This 6 kilometres walk, go and back, will take you through a spectacular peninsula – Ponta São Lourenço – located near beyond the village of Caniçal. The abrupt coastline makes this walk very popular, a rocky and contrasting alternative to the evergreen levada paths.
São Lourenço is the easternmost peninsula of Madeira Island and it is included in the Madeira’s Natural Park and the Natura 2000 Network.
Geomorphologically speaking, São Lourenço is very different from the rest of Madeira Island. This place is characterized by a unique and quite inhospitable landscape, shaped by wind and marine abrasion.
The sea cliffs of this peninsula are magnificent, showing a spectacular diversity of very differently coloured rocks and structures - dyke swarms and eroded islets.
The starting point is located in São Lourenço, at the end of the road, and takes a footpath which goes around Baía d’Abra. Along the walk there will be some ascents, mainly along the steep cobbled path, but always accompanied by stunning landscapes at both sides of the peninsula.
The presence of the neighbouring Desertas Islands is a constant along the walk and if the weather is clear, even Porto Santo Island can be seen from different viewpoints in the north.
The dryness and prevailing winds are responsible for the particular vegetation characteristic of the Macaronesian Region. Talking about the terrestrial fauna, the higher number of species belongs to avifauna and invertebrates (arthropods and molluscs), including a great variety of native species.
Within the scope of BirdLife International, peninsula of São Lourenço is rated as IBA (Important Bird Area).
At some point the footpath runs over an amazing "land bridge" that is only a few metres wide, but protected by a security cable. Here you can really feel the altitude, with 100 metres high cliffs at both sides of the path.
After this part, the lane becomes a circular route, where first we would turn to the left and walk until Casa do Sardinha which is surrounded by a palm grove, like an oasis. In this point there is an interpretation centre that is possible to visit in order to know better the conservation projects that are being carried out within the area.
A fantastic walk where you will have the chance to take the most wonderful pictures from beautiful spots.
From here the circular route leads us to the south, until the Cais do Sardinha, a small and cosy harbour where you will optionally be able to dive and swim on some of the cleanest and most virgin waters of the Island. This is the end of the walk, so the way back starts here, first climbing back up to take the circular route in direction to Baía d’Abra.
Nº Identified Bird Species: 10
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Nº Identified Bird Species: 12
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