PR1 - Vereda do Areeiro
This route has an extension of VN 7.4km (north trail) and VS 8.7km (south trail) and has a duration of 3.30 hours connecting the two highest peaks of Madeira, it is a sensational hike, with tunnels, a few steep climbs and descents and breathtaking views of the heart of the Massif Central.
( Note: This footpath is accessible through the western part (tunnels) . The eastern part of the footpath near Pico das Torres remains closed).
This trail connects two of the highest peaks of Madeira Island, Pico Ruivo (1862 m), Pico das Torres (1851 m) and Pico do Areeiro (1817 m), crossing part of the Central Mountain Massif, an area integrated in the Natura 2000 Network.
Starting at Pico do Areeiro, within a short distance we come upon the Ninho da Manta (Buzzard’s Nest) belvedere. From this platform where this bird of prey is supposed to have bred, one can see the valley of Fajã da Nogueira, where some Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinnus) breed, São Roque do Faial and a large part of the Central Mountain Range.
This is the only known breeding site in the world of Zino’s petrel (Pterodroma madeira), an endemic species considered to be the most endangered seabird of Europe.
To reach Pico Ruivo, we must go around Pico das Torres up a steep incline of steps carved in the rock and then descend, the most difficult part of this trail being the final climb to the Shelter at Pico Ruivo. But the thought of reaching the highest point of the island is a driving force.
Along the way, we find various caves dug out of the volcanic tuff where the cattle took refuge and which served as shelter for the shepherds; we can also see various birds, some of the more important ones being species restricted to Macaronesia, the canary (Serinus canaria), Berthelot’s pipit (Anthus berthelottii madeirensis) and the plain swift (Apus unicolor), as well as other subspecies found only in the Madeira archipelago: the Madeira rock sparrow (Petronia petronia madeirensis), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs madeirensis), and the firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis).
For those who enjoy plants, this area is known as a high-altitude heath and is marked by the presence of various endemisms of Madeira, which include the Madeira violet (Viola paradoxa), Madeira grey heather (Erica madeirensis), the rock orchid (Orchis scopolorum), and the Madeira kidney (Anthyllis lemanniana).
Near the Pico Ruivo shelter, you will find footpath PR 1.2, which leads to Achada do Teixeira. At Achada do Teixeira you can see “Homem em pé” (Standing Man), a basalt rock formation found on the way down the slope after you pass the shelter at Achada do Teixeira.
Obs: This footpath is accessible through the trail located to the west (through the tunnels), bur the trail located to the east (crosses the Pico das Torres) remains closed for security reasons.
Important informationPlease read This info Information to take into consideration previous to engaging any trails
Tunnels en route, carry a torch light
Carry drinking water