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Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço

The trail explores Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern-most peninsula on the island, named after the caravel sailed by João Gonçalves Zarco, one of the three discoverers of the Archipelago of Madeira. This peninsula is volcanic in origin and comprises two islets: Cevada or Desembarcadouro, and Ponta de São Lourenço. After the Baía d’Abra stone wall, the entire area belongs to the Regional Government and is part of the Madeira Natural Park. The peninsula is classified as a partial natural reserve and the Desembarcadouro Islet is a total natural reserve, both forming part of the European network of important community sites – Natura 2000. With the semi-arid climate and exposure to north winds, vegetation is low-lying, without any trees, differentiating this area from the landscape of the rest of the island. It has a wide range of endemic plants, exclusive to the island of Madeira. In terms of fauna there is one of the largest colonies of seagulls (Larus cachinnans atlantis) in the region, as well as a number of other bird species. On the horizon to the south you can see Desertas islands and to the north the island of Porto Santo.

Diffculty: Moderate

Distance: 4 km (+ 4 km return)

Duration: 2h30

Highest point: 77 m

Lowest point: 5 m

Start and Finish: E.R. 109 (Baía d’Abra – Caniçal)

Recommendations: Don’t get too close to the cliff-face as there are many places where the ground is not stable. Take water.

Access: Bus 113 – Caniçal.