Encosta Cabo Girão

Cabo Girão, Madeira

Ponta de Sao Lourenco walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

The area of Abra Bay and the extensive views are well worth the journey. The rugged finger which is the Sao Lourenco peninsula is unlike any other part of Madeira. Without road access and uninhabited apart from one isolated dwelling, the Casa do Sardinha, the bare, jagged rock extends for more than 2 miles into the ocean, its appearance having more in common with remote parts of Scotland than with the rest of the island. This desolate landscape, without shade, provides both an attraction and a challenge to walkers. There is one, well signposted, standard route of about 5 miles, but it does require both sure footed ness and a head for heights. The suggestions below are intended for those who would like to explore at least some of this lovely area on foot but with less effort and without venturing into exposed and possibly dangerous places. The area of Abra Bay and the extensive views are well worth the journey from Cabo Girao.

Suggestion 1. Walk up the knoll behind the car park for an overview of the bay, the point, the circular fish farm, the Ilhas Desertas, the landscape generally, and possibly a picnic.

Suggestion 2. Follow the main track, well used and well signposted, for as far as you like. In about 1/2 mile there is a short diversion to the left of the track to a celebrated north coast viewpoint, before any of the difficult sections are reached. (To combine with suggestion 3, bear right along a connecting track less than 100 yards before the car park).

Suggestion 3. Start along the main track, soon forking left to follow a lesser but clear path rising gently along the bottom of a shallow valley. Occasional heaps of soil and the remains of a long abandoned rail truck suggest some long defunct mining or quarrying enterprise. This route is well away from the crowds. To the right the hill top (which could readily be ascended) is capped by a trig point. At the end of the path reach a flat area where there are obvious remains of a lookout post and great views of part of the savagely spectacular north coast, with red tinted fangs of rock rising from the sea. The vegetation is sparse - sun bleached grass and thistles predominate.

Suggestion 4. Start along the main track but fork right along a narrow path at the bottom of the first dip, for a closer look at the shore of Abra Bay.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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