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A Trip to Madeira - Pico Ruivo

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Some articles ago, on this series about Madeira, I wrote about my wonderful trip above the clouds to Pico do Areeiro, and in that article I teased that I would elaborate more on another, neighboring mountain, Pico Ruivo. Well, the wait is over! In this article were going to go above the clouds again and see the magnificent view from Madeira’s tallest mountain.

Pico Ruivo

In my article on Pico do Areeiro, I said that both this two peaks and a third one, called Pico das Torres, constitute the highest mountain range in all of the island, and Pico Ruivo is the highest of them all! But, and this is what I alluded to in the other article, to get to the peak, you’ll be faced with a very long trail, so you better be in the mood for some hiking!

Pico Ruivo
Pico Ruivo

I divide this trail in two parts, from the parking area where it starts to the shelter house near the top, and from the shelter house to the actual peak. The first part is much longer, but you will be greeted with small rock cabins along the way where you can rest for a bit, because it is a mostly uphill battle! But when you get to the Pico Ruivo shelter house, this is where the real test begins, has the way from the house to the peak is very steep, steeper than the rest of the previous and arduous trail, but the view is really something to awe at. You have the most privileged view of Madeira, seeing the white sea of clouds, the other mountains and the crater below, the very center of Madeira!

Pico Ruivo Shelter House
Pico Ruivo Shelter House

Pico do Areeiro

Pico das Torres

Some people even journey to this peak at night to see the sunrise, which I’ve heard is absolutely beautiful. Another thing I referenced in the other article was the fact that there are trails that connect both Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro, as well as other trails to different destinations, just be sure to pack flashlights for the tunnels!


I’ll repeat what I’ve said on Pico do Areeiro and the Levadas: Be careful! The rocky terrain can be unstable at some parts and can crumble if you’re not careful. Unlike the levadas though I advise caution with the wind and the sun, since you’re in high altitudes the wind can be strong and due to the fact that the peak rises above the clouds, the sun rays will hit you directly, so bring water and sunscreen!

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The author

André Jesus

André Jesus

I am André, from Portugal. I grew up in the south, but I live in Lisbon. Whenever I can, I go out and experience whatever Portugal has to offer. And I'm here to share those experiences!

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