Plan a route here Copy route
Hiking route recommended route

Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · Portugal
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • A little stone waterhouse you will pass by
    / A little stone waterhouse you will pass by
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / Beautiful view of the atlantic ocean
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / One of the many waterfalls along the route
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / A curious little bird at viewpoint Balcoes
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / The local trout farm of Ribeiro Frio
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / Panoramic viewpoint: Balcoes
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / On the way to Balcoes viewpoint
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
  • / Viewpoint, Balcoes
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
m 800 700 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A relaxing walk from Santo da Serra through the laurel forest of Ribeiro Frio and onto 'Balcoes', a stunning panoramic viewpoint. 
Distance 15.5 km
3:55 h
320 m
128 m
900 m
670 m
Today's walk is a popular and very classic walk in Madeira; Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio ('Cold River'). The route is largely flat and winds through the subtropical laurel forest ('Laurissilva'). This walk combines tunnels and waterfalls with views of the surrounding cliffs like the beautiful Eagle's Rock. Enjoy the silence and breathe in the fresh air as you reach Balcoes. This unique panoramic viewpoint is the absolute highlight of today's walk. Also make sure to walk around the local trout farm which you can visit free of charge. 

Author’s recommendation

Make sure to visit the viewpoint Balcoes, a highlight of this trip! Once you have reached Victor's Bar in Ribeiro Frio it's only a short 30 minutes away and the route is flat and easy (Note: Also 30 minutes to get back to Ribeiro Frio, so it'll take about an hour in total). 
Profile picture of Heleen Bosch
Author
Heleen Bosch
Update: August 04, 2017
Highest point
900 m
Lowest point
670 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

In winter the path can be wet and slippery, take extra care. You will cross a few roads during your walk and even though most of them are quiet, please take care when crossing. It is required to take your headtorch with you today as you’ll pass through numerous tunnels. Please take extra care while walking through tunnels, they can be narrow, slippy and it's easy to bump your head. 

Tips and hints

Packed lunch is recommended on today’s walk as you won’t pass any restaurants or cafes along the way until you have reached the endpoint in Ribeiro Frio. Packed lunch is available at your accommodation in Santo da Serra (at a small additional cost). Make sure to order the packed lunch upon your arrival or at least the night before.

It is also possible to have (a late) lunch at Ribeiro Frio, there's a lovely restaurant that serves typical Portugese food. Always make sure to carry plenty of water and to keep hydrated during your walk.    

Start

Santo da Serra (692 m)
Coordinates:
DD
32.725261, -16.824027
DMS
32°43'30.9"N 16°49'26.5"W
UTM
28S 329068 3622301
w3w 
///pledges.argues.skiing

Destination

Ribeiro Frio (Overnight in Santana)

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Today's walk starts from Estalagem A Quinta Hotel. Start with your back facing the hotel and TURN RIGHT onto the road. There's a petrol station on your left where you can buy water or snacks should you want to. Keep walking STRAIGHT ON until you reach a roundabout where you TURN RIGHT in direction of Porto da Cruz and Portela. Follow this road, a gradual ascent. 

0.80km - TURN LEFT and keep following the road until you reach a sign that says 'Pesca Ludico Turistica (Trout Fishing Course)'. BEAR LEFT and follow this road that goes up. 

1.70km - BEAR LEFT and continue to walk in direction of the trout farm.

2.10km - You have reached an intersection, BEAR LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON. You will pass by a sign that says 'Levada da Serra', you will notice that the path goes up steeply here. As you walk on you will pass a stone waterhouse on your left and behind it you'll find a levada. Keep the levada on your left and continue on. 

3.70km - BEAR LEFT and continue to follow the levada. When the path forks, you CROSS the path diagonally. As you continue on the path will fork again, BEAR RIGHT and CROSS the small bridge. 

4.30km - You will have reached another stone waterhouse, similar to the one you have seen earlier. 

5.40km - The path forks, walk STRAIGHT ON through the rock opening (gap). Make sure to grab your headtorch and take extra care passing through here. 

9.10km - BEAR RIGHT and continue on.

12.00km -
You have reached Victor's Bar in Ribeiro Frio. This is where the driver will be to collect you and drop you off at your accommodation in Santana. If you have time and energy left you should definitely go to Balcoes. This panoramic viewpoint is the absolute highlight of today's walk. To get here you BEAR RIGHT and follow the sign that says 'Balcoes' alongside the levada. 

13.10km - You'll walk past a bar called 'Flor da Selva', continue untill you reach a sign that says 'Balcoes'. Keep walking STRAIGHT ON until you arrive at the viewpoint. Breath in and enjoy the fresh air, the silence and the incredible view before you make your way back taking the exact same route. 

15,50km - You have made your way back to Ribeiro Frio and Victor's Bar. This is the endpoint of today's walk. Enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the bars before the driver arrives. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
32.725261, -16.824027
DMS
32°43'30.9"N 16°49'26.5"W
UTM
28S 329068 3622301
w3w 
///pledges.argues.skiing
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

All normal walking equipment are required: walking shoes/boots, water and windproof jacket, plenty of water and snacks for during the day. Walking poles can be useful during this walk, the paths aren't as narrow as previous days. It is required to take your headtorch with you today as you’ll pass through numerous tunnels.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Rating

4.0
(2)
Dagmar Beck-ne
July 10, 2019 · Community
Die Wanderung starteten wir ab Portela-Pass. Wunderschöne Strecke entlang der Levada do Furado
Show more
Bernd Hr
September 24, 2018 · Community
Wir sind nur einen Teil der Tour gegangen, entlang der Levada und durch ein Stückchen Lorbeerwald. Dies war jedoch schon abwechslungsreich und landschaftlich sehr schön.
Show more
Montag, 24. September 2018 11:32:36
Photo: Bernd Hr, Community

Photos from others

Montag, 24. September 2018 11:32:36

Reviews
Distance
15.5 km
Duration
3:55 h
Ascent
320 m
Descent
128 m
Highest point
900 m
Lowest point
670 m

Statistics

  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
Features
2D 3D
Maps and trails
Distance  km
Duration : h
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
Push the arrows to change the view