Are you ready for your next hike? You don't have to go to the other side of the world for a great hiking holiday, there are many options in Europe. In this article we take you to one of the most beautiful hikes in Europe! Hopefully we provide inspiration, enjoy! 😊
The best hike in Europe: PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo (Madeira, Portugal)
Madeira is an island of Portugal and is located in the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira is also called the Hawaii of Europe and that is not unjustified. The island has a lot to offer and a real hiker will feel like a fish in water here. There are many hiking trails for every level. The novice and the experienced hiker can go here. In this article we zoom in on the most beautiful route of the island (PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo). According to the locals, it is a MUST to walk this route during your visit to Madeira!
This 7.4 km walk takes about 3.5 hours and connects two of the highest peaks in the Madeira This is a beautiful walk, with tunnels and some steep inclines and great views.
- PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo (one way)
- Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
- Number of kilometers: 7.4 km
- Altitude difference: 1650 meters
- Difficulty level: Challenging due to the height difference
The start: Watching the sunrise at Pico do Arieiro, also the starting point of the route
The start of your day will be immediately impressive. The sunset from Pico de Arieiro is known as one of the most beautiful in the world! This is a sunrise you won't soon forget, make sure you're on time and don't miss it. As soon as you arrive at the parking lot, walk up towards the building. The viewpoint is to the right of the building, cross the road and find a nice spot to admire this beautiful phenomenon. The sunrise is very popular and it can be very busy, this is another reason to make sure you are on time. As soon as the sun has risen you can start your hike! What does the sunrise look like? Below we have a few pictures for you.
The hike starts on the left side of the building where you turned right earlier. This is actually not to be missed because the route is well marked, you can hardly go wrong. The start of the hike is a good warm-up for what is to come. You start with a number of stairs, which will become a lot steeper later in the hike. At the beginning of the hike you have the most beautiful views, take it easy and enjoy!
Never skip leg day!
After the warm-up, the real work begins. You will pass several steep stairs and climbs. If you still have plans to go to the gym this day, that is not necessary! The PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo makes for a real leg day! The route is challenging and this combined with the most beautiful views make this route one of the best hikes in Europe! After you have walked 90% of the route you will come to a resting point. Here you can get a drink and a small snack. You can also go to the toilet here, this is also the only place during the route where you can go to the toilet. Take a rest because after this comes the toughest climb of the route. This is seen as the toughest part because people often think "I'm almost there" and then there is another climb that you say to yourself. This is the last stretch to reach Pico Ruivo. At the top you can rest again 😉.
One way route
This route is not a round but a one-way route. That means you don't come back to the starting point. This is also possible, then you walk back the same route. This is for the advanced hikers! It means that you have to do all the climbing work again. If you choose this option, the route will take +- 7 hours.
80% of people opt for a one-way variant. After you have climbed Pico Ruivo you descend again and follow the signs to Teixeira from the junction. From Teixeira you can be taken back to your destination with a transfer or taxi. We have used this transfer from Funchal, this is highly recommended! You will be picked up at your accommodation and returned neatly. Transfer
TIP: Are you at Teixeira and do you have to wait for the transfer or taxi? Go to the eatery you will find at the parking lot, they have delicious treats here.
Useful tips for during the hike
- Don't dress too summery! It may be 25 degrees on the coast, but in the mountains it can be 0-5 degrees, this is really a must to take into account. Especially in the early morning it is very cold during the hike. It is best to dress in layers so that when it gets warmer you can easily take something off.
- Wear good shoes. It sounds very logical that you should wear good shoes during a hike. With some hikes you can still get there with sneakers, but this is really not recommended with this hike. There are steep climbs and if it has rained the stones are slippery.
- Bring a piece of fruit and plenty of water. During the hike, after a few hours of walking, there is 1 possibility to buy something to drink or eat, in the time before that you will have to make do with what you have brought with you. Bring a reusable drinking bottle with enough water and a piece of fruit! Your muscles will have to work and it is important that you drink enough water and have some extra fuel on hand. If you don't do this and you get cramps, for example, it's very annoying.