The hiking trail between Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro

Our map of hiking trails


The most important information at a glance

The hiking trail between Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro is one of them The most beautiful trips in Madeira. You don’t have to be a hiking expert to hike it. Being able to walk well and being highly motivated is enough. It is best not to have a strong fear of heights.

Pico Ruivo is Its height is 1,862 metres And the Pico Ariero 1.818 metres. The two peaks are located in the center of Madeira. From Funchal you can get to the start of the trip in just over 30 minutes by car.

Is the Pico Ruivo hike worth it?

Yes! Certainly for the opinions. But since the trail is so crowded, the hiking experience itself is not great.

Hiking Routes in Pico Ruivo

You have these three routes to choose from to hike Pico Ruivo:

  • From Pico Ariero to Pico Ruivo and back again (10.6 km)
  • From Chada de Teixeira to Pico Ruivo and Pico Ariero (8.1 km)
  • Von Achado do Teixeira near Pico Ruivo and wieder zurück (5.6 km)

notice: None of the hiking trails are loop hikes.

Pico Ruivo hiking trails on map

Our map of hiking trails
Our map of hiking trails

Option 1: Pico Ariero – Pico Ruivo – Pico Ariero

  • long: 10.6 km (round trip)
  • Height meters: About 1,000
  • difficulty: intermediary
  • all the time: 5-8 hours

This route is the perfect choice if you are traveling with a rental car and want to do a lot of hiking. We decided to do this.

NB: Unfortunately the hiking trail is very crowded. So, most of the time, you are running behind other hikers, and sometimes you have to wait at the stairs on the way.

Option 2: Achada do Teixeira – Pico Ruivo – Pico Arieiro

  • long: 8.1 km
  • Height meters: about 750
  • difficulty: intermediary
  • all the time: 4-7 hours

This way is The most versatileBecause you don’t walk the same way back and forth. The only drawback here is that you cannot travel with a rental car because the start and end points are different.

It is best to reserve one transformation From Funchal or one A tour guide.

Transfer to Pico Arieiro (return from Achada do Teixeira)

Extratype: You can also drive to Achado do Teixeira and book a transfer from Pico do Arieiro to there: Zum transfer from Pico Arieiro to Achado to Teixeira

Option 3: Achada do Teixeira – Pico Ruivo – Achada do Teixeira

  • long: 5.6 km (round trip)
  • Height meters:about 500
  • difficulty: Simply
  • all the time: 3-5 hours

We only recommend this option if you are not good at walking. It’s the easiest hike. However, with Pico Arieiro, you are missing a real edge.

Directions to rise

You have several options to get there:

  • Car rental (our advice)
  • A tour guide
  • Mass transportation from Funchal
  • Taxi
  • Bus + hiking/walking

Arrive by rented car

Most people will probably travel by car. There is one at the top of Pico Arieiro and in Achada do Teixeira Parking place.

If the parking spaces are full, simply park on the side of the road behind other cars. The earlier you arrive, the better!

notice: From the large car park at Pico do Arieiro, you have to walk about 600 meters uphill to the start of the trek. If you park your car at the end of the street, even more so.

Book a rental car for Madeira

Book a guided tour

If you book a guided tour, you will have transportation included. Tours usually start in Funchal. Most guided tours start in Pico do Arieiro and end in Achada do Teixeira – or vice versa.

To a guided hiking tour from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo
For a guided sunrise tour from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Mass transportation from Funchal

If you want to hike alone but don’t want to travel with a rental car, it’s best to book a shuttle to Pico Arieiro and back.

Transfer to Pico Arieiro (return from Achada do Teixeira)


Taking a taxi gives you the most flexibility, but is also the most expensive option. This option is great if you spontaneously decide to go for a walk. You can order a taxi from your hotel or from a travel agency in Funchal.

Bus + hiking/walking

It also declines bus (No. 56) from Funchal to Toxins. Bus connection is shown on Google Maps.

attention: The bus runs only very rarely.

From Poiso it is approximately 7 kilometers to Pico do Arieiro.

From there you can go to Pico do Arieiro free delivery or to foot He goes. We tried to navigate ourselves and didn’t have to wait five minutes before being picked up.

On the The way back Do the same thing as on the way there. You can also move from Achada do Teixeira to Santana and from there back to Funchal.

