Hiking PR8 to Ponta da Sao Lourenco

Trail Name: PR8 Verada Ponta da São Lourenço

Distance (roundtrip): 6km

Time (roundtrip): About 3 hours

Elevation: Maximum altitude of 124m

The Verada Ponta da São Lourenço is located on the eastern part of the Madeira, which is a Portuguese island just off the coast of Africa, not far from Spain’s Canary Islands. The eastern part of Madeira has a completely different landscape than the rest of the island. The dry, barren cliffs were sculpted by the Northern winds which makes the hiking trail along the narrow peninsula feel like the end of the world. The pictures we took did not do it justice.

There were several impressive viewpoints along the trail which displayed the massive cliffs and crashing ocean waves. We took one detour off the main trail to a black pebble beach which would have been a nice spot to stop for a swim if we had brought our swimming gear. We continued on our journey to Praia das Sardinhas where we stopped for a picnic lunch. The trail itself was not too difficult other than the steep ascent at the end of the trail that took us to a viewpoint with 360 degree views of the nearby Desertas Islands and Porto Santo Island.

The hike took us about 3 hours including numerous stops for pictures and our picnic lunch. This trail is a fairly popular hike in Madeira and we saw quite a few people on this hike on a cloudy day. I imagine the heat on this trail would be unbearable on a sunny day as there are no trees to provide shade. Although there are two spots to take a dip in the ocean at Praia das Sardinhas and another black pebble beach near the beginning of the trail.

Getting There:

  • About a 30 minute drive from Funchal. There was a decent amount of parking available in the parking lot but we snagged one of the last parking spots at the beginning of the trail when we arrived around 10:30am.
  • If you don’t have a car, you can take the 113 bus from Funchal but it will take about 1.5 hours each way.
  • There are also full day hiking tours available with pickup available from your hotel or AirBnb.

Facilities: There is a small cafe and restroom (available for a small fee) near the end of the trail. We didn’t see a restroom at the beginning of the trail near the parking area.

There are two swimming spots to take a dip in the ocean at Praia das Sardinhas and another black pebble beach near the beginning of the trail.

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