PR12 - Boca da Corrida to Boca da Encumeada
Key information: PR12 - Boca da Corrida to Boca da Encumeada
- This high trail runs across the mountains at the south-west end of the great horseshoe of Madeira’s highest peaks. Much of it was the main mule track across the mountains before roads were built.
- Its course is amazing, winding above impossible cliffs and along knife-edge ridges, with enormous views of the crazed, thrilling centre of the island.
- Walkopedia rating93
- Natural interest17
- Human interest8
- Negative points0
- Total rating93
- Length: 13km
- Maximum Altitude: 1,300m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The PR12 trail, sometimes called the Camino Real da Encumeada, runs across the mountains at the south-west end of the great horseshoe of Madeira’s highest peaks, from Boca da Corrida in the south to Boca da Encumeada at the heart of the island, or vice versa. The Sunflower guide say “if we had to choose our favourite mountain walk … it would probably be this one”.
Much of the trail was the main mule track across the mountains before roads were built, and much of it is therefore easy walking on a well-graded and often path. It is a popular route, and in the main guidebooks, so very well maintained with quite a bit of paving and steps, but not so as to spoil your time there.
Its course is amazing, winding above impossible cliffs and along knife-edge ridges, with enormous views of the crazed, thrilling centre of the island, into the vast abyss-gorges to either side and across to Paul da Serra to the north-west and Pico de Arieiro to the east, later on to the high central summit ridge to its north.
The trail crosses a couple of passes before reaching the trail junction at Boca do Cerro, where those who want to climb Pico Grande turn off north-east. It then passes below the great cliffs of Pico Grande before traversing across the steep slopes below the high central ridge to Encumeada.
This is the approach walk for two of the four ways of climbing Pico Grande.
This is a delightful walk, not that demanding on the ups and downs, although you will feel exercised by the end. It is in real mountains with uncertain weather, so come fully prepared.
Transport: if you do part of this trail as a there-and-back walks, you can drive to either roadhead. Otherwise, you will need to deal with the infrequent bus system, and/or swallow a taxi.
The excellent Walking in Madeira by Paddy Dillon for Cicerone and Sunflower’s Madeira Car Tours and Walks describe this walk. Find these and other books on Amazon.
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See our Madeira page for further information on Madeira and walking photos, and detailed practical information, including weather and transport.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
We walked this special route on the way to Pico Grande on an unpromising but, as it turned out, extraordinarily beautiful day.
It was raining when we laboured, four to a little WV Polo, up the endless steep lanes of the southern slopes to the Boca da Corrida pass, a little cobbled carpark perched on a small ridgetop. We sat on in the car as the drizzle quickly covered the screen again after each lazy swipe.
It eased off, and we hit the trail, climbing up laid slabs and steps and reaching a level path which wound around the hillside, its beautiful engineering confirming that.....READ MORE
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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