Pico Ruivo from Achado do Texeira
Key information: Pico Ruivo from Achado do Texeira
- This is an easy climb of Madeira's highest peak. Outstanding views of Madeira's contorted central mountains from its highest ridge.
- Spectacular, colourful peaks and cliffs; lush forested hillsides, and the sea far below. But often cloud-bound, so choose your day.
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest18
- Human interest5
- Negative points4
- Total rating88
- Note: Negs: popularity, crowds
- Length: 5.5km, 2hrs return
- Maximum Altitude: 1,862m
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
This is an easy climb of Madeira’s highest peak from the roadhead and large carpark on the high ridge at Achado do Texeira, at the eastern end of the high east-west central ridge which runs via Ruivo and a series of high peaks to the roadhead at the Boca da Encumeada at the very heart of the island.
The trail climbs on the ridgetop for a bit, then below it to the north when it gets steep and rocky. It rejoins the ridgetop toward the foot of the Ruivo cone, passing the left turn for the marvel-walk along the crazed ridge to Pico de Arieiro. Quite soon you reach a resthouse, where you will meet crowds of walkers eating their lunch and getting water from the tap.
It is 20 minutes on from here to Ruivo, the final section steepish for a bit, but never difficult.
If the clouds are up, you will enjoy outstanding, indeed thrilling, views of the peaks, cliffs, gorges and forests of the island’s crazed centre, with the sea far below.
As well as walking back to Achado do Texeira, you can walk the amazing trail to Pico de Areeiro to make a 9km/4hr walk. You can, indeed, head west along the high central ridge via Pico de Eirinhas, Boca das Torrinhas, Pico do Jorge and Pico da Encumeada to the roadhead at the Boca da Encumeada at the very heart of the island, but this is a long (13km, 6.5+hr) and demanding walk which only the fit and experienced should consider.
This is, with reason, a popular walk, and Ruivo is in every guidebook and on every walking company itinerary. With easy road access to Achado do Texeira, this makes for easily accessible walking, and thus often crowds on the trail. So, don’t expect to be alone.
The high peaks are often cloud-bound, so choose your day and in any event do start as early as you can, to meet fewer people, get the sharp early morning light (a clear dawn on Ruivo is a marvel) and have the best chance of a cloud-free day.…
Transport: if you do a there-and-back walk, you can drive. Otherwise, you will need to deal with the infrequent bus system, or swallow a taxi.
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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.
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