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“Trek Pico Ariero to Pico Ruivo to Achada do Teixeira”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Pico Ruivo

Pico Ruivo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Madeira's highest point at approximately 6,200 feet is a perfect destination for hiking and camping enthusiasts.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Trek Pico Ariero to Pico Ruivo to Achada do Teixeira”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2013

A marvellous 11 km trek amongst the highest peaks of Madeira, with stunning views. The track is generally very well maintained and the potentially scary sections with sheer drops have the reassurance of steel wire handrails with steel supports - only one small section had a broken handrail, which by ‘sod’s law’ was adjacent to a sheer drop!

You should be quite fit and have very strong knees to attempt this trek, as there are lots of very steep descents via steps that are cut into the rock. My wife and I are both over 60 but we are considered very fit. We walk regularly, swim, do daily stretches, and do 3 x 1 hour resistance gym workouts per week that include energetic leg exercises such as squats, seated leg extensions, and prone leg curls. However, we both suffered knee stress when descending the very steep and very extensive steps. There are tunnels on the route and it is best to take your own ultra bright LED torch. Also, you should wear good hiking footwear.

We went on a guided trek with ‘Madeira Explorers’ and were collected from our hotel by a minibus, and after a small number of stops to pick up others we were driven to Pico Ariero and dropped off to begin the trek. A limited number of crude wooden walking staffs were available from our guide, so if you like good walking poles it is best to take your own. We then trekked to Pico Ruivo and ended at the car park for Achada do Teixeira, where we were picked up by the minibus and driven back to our hotels or other pickup points. Well most of the party were driven to their original pick up points but the party of four from our hotel were dumped the other side of a busy road that was adjacent to our hotel, as this was more convenient for the driver! I wouldn’t recommend ‘Madeira Explorers’ from our experience, as our Madeiran guide was rather surly and had no concept of customer care/service. It would have been a much better experience with a friendly and helpful guide, but you pay your money and ...

There is a way to enjoy the best scenery of this trek without knee stress that is also very convenient if you have a hire car. Simply drive northwards to Santana on the ER101 and turn off left onto the ER 218, which terminates at the car park for Achada do Teixeira. Park the car and walk towards Pico Ruivo along the well signposted track, enjoying the best scenery of the whole trek but without many steps. It is only a couple of km to Pico Ruivo, which at 1862m is the highest point and has spectacular views over the whole island.

Visited June 2013
12 Thank Pete2345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What a view!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2013

The air was so fresh, view so beautiful and the atmosphere was great. Pico Ruivo day was the only day we rented a car, it was worth it, because otherwise we'd had to go buy bus from Funcal to Santana and then take a taxi from there. The drive from Santana up to the parking lot (Achada do Teixeira) on a way to Pico Ruivo would have cost at least 30e. Only thing that we were a bit sorry about was that having a car, we had to walk back the same path to the parking lot. The routes to leaving from Pico Ruivo to Pico Arieiro and Encumeada pass seemed very nice.

Visited May 2013
3 Thank TravellersS_H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
152 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Worth the effort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

We went to Madeira for some Levada walks but happened to take a book we bought in the mid 80's which recommended this walk, and it was well worth the effort. It's not a difficult walk, well marked and has a couple of route options on route. We started at Pico do Arieiro, where there is a cafe, souvenir shop and a small information centre. The views here were stunning before we even started the walk. There are various viewing points along the way but it is fairly easy walking with only one steep climb as you climb to the rest house just below Pico Ruivo, there are toilets here and it's ideal for a picnic. It took about 2 hours to get thereIt's about a 10 minute climb from the rest house to the summit of the highest peak. We were well above cloud level and the 360 degree panorama was amazing
From Poco Ruivo, you have options for a variety of routes, we opted for the route down to Achada do Teixeira which can then be extended down to Queimadas , where there is a great a Levada walk, or off to Santana, if you fancy a much longer walk. Well worth the effort

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Alfie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
268 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Pico Ruivo / wonderful views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2012 via mobile

We walked from Pico do Areeiro along the longer path which is about 7.5 km. The path is very well signposted and has handrails along all the difficult sections. Its a good 2.5 to 3 hours to reach Pico Ruivo, one of the highest peaks in Madeira. The views are stunning on top but also all along the route. For the way back we took the slightly shorter trail through a couple of tunnels. The track requires moderate skills and contains endless fairly steep up and downhill sections. We completed the entire trail in about 5 hours.

5 Thank SHBBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“An easy stroll to a fine viewpoint”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2009

The central mountain core of Madeira has several jagged ridges and pointed peaks, and although Pico Ruivo is the highest at 1862m, it is also a very easy mountain to climb. I have to admit to taking the easiest and shortest route due to time constraints, but there are several approach routes, the most dramatic being that from the car park at 1800m on Arieiro, whilst the most challenging is that from the top of the pass at Encumeada. The easy route begins with a drive from Santana to a car park at around 1500m at Terxeira. The nearby refreshment hut was closed in late October.
A good path leads westwards along an easy ridge which affords fine views towards the central ridge and down into heavily forested side valleys, though on the day that I did the walk I was above the clouds, so everything below was like a sea of cotton wool.
An undemanding and pleasant path leads in about 45 minutes to a mountain hut [drinks etc] known as Casa de Abrigo. At this point the route is joined by the more spectacular path from Arieiro, which follows an undulating, spiky ridge by means of either a narrow pathway protected by ropes, or a series of tunnels through the volcanic rock.
The steepest part of the climb is the final 20 minutes or so from the hut to the summit through an area of tree heathers. The summit itself has a spectacular view over much of the island, although it looks as though it has had a makeover by a team from a TV gardening programme, as the entire summit area is covered by timber decking.
Guidebooks to Madeira seem to be a little OTT regarding the dangers of mountain walking. Fair enough, but this is very easy compared to the average mountain in Scotland, with a paved path for 90% of the way and no technical difficulties. On a sunny day in late October a tee shirt, lightweight trousers and trainers were quite sufficient, but do take plenty of liquids and sun cream.

6 Thank YorkshireElgordo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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