The Ponta do Clerigo hike is an awesome out-and-back coastal hike in Santana. This short trail takes you down to a sharp ridge on the coast with views back towards Penha da Aguia and the east coast of Madeira. In this article, I will provide a detailed guide to the Ponta do Clerigo hike, including its location, difficulty level, and the best time to visit.
PONTA DO CLERIGO HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike was 6 kilometers.
- Hike Duration: The hike will take you about 2 hours.
- Hike Difficulty: This trail is difficult and not for inexperienced hikers. There are some drop-offs on the route and some scrambling required on loose rocks.
- Hike Incline: Total incline for the hike was 450 meters
- My Strava Map Upload: Ponta do Clerigo Hike
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN MADEIRA
- Ultimate Luxury: Les Suites at Cliff Bay best location and view
- Best Value: Hotel Alto Lido – Funchal rooftop swimming pool under 100 Euros
- Budget Hostel in Funchal: Santa Maria Hostel is easily the top hostel in Funchal
HOW TO GET TO THE PONTA DO CLERIGO HIKE
The Ponta do Clerigo Hike starts near the Santana in Nature Bed and Breakfast. I’ll put the exact pin on the map below so you can find your way there. You won’t find a dedicated parking spot for the hike but it’s not too busy so just park on the side of the dirt road like us.
BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY ON MADEIRA
When you book your Madeira 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 PONTA DO CLERIGO HIKE
I’m always on the lookout for ridge hikes on Madeira. There’s nothing better than hiking along the dramatic coastline of this volcanic island. I’ve been to Penha d’Aguia multiple times in Porto da Cruz but never ventured to the next major landmark just down the coast in Santana. Today was the day.
After an epic sunrise at Miradouro Guindaste (Crane Viewpoint), we had a coffee in Faial before driving up the hill to the trailhead of the Ponta do Clerigo hike.
The trail begins with a small tunnel at the Levada do Cortado. Unlike many levada tunnels on Madeira, this is a short one that shoots you out onto the right side of the levada with views down the east coast of the island.
It’s a steep trail but you will only endure the incline on the return portion of the hike. It begins quite flat and slowly the route descends into the forest. Small windows of the view open up every few hundred meters as we stop to marvel at the sea spray hammering Faial.
At times the trail follows a dirt road, wide enough for cars. During other moments, we followed a single-track route through the forest. With no other hikers around, it was a peaceful morning as we soaked in some sunny moments. This east coast view is not to be underestimated and will leave you in awe.
After a couple of kilometers, the road will begin winding through a few small cottages and buildings. This is where the hike reaches the coast and starts to get a little wild.
It’s important to note that during this coastal section of the route, there is a ‘lower’ path and you don’t need to ride the ridge. However, we added a bit of excitement to our route by taking the more adventurous and dangerous path to the point.
The drop-offs throughout this final ridge section are quite phenomenal. A rock thrown had an eight-second freefall. I think the drop could be up to one hundred meters or more. It’s not one for those with a fear of heights. Again, hikers can traverse the ridge on the lower path amidst the bushes.
The final section of the ridge requires a bit of scrambling. Do be careful as some of the rocks can be loose or unstable as is common across Madeira. The general rule is to trust no rock on this island. It’s just a short scramble and climbs to reach the endpoint of the trail, which is marked by a small white pillar.
Out at the point, the views towards Quinta do Furao in the north and Faial in the east are simply sublime. We sat out in the sun, marveling at Madeira’s beauty. It’s a real bang for your buck hike with a short, 3-kilometer descent to reach this amazing viewpoint. These are a few aerial views from the drone from the flight out at the point.
The journey back up is where the hard work begins. It’s 400 meters of incline from this point to reach back to the trailhead in just under three kilometers. That’s steep enough for me to warn some hikers to avoid this track unless they are in decent shape. We enjoyed the workout before reaching back through the tunnel to our cars.
A suggestion is to head over to Quinta do Furao for a coffee and snack to refuel after the hike and take in the beautiful, coastal views.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and review of the Ponta do Clerigo Hike on Madeira Island.
MY 3 FAVORITE TOURS IN MADEIRA
- Dolphin & Whale Watching: Take a cruise from Funchal to spot Dolphins, Whales and see amazing views of Madeira’s coastline.
- Hike Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo: Hike the most epic trail on the island with a qualified guide!
- Level 1 Canyoning Adventure: Rappel down waterfalls in this high-adrenaline experience.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT PONTA DO CLERIGO HIKE
- What is the length of the Ponta do Clerigo hike? The length of the hike is approximately 6.5 kilometers.
- Are there any entry fees or permits required for the hike? No, there are no entry fees or permits required for the hike.
- Can the hike be done alone or is a guide necessary? The hike can be done alone, but it is recommended to hike with a partner or a group. Hiring a guide is not necessary but can be helpful, especially for those who are new to hiking.
- Is camping allowed during the hike? No, camping is not allowed during the hike.
- Is the hike suitable for children? The hike is suitable for children, but parents should ensure that their children are prepared for the hike and can handle the moderate level of difficulty. Parents know their kids best so make sure they are experienced hikers before trying a ridge hike like this with significant drop-offs.
WONDERING ABOUT WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA?
Throughout my six months on Madeira Island, I stayed in multiple accommodations. My favorite regions to stay in were Funchal and Canico de Baixo. I’ve created several guides to help you find the right region for you and a great hotel or apartment.
- The ultimate guide: WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA: WHICH REGION IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
- If you want luxury: BEST 5-STAR LUXURY HOTELS ON MADEIRA ISLAND
- To feel at home: TOP 10 BOUTIQUE HOTELS ON MADEIRA ISLAND
- If you want to base in Funchal: WHERE TO STAY IN FUNCHAL: 15 TOP-RATED HOTELS
HAVE YOU READ MY OTHER MADEIRA BLOGS?
I spent six months exploring Madeira and the nearby island of Porto Santo. These are some of my most popular guides about the region that you may be interested in.
- My favorite hikes: 65 AWESOME HIKES ON MADEIRA
- My favorite levada walks: 25 BEAUTIFUL LEVADA WALKS ON MADEIRA
- The best waterfalls on the island: 25 EPIC WATERFALLS ON MADEIRA
- Guide to the best Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA
- Hardest hike: THE MADEIRA ISLAND ULTRA TRAIL IN 4 DAYS (115KM)
- Longest hike: CAMINHO REAL 23: MADEIRA’S ROYAL PATH (180KM)
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Wednesday 1st of March 2023
Thanks for the great post. Will re read them before my trip to Madeira!