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
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Top ways to experience Pico do Arieiro
See what travellers are saying
  • Bean-Buggles
    Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania422 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Views are beautiful but very touristy and crowded.
    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.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 April 2023
  • ubud138
    Munich, Germany87 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Top 1 view and top 1 hike of the island
    Beautiful sights on the mountain top as well as in the near area. the sun rising is beautiful and slightly crowded. the hike to pico Ruivo is strenuous (there are a several good blogs describing it), but absolutely worth it.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 May 2023
  • Katarzyna K
    Grantham, United Kingdom152 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 11 August 2023
  • Merrowmum
    Guildford, United Kingdom1,325 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
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 August 2023
  • Roam628835
    Sheffield, United Kingdom20 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 September 2023
  • Katey D
    Northamptonshire, United Kingdom24 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 September 2023
  • 381kt
    Madison, Wisconsin156 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 September 2023
  • Andy H
    Scarborough District, United Kingdom3 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 March 2024
  • Calin S
    Targu Mures, Romania175 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 March 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles6,835 reviews
Excellent
5,302
Very good
1,274
Average
205
Poor
25
Terrible
30

Ann C
Nashville, TN3,323 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
I am not sure how to rate because we could not hike very far due to the dangerous weather conditions at the top.

We checked the weather multiple ways/various websites and it seemed like it was going to be OK; however, it was raining hard, high wind and zero visibility was our reality. We waited 1.5hrs in the car to see if it would settle a little and it did not. We attempted it anyway and had to turn back because the wind was far too strong to hike safely. The conditions were dangerous.

Bathrooms do not open until after 9am.
Written 21 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.

Calin S
Targu Mures, Romania175 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
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.
Written 14 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.

Ada
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Amazing and a must place to go! Hiking trail is well maintained and felt safe. We did this hike 2x on a sunny very busy day and cloudy/rainy day too.
Written 12 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.

Andy H
Scarborough District, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
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)
Written 5 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.

_Pista_7
Budapest, Hungary35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
One must start the hiking trip to the Pico do Ruivo (back and forth). Recommended to visit the restaurant afterwards. Experiencing the sunrise is special, do not miss once you are here.
Written 28 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.

Anna Sagadin
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
It was a really beautiful hike, coming an hour before sunrise was enough time to find plenty of parking at Pico Aireiro. The PR1 hike itself was super fun and moderately challenging, I had a hurt foot and still managed to do it in good 3 hours one way with breaks. My boyfriend went back for the car while I moved onto Achada de Taxeria and it took him 50mins of running from Pico Ruivo to Pico Aireiro, and apparently he didn’t get tired still. He is in a good shape but I am in an okay shape (not too fit but often hiking). So you can really do it. We knew PR1 is closed but came there and everyone just skipped the rope closing it, nothing particularly dangerous on the hike, a few fences broken, but I guess they need to officially close it in case anyone gets hurt. As for the shoes I only wore nike air force 1s and had no issues.
Written 16 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.

Viktorija A
Vilnius, Lithuania21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We left the hotel at 6am & were there at 7am.
The closest parking that's just by the observatory and the start was already full.
We found some free spots in the middle of the hill, but having a manual and parking at such a steep mountain was a challenge and scary. Us and actually every second car started and started the car before we parked properly as there we many people and cars still were coming non-stop.
There are few other parkings but farther and down the hill. You need to walk to the peak
then.
Then we walked to the popular spot by the observatory to watch the sunset. The amount of people was crazy.
As we were at 7am firstly we watched the stars, sunrise at 8.30. The views were worth it!
Before the hike we wanted to make sure is it ok to leave the car were we left'cause the signs says "max 2 hours", many people left without hiking, but others left the cars too.
We found a local guide which assured us that if we parked the car properly - we shouldn't get a ticket and our car shouldn't be towed away. When we came back after ~5-6 hours we didn't get any fine, so guess it's ok to leave the car there, but it was misleading info nr.1
Another one was with the hiking route. We red before the hike that many levadas and hikes are closed due to landslide, when we started our hike from Pico do Arieiro (Areero) to Pico Ruivo, there was a sign that "The route is temporarily closed" and a stop tape which was torn apart. We heard from one guide that actually another route is closed.
There are 2 routes to Pico Ruivo: harder and easier one. Trully open one is the harder route, but the way to easier one we didn't find anyways. Also, when we reached the Pico Ruivo mountain where the route splits to the left (finish at the Pico Ruivo and to the right (Achada do Teixeira) there was a stop tape still blocking the way, which left all of the people confused and still everyone were lifting the tape and going through.
In general, I thought we were in a good shape and fit, but after this hike.. I barely made it. If you choose a hike just from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo or the easiest, but long route to Achada - it's difficult, but you can make it no doubt. Though, if your car is parked at the start and you need to go back -it's freaking hard. It's not recommended to hike if u have back, heart, knee problems and e.c. and there were kids, older people or even people carrying babies who were hiking, so it's not crazy hike. Yet, it requires a lot of energy, work with breathing. I made about 30-40 stops just to catch my breath, calm my heart rate and let through faster ones as you run into a lot a lot of people.
Despite, all that - the views are TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!! One moment you can see everything down the hill, another - you're literally walking in the clouds.
the tips:
1. wake up at ~4am and leave early.
2. take warm clothes'cause the weather is changing 24/7, the wind somewhere is freezing cold, but later you're sweating on a hot sun.
3. before going on a hike check a mountain's webcam.
4. take your hiking comfortable boots, sunscreen, food and a loot of water.
5. take as many pauses as you need. there's a lot of work with breathing and if you're already struggling just don't rush because the speed at this point won't help, just will make it worse.
6. better to drive with automatic car, not a manual one.
7. there are ~5 tunnels, few are totally dark, but the phone flashlight was enough.
8. be very careful, especially on a wet stairs made of stones, narrow trails, steep hills. we even came to one spot where the route was blocked with many huge volcanic rocks because of a landslide and the rope where you can hold onto was destroyed, so you have to lean onto the mountain’cause that route is only 1m wide…
Written 31 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.

381kt
Madison, WI156 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 19 September 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.

Katey D
Northamptonshire, UK24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 4 September 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.

Roam628835
Sheffield, UK20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 2 September 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,431
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

PICO DO ARIEIRO: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Pico do Arieiro

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Pico do Arieiro:



All things to do in Funchal
Day Trips in FunchalCasinos & Gambling in Funchal
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire