Valley of the Nuns
Valley of the Nuns
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksGeologic Formations
About
The "Nuns Valley" is a small village situated in the crater of an extinct volcano, which has kept its 16th-century Santa Clara Convent where the nuns used to hide from pirates who were attacking Funchal.
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  • Nataliano
    Plymouth, United Kingdom225 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing day out for the family
    Visited with our six and just three year old. We got the 81 bus from outside the Savoy which was an experience in itself think huge chasms either side, cliffs, spectacular scenery and your barrelling up on the bus. You have two choices: stop at Eiro do Serrado and walk down or continue to Curral das Freiras and walk up. We opted to walk down as it was roasting and dragging the smallest up seemed like way too much effort - for us this was the best choice. You need decent trainers. I did it in converse but one of our little ones wore crocs and it was very slippy in places. It’s safe enough with small children if you keep an eye on them and it’s shaded in many parts - it was roasting that day as well. Took about an hour and a half to walk down into the town and it was lovely. Saw a few people going up but no small children. You’ll need enough water to get down but you don’t need any special gear I was in a skirt and top and whilst there were serious hikers this trail is doable without special equipment
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 August 2023
  • lizwade28
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful views, mildly challenging walk down
    We parked at Eira do Serrado and, after taking a few photos from the viewpoints, we set off down the cobbled path to Curral das freiras. We had good walking boots and walking poles and we were glad of them. There were people who managed in trainers and even sandals but it would be lethal when wet and the path has washed away in places leaving the rock which can be uneven and the path is steep! Admittedly our knees are not what they once were. We had contemplated walking back up but, although we did see some people doing it, it would have been very strenuous. So, we were glad when we arrived to see that the one bus that returns to Eira do Serrado at 13.40 would be available. Otherwise there are (expensive) taxis. Opposite the bus stop with the timetable is a cafe under new ownership and the owner was extremely helpful in explaining the buses. After checking out the centre of the village, we returned to this cafe for a very enjoyable drink and sandwich and a view of the valley where we could see the bus heading our way. A good day out!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 September 2023
  • Nelson
    Southport, United Kingdom84 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular Scenery at Nuns Valley
    Don’t miss the chance to visit the Valley of the Nuns. We took the 81 bus from the bus station in Funchal up to Eira do Serrado. It cost €3.35 per person (the same on the way down). The bus journey was an experience in its self. The roads are very narrow with step drops on one side. Having safely reached the top after a journey of approximately 45 mins, we had a coffee before we started the walk down to the village below. You do need at the very least a good pair of trainers and preferably walking boots. The path is well maintained but is very steep in parts. It took us about 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the bottom. From there we walked up the hill and had lunch at the first restaurant, which we would highly recommend. The bus stop to catch the bus back to Funchal, is directly across the road. You can actually see it coming up the hill from the restaurant in time to cross the road.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 September 2023
  • Life2Travel
    Charlotte, North Carolina1,624 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyable walk with views
    This was a stop on our private tour. The approaching road had lots of twists and turns and we were happy not to be navigating it ourselves. From the parking lot, it was a 15 minute walk up some gradual stairs to reach the view point, with lovely views of the village, valley and flowers along the way. This would not be for anyone with mobility issues or a wheelchair. There is a cafe and some tourist shops near the parking lot which was more crowded than the walkway to the viewpoint.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 September 2023
  • Raul V
    35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST when visiting Madeira
    Excellent place to visit in Madeira! It’s amazing, both from upstairs but also from the village! We were lucky enough to catch the sun set over the valley and the clouds were gathering over the village. It’s a MUST when visiting Madeira
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 October 2023
  • Ruth W
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning views, steep footpath from Eira do Serrado
