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Caminho Real da Encumeada

This trail begins at the Boca da Corrida belvedere and crosses part of the central mountainous massif, running along the foot of the highest peaks of the island of Madeira. It was originally a paved “Royal Road” and one of the island’s main routes. The trail offers a view of the valley of Curral das Freiras, a small village surrounded by enormous mountains that became a refuge for the nuns from the Santa Clara Convent, when pirates attacked Funchal in 1566. All along the route, you will fnd streams that support the local Laurissilva forest, which includes Canary laurels (Laurus novocanariensis), Indian bays (Persea indica), ancient Madeira laurels (Ocotea foetens) and Lily-of-the-valley trees (Argyranthemum pinnatifdum). Indigenous birds that may be observed are the Madeira frecrest (Rugulus ignicapillus madeirensis), the Madeiran buzzard (Buteo buteo harferti), a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus canariensis), the Madeira laurel pigeon (Columba trocaz) and the grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea).

Diffculty: Moderate

Distance: 12,5 km

Duration: 6h30

Highest point: 1220 m

Lowest point: 940 m

Start: Mirador de Boca da Corrida

Finish: E.R. 228 (Encumeada)

Access: Only by car