Above the clouds
The Pico do Arieiro walk is a Hike on rugged terrain along part of the central mountain chain that runs across the island. The views are truly spectacular. There are crowds at the top of Pico Arieiro, by the busload. And it's easy to see why, the access is easy by car or by coach tour and the scenery is stunning. The rugged rocks look like from another world but the sea is also visible on a clear day. This trail is unique in that it links the two highest peaks of Madeira Island, Pico Ruivo (1861 m) and Pico do Arieiro (1817 m), traversing part of the Central Mountain Massif. Besides the fact that you just don’t stop seeing some of natures most spectacular scenery like the oldest heather forest in existence, you also get a chance to see some endemic birds to the island and also the most endangered seabird of Europe.
These ancient trees that are found just before you get to Pico Ruivo, are many hundreds of years old and were already there when Zarco discovered and landed on the island for the first time. The view is most awesome from Pico Ruivo, where on a clear day, you can see forever! Although the path is well used, Pico do Arieiro walk is not for vertigo sufferers. Suitable robust footwear and clothing are essential no matter what time of the year you are doing this Madeira walk.
Around Pico do Arieiro
On the way to Pico do Arieiro one can admire a unique stone-built pit (looks like a huge igloo) known as “Poço da Neve” built by an English family who once used to store ice, snow and hail from the mountains. An Air Defence Radar Station was built at the top of the peak in 2011. Pico do Arieiro is one of the most visited places on the island, due to its easy access, extraordinary views and well known nature paths to Pico das Torres and Pico Ruivo.