    Took the no 81 bus from Funchal, journey about 45 minutes to the viewpoint at Eira do Serrada, stunning views to the villages below. At the view point is a walkway up to the top of the mountain to look at the valley below. There is a hotel, cafe and shop at this point, 1 euro to use the toilets if you haven’t used the cafe. We walked down into Curral das Frairas (Valley of the Nuns) via the steep mountainside path. Wear walking boots or good trainers, the path is mainly cobbled but could be quite slippery if wet, there are sheer drops at many parts of the path so I wouldn’t recommend it for young children. Fantastic views, took about 1.5 hours to descend walking at a slowish pace. Lovely friendly reasonably priced cafe about 5 minutes walk from the bottom of the trail, turn right at the main road and it’s the first cafe on the left opposite the number 81 bus stop, it’s called Naibers.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 January 2024
  • Veronica
    36 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good workout, great views
    Great views. Took bus 81 from Teleférico-Término in Funchal and got of at Eira do Serrado. A short walk up the mountain gives a stunning view over Curral das Freiras with great photo opportunities. After we walked all the way down to the valley, an immensely steep walk that really takes its toll on the knees. If you feel at all in the need to use the bathroom I highly suggest that you do so at the café at the top before your decent as there is absolutely nowhere to get off the trail on the way down. Once down I recommend a stop at Naibers restaurant which is conveniently placed right next to a busstop for the 81 bus. The friendliest proprietors you can imagine and you can enjoy your meal on the rooftop terrace.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 February 2024
  • langstroth2
    Fleet, United Kingdom63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A good afternoon hike (down or up)
    A pleasant hike down from the view point to the village. I’d strongly recommend decent foot ware as it is a constant down hill on rock and gravel path. Amazing views. When you reach the road at the bottom, walk into the village. At the roundabout there’s a cafe with amazing views over the valley for a well earned drink, and the 81 bus stop is right outside to take you back to the top - not all the 81 buses go via the top lookout starting point. Ask the driver, they speak english.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 April 2024
  • Richard H
    Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe340 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mountainous tour
    I guess many people visit as part of a tour (whether private or with a company) that includes the views from the top. The town itself is not a 'must see' venue but it is good to go down there to look up at the mountains and view points around. The nun's house is interesting even if there is not a huge lot to see. Likewise, I enjoyed a look into the ornate church, all of which gave point to the visit. But the spectacular part of the tour is generally to look down into the valley from above. Like so many places in Madeira, it is spectacular. There is a walk down from the main view point to the village. I didn't have the chance to do it so I cannot comment on it but I imagine it is fun if you are fit and enjoy walking. The organised tours take a half day over the trip including stopping at a Funchal viewpoint. Under your own steam a half day would also be plenty, I guess.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 May 2024
  • Louise
    Bexley, United Kingdom517 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning views!
    Wow - what a stunning place! The views are breath taking. Not much else there apart from a few restaurants but definitely worth going just for the view. We caught the local bus, no 81, from the stop near the cable car in Funchal & it was only a few Euros - just make sure you check the times of the buses going back as it's a long walk back to Funchal! The scenery along the way is fantastic.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 15 May 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,230 reviews
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736
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368
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98
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Louise
Bexley, UK517 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Wow - what a stunning place! The views are breath taking. Not much else there apart from a few restaurants but definitely worth going just for the view. We caught the local bus, no 81, from the stop near the cable car in Funchal & it was only a few Euros - just make sure you check the times of the buses going back as it's a long walk back to Funchal! The scenery along the way is fantastic.
Written 15 May 2024
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.

