Vereda dos Balcões (PR11)

Hike in Funchal (Madeira)

Vereda Dos Balcões PR11
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ramessos

The journey commences in Ribeiro Frio and unfolds towards the magnificent Balcões belvedere, a destination reached through a brief yet spectacular walk amid the lush greenery of Madeira’s forest.

From the Balcões belvedere, a panoramic spectacle unfolds, allowing you to marvel at the numerous peaks of Madeira Island, with Pico Ruivo (1861m) and Pico do Areeiro (1817m) commanding attention as the highest. The scenic beauty extends to include Pico do Gato, Pico das Torres, and the renowned Penhad’Águia, creating a breathtaking and captivating panorama.

Aside from the majestic peaks, this belvedere serves as an ideal location for birdwatching. A diverse array of bird species graces visitors with their presence, including the Firecrest, Chaffinch, Grey Wagtails, Blackbirds, Robins, Buzzards, and the rare Madeira’s long-toed pigeon.

The return journey retraces the same path, but the uniqueness of Madeira’s levadas lies in the fact that with each visit, there are always new discoveries, experiences, and sensations awaiting you. This continual sense of novelty makes the activity of exploring Madeira’s levadas truly one-of-a-kind.

  • Distance: 1,5 Km (+ 1,5 Km return)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Start/Finish: ER 103 (Ribeiro Frio) / ER 103 (Ribeiro Frio)
  • Highest point/Lowest point: 880m / 870 m

How to get to Vereda dos Balcões

The trailhead for Vereda dos Balcões is conveniently situated on the ER 103 road, approximately 17 kilometers north of Funchal, the capital city of Madeira. Accessible by car, the journey from Funchal takes around 35 minutes. Alternatively, this starting point is easily reachable from the charming town of Porto da Cruz, which is just 12 kilometers or a 20-minute drive away.

For those traveling by car, the precise starting location is adjacent to John’s Poncha bar, a point of reference that can be easily identified on the map below. This accessibility ensures a straightforward beginning to the Vereda dos Balcões hike, providing a seamless start to your exploration of this captivating trail.

By Car: The drive is not only practical but also highly enjoyable, with ever-changing landscapes providing a visually engaging experience throughout the entire route. Upon arrival, there is a small parking lot conveniently located between John’s Poncha and the trailhead. It’s worth noting that this parking space tends to fill up quickly, and latecomers often park alongside the road due to limited alternatives nearby.

Public transport: From Funchal, you can take bus n°56, bus n°103, or bus n°138 heading to Sao Jorge. Operated by “Horarios do Funchal,” the bus company, you can check the schedule on their website. It’s important to verify the timetable beforehand, as not every bus makes a stop in Ribeiro Frio. This option provides a convenient way to access the starting point of the Vereda dos Balcões trail without the need for a personal vehicle.




The Vereda dos Balcões (PR11) appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Funchal (Madeira)!

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Visiting Vereda dos Balcões (PR11)

Duration: 1 hours and 30 minutes

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