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“Seems we were lucky.” 5 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.
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Seems we were lucky.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

We hadn't realised the pass was closed until just before we arrived.
We took 9 hours walking from Pico do Arieiro and back which included lunch and a number of stops to take pictures and catch our breath.
There is a 600m section were the ground is very loose with sand and scree. We took over an hour to traverse this section. June feels very unsteady over such terrain. I persuaded her to shuffle on her bottom on the way back. This shaved 20 minutes off the time. There are some serious ascents during this section too so the time taken wasn't all down to the nature of the ground.
We managed to do the entire walk in shorts and T-shirts. It was a very cloudy day but they were all beneath us.
I've ticked stairs/lift below as there are actually flights of stairs to climb some sections.
A very varied walk.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank Joe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dornoch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
236 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Walk reopened”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

The walk from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo re-opened on 10 April 2014 for the MIUT (Madeira Island Ultra Trail). We walked it on 19 April and in spite of cloud, wind and some rain it is still a dramatic hike. Don't forget your fleece, torch, waterproofs and long trousers. It was 5c when we started the walk.

There are rails for the dangerous sections and new ladders have been installed to a new section to replace the area affected by a rockfall - see photos.

Visited April 2014
3 Thank Mark_Dornoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

This is an absolute MUST do and see and experience when being on Madeira. We were planing on doing the trek from Pico Aeirio to Pico Ruivo but unfortunately it was still blocked due to a landslide ( should reopen Mid April). So we drove to the parking space at pico Ruivo instead and did the short hike to the peak which was SO rewarding the views were absolutely stunningly beautiful we were there mid morning which I think is the best time as the clouds do begin to move in aroung 11 already and block you the view. All in all if you are even remotely bound to like nature´s beauty there is no way of not loving this little piece of heaven on earth!

Visited March 2014
2 Thank Tanja H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torun, Poland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent view on the landscape and the seaside (during good weather)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

If you like trekking and hiking and plan to visit Madeira, the track through Pico Ruivo is a must. In guides such as '50 best walks on Madeira' it is commonly written that Pico Ruivo and Encumeada paths give the complete view on Madeira's mountains and I can confirm it.

But if the weather is bad, better pick another track. This is not because of safety - as I consider this track quite easy, fit person can do it even during moderate rain or fog (if you have proper clothes). It is because of views. During cloudy or rainy wweather, there will be almost nothing to see or to enjoy, except the fact of doing good outdoor physical exercise :)

Visited February 2014
2 Thank Zdzislav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Turenki, Finland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but notice opening times!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2013

We took the lazy route by driving to the parking lot and hiking the three kilometers to the top of Pico Ruivo. We're experienced hikers and we love nature, but we have never walked to a mountain before.

We visited Pico Ruivo in December 2013. In december the sun rose around 8 am and went down around 7 pm. We got to the parking lot by 8 am and saw the sun rise which looked amazing as the sun rose from the clounds!

Gladly we didn't aim for the peak at sunrise as the gates would have been closed! I can't speak portugal but as to my understanding the sign next to an open gate down the mountain which had the parking lot (not Pico ruivo) said the gate is opened at 7 am and closed at 7 pm. To my understanding most people need about an hour for the short hike, we took almost two as I have a tendency to take too many photographs along the way! Either way, should we have planned to get on top of Pico ruivo by 8 am for the sun rise (and walked the route in darkness) we would have been waiting at the gate below the mountain with the parking lot! From the gate there was still about a five to ten minute drive to the parking lot.

Furthermore, the two huts were closed in december. The first one was at parking lot and the next was below the Pico ruivo peak. The latter had some people in it, but I didn't really see any activity in there and it didn't look "inviting" (closed doors and windows, nothing on the yard). I think they had rented it for a group etc., so we just sat on the yard eating our own snacks and used the open toilet outside the main building.

The trail was easy to walk and it had no sudden drops etc. My girlfriend is affraid of heights but she enjoyed this. It has no steep cliffs on the path.

Especially for those who are not experienced hikers, make sure to reserve some time, water and snacks or food. Walking in high altitude differs from the ground level and it suprised me a bit. Take a bag to bring your litter away with you.

Check the weather forecast before taking the hike, if it's cold prepare with plenty of clothes. It was +5 °c (41 °f) when we walked and I forgot to take a hat, but I had a hoodie. Oh my poor ears! And I'm from a cold country! It's not just the temperature, it's the wind that makes it even colder. There was ice on the road in the last turn when we drove to the parking lot. And in the trail there were ice on spots where there had been a small water puddle. So the shadowy places obviously had minus degrees. The beginning of the short parking lot to pico ruivo trail is mostly in shadow during morning (meaning that it's cold) and the second half is mostly in sun (meaning that it's hot).

If you're coming from Funchal it might be a fun idea to take the express route via the high way to the mountain and go back the older more curvy road. It has nice views and it drives through some old forests and a nature park, but it takes a bit longer.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank mikaelbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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