Madeira: Eastern route - Scenic Route - Madeira

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Madeira: Eastern route

Scenic Route • Madeira
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  • Interaktives 3D Erlebnis: Madeira Ostrundfahrt
    / Interaktives 3D Erlebnis: Madeira Ostrundfahrt
    Video: Outdooractive
  • Coastline of Funchal
    / Coastline of Funchal
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Ponta Delgada
    / Ponta Delgada
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Christ the King statue of Madeira
    / Christ the King statue of Madeira
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Promenade of São Vicente
    / Promenade of São Vicente
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Road towards Ponta Delgada
    / Road towards Ponta Delgada
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Road towards Boaventura
    / Road towards Boaventura
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Pico Ruivo from afar
    / Pico Ruivo from afar
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Viewpoint at Ponta de São Lourenço
    / Viewpoint at Ponta de São Lourenço
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Coast of Ponta de São Lourenço
    / Coast of Ponta de São Lourenço
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Cliffs of Ponta de São Lourenço
    / Cliffs of Ponta de São Lourenço
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Panoramic views from Pico Ruivo
    / Panoramic views from Pico Ruivo
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
Map / Madeira: Eastern route
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Weather

This charming scenic route in the east of the Atlantic island Madeira takes you to breathtaking volcanic landscapes, delightful coastal towns and even to the island’s highest peak. At the end of the tour, Madeira’s exotic capital Funchal offers you an insight into its exciting city life.

163.7 km
7:30 h
10509 m
10505 m

The route starts off at the charming viewpoint Cabo Girão, one of Europe’s highest peaks. From there you can enjoy great views of the beautiful and pristine coastline. Getting further inland, we get to see the small town of Quinta Grande and the stunning São Vicente with its underground grottoes. Among the route’s gems are also the port town of Ponta Delgada and the town of Santana, famous for its thatched houses. From there you can already see Pico Ruivo, Madeira’s highest peak. At a height of 1862 meters, it offers breathtaking views of the island’s hinterland. Last but not least, the route also includes Madeira’s capital, Funchal, which gives an unique insight in the island’s culture and lifestyle.

Author’s recommendation

You should start the tour in the early morning in order to enjoy the views from Madeira’s picturesque coast undisturbed.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Christoph Steinweg 
Updated: 2018-06-26

Experience
Landscape
Altitude
1880 m
-2 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The coastal street is narrow and therefore has several blind curves. That’s why you should mind the speed limits and drive carefully.

Equipment

Sturdy shoes, rainwear and provisions

Start

Cabo Girão (Quinta Grande), parking area (597 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
32.657342 N -17.004931 E
UTM
28S 311970 3615076

Destination

Cabo Girão (Quinta Grande)

Turn-by-turn directions

From the parking area at Cabo Girão (Quinta Grande) we head westwards on VR1 and VE4 for 16 miles until we reach the small town of Sao Vicente. South of the town there are the Volcanism Center and the famous grottoes of São Vicente. We continue in northern direction until the northern coast, then we continue eastwards on ER211, driving along the coastline until Ponta Delgada. On VE1 we get past São Jorge (8 miles) to Santana, then we leave ER211 in direction of Santana. After further 8 miles we get to Pico Ruivo. After going for a hike, we continue the route by returning to the last crossing where we turn right. After about 4 miles we change onto ER110 heading for Porto da Cruz. There we can visit the the deposits of previous eruptions of the volcano (geologic structures). One mile further ahead we change onto VE1 and follow the course of the road southwards for approximately 17 miles. Before reaching the town of Machico we turn eastwords onto ER214 heading for Caniçal. 

We continue until the coast and take a break at a parking lot on the peninsula of Ponta de São Lourenço, near the viewpoint Miradouro Ponta de Sao Vincente. We return to the last crossing and continue our trip on the coastal street. Past the small towns of Gaula and Caniço we approach the city of Funchal. After 9 miles we pass by the statue of Christo Rei and continue on VR1 in western direction for further 4 miles until we reach Funchal. From there we are just about 8 miles from Cabo Girão, the tour’s starting point.

Public transport

There’s no connection for public transport between Ponta do Sol and airport Cristiano Ronaldo (FNC), so you should hire a car.

Getting there

From Madeira Airport – Cristiano Ronaldo (FNC) near Santa Cruz to Ponta do Sol by VR1 and VE3 (total distance: about 25 miles; total length: approx. 40 minutes).

Parking

Please look out for signposted parking areas alongside the route.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Distance
163.7 km
Duration
7:30 h
Ascent
10509 m
Descent
10505 m
Round tour Nice views Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights

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Highest point
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