Pico do Arieiro
Pico do Arieiro
4.5
About
At nearly 6,000 feet, Pico do Arieiro is Madeira’s third-highest peak and one of the best spots in town for sunrise views. It gets crowded in the morning—especially since it's also the trailhead for the famous Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo hiking route—so get there early to snag a good spot. On a clear day, you may even be able to see the neighboring island of Porto Santo that's 30 miles away. Tours typically start from Funchal and will bring you to Pico do Arieiro at sunrise to start the hike to Pico Ruivo. – Tripadvisor
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  • Katarzyna K
    Grantham, United Kingdom158 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning location above the clouds
    Easily accessible by car but parking could be difficult especially during the day. We firstly visited in the late afternoon and we were able to park closer to the submit (stay only for 1 h) and the cafe was already closed. Then, we came back to start the trail Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and could only park at the bottom car park. Amazing views from the top!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Merrowmum
    Guildford, United Kingdom1,328 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb - and accessible by road!
    We were brought here by our small group tour guide in the late afternoon, when it is less busy - this was much appreciated as then we could really enjoy the amazing scenery. There is a very short trail to the actual summit and you can walk as far as you want along the start of the hiking trail as well. Both really enhance your experience as the views and scenery then feel really close. Absolutely stunning scenery! There is a cafe, shop and paid for toilets - ironic as they are the first toilets I have paid for so far in Madeira and also by far the worst in terms of cleanliness!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 22, 2023
  • Roam628835
    Sheffield, United Kingdom17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing walk
    Amazing hike! We did the pico to pico hike. We got a van transfer to drop us at pico Arieiro and then hiked to pico Ruivo and continued onto Achada do Teixeira. We have relatively good fitness levels and this took us 4 hours including breaks and lunch. We originally debated walking back the same way to the start point but I’m so glad we didn’t as the heat and big climbs makes this walk moderate - difficult. I would definitely recommend to do this walk, even go earlier to see the sunrise. But definitely consider getting a van transfer back to your hotel at the other end as it’s quite tiring one way.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 2, 2023
  • Katey D
    Northamptonshire, United Kingdom44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning place, definitely worth the trip!
    We visited this morning, an early start leaving our hotel at 5:45am. We drove ourselves which was very intense to say the least but we managed to get a decent parking space when we arrived. The weather was a bit rainy, with lots of low cloud coming in but if you hang on for a short while the clouds quickly move on and you have the most breath taking views. As you can imagine there were lots of other people there but it never felt overcrowded. People quickly moved on once the sun had risen which meant more space to get to the viewing platform and take some amazing photos. My partner had the genius idea of making a flask of coffee to take with us and we bought some pastries to go with it which was a great call. It does get chilly up there so make sure you dress accordingly, we saw lots of cold people in shorts and sliders.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 4, 2023
  • 381kt
    Madison, Wisconsin193 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful yet very challenging
    This is a beautiful but hard hike. We did Pico to Pico and back. One way would have been enough but we didn’t have a ride back to start. We started at Arerio at 8:30 and got to Ruivo at 12. Then hiked back by 3ish. On way out we kept a steady pace. Had lunch at top. Took many many breaks on way back. Great views on way out. Clouds came in on way back. Wear layers!! Can get very hot.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 19, 2023
  • Andy H
    Scarborough District, United Kingdom8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sunset Above the Clouds!
    We drove right up to the observatory at the peak, it was really cloudy until we reached the car park & emerged above the clouds into sunshine! Fantastic views of peaks poking up through the clouds. We walked about 600m to the first viewpoint for photos & it didn't disappoint. Beautiful Decided to hang around for the sunset and we were blown away by the colours. You must do this trip! (Cloud level not guaranteed)
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 5, 2024
  • Calin S
    Targu Mures, Romania184 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Out of the Earth place
    Madeira is a special place on our planet. It is known for it's hiking. Pico do Arieiro is a beautiful start. Easy accessible with the car, has a webcam to monitor the weather conditions, so it's easy to do for everyone. I would recommend to at least walk a bit on the path towards Pico Ruivo, to get more close to nature.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 14, 2024
  • Tatjana S
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loveliest views!
    If you can, go without a guide. Our guide was rushing us everywhere- it was almost impossible to take pictures. Not the easiest hike in terms of endurance, but really safe, at least in dry conditions. Too many people though, and in narrow places movement stops.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 17, 2024
  • Sarah b
    Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom2,275 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quite a steep walk but worth it for the views
    We visited this place twice in one day. During the day it was very busy and parking for private cars wasn't allowed at the top so we had to park at the bottom and walk up so added steep walking. The views are great once you're up there though. A number of walks available. Nice gift shop where I bought a commemorative hoodie which I needed as it was quite cold up at the top! Make sure you've got good walking shoes or boots as the paths are uneven in places.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 26, 2024
  • Dr-on-hols
    Shrewsbury, United Kingdom11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pico to Pico hike - PR1
    Enjoyed the hike even if the views were a bit varied due to clouds and it was busy. We had a minibus pickup (Get your Guide) and collection either end. Driver permits 5 hours to finish. Took us 3.5 hours from Pico Arieiro via Pico Ruiva to Teixeira and I'm 60. Take gloves as lots of wire rails to pull yourself up and down the paths/ladders, 0.5 l water, 50c coins for wcs, raincoat, puffa jacket, walking boots (not sandals as slippy rocky pathy), sunhat. Sticks not needed. It was 2.5 hours between first and 2nd WC. Personally I think it's unsuitable for kids under tens. There were a few babies in carriers but the risk of head injuries if parents trip is high. Nice cafe at end with 8 euro spaghetti and cheesecake/beer.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 30, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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tangek
London, UK310 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We parked at the lower lot designated for hikers. The top lot is meant for brief visits under an hour. The walkway to the starting point is not well illustrated from the bottom, so you may end up walking on the road.

