The Ponta de São Lourenço in Madeira’s east impressed and surprised us with its barrenness and desert-like landscape. After Madeira welcomed us as a lush green landscape, we realized how diverse this small island is. The hike at Ponta de São Lourenço is well developed and relatively easy to walk. What you can expect, how to get there and where to park you can read in our travel report.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Hotel Recommendation on Madeira
- large apartments up to 1-2 floors
- private bathroom
- fully equipped kitchen
- amazing view of the sea
- pool and private terrace
- private parking place
The apartment complex Seasky Arco* is located above the town of Calhete in the southwest of Madeira on a steep slope.
Thanks to the very steep access road, getting there is anything but easy, but you won't be bothered by any traffic and you'll have a direct view of the sunset on the Atlantic.
There are floor-to-ceiling windows, a private pool, a huge terrace and a huge bed from which you can watch the sun go down. Simply a wonderful place to come to rest and relax from the strenuous hikes. We felt mega comfortable here!Seasky Arco | Check Availability*
How to get to Ponta de São Lourenço?
Ponta de São Lourenço is located in the easternmost tip of Madeira. It takes about 30 minutes by car from the capital Funchal. You can find the parking lot by taking the VR1 road to the end of the cul-de-sac. There are many free parking spaces available. However, since the hike is very popular, the parking lots are often filled very quickly, so that some people park on the side of the road.
So it is worth to be here early in the morning. At the end of the road there is a turning circle, where, by the way, you can also buy something to eat and drink.
Hiking Ponta de São Lourenço
From the parking lot of the hike you can already see the destination of the hike, nevertheless it is further than you think. Opposite the parking lot you can already see the hill of Ponta de São Lourenço in the distance. The hike leads you to this hill, then you go back the same way. The distance of one section is 4 km, so in total you walk 8 km, for which you should plan about 2.5 to 3.5 hours. A map with more information about the hike can be found here.
Start of the Hike
The hike starts at the turning circle and leads you downhill and uphill. However, the gradients are rather moderate and since the path is well developed, the route is easy to walk. On the approx. 4 km to the finish of the hike you will pass different viewpoints again and again, where you can admire the differently colored cliffs and the rough waves.
Even from a distance you can see the different colored rock layers, which sometimes shine red, orange, yellow or brown. In addition to the horizontally running rock layers, you can also see vertically running rock layers again and again, which only allow you to guess how they were formed. Before you climb the last hill to the viewpoint there is also a small restaurant where you can eat or drink something.
From a distance, you can always see the restaurant as a small oasis, because the area is lined with palm trees and thus forms a strong contrast to the barren and desert-like landscape of the Ponta de São Lourenço.
The last climb at Ponta de São Lourenço
The climb up the last hill of Ponta de São Lourenço is a real challenge. The path, which leads you steeply 100 meters upwards, is well developed, but the steps built into the hill are partly hardly present due to erosion. The steps are partly very high and the loose pebbles make it slippery again and again, so that you should hold on to the railing during the ascent.
Once the climb is over, only a few meters separate you from the magnificent view of the easternmost tip of Ponta de São Lourenço and, by extension, Madeira. The view has gripped us so that we have enjoyed, in addition to the obligatory pictures, an extended break before we started the way back with the slowly setting sun.
By the way, this viewpoint is not the end of the archipelago. It continues for about 2.5 km to a lonely lighthouse, which was inaugurated already in 1870. Unfortunately, there is no way to get further by foot than to the lookout point.
Conclusion of the Hike at Ponta de São Lourenço
For us, the hike at Ponta de São Lourenço is definitely one of the highlights of Madeira. We were surprised how different the landscape and nature is. Although you will definitely not walk this hike alone, you should not miss it when you are in Madeira. If you are an early riser, it is best to start the hike in the early morning, as Ponta de São Lourenço is a wonderful place to see the sunrise.
Have you already done the hike at Ponta de São Lourenço? Then leave us a comment how you liked it.