Discover the island's far east: exposed, grassy hills with magnificent cliff landscape descending dramatically to the sea.
Starting at the car park of Baia d'Abra, explore the peninsula from one viewpoint to another along the trail called Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço.
A transfer will take you to the São Lourenço Peninsula Nature Reserve car park where your walk begins and ends.
The path is well marked, and mostly well maintained, but persistent wind and erosion leaves it dry and gravelly. The initial downhill section then leads to a series of climbs and ridges that offer magnificent views to both South and North. At the far end of the walk, you loop back round on yourself, before picking up the same path again, and you have the option of making the final ascent at the very far end up to Morro do Furado which gives you views of headland beyond.
The landscape is peculiar to this area, marked by Madeira volcanic origins and endemic vegetation species.
- The cliffs are steep so make sure you keep on the path, especially on windy days.
- Wooden structures and earthen path can be slippery when wet (be careful at the further end, should you choose to try the last climb).
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
- The peninsula is said to have taken its name from the “São Lourenço”, the ship of Madeira's discoverers, Captains João Zarco & Tristão Teixeira.
- Casa do Sardinha, the house surrounded by palm trees, was built on the orders of Manuel Battencourt Sardinha in 1905, sold by his family to the Autonomous Madeiran Government and later became the visitor's centre for the Nature Reserve. Casa do Sardinha Reception Center
- Flora and Fauna: The peninsula is home to one of the largest colonies of Yellow Legged Gulls, the unassuming Berthelot's Pipit and Goldfinches. A stowaway from a ship of the early explorers, the Madeiran Wall lizard skips between sunspots whilst above them all, diminutive kestrels cast a keen eye on everything below. Some plants are endemic to the peninsula. Plants of Ponta de São Lourenço
- The rare monk seal sometimes appears in the area, coming from the Desert Islands that stand ashore. Life Madeira Monk Seal
- The climate of the peninsula is “semi-arid”, under the influence of the Sahara some 600 km to the East
Santa Cruz and Machico are well served with banks, supermarkets, numerous bars and restaurants, a pharmacy and a bus station.
Food & Drink
- Nothing en route. Picnic and water advised.
- Bar conveniently located half way, at CASA DO SARDINHA NATURE SPOT CAFÉ. Possibility to use the toilets for 1€.
Getting thereTransfer to Baía d'Abra at São Lourenço Peninsula in the morning and transfer back after the walk.
- Sun protection as there is no shade along the walk.
- Comfortable footwear.
- Winds can be very strong.