From Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and back.
Starting Point, Pico do Arieiro
Poço da Neve
Like many islands around the world a radar has been built in the highest point of it.
Thanks to that installation, it is possible and easy to drive all the way up to Pico Arieiro (the journey takes about 40 minutes from Funchal). You will also find there, a gift shop, a snack bar and a Petrel (Europe’s most endangered seabird) conservation museum – there is only 80 breeding pairs left of this endemic species on the Island.
Go to the left side of the radar to find the “Pico Ruivo 5.6 km” sign. Go down a slope and follow the ridge after reaching Miradouro do Ninho da Manta.
The first tunnel awaits you. You will go through five of them in total, each way. A flashlight is a plus, but a cell phone flashlight will do. It is crazy to imagine the construction of the tunnels and to see all pickaxes marks on the wall. On the way you might run into some Red-legged partridge like we did. They are not frightened at all, and might like to stand around the trail to eat crumbs.