Rocha do Navio Santana

Rocha do Navio Santana

Rocha do Navio Santana

May 11, 2020

Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve is located in Santana and was the last park to be created in 1997.

rocha do navio, santana

What is Rocha do Navio?

Rocha do Navio means “Ship Rock” and it is one of four major natural reserves on Madeira. Its aim is to preserve the marine fauna specifically and nature at large, the perfect place to view many bird species.

Why does it calls ''Rocha do Navio''?

The name Rocha do Navio comes from the Dutch shipwreck that occurred there in the 19th century. And the second reason is that the little island resembles the front of a ship.

How to acess Rocha do Navio?

Access to the Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve can be by cable car that on a very lucky day, you could even see a monk seal on the beach or a school of dolphins splashing in the ocean during the descend.

And you can also go down through a trail.

The trail begins right next to the cable car station and leads you down a series of stairs and switchbacks.

  • Hike Distance: The total distance of my hike was 4.5 kilometers including exploring the village.
  • Hike Difficulty: This hike is quite short but it is very steep. There is some landslide damage and slippery sections on the trail so I would only recommend it to those with good footwear and comfortable with heights and stairs.
Rocha do Navio, santana
Photo by: Jackson Groves 

What is down there?

  • As you near the end of the trail down, you will get a great view over the farming village below. Locals have grown bananas, grapes, and other fruits on the land which they shelter from the wind, and salt splash with urze or cane palisades.  
  • At the base of the climb is an old mill built into the cliff wall. This was used to produce wine without having to cart the grapes up and down the cliff. There are lots of ancient buildings and unique constructions to notice while wandering down in the village. The waterfalls and cliffs provide an incredible backdrop to the region.

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