Discover the Hidden Gem: Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço

Introduction to Madeira’s Trail

Madeira, the stunning island in Portugal, offers many hiking trails, and the Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço (PR8) is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Surprisingly, this trail isn’t widely promoted, which adds to its charm and exclusivity. 

The Landscape: A Striking Contrast

Madeira is renowned for its green and steep terrain, but Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is an exception.

“Vereda” translates to a narrow path, and “ponta” means edge.

The trail presents dramatic cliffs and undulating terrain leading to the island’s farthest edge.

It’s a photographer’s paradise, offering leading lines stretching to the horizon, various textures, saturated colors, and a striking contrast of landscapes.

Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira

Popular Trails vs. Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço

When visitors think of hiking in Madeira, the famous “levadas” or aqueducts come to mind.

Trails like Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo are also high on the list.

These popular hikes offer breathtaking views and are well worth the effort. However, overlooking the PR8 trail would be a mistake.

Despite being less frequently mentioned, it offers an experience that’s equally, if not more, memorable.

Journey to the Trail

Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is situated in the eastern part of Madeira, away from the more central, crowded trails.

Arriving at the trailhead, you might be surprised by the number of cars parked there, primarily rentals.

This indicates a higher percentage of foreign visitors, though organized hiking companies are notably absent.

Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira

Walking the Trail

Starting the hike, you may feel a sense of disappointment seeing a line of hikers ahead.

If solitude is something you value, this might initially be off-putting.

However, as you proceed, the sheer beauty of the surroundings quickly takes over, making you forget about the crowd.

The trail is easy to follow, well-marked, and visible from a distance, enhancing the overall experience.

A Photographer’s Dream

For photographers, Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is a dream come true.

The trail offers endless leading lines, diverse textures, vivid colors, and contrasting landscapes.

The constant shift from wide angles to detailed shots, coupled with the presence of people providing scale, creates a dynamic and visually appealing environment.

Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira

The Casa do Sardinha: A Mixed Bag

Near the end of the trail, you’ll encounter Casa do Sardinha, an interpretation center and the only building in the vicinity.

The area around Casa do Sardinha is well-maintained, with picnic tables and an inviting atmosphere. However, there’s a downside.

The sanitary facilities were closed or damaged, causing inconvenience for visitors.

The local authorities might claim ongoing maintenance, but the situation remains unprofessional and frustrating.

Environmental Impact

Despite the trail’s popularity, its impact on the natural surroundings is minimal.

The path itself is well-maintained, ensuring that the rest of the landscape remains untouched.

This balance between accessibility and preservation adds to the trail’s appeal.


In conclusion, Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is a hidden gem that should not be missed when visiting Madeira.

Its stunning landscapes, ease of access, and photographic opportunities make it a must-see.

Although minor inconveniences, such as the sanitary facilities, make the overall experience well worth it.

So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an adventure to discover one of Madeira’s most beautiful and underrated trails.

Join me

If you’re interested in experiencing this adventure or any other from my repertoire, feel free to contact me via my travel agency, Iberactive

Stay safe, enjoy your time, and show respect for nature.

David Monteiro