The visitor center at Pico do Arieiro has a clean toilet for 50 cents per person, and a cafe and souvenir shop. We stopped off before beginning the hike, and our plan was to do a round trip to Pico Ruivo and back. All in all, it took us about 7 hours, including a 45 min rest at the cafe/toilets near Pico Ruivo. We are 2 adults and a teenager. The path for this hike is clear and does not require advanced technical gear. However, the hike is strenuous, and other than one family with small children, everyone else we saw that day were teenagers or older.

The path has significant ascents and descents, some on stone stairs, and some on medal stairs close to ladders in steepness. Most of the path was on dirt or stones. Part of the hike is in the shade, but much of it is in the open sun so suncream is essential. The path traverses multiple tunnels, some of which are long enough that light cannot pass through, so a torch is necessary. One tunnel had a wet floor, so the light was particularly important to avoid stepping in deep puddles or slipping.

The cafe near Pico Ruivo is staffed by people who hike there each day, with no car access, so you need to carry your own rubbish away. You can buy drinks and small snacks, and they do accept credit cards. There was just one working toilet and quite a queue for it. There was also one sink with running water. People were refilling bottles, although not clear if it was meant to be drinking water. At one point, the tap ran dry, and needed 30 min to refill the cistern to begin pumping water again.

If you reach that cafe and consider turning around before the final climb to Pico Ruivo, do not turn around!! The view from Pico Ruivo is a 360-degree view of the mountains including Nun's Valley, and was the highlight of the day. Totally worth the extra effort to get there.

On the way out, we saw many people on the hike. On the way back, there were relatively few people. Many of them must have made arrangements to be picked up on the other side, so just walked one way.

We were exhausted the next day after this epic hike, but the views were well worth the effort. Bring a hat, suncream, a torch, snacks, and lots and lots of water.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kiki
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Friends
Most beautiful landscapes and views! I recommend looking at the online webcam before the departure from the hotel, if there is a fog you can barely see anything. If you plan this trip you need to go in the early morning, around 12h the fog comes up again. Safe path with wires, I suggest good and stable shoes
Written October 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo
Stockport, UK878 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
Super views. Great walk up from Funchal or Monte. We walked from Monte. The Walk up via the ice house is great. A bit like Snowdon when you reach the top if you have walked there. (You know what I mean if your a walker)Full of people who have walked a short distance from there transport.
The cafe serves good soup.
Toilets are dirty and charge you 50 cents .

We did another walk by getting a taxi to drop us off at Pico do Arieiro and walked to Pico Ruivo. This is the walk most people do. The views are great. This walk is worth doing but I wouldn’t do again due to the amount of people in big groups.

