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Caminho Real do Paúl do Mar

This is a pleasant short walk that is almost entirely downhill, winding between terraced farm felds from the village of Prazeres to Paúl do Mar. Before starting the descent, visit the Quinta Pedagógica dos Prazeres educational farm and its animals. Here you can also try herbal infusions and buy homemade preserves from traditional fruits. The descent to Paúl do Mar winds down the steep slope from Assomadouro (belvedere) and the views of Jardim do Mar and Paúl do Mar are superb. This paved trail zigzagging down the steep slope with shallow steps is a genuine part of the island’s heritage, bearing witness to the hard work that communities faced in the past to overcome their isolation. Waterfalls and the endemic flora caracteristic of the lower altitudes, such as pride of Madeira (Echium nervosum) and fsh-stunning spurge (Euphorbia piscatoria), make this trail a journey of discovery. In Paúl do Mar, formerly an important fshing village, you will still fnd traces of the salt flats, the chimney of the 1912 canning factory and also of a sugar cane mill.

Diffculty: Moderate

Distance: 1,8 km

Duration: 1h20

Highest point: 537 m

Lowest point: 35 m

Start: Prazeres

Finish: Paúl do Mar

Recommendations: Danger of vertigo.

Access: Bus 142 – Ponta do Pargo.