Reaching 1862 meter, the Pico Ruivo is the highest mountain of Madeira.
A steep -but safe- road leads to the parking place at Achada do Teixeira (1592m).
An exceptional view upon Madeira will be your reward if you conquer fear of heights and take the walking trail to the top. (About 2 km or 1 hour walking).
From here it is easy to see how Curral das Freiras (Nun's Valley) lays in fact in the crater of a volcano, and when the weather allows it, then you can look all the way down towards Sao Lourenco.
Strong winds may blow around the mountain top, clouds and mist may cover the slopes on the North side of the Pico Ruivo and the weather can change very fast. Walkers should prepare for this, even in summer !
The Pico Ruivo can be reached from Santana.
Leave the main road at the gas station in front of restaurant Estrela do Norte.
You'll pass a village before arriving in the UNESCO protected area where rangers keep an eye on nature and environment.
Additional information :
The Pico do Areeiro attracts more visitors than the Pico Ruivo. The main reason for this is that the top of the Pico do Areeiro can be reached by car and of course the latter benefits from the presence of a cafe.
The Pico Ruivo is less attractive to non-walkers.
Click for photos taken from Pico Ruivo