4 NATURAL RESERVES TO DISCOVER IN MADEIRA
In Madeira, it’s easy to have an adventure.
There are 4 Natural Reserves to discover which are authentic paradises by the sea. These locations are protected and preserved areas of Madeira.
You can discover rare plants or animals and its singularity. Yes, there are places in the world that are so special, that time does not pass through them.
Come and visit Madeira!
1. Nature Reserve of Rocha Navio
A shipwreck in the nineteenth century named this Reserve. Access is made through Miradouro da Rocha do Navio, in Santana. The view is dazzling, tranquil and incredibly beautiful.
In this secluded Reserve, some waterfalls run from the cliffs to the sea. You’ll find a cool breeze, a wild pebble beach and a heavenly peace. You can contemplate the ocean on one side, banana trees and agricultural fields on the other. A spectacular descent on the cable car to this spot, allows you to admire these striking contrasts. It is also a potential monk seal habitat and preservation site for endemic flora, mostly present on its cliffs and at Viúva Islet.
You’ll fall easily in love with this spot!
2.Natural Reserve Ponta de São Lourenço
This Reserve includes a fascinating trail in Madeira – the Vereda of Ponta de São Lourenço (PR 8). It is located on the easternmost peninsula of the island and offers breathtaking views.
Thanks to its geological conditions, this Reserve keeps a particular fauna and flora. Be dazzled by the colours of the wild flowers and different rock layers, typical of the island’s volcanic origin. At the end of the trail, discover the Sardinha Pier and swim in its turquoise blue waters. Admire the seagulls (Larus cachinnans atlantis), the seabirds (Calonectris diomedea), the molluscs and the endemic gecko (Lacerta dugesii). Absorb the pristine and relaxing landscape all around and rejuvenate at every step, in this remote place.
3.Garajau Natural Reserve
It’s located on one of the favourite beaches among diving lovers, Garajau beach. It takes about 15 minutes drive from Funchal to reach Ponta do Garajau. To access this reserve, you can ride on a cable car. It is the only exclusive marine reserve in Portugal and offers fabulous conditions for diving. Get in close contact with harmless species such as the groupers (Epinephalus guaza) that live there.
A memorable experience!
4. Desertas Islands Natural Reserve
Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio are three small islands at the south-east of Madeira. They are a refuge and a conservation area for the monk seal (Monachus monachus) and nesting centre for seabirds. Rare species of endemic flora are still living here. Deserta Grande is the only island that accepts visitors, but you need to request a permit. Ask this permission as far in advance as possible, to the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation. You may also book an authorised tourist boat tour. You can take a boat trip, from Funchal, which lasts about 3 hours (one way). Take a guided tour at the Natural Park, dive into the surrounding clear waters, snorkel or dive. Along the trip, you’ll be surprised by the beauty and friendliness of the dolphins in their natural habitat. It is also common to find seabirds and whales!