A 2.8-kilometer course, lasting an hour and a half, allows you to access Madeira’s highest peak, Pico Ruivo. The trail rises along the “loin”, which separates the slopes of Faial from Santana.
This trail climbs to the highest peak of the island of Madeira, Pico Ruivo (1861m). Beginning and ending at Achada do Teixeira has a length of 2.8 km (+ 2.8 km return) with a duration of 1h 30 (going and returning). Near the shelter house of the Pico Ruivo, you will have access to 3 other rails that lead to different points of the island: Vereda do Pico Areeiro, Vereda da Encumeada, and Vereda da Ilha. At Achada do Teixeira you can also visit the “Standing Man”, a basaltic rock formation that is found after passing the Achada do Teixeira shelter.
Along the ascent are several shelters, because here the climatic variation is abrupt, being frequent the area, being submerged in a sea of clouds or above them.
This area is part of the European Network of Sites of Community Importance – Natura 2000 Network – under the name of the central mountainous massif, covering the highest peaks and the altitudes of 1200 m of altitude. It is characterized by herbaceous and shrub vegetation well adapted to the great temperature variations, strong rainfall and intense winds where heathers predominate (Urze das brooms – Erica platycodon subsp. Maderincola and Urze Molar – Erica arborea), formerly very exploited for the production of charcoal.
The trail rises along the “loin”, which separates the slopes of Faial from Santana, so it provides magnificent left-hand views of the Ribeira Seca valley, surmounted by the Pico das Torres, and the Pico do Areeiro.
On the right side, there are the “gutters” of the Santana mountain range, where you can see the Forest Park of Queimadas in the distance and a little further on the Achada do Marques (small population cluster characterized by its haystacks and agricultural fields) of the Ribeira dos Arcos valley. Inland there is the Ribeira Grande valley that starts in the “mouths” of the Green Cauldron and the Cauldron of Hell.
On days of good visibility for this one, you can see the rocky formation of Penha D’Águia, Serra das Funduras and Ponta de S. Lourenço (extreme east of Madeira Island).