Madeira: Western route - Scenic Route - Madeira

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Madeira: Western route

Scenic Route • Madeira
  • Coast of Ponta do Sol
    / Coast of Ponta do Sol
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Bridge of Ponta do Sol
    / Bridge of Ponta do Sol
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Ponta do Sol
    / Ponta do Sol
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Coast of Paúl do Mar
    / Coast of Paúl do Mar
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Santo Amaro church in Paúl do Mar
    / Santo Amaro church in Paúl do Mar
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Parking area near Ponta do Pargo
    / Parking area near Ponta do Pargo
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Viewpoint at Ponta do Pargo
    / Viewpoint at Ponta do Pargo
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo
    / Lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • West coast of Madeira
    / West coast of Madeira
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Views from Ponta do Pago
    / Views from Ponta do Pago
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Coast of Porto Moniz
    / Coast of Porto Moniz
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Lava pool in its natural state
    / Lava pool in its natural state
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Küstenstreifen von Porto Moniz
    / Küstenstreifen von Porto Moniz
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
  • Küstenblick von Porto Moniz
    / Küstenblick von Porto Moniz
    Photo: Christoph Steinweg, Outdooractive Editors
Map / Madeira: Western route
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Weather

This scenic route makes you explore the west of Madeira. You can find several viewpoints alongside the tour and get to know the famous lava pools and grottoes which date back to the times of volcanic activity.

112.1 km
7:30 h
9089 m
9089 m

The route starts off at Cabo Girão, Europe’s highest cliff, in the south of Madeira. Heading westwards on the coastal road we arrive at the sunny small town of Ponta do Sol, which will enchant you with its comfortable ambience. Another stopover is the quiet fishing village of Paúl do Mar which has a breathtaking and pristine scenery. Further nordwards we can stop for a quick hike at Ponta do Pargo, where there’s a lighthouse at the island’s westernmost point.

At the northwestern coast we can enjoy great views of the impressive lava pools from Pico do Facho near Porto Moniz. The pools are made out of volcanic lava and are accessible for visitors. This is where we can take a bath and enjoy the unique scenery. Further ahead, at the port city of São Vicente we get the chance to admire the Volcanism Center and the underground grottoes.

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: 2018-01-24

Experience
Landscape
Altitude
821 m
-3 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The connection between Paúl do Mar and Ponta do Pargo is especially steep and narrow, therefore there are  several blind curves on the route. The coastal street is pretty narrow as well. 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 (594 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
32.657364 N -17.004857 E
UTM
28S 311977 3615078

Destination

Cabo Girão (Quinta Grande)

Turn-by-turn directions

From the parking area at Cabo Girão (Quinta Grande) we head westwards on VR1 and turn left onto VE3 at the next big crossing after 5 miles. After further 3 miles we reach the small town of Ponta do Sol. We continue on VE3 (VR3) past Calheta and Jardim do Mar. About 12 miles further ahead we reach the small town of Paúl do Mar and continue in northwestern direction on ER223 for further 7,5 miles until Ponta do Pargo. This where we can stop for a quick hike to the most western point of Madeira, the lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo. We continue heading north on ER101 past the small town of Achadas da Cruz. After 14 miles we arrive at the northern coast and enter the small town of Porto Moniz, which is famous for its lava pools. We drive on in eastern direction for further 9 miles on the coastal road VE2 until we get to São Vicente. On its outskirts there is the Volcanism Center and the underground grottoes. Then we continue southwards on VE4 and turn left onto VR1 after 9 miles at the height of Ribeira Brava. This is how we get back to Cabo Girão, our starting point, after a total of 70 miles.

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

Similar tours nearby

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No current conditions found in the area.
Distance
112.1 km
Duration
7:30 h
Ascent
9089 m
Descent
9089 m
Round tour Nice views Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights

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Highest point
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Lowest point
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