Richard H
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe340 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
I guess many people visit as part of a tour (whether private or with a company) that includes the views from the top. The town itself is not a 'must see' venue but it is good to go down there to look up at the mountains and view points around. The nun's house is interesting even if there is not a huge lot to see. Likewise, I enjoyed a look into the ornate church, all of which gave point to the visit. But the spectacular part of the tour is generally to look down into the valley from above. Like so many places in Madeira, it is spectacular. There is a walk down from the main view point to the village. I didn't have the chance to do it so I cannot comment on it but I imagine it is fun if you are fit and enjoy walking.

The organised tours take a half day over the trip including stopping at a Funchal viewpoint. Under your own steam a half day would also be plenty, I guess.
Written 3 May 2024
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.

langstroth2
Fleet, UK63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
A pleasant hike down from the view point to the village. I’d strongly recommend decent foot ware as it is a constant down hill on rock and gravel path. Amazing views. When you reach the road at the bottom, walk into the village. At the roundabout there’s a cafe with amazing views over the valley for a well earned drink, and the 81 bus stop is right outside to take you back to the top - not all the 81 buses go via the top lookout starting point. Ask the driver, they speak english.
Written 16 April 2024
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.

Ashbocking
Ipswich, UK67 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
A well organised and informative tour - half a day was just the right length - stunning views from both the top of the valley and the bottom.
Written 18 March 2024
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.

Lozza105
Burnley, UK164 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We hired a car and was told this was a lovely place to visit. To be honest we were very disappointed we did t even know we had arrived at the place. There’s a shop one cafe and a house supposedly where the nun was. The views and build up were disappointing
Written 7 March 2024
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.

Peter L
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Spectacular views in and out of the clouds with majestic mountain ranges all around the viewpoint.
Down in the valley is just as nice with peaks all around and nice places for coffee and to relax
Written 24 February 2024
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.

Veronica
36 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Great views. Took bus 81 from Teleférico-Término in Funchal and got of at Eira do Serrado. A short walk up the mountain gives a stunning view over Curral das Freiras with great photo opportunities. After we walked all the way down to the valley, an immensely steep walk that really takes its toll on the knees. If you feel at all in the need to use the bathroom I highly suggest that you do so at the café at the top before your decent as there is absolutely nowhere to get off the trail on the way down.
Once down I recommend a stop at Naibers restaurant which is conveniently placed right next to a busstop for the 81 bus. The friendliest proprietors you can imagine and you can enjoy your meal on the rooftop terrace.
Written 11 February 2024
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.

Ruth W
20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Took the no 81 bus from Funchal, journey about 45 minutes to the viewpoint at Eira do Serrada, stunning views to the villages below. At the view point is a walkway up to the top of the mountain to look at the valley below. There is a hotel, cafe and shop at this point, 1 euro to use the toilets if you haven’t used the cafe. We walked down into Curral das Frairas (Valley of the Nuns) via the steep mountainside path. Wear walking boots or good trainers, the path is mainly cobbled but could be quite slippery if wet, there are sheer drops at many parts of the path so I wouldn’t recommend it for young children. Fantastic views, took about 1.5 hours to descend walking at a slowish pace. Lovely friendly reasonably priced cafe about 5 minutes walk from the bottom of the trail, turn right at the main road and it’s the first cafe on the left opposite the number 81 bus stop, it’s called Naibers.
Written 26 January 2024
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.

JTM1511
Edinburgh, UK87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
We booked a tour through Booking.com to go on a tour arranged by Maderia Tours. Be careful if you book this as Maderia Tours cancelled the tour without contacting us. I tried calling them numerous times but their phone is always engaged. We ended up taking a taxi there which was the same price as the tour. The taxi driver took us to a couple of viewing points before dropping us off in the village. The views are spectacular and the little church is beautiful. We took the bus back to Funchal. How they manage to drive a large bus round those mountains is a feat it itself. Worth the trip. But think twice about using Maderia Tours!
Written 15 December 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.

Carrie W
West Boylston, MA144 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We had a very nice day. We took bus 81 from Funchal to the top of the trail (Eira do Serrado) and walked down- and took the bus home. Beautiful views. In the town we had lunch and tried roasted chestnuts for the first time. Not much to see or do in the town but very relaxing. In hindsight we would have done a levada hike (it was our last day).

Check the bus schedule and stops carefully. We missed the 9 a.m. bus that stops at the top of the trail (Eira do Serrano) We got dropped off in the town (end of trail) and took a taxi to the top to walk down. Some people walked up the trail (very steep).
Written 18 October 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.

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VALLEY OF THE NUNS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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