After Pico Areiro we took the encumaeda pass then took the fork off down to nuns valley. Great views looking back up at the mountains. This is a great walk if you are a walker. We then caught the bus back to Funchal on the road where the path comes out. This is a 5.5 hrs at a good pace with a couple of short stops.

Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maximilliano2
Denmark46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
It’s like being in many countries in one day. Start in a meditirrenean type city, go up to alpe type country and end on the top where you would not be surprised to meet Lucky Luke. It’s amazing.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David D
Devon, UK25,660 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
Thursday 24th June and we drove from Caniço to the interior of the Island to visit this amazing place. Our route took us along steep winding roads via Joao Frino, Poiso and finally here.

The flora and fauna along the roadside on the way was an experience in itself. There were a wide variety of all types colourful plants and blooms lining the roadside, beautiful.

On the way we did encounter large patches of low cloud, it resembled a rolling mist with poor visibility. At on stage we thought there is no point continuing with our journey.

Thankfully we persevered and were rewarded with the most incredible scenery when we arrived here as we were actually above the cloud.

Pico do Arieiro, is Madeira's third highest peak at 1,818 metres above sea level.

There are a number of hiking routes around here for seasoned walkers.

At the base of the steps, which go to the peak, there is a stone marker which informs visitors that at that point they are 1,810 metres above sea level. So need to climb the  steps to the concrete marker to reach the summit, standing on top of the marker is a popular photo opportunity.

Also located here is a radar installation, a large ball like structure, think it has Naval connections.

There is a cafe and a souvenir shop.

There are toilets here for which there is a charge of €0.50.

It is very popular here and parking can be a bit of a nightmare, so be prepared to park down the road a bit and walk up to the peak.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SHE2005
London, UK133 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
This was our 3rd visit over the past few years and we got lucky!!

Previously, we've been unable to see anything because of the cloud but on this occasion, we had a lovely clear day.

The views are jaw-dropping. I highly recommend visiting and, if you are unlucky with the weather, try again as it's definitely worth it.

There's a small cafe & toilets. You have to purchase something & then ask for the keys to the toilet. They were clean but sadly with no tap water or soap! In times of covid19, I was surprised about this.
Written August 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bean-Buggles
Plumsteadville, PA651 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
Our first hike on the mountain was at Pico Ruivo, which was magical. When we arrived a different day to Pico do Ariero, we were disappointed. Crazy busy with tour busses, bans, and 4x4’s, absolutely no parking for the huge number of cars in the two lots, so people park on the side of the very steep narrow road and block traffic. Not a safe set up at all. Luckily there are trails to take from various parking locations along the street. There are shops, rest rooms (need to pay if someone is there), a restaurant and a military area at the starting point for the hike. The hike was a stone trail and the views were gorgeous. Wear layers for weather. We had a bright sunny day and could see for miles. Since the trail was very crowded and we had done Pico Ruivo we did not do the peak to peak hike. This trail is not for those with a fear of heights as the trail goes along the top of very narrow and thin ridges with nothing but a wire guard next to you and a steep drop down on each side. There is no room to let hikers coming from the other direction pass. Would not take small children on this trail unless in a backpack.
Written April 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sourcola
78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Solo
I booked a morning transfer from Funchal (they’re called Pico Transfers) to hike up the Pico Ruivo summit. I was lucky that the area wasn’t crowded when we arrived, and managed to secure a got spot to catch a spectacular view of the sunrise. It was windy and very cold when we got there, so do dress appropriately for the weather. Totally worth the drive up!
Written December 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

connoj01
Hadleigh, UK26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
I've hiked all over the world, and this is truly magnificent and stunning. Above the clouds, walking along ridges (not for too long.. just breath through it! its worth it on the other side) I'm not great with heights, so there were times I had to push myself - only 3 / 4 times... but each time I was really glad I did. And also sometimes going back the other way wasn't as bad as the first time. Overall you'll feel so pleasure with yourself for pushing you self through, if you are a little nervous. I had a stick with me, more for the step down, rather than up - just to protect my knees because there is a lot of steps! At times it felt very LOTR! Great caves you have to go through en route. Fantastic experience. Stunning Views.
Written November 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kim M
London, UK157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
The view here at Pico Arieiro is worth the challenging walk from Pico Ruivo. There is a cafe that serves a few drinks and a facet that you can get fresh water from. The peak feels really safe and you get some amazing views.
Written November 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Pico do Arieiro - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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