Chao dos Terreiros
Summary information about all hikes and climbs in Madeira.
How to get there:
Drive from Funchal west towards Ribeira Brava. Take the Campanario exit (just after a tunnel and before e bridge) and find a road (go right!) that climbs towards the small village of Fontes. Going through Ribeira Fundo works well, but there are alternatives. Coming from Ribeira Fundo, you climb the hill up to Fontes, the road becomes level just as you enter the village. Measure from here. Drive through Fontes to kilometer 1.1. At this location, turn sharply left and onto a smaller road that heads uphill. Continue to kilometer 2.1 where the pavement ends. Park here, this is the trailhead, location N32:42.269, W017:00.678, elevation about 1080 meter.
Note: The trailhead described for Serradinho may be an easier option.
Continue straight ahead. Follow the road as it climbs and runs by a white house, then continues uphill along the ridge before turning more left onto a larger slope. There are a few forks, but stay on the main farmers road as it keeps climbing while making big switchback turns. Eventually, you will reach a locked gate, with a hikers bypass on the right. Cross and continue until the road runs out very close to the final summit. Follow the big trail from here the last few meter to the top. The top has a big white marker and a fence running right through.
I started out at 0935 and immediately wondered if I should take the left fork or go straight ahead. I decided to go left (big mistake, see above!), this route took me into a narrow gorge with no trail, cows in the sloping hill and nasty brush further uphill. I struggled uphill and eventually ran into the farmers road on the broad slope higher up. The hill was engulfed in fog and visibility was poor. I first climbed a false summit, then yet another false top, before converging on the proper and highest of the local hills. Arriving at 1030, this was still a short hike. The weather gradually improved and I got a nice view straight across to the Encumeada col, the main break in the east-west ridge of the island. I followed the farmers road all the way back down verifying that I should have started out with the other possibility - straight ahead from where I parked. I was back at my car by 1120.