Madeira and its heights and clouds

A car ride from Funchal and Areeiro Peak, climbing to higher areas and with the best views of Madeira.

Going up from Funchal to Monte (see route 3), the traveler can now start another adventure, climbing to one of the highest points of the island, Pico do Areeiro, more than 1800 meters height. Up to the north, and after going through the Funchal Ecological Park (the southern entrance, in Ribeira das Cales), and the viewpoint of Pico Alto (1129 meters, overlooking Funchal), you reach the location of Poiso (1413 meters height), where some restaurants can be enjoyed (for example, the traditional and historic Casa-Abrigo that, in the nineteenth century, used to shelter travelers in winter). It is from this place that a deviation towards the northwest, will take you to Pico do Areeiro, at a height of 1818 meters, through a 8kms road, with many curves and steep slopes. Along this route, we can appreciate the valleys carved by streams, running along the northern coast. Along the way, you will see the famous Chão da Lagoa, a plateau where summer camping and popular festivals are becoming traditional. The reduced vegetation is due to intensive grazing. However, there are traces of an older flora such as heather, sorva trees, and vaccinium berries. Before reaching our peak, you can still visit the Poço da Neve (1633 meters height), which is a small but impressive building: a cylindrical body in stone masonry, topped by a semi-spherical dome. The volume received snow and hail, until about five meters deep, and these, in compression, produced the ice that remained until summer. Before the era of electricity and refrigerators, this was the process for obtaining the ice that was supplied to the hotels and hospitals in the city - saddled by men along the rocky roads. Through a planned path, you arrive at our destination. On a misty day, as often happens, the sight of Pico do Areeiro becomes ghostly, with very sharp, orange-brown volcanic rocks, on a background of white fog, moving from behind. In the days with good visibility, the primacy goes to the set of peaks and slopes of Cordilheira Central (other peaks: Pico Ruivo, 1862 m; Pico das Torres, 1851 meters; and, further away, the Pico Grande, 1857m). Below you have the sight of the city far away, the coast and the tiny villages that so much attract us.

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