East Tour: Pico do Arieiro, Santana, São Lourenço and Machico
Today, we took a full day tour to see the eastern half of the island. It was awesome! Here are the highlights of our tour.
Pico do Arieiro is Madeira’s third highest peak, 1818m. It is surrounded by Madeira’s highest peaks, and offers gorgeous views.
At the next stop, we had a short lavada walk in the middle of Madeira’s indigenous Laurisilva forest.
Lavada walks are one of the reasons people come to Madeira. Lavadas are irrigation channels, 2500 km of them across the island. The paths along the channels lead through forests and mountains offering amazing views and nature experiences.
As we drove though this agricultural area, it was very interesting to see how people in Madeira cope with their mountainous terrain. The soil is very fertile here but their fields are very small and spread on terraces. All labour has to be done manually.
This region is known for custard apples. Here they are on a tree. Later, I found them in a store:
Santana is a beautiful town known for its traditional dwellings called palheiros. Pictures of these triangular houses can be often found in tourist guides, brochures and postcards.
They usually have two bedrooms:
Kitchen and bathroom were outside. Walking around the town, I found some palheiros that look more authentic:
And now some amazing views. First – Faial:
And now, the most beautiful – Ponta de São Lourenço:
The last attraction for today was Machico, the second largest city after Funchal. The first Portuguese expedition landed here in 1420.
The statue of the first Portuguese governor:
The old fort:
Impressive tree alleys:
After three days here, we have already fallen in love with Madeira!