Pico do Areeiro is one of the highest roads of Portugal
Pico do Areeiro is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 1.804m (5,918ft) above the sea level, located in Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago in the north Atlantic Ocean. At this elevation is one of the highest roads of the country.
The road to the summit, also known as Pico do Arieiro, is totally paved. It’s 6.6 km (4.10 miles) long. It’s one of the most visited peaks on the island, due to its easy access, extraordinary views and well known nature paths to Pico das Torres and Pico Ruivo. The footpath northwards towards Pico Ruivo is an important tourist attraction, with a daily average of 1.000 tourists trekking on it.
The road to the top, the third highest summit in the Island of Madeira, is very steep, hitting an 11% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at the paved ER103, on Paso do Poiso, the ascent is 6.6 km (4.10 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 421 meters. The average gradient is 6.37%. The top of the mountain is often above cloud level. With good weather it is possible to see Porto Santo, the neighbouring island, 30 nautical miles to the north.
Located in the center of Madeira, and surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery with jagged peaks, the road is typically open all year round. Fog is common. The summit hosts a large car park, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and an Air Defense Radar Station built in 2011. On the way to Pico do Arieiro one can admire a unique stone-built pit (looks like a huge igloo) known as “Poço da Neve” built by an English family who once used to store ice, snow and hail from the mountains.