Ponta de Sao Lourenco

A hike at eastern end of Madeira in the only semi-desert environment of the island. Beautiful scenery on top of colourful cliffs, beautiful views of the sea and a way to escape.

Technical sheet
No. 4098724
A Machico walk posted on 05/05/15 by LB_Neil. Update : 15/07/18
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h05[?]
Distance Distance : 3.98mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1414ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1411ft
Highest point Highest point : 361ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 20ft
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Machico
Starting point Starting point : N 32.743219° / W 16.701046°
Download : -
Ponta Sao Lourenco


Park in Baia Abra, east of Caniçal, at the end of the road.

Yellow and Red markings (trail No. 8).

(S) Follow the path that goes to the north-east. Walk along the top of the cliff to the left and reach the heights of the cliffs to the north.

(1) Turn south-west to head past Ponta do Castelo on the right. Continue through a sort of spit: the narrowest passage of the route. Approximately 250 m after crossing this isthmus, arrive at a split in the route.

(2) The trail goes around the tip of Ponta de São Lourenço and can be walked in either direction. This route guide takes a clockwise direction starting on the left. After about 500 m, turn right towards the Casa do Sardinha (Natural Parks building).

(3) Head past the building on the left, then head to the north-west.

(4) Turn left onto a small that leads down to the sea. Then back onto the path to the North-West to the start of the loop.

(2) Continue north-west, head back across the narrow isthmus and back to the north cliff.

(1) Turn southwest to reach the starting point.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 256ft
1 : mi 0.76 - alt. 269ft - North cliff
2 : mi 1.55 - alt. 207ft - Start the loop at the end of the point
3 : mi 1.9 - alt. 174ft - Casa do Sardinha
4 : mi 2.18 - alt. 79ft - Access to Cais do Sardinha
D/A : mi 3.98 - alt. 256ft

Useful Information

The itinerary includes high passages along cliff edges around (1), a narrow isthmus between (1) and (2). Although the route is secured in some places (cables, barriers), ‘’these sections require greater care''. Similarly, the path to Cais do Sardinha (4) requires surefooted hikers. People prone to fear of heights should avoid this hike.

The environment is fragile and is in a nature reserve. Always read and respect the recommendations on the panels at the start. In particular, do not stray off the paths and not to litter, including cigarette butts.

The terrain is rocky, good hiking shoes are essential. A map is essential (at a minimum the one that is provided with this description).

There is no shade or water on the course: bring sun screen and water supplies. Do not hesitate to start early in the morning so as to avoid too much direct sun.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Stunning views of the sea and the cliffs of volcanic rocks in red hues.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco is the only non-wooded and semi-desert area of the island of Madeira. There is a sparse vegetation adapted to the conditions (drought, wind).

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Fri 05 Apr 2019 12:51:21 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 10/03/19
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.