Most Scenic Route on Madeira – Part one

Most Scenic Route on Madeira – Part one

Madeira Most Scenic Route – Part one

From the emerald green North Coast to the more inhabited South Coast, through all the twists and turns, the ups and downs this round up of Madeira’s most beautiful roads shows that sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.

Scenic roads Madeira Portugal ER101 and others

There is nothing like a good road trip to discover the destination.  Be prepared for scenic views, surprising carwashes, and unexpected stops.  Madeira Island has a really good road network.  To give you an idea, the road are, for the most part, better maintained than those in Belgium for example…  So do not hesitate and rent a car because these compelling drives through Madeira will undoubtedly enhance your Madeira vacation.

ER 101 – Porto Moniz – Seixal – Sao Vicente – Ponta Delgada – Boaventura

This is Madeira’s most scenic road. Period.    The ER 101 also known as Antigua (or antique, ancient) runs from Porto Moniz to Boaventura.  The most ancient part lays between São Vicente and Porto Moniz.  The Antigua leans on magnificent cliffs, flirts with the Ocean, swirls inlands and commands driving skills. 

Madeira's most scenic road Portugal on the North Coast

There are many touristic highlights along the way.  So do not hesitate to stop and indulge in the a swim in Lava Pool of Porto Moniz, pause to view the rock formations which made Ribeira da Janela famous, swim on the most beautiful black sand beaches of Seixal, stroll around São Vicente, walk inside lava tunnels at the Grutas, halt in Ponta Delgada before heading to the São Cristovão Miradouro of Boaventura,

Most scenic road Madeira er 101 Portugal

Do not just take our word for it.  This breathtaking route is listed as one of the world’s most scenic roads on many sites.  Read our article on this gem – here.

ER 228 – Serra de Agua – Encumeada

Serra de Agua sits deep in Madeira’s interior and is home to the most famous Poncha bar of the Island.  Please try a poncha after your drive!  Our second scenic route is the primary route which connected the North and South of Madeira before the existence of the long tunnel.  Encumeada (+/- 1000 m in altitude) connects to mountain ranges.  It is akin to a saddle dividing the island. The views are grandiose reaching from North (São Vicente) to South (Ribeira Brava).  To the west is the plateau of Paul da Serra and to the east a high mountain range wich rises above 1800 meters.  The drive is akin to serpentine all the way up to the highest view point.  This is where you test the power of rental car’s engine (or not…).

Encumeada Scenic Road Madeira Portugal

Depending on the weather and due to its location, Encumeada often offers dramatic cloud formations. The air masses from North and South meet here and produce a pouring of clouds aver the col. It is similar to dry ice pouring from a bottle.

ER 110 – Paúl da Serra

The plateau de Paul da Serra is high up with an average altitude of 1500 meters and comprises 24 square kilometers.  The third scenic route is mostly straight.  It is indeed the longest straight stretch on Madeira.  The drive is relaxing with beautiful views left and right. 

Paul da Serra Plateau Madeira Portugal

Do take time to watch the particular flora and to walk in the Laurissilva.  The frequent fog and mist give the area a supernatural atmosphere in Fanal.  The plateau is the source of many levadas provided the island with water, cloud milking.  Rabaçal is a nice but very touristic spot.  So, if you plan on doing the walk, arrive early.

Paul da Serra Fanal Madeira Laurissilva Portugal Mystic Forest

Here is a map to help locate the scenic route of your choice today.