 wonders-villages of Portugal in 2017, in the category of villages in protected areas.

 5 Magical Places in Madeira - Chao da Ribeira

 

Tips:

This is a starting point for several walking routes such as the Vereda da Cavaca, the roundabout route to Terra Chã and activities such as Canyoning.

If you are visiting the island on January, here happens the Panelo party, an old tradition where people come all together to eat a dish made with vegetables and sausages, very similar to ‘’Cozido à Portuguesa’’.

 

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