Paul da Serra und Rabacal
The plateau of Paul da Serra is situated on a height of 1500m in the Western part of Madeira. It stretches between Achada da Cruz and Encumeada.
To the North of the plateau there is the evergreen laurel forest.
This region is often covered by mist due to the evaporation above the forest. Strong wind is also typical for the climate on the plateau.
Paul da Serra has competed with Santa Cruz for the construction of the airport of Madeira, but the mist and wind were too much of a disadvantage.
There is practically no population in the area from Achada da Cruz to Encumeada which is mainly used as a grazing place for livestock.
A remarkable silence can be observed when reaching this area after the climb from Achada da Cruz near Porto Moniz. The sound of a bird of prey, a soft breeze and cow bells in the distance are the only noises.
During our first holiday on Madeira we were stunned by that much beauty. The nature and the silence are really impressive.
Near Rabacal we see nature at its best.
Before 2004 it was still possible to make the descent by car towards Rabacal. This was however a dangerous drive and the road needed to close for cars.
You can decide to enter Rabacal on foot, or use the shuttle service which brings you all the way down and back up.
In Rabacal you can make the must-do levada walk towards the Risco Waterfall and to 25 Fontes (25 Springs). The path leads through a jungle-alike vegetation into the heart of the age-old tropical forest.
At Bica da Cana we pass the windmill park, before we descend via Lombo de Mouro towards Encumeada.
Useful Information :
There are no houses or gas stations upon the plateau.
Ensure to take something to drink with you when you make the walk into Rabacal. There are no shops over there. Also keep in mind that the weather on Paul sa Serra can be a lot different than in other places, eventhough those places may be only 10 km away.
On the road from Rabacal to Bica da Cana there is the Jungle Rain Cafe.
The restaurant is decorated as a jungle and includes apes, elephants, snakes and lions.
From time to time a simulated tropical thunderstorm provides additional entertainment.
The Jungle Rain Cafe is open for a drink, a snack or a full menu.
The tour from Porto Moniz, via Achada da Cruz and Rabacal is very nice.
You can drive further towards Encumeada and Sao Vicente.
Next you can drive back to Porto Moniz along the old coast road, which is another must see during a Madeira holiday.
Recommended hotel :
To ensure there is enough time for the suggested tour and the walk in Rabacal, it is best to stay in Porto Moniz or in Sao Vicente.
A hotel in Ponta Delgada is also an option, as well as the Pousada dos Vinhaticos or Residencial Encumeada in Serra de Agua.
Click for more photos of Paul da Serra and Rabacal