Madeira Island is a hidden gem unlike other islands off the coast of Portugal. There’s the gently sloping, hilly Azores, and then there’s Madeira Island only 1.5 hours away by plane, which is made of volcanic rock formations rising from the ground level elevation in a steep incline.
Departing from Funchal, the bustling heart of Madeira Island, a one-hour drive will take you to Pico do Arieiro, where we began our climb from peak to peak, venturing through dark tunnels through the mountains to Pico do Ruivo. The entire peak to peak walk takes roughly 4 hours with short breaks in between. The hike is challenging with a steep ascending climb that lasts for about 10 minutes. Heat also plays an important factor, as there is no shade to rest under the entire way, so you are exposed to the elements. We recommend a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, plenty of water and sunscreen!