Walking In Madeira 3 – The North Coast Path
Walking in Madeira 3 and day 5 saw us have a stroll through Funchal to the marina and the old town area. An easy day was voted on and a lunchtime meal and a few beers went down well.
Day 6 was to be a long walk from Referta to Machico via the North Coast Path. The planned walk was 15.4 miles and would take 6 hours 40 minutes. We caught the bus from Funchal for the 1½ hour journey to Referta. From Referta we walked the Levada do Castelejo for 1 hour to the village of Cruz.
At Cruz we had to stop at my favourite bar, where we enjoyed the fabulous views down to Porto da Cruz. By now it was lunchtime and the walk downhill to Porto da Cruz took another 20 minutes. We had lunch by the bay watching the surfers and decided that due to the time and the strong winds it would be inadvisable to attempt the North Coast Path.
The path is very narrow, vertiginous and exposed in places and has drops of 350 metres/1,150 ft down to the sea. So after a beer in Porto da Cruz, we caught the bus back to Funchal. The bus journey is almost an adventure in itself, with the winding roads and sheer drops high in the mountain area down to Machico.
Day 7, our final day of walking in Madeira, gave good weather with a slight breeze. This was ideal for walking the North Coast Path. We caught the bus to Porto da Cruz and set off climbing up to the path, high in the mountain area of Larano. The path, broad at first begins to narrow and in places is only wide enough for one person.
The views were spectacular all the way to Boca do Risco (The Dangerous Gap) and then on to our finishing point in Machico. The trip was a great way to finish a fantastic week’s holiday and walking in Madeira 3.