This unforgettable walk connects the highest peaks of the island: Pico Ruivo & Pico Arieiro, it's a walk onto the roof of Madeira.
This walk is an ascent to the two highest peaks of the island. A comfortable cobbled path makes the ascent to Pico Ruivo almost into a stroll which takes less than an hour. The panoramic view at the top will leave you speechless. There isn’t a more exciting mountain walk on Madeira than the route between Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro. The mountain path was constructed 50 years ago and it links the three highest mountains of the island. There are some very exposed sections that are well protected but fitness is required for the very steep ascents.
The walk from Pico Ruivo to Pico Arieiro is nothing I have ever seen before, it was simply breathtaking. Depending on the weather and your personal fitness this is something you can't afford to miss.
In fine weather the walk from Achada do Teixeira onto Pico Ruivo is an easy walk. In winter the region is often cloudy and strong winds can start up too quickly. The walk onto Pico Arieiro from Pico Ruivo is a very demanding mountain walk: Strenuous. The tracks are sometimes cobbled and stepped, and sometimes stony. There are very exposed sections which are at most times well protected. Fitness is required for the steep ascents, and a head torch for tunnels. This walk can only be undertaken when the weather conditions are dry and stable. Having said that, it’s so worth it!
Packed Lunch is essential if you are walking the whole route (to Pico Arieiro), you won’t pass any restaurants or cafes on either routes until you have reached the endpoint at the summit of Pico Arieiro (there's a cafe here). Packed lunch is available at your accommodation in Santana (at a small additional cost). Make sure to order the packed lunch upon your arrival or at least the night before. Always make sure to carry plenty of water and to keep hydrated during your walk.
All normal walking equipment are required: walking shoes/boots, water and windproof jacket, plenty of water and snacks for during the day. Be careful when you are planning on taking your walking poles with you as the paths are narrow and there are steep ascents involved where it might be more useful to hold onto railing. It is required to take your headtorch with you today as you’ll pass through numerous tunnels on your way to Pico Arieiro.