The Pico do Espigão hike is a very short but steep trail to a rocky viewpoint in the south of Porto Santo Island. With just over 200 meters of elevation in less than one kilometer, the trail up will definitely get your heart racing. At the summit, you have views of the nearby Pico de Ana Ferreira in the center of the island but you can also see all the way down to the peaks in the east of Porto Santo. The best views are out over the small island, Ilhéu de Ferro, which is right in front of you on the coast. It’s a great sunset viewpoint that you can get to quickly for a short and sharp evening hike.
PICO DO ESPIGÃO HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike was 2 kilometers from the main road near the golf course but you can access this viewpoint from several different directions and routes. I prefer the route from the golf course as you get to enjoy the rocky crescent.
- Hike Duration: The hike will take you about 30 minutes to one hour, not including the time you spend at the summit.
- Hike Difficulty: Depending on where you begin the trail will impact the difficulty. I suggest beginning at the golf course and heading up the hill. This way you have a gravel road for the majority of the trail and then once you reach the ridge, you traverse the rocks. The rocky ridge is fun and never too dangerous as you can always take the inside, which means no exposure to any drops. I came directly up the hill from beneath Pico de Ana Ferreira so it was a bit of a slippery, steep climb for me but still nothing too drastic apart from the incline.
- Hike Incline: Total incline for the hike was 208 meters.
- My Strava Map Upload: Pico do Espigão hike
HOW TO GET TO PICO DO ESPIGÃO
The Pico do Espigão hike can be done from many different routes. You can come from the radio tower side (West) or from the golf course side (East) or just march straight up the hill from the south like me. The shortest route (if you have a car) is to drive towards Miradouro das Flores and then at the intersection where you would turn left for Miradouro das Flores you can park and walk up the hill to Pico do Espigão. It’s shorter but less scenic and fun.
I suggest parking near the golf course and hiking up the gravel road from the eastern side as it is the most scenic and enjoyable route. This means you would park at the golf course and then head up the gravel road so I will leave a pin location for where you can park on the map below. The total out-and-back hike from the golf course restaurant to Pico do Espigão would probably be a 3-kilometer return trip.
BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY ON PORTO SANTO
When you book your Porto Santo Rental Car online, I personally recommend and always use Discover Cars. They search for both local and international companies, so you get the best deal! MUST Read: Guide to Renting a Car on Madeira
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE PICO DO ESPIGÃO HIKE
When I set out to reach Pico do Espigão for sunset, I wasn’t actually expecting a hike at all. I thought it would be a short walk from where I left my bike. I was quite wrong. I decided to ride my bike near to the golf course and then when the hill got too steep for me, I simply dropped the bike and starting hiking up the hill.
The climb was pretty steep and I couldn’t find an actual trail, so like many times on Porto Santo Island, I just took the direct route up the hill. If you come from the golf course or from Miradouro das Flores, you will have a more defined route but still nothing super wide or clear.
After about 15 minutes, I reached the ridge. Espigão actually translates to ‘spike’ in English, which is exactly what you get on the ridge. It’s much smaller than the Stegosaurus spikes of the nearby Pico de Ana Ferreira but it is a prominent, rocky ridge atop the hill. In some parts, the rocks were a vibrant orange, which was quite unique and I was left wondering what caused the color.
Once you reach the ridge, you then walk along the rocky route to the summit, which is marked by a cement pillar at the highest point. I brought my dinner up here and sat down on the rocks to enjoy the sunset and the view. It’s a great place to watch the sunset as you are high enough to see it set over the ocean or at least behind the small island called Ilhéu de Ferro.
To the east, you have views of all of the peaks in the east. The clouds were forming ominously over the ‘Three Peaks’ of Pico Juliana, Pico Castelo and Pico do Facho. To the west, you can see all along the rugged coastline as the last light hits the coastal cliffs. I really enjoyed this viewpoint as you feel like you are in the center of the island and can really take it all in.
The sunset never really took hold because of the heavy cloud cover but it was a night full of energy with strong winds and fast-moving clouds. With such a short hike, it’s a great spot for a sunset beer or even to bring up your dinner like me if you want a micro-adventure.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Pico do Espigão hike on Porto Santo Island.
READY TO EXPLORE PORTO SANTO? HERE ARE MY TOP GUIDES
- PORTO SANTO HIKING: 8 AWESOME HIKES ON PORTO SANTO
- PORTO SANTO BEACHES: 1O BEST BEACHES ON PORTO SANTO
- WHERE TO STAY ON PORTO SANTO: BEST HOTELS AND RESORTS ON PORTO SANTO
- ULTIMATE PORTO SANTO TRAVEL GUIDE: 28 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON PORTO SANTO
WHERE TO STAY ON PORTO SANTO
There are a lot of options on Porto Santo Island from big all-inclusive hotels to small Airbnb apartments. I’ve written a huge post about all of the best options when it comes to Porto Santo and you can check it out here: WHERE TO STAY ON PORTO SANTO ISLAND: 11 BEST RESORTS AND HOTELS
I stayed for five days at Vila Baleira Resort and five days at Hotel Porto Santo & Spa but also heard and saw great things about Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa. Here’s a quick glimpse at those three, beautiful beachside accommodations.
VILA BALEIRA RESORT
Vila Baleira Porto Santo (Luxury & All-inclusive): THIS IS WHERE I STAYED! Vila Baleira is a 4-star resort situated right on the golden sand beach of Porto Santo. The rooms are on one side of the road and the restaurant and pool area are directly next to the beach. I had the all-inclusive package, which meant we got a wristband when we arrived and then had buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as unlimited coffee and alcohol all day, every day.
Click here to check the best current rates and availability of Vila Baleira Porto Santo.
Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa (Luxury): This is a 5-star resort on Porto Santo Island and it is by the largest hotel group in Portugal. The moment you step in the resort you’ll be rewarded with a blissful setting and its world-class amenities. I would’ve liked to stay here and from everything, I heard while on the island, it is a pretty awesome place to stay. It’s the top pick for a hotel on Porto Santo Island if you want luxury!
Click here to check the best current rates and availability of Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa.
Hotel Porto Santo & Spa (Luxury): THIS IS WHERE I STAYED! Another classy, 4-star resort is Hotel Porto Santo & Spa where I stayed for my second 5-day period on my 10-day trip to Porto Santo Island. I’d happily recommend this Porto Santo hotel for couples and those looking for beachfront luxury with a very relaxing atmosphere. On top of that, the spa has a Turkish bath, a heated pool, massage rooms, relaxation spots, hot sand therapy, and more. Not to mention the restaurant serves fresh local dishes.
Click here to check the best current rates and availability of Hotel Porto Santo & Spa.