The mountain saddle of Encumeada, at an altitude of 1,008 metres, lies almost exactly in the middle of the island of Madeira and is the starting point for several hiking trails.

Conveniently accessible by road, the saddle offers breathtaking views of the north and south coasts of Madeira, as well as the highest peaks of the central Madeiran mountains.

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At the Encumeada Pass, you can refresh yourself in a pleasant tavern and set off on the following routes:

  • Levada das Rabacas + Levada do Norte - A total of 3.6km (one way) takes you along a short stretch of the Levada do Norte around Encumeada and the short Levada das Rabacas, with breathtaking views of the southern coast and deep valleys. The route is not difficult and is suitable for everyone, see map.
  • Levada do Norte + PR17 - Over 6km of more challenging route combining a route along an active levadas and an old levadas without water. A torch is required due to the 500m long tunnel route. Return only by the same route back, see map.
  • Levada da Serra - A beautiful 4.5 km long and relatively deserted lava river, not many tourists on it. It starts about 2 km up the road above the Encumeada saddle at a small car park. Return only the same way back, see map.
  • Pico Ruivo - The challenging 10km+ (one way) PR21 trek takes you through the beautiful unspoilt landscape of the central mountain range to the highest mountain in Madeira, Pico Ruivo. The round trip cannot be done in one day and an overnight stay in the countryside is required, see map.
  • Caminho Real 25 - A challenging route from São Vicente via Encumeada towards the village of Jardim da Serra through a deserted part of the mountains, see map.

Encumeada accommodation

If you like high mountain hiking and would like to use several routes from Encumeada, stay for 2-3 nights near the mountain pass.

The nearest hotel is a beautiful hotel 1.5 km away Casinhas da Laurissilva with reasonable rates around 37 eur per night for 2.

Then the town of São Vicente, 10 km away, provides the largest choice of accommodation - see the list of all accommodations.

How to get there

The most convenient form of transport is by car, which you can use to reach Encumeada along a scenic road ascending in many serpentine switchbacks from both the south and north coasts. You can then park at several free car parks at the top.

Encumeada can also be reached again by bus once a day from Funchal, Ribeira Brava, Serra da Água. Transport is provided by Rodoeste buses of line 6 in the morning from Funchal and back in the afternoon.

What to see around

Discover all the places to see in Madeira.

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