It was summer and the weather in the Czech republic was not great, we knew that we were going on vacation in about 3 weeks, but the time seemed to pass really slowly and then we found great last minute fligts to Madeira, there were no questions and few days later we landed in Funchal airport, one of the most interesting airports in Europe due to the strong winds, windsheer and short runway which ends in the ocean. We rented a small car and went on exploring, road are really curvy, up and down, narrow, at some point very steep, but beautiful. The sun was shining, temperature in summer is perfect both for hiking and relaxing at the beach. Just after few hours on the island we knew, that this was the right place to be.
Next day we drove around the island, stopped at the wind power plants, at numerous viewpoints, hikied to Pico da Encumeada, which we first thought to be a fairly easy hike, but after couple hours of hiking in the sun we changed our minds, but the view to the valleys were increadible and worth it. We continued our day on the north coast of the island, where we stopped at few beaches and took a dip in the ocean and when it was getting late we drove to the west coast to watch a sunset near a lighthouse.
After a long day on the road we decided to take a break and enjoy the beaches on the south coast and wonder around the city of Funchal. The city itself was really beautiful, colorful, food was excellent and the nearby beaches and the walkway around the coast was really relaxing. Most of the beaches were pebble or rocky, but at least we did not have to wash the sand out of our bodies. The water was cooler but in the summer heat perfect to cool off. In the evening we visited a town nearby, where was banana festival with life music and RC planes flying around.
Then it was time to do some more hiking. The weather was perfect so we decided to do the hike to Pico Ruivo, the highest mountain on the island. We drove to the top of neighbouring peak Pico Arieiro from where we started the hike. Most of the people who we met only drove to the first peak and admired the viewpoint, on the trail itself we met only a handful of people and at most times we hiked alone on this strenous path. At first we expected the path to be quite easy and short, since we did not take a long time to study the info, but it turned out to be almost 6 hours hike with elevationg gain of over 1500 meters. The hike took us through many tunnels, some were short, some were longer. It was good idea to carry a flashlite with us. After all the hike was incredible with fantastic views.