In my first contribution to Madeira, I already introduced you to various tours on the island. Today I would like to go into a bit more detail about the day tour that led us from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo.
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Since our accommodation was not far from Pico Arieiro, we were there two days before. The road is well developed and takes you very high up in a few minutes. The parking lot situation is rather difficult, especially in the morning. That is why many hikers start the tour very early in the morning.
We decided on the hike very late that day because the weather was not convincing at the beginning ;-) So we had to wait a good 20 minutes for a decent parking lot, but then we could start around half past eleven. You cannot miss the way, there is no other from the visitor center and the many people also show you the way.
You can find detailed directions online - e.g. here . The King's Tour connects Madeira's third highest mountain, Pico do Arieiro, with Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on the island. So you are literally on the roof of Madeira.
The basic requirement for this tour is a certain basic fitness. And those who travel to the mountains more often will certainly have an easier time. The tour demands a lot, but you will be rewarded all the more with fantastic views and a varied path for the exertions.
One shouldn't forget that the way back is just as exhausting as the way there. As a high-altitude trail, the tour is not a classic hike, with only going uphill and downhill on the way back. You walk through rock gates, over steep stairs, through dark tunnels (don't forget your smartphone flashlight!) Or along steep precipices. The path is well secured. Up until a few years ago, there was another route as a variation of the way back - the so-called east route. However, this is blocked and should really be avoided due to stone chips and the risk of slipping. An overview of the current nature of the respective hiking trails in Madeira can be found here .
In any case, plan enough time for the tour, so you can pause whenever you want and really enjoy the hike.
After a good 3 hours we reached the mountain hut below the Pico Ruivos, sweaty but happy. Before we took a decent break, I wanted to master the last few meters. The panorama from here is simply wonderful. I rarely went on a tour where I didn't even know which direction to look at first. Only then do we treat ourselves to a chilled coke in the Casa do Ruivo. If you are not obliged to pick up your rental car at Pico Arieiro because you came by taxi or a tour operator, you can shorten the tour by descending to the Achada do Teixeira car park. Or as an alternative with a rental car, you can hike directly from there to Pico Ruivo.
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