The Vereda das Funduras hike begins at Portela Viewpoint, which has a great view over the iconic Penha d’Àguia rock formation in Porto da Cruz. The trail itself is mostly through the forest with the scenery highlighted by beautiful ferns and lush vegetation of the UNESCO Laurissilva Forest. This is a great trail for families, beginner hikers, and trail runners with low difficulty and only a slight incline throughout the route.
VEREDA DAS FUNDURAS HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total distance of the trail was 8 kilometers.
Hike Duration: The hike will take you about 2 hours. It is only 8 kilometers and there is a very small amount of incline so you can really power through this hike. With no real viewpoints along the way, there isn’t much reason to stop for a break unless you take a picnic at the tables throughout the hike.
Hike Difficulty: This hike has a low difficulty. The trail is relatively flat and the terrain was about as flat as it gets for a forest path on Madeira. There were no big drop-offs and I would suggest this one for families, trail-runners and you could even take your dog on this hike.
Hike Incline: Total incline for the hike was 200 meters when starting at Portela Viewpoint.
My Strava Map Upload: Vereda das Funduras
HOW TO GET TO VEREDA DAS FUNDURAS HIKE
The Vereda das Funduras hike begins at the Portela Viewpoint or Miradouro da Portela. Here you have views over Porto da Cruz at a scenic lookout. There is parking available here and a small coffee shop for a caffeine hit pre or post-hike. I’ll drop the pin on the map below so you can plan your transit to the trailhead. It is important to note that this is a one-way trail of 8 kilometers. Of course, you can do it as an out-and-back 16-kilometer route but I would advise doing it one way and then catching a taxi or an Uber back from the endpoint in Maroços. Our Uber ride back from Maroços to Portela Viewpoint was just six Euros in total so it’s not too bad if split between your group to get back to your parked car.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE VEREDA DAS FUNDURAS HIKE
After exploring the rock formation up close and personal in Porto da Cruz known as Penha d’Àguia, I thought I would do a hike from further up in the mountains with a good view looking down over the town. The hike begins at a beautiful lookout called Portela Viewpoint where you have a great view of Penha d’Àguia and a place to park the car.
The trail begins just to the left of the cafe (pictured above in the directions section) and follows a dirt path for the first section of this route. You will find a small sign with the details of this hike known as PR5 and then from that point you can follow the many signs throughout the route. There were some turns without signs but I used the Madeira walking app and Maps.me to keep on course to Maroços.
For the first kilometer or so of the trail, you are simply following the dirt road although we did take a small shortcut through a cave before taking the right-hand turn off the road when we found the PR5 sign.
The trail delved into the Laurissilva Forest where we wound our way through the ferns and Laurel trees that engulfed the path. It was a stunning trail with a peaceful atmosphere. Along the way, we passed just a few other hikers and it was nice to tune out from civilization on this quiet, lesser-known trail near Porto da Cruz. There was no ‘epic’ moment throughout the trail. However, if you kept your eyes open there were many incredible plants, mushrooms, flowers, lizards and smaller moments to be enjoyed. I think that’s why I liked this hike so much. It was just about breathing in the forest and appreciating the journey rather than looking for that incredible viewpoint or waterfall. Having said all of that, it was a clear day and we did spot Pico do Arieiro and Pico Ruivo at one stage on the trail.
The trail leaves the forest behind and begins the descent down into the terrace-laden town of Maroços. Here you can see the ancient agriculture of Madeira with hundreds of terraced crops on the hills above the valley. I’d never heard of Maroços but when you see these terraces, it seems like a postcard-worthy town. That’s what Madeira is all about with hidden gems around every corner and a reminder to be curious to explore the lesser-known in search of unexpected beauty.
After just over two hours, we made it down into Maroços and then sat in the shade while we called an Uber. Despite being quite far from a major town like Funchal, the driver was just ten minutes away. The fare was six Euros back to Portela Viewpoint. It was actually quite funny because when our driver pulled up to the viewpoint he gasped as it was so beautiful and he told us he’d never been there before. He dropped us off and then parked his car, ordered a coffee and enjoyed the view.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Vereda das Funduras hike from Portela Viewpoint on Madeira Island. Happy hiking and stay safe out there.