East Madeira is home to some of the island’s most dramatic scenery.

The barren coastal trails at Ponta de Sao Lourenco are great for hiking, as are the forest trails through the tropical abundance of the Parque Natural do Ribeiro Frio. The east of Madeira is rugged landscape, and the steep valleys and ravines are dotted with small villages and hamlets that help give scale to the immense views.

The towns of Santana and Sao Vicente are good bases if you’re thinking of tackling some of the island’s more interesting hiking trails; up to the high mountain summits of Pico do Arieiro and its big brother Pico Ruivo are breathtaking.

They’re also great places to stay if you’re simply looking for that authentic Madeiran experience – take a look at our seven nights in Santana holiday.


Three of Madeira’s most important levadas pass through the protected Parque Natural do Ribeiro Frio: the Levada do Furado, the Serra and the Juncal, making this the ideal spot to enjoy Madeira’s endemic Laurisilva forest.

Perhaps better known for its fortified wines, Madeira also produces white rum from the sugar cane which grows in abundance on the island. There are three Engenhos on the island, and the Engenho do Norte in Porto da Cruz is the only one still powered by steam.

In the village of Santana, you’ll see the lovingly restored traditional thatch-and-lavastone homes which were once common throughout the island.


If you're an experienced hiker, North-east Madeira has some of the island's best waymarked trails.

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