All tips about weather and clothing

Sunshine Pico Ariero
When the sun is shining, the views at the height of Pico Ruivo are at their most beautiful

Make sure you do the Pico Ruivo trek in one go A clear and sunny day.

Otherwise both vertices would probably be from fog Envelope and you have nothing of the view. Hiking is not fun and it can be too Regine Be really serious.

Also pay attention to Wind conditionsBecause the height is also dangerous in strong winds.

Since the weather in Madeira is very changeable, we advise you to do so To decide spontaneouslyWhen you do this rise. Then you can spend the day With the best weather He chooses.

The only drawback is that guided tours and transportation are often fully booked.

As for clothes, it is better to have everything with you. It’s usually good on the tops Cold and windy. When the sun rises and rises, you really get into it He sweats.

Walking shoes Or shoes with good tread are also important.

Our experience report on the Pico Ruivo trek

We made the trip from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and back again. against 9 am We started at the top of Pico Ariero – on one peak Sunny day I April.

There was already a lot going on at this time, but it was relatively easy to get a high spot Parking place To exist.

The first part of the trip is mainly about walking Stein And Stairs down. The view is amazing from the first step and we were able to see the north and south coasts of Madeira Island.

Steinstofen am Pico Ariero
The first part goes down

After that it goes a long way level Continue along the slope. In this section, you can walk through several tunnel. This part is the easiest because you barely have to cover any miles here.

notice: In tunnels you need a flashlight or cell phone flashlight.

Hiking on the slope
We always walk along the slope on a duck walk

After the tunnel section it gets really exhausting. From here on out, it’s mostly uphill. In this section you can also run several Steep stairs Hush.

Then I kind of came to passes From it you can look down both sides of the cliff – a perfect place for a break!

Stairs on a hiking trail
This is what the stairs on a hiking trail look like

From the trail, you first have to walk a little to the other side of the slope and then move forward Uphill all the time. This was the most strenuous part of the trip for us.

Shortly before the summit I came to one Mountain hut more. There you can go to the toilet and fill your water bottle.

Blake on Pico Ruivo
At the bottom right you can see the mountain hut – photographed from Pico Ruivo

From the mountain hut you can walk only 500 meters and about 100 meters uphill to Pico Ruivo. The view from here is amazing. It took us about 2.5 hours to get there.

Pico Ruivo
There was actually something going on at the summit when we were there

Because there’s so much up there windy It was great Many people When we were there, we only stayed at the top for a short time and then descended again. At around 12 noon, we returned to the mountain hut and took a short break there.

the The way back All in all, it took about the same length of way there. The last part was really uphill because then it went uphill again.

At the same time it is Blake Finally, it gets completely crazy again when you walk up the stairs to Pico Arieiro.

Pico Ariero of the hiking trail
The final stretch goes back to Pico Ariero

Frequently asked questions about the Pico Arieiro trek

What do you need to pack for a picnic?

This is what you should have in your backpack:

  • Sufficient amount of water
  • Snacks
  • Sun cream
  • If necessary, hiking sticks
  • Rain mosquitoes

How difficult is the hike to Pico Ruivo?

We find the height Fairly difficult. The path is Confident And well developed. There are rope handrails almost everywhere you can hold on to. In addition, it is almost impossible to get lost.

The hike is possible for any reasonably fit person. We really saw people of all ages hiking up the mountain.

However, there is a lot going on Steep ups and downs. So the ride is uphill and involves your knees. But the stunning view is definitely worth it.

Can I go hiking if I’m afraid of heights?

when you Slight fear of heights Or simply respect heights, And.

I’m not completely free of dizziness myself. But since I was able to hold on to my hand the whole time, it was perfectly fine.

However, you are running along steep slopes. when you Extreme fear of heights hurry, You are leaving Height is better He is.

When will the Pico Ruivo hike close?

The height of Pico Ruivo is In fact always open. However, it may happen that it has to be closed due to falling stones etc.

If there are strong winds and rain, you shouldn’t do the hiking anyway because it will be dangerous.

These were our tips and experiences on our Pico Ruivo trip

Did you also walk from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo on your Madeira holiday? Or do you have more questions? Feel free to write to us in the comments.

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