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“If the weathers good, a stunning ridge walk, lift maybe required 1 end” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pico Arieiro

Pico Arieiro
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Ranked #14 of 106 attractions in Madeira Islands
Type: Mountains
Activities: Walking, Hiking
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Pico Arieiro at more than 6,000 feet is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts, plus the views from the mountain are fantastic.
Okehampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“If the weathers good, a stunning ridge walk, lift maybe required 1 end”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Check the weather out, before leaving. Often it's cloudy around Funchal, but you climb above the clouds, and have a clear walk along the ridge. If you want the complete ridge walk, you'll need to arrange to be collected at Achada de Teixeira. Done this walk 4 times now, reaching different points, depending on the starting time, before having to turn back and return to Arreiro. In general it is a well made path, crossing step cliffs and and twisting from top of curriel de Ferreira valley to faja de Nogeira valley. There are lots of steps, so be prepared for these, but they make a better path. DON'T GO OFF the path, as the slopes are very gravelly and have lots of loose material, making it possible to slip towards the cliff tops, with serious drops, there are occasional injuries resulting from this.

If trying to get to Pico Ruivo, start early and arrange a return lift, as its a long way down to road, and probably too far to comfortably get across the ridge and back.

At the car park, there's a cafe and a exhibition centre describing the work on the storm petrel which nests on the cliffs. Originally the species was though to be extinct in 1969, then a few pairs were seen and now there are over 60 pairs.

The whole ridge was badly hit by a forest fire in 2010, and hence please be careful with your cigarette endings. 3 years later the vegetation is just beginning to rejuvenate.

Visited July 2013
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36 reviews from our community

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English first
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
84 attraction reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Amazing scenery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We were very fortunate with the weather - hardly any cloud. The scenery is amazing - almost too much to take in and I wish we were able to have had more time there.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A really good day trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I think that to get the most of this, you need to get an accurate weather forecast and cross your fingers, Our car trip was great on the way out, but a bit misty at times, The obvious advantage of this vista is the fact that there is a car park- great if you have kids, bad if you are a purist and feel you need to walk and work hard to deserve the view, and don't want that view spoilt by a visitor centre. Anway, we got clouded out, and only occasionally caught an occasional glimpse of the sun and that mountain hovering in the clouds view we wanted. On a better day I would have walked but time and children wait for no man.

Interesting visitor centre, which had a photo history of Madeira- I found this quite moving, representing the island over the past hundred years or so,

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Feels like you are on top of the world!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Can't recommend this place enough, I believe it is the third highest peak on Madeira and best of all it has a car park!! The drive up is fairly easy and apparently the best time to go is before ten or after five to avoid the cloud. We arrived just before ten and you are greeted by a bed of clouds and dramatic cliff faces and peaks with occasional glimpses through to Funchal (we were perhaps lucky with this). The only thing i would say is that you will find all the tour coaches arrive at this time too (11 coaches in our case) however they were all gone by half eleven and we had the place almost to ourselves. There is also a gift shop and cafe where we had a coffee looking out over the amazing views.

I would also love to do the hike to Pico Ruivo as it looked amazing, however the wind is amazingly strong up there and the terrain tough, so should only be attempted by those with some walking experience and with proper gear!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Trek form Pico Ariero to Pico Ruivo to Achada do Teixeira”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

A marvellous 11 km trek amongst the highest peaks of Madeira, with stunning views. The track is generally very well maintained and the potentially scary sections with sheer drops have the reassurance of steel wire handrails with steel supports - only one small section had a broken handrail, which by ‘sod’s law’ was adjacent to a sheer drop!

You should be quite fit and have very strong knees to attempt this trek, as there are lots of very steep descents via steps that are cut into the rock. My wife and I are both over 60 but we are considered very fit. We walk regularly, swim, do daily stretches, and do 3 x 1 hour resistance gym workouts per week that include energetic leg exercises such as squats, seated leg extensions, and prone leg curls. However, we both suffered knee stress when descending the very steep and very extensive steps. There are tunnels on the route and it is best to take your own ultra bright LED torch. Also, you should wear good hiking footwear.

We went on a guided trek with ‘Madeira Explorers’ and were collected from our hotel by a minibus, and after a small number of stops to pick up others we were driven to Pico Ariero and dropped off to begin the trek. A limited number of crude wooden walking staffs were available from our guide, so if you like good walking poles it is best to take your own. We then trekked to Pico Ruivo and ended at the car park for Achada do Teixeira, where we were picked up by the minibus and driven back to our hotels or other pickup points. Well most of the party were driven to their original pick up points but the party of four from our hotel were dumped the other side of a busy road that was adjacent to our hotel, as this was more convenient for the driver! I wouldn’t recommend ‘Madeira Explorers’ from our experience, as our Madeiran guide was rather surly and had no concept of customer care/service. It would have been a much better experience with a friendly and helpful guide, but you pay your money and ...

There is a way to enjoy the best scenery of this trek without knee stress that is also very convenient if you have a hire car. Simply drive northwards to Santana on the ER101 and turn off left onto the ER 218, which terminates at the car park for Achada do Teixeira. Park the car and walk towards Pico Ruivo along the well signposted track, enjoying the best scenery of the whole trek but without many steps. It is only a couple of km to Pico Ruivo, which at 1862m is the highest point and has spectacular views over the whole island.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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