Forest Park of Queimadas, Madeira

This is our closest mountain.  Being based in Santana in the north eastern corner of Madeira, Queimadas is just a 5 minute drive away.  One afternoon we popped up to explore the park and some of the smaller paths around it.

Queimadas to Caldeirao Verde is a 12km hike and provides one of the most spectacular walks on the island, however if you’re not up for a big walk you can still explore this little park and have fun. Maybe take a picnic and enjoy some of its shorter pathways.

The park of Queimadas which is a Laurisilva forest is an enchanting emerald green, mossy paradise of a tropical rain forest. The forest here is the last surviving area of laurel forest and is protected by being a UNESCO world heritage site. It contains a unique suite of plants and animals, including many endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon. Sadly for us, we didn’t see one.

The park offers a forest shelter building which resembles the typical houses of Santana, with thatched roofs. The thick levadas that run through the park give the forest a humid characteristic as well as a peaceful and therapeutic noise.

Driving to queimadas

The road to Queimadas is narrow and bendy and frequently only a single lane for all traffic.

Parking

I was surprised by just how busy parking was.  In the end we couldn’t find a place and had to park further down on the side of the road. However given how many cars were there, there were only two other couples in the park.
I am guessing the other cars were there to complete the PR9 levada walk to Caldeirao Verde. If you’re coming to do this walk, always check the website before hand as it is currently closed due to a landslide.
Queimadas

Parking on the cobbled streets of Queimadas.

the houses

At the entrance to the Queimadas park there is a traditional thatched house/shelter ( Casa de Abrigo das Queimadas) intended for the rangers but there’s also a smaller building that houses the WC’s.  Take some small change as I think you need to pay.

Queimadas

The rangers house.

Queimadas

The rangers house with the levada at the front of the park.

Queimadas

A thatched WC!

Queimadas

Thatched house of Queimadas.

Queimadas

House at Queimadas.

Queimadas

Queimadas house in the park.

the levadas

There are plenty of levadas and smaller but engineered waterfalls running through the park. The park has ample seating for picnics.

Queimadas

The levada at the front of the house.

Queimadas

Levadas at Queimadas.

Queimadas

Levada near the picnic area

Queimadas

Waterfall behind the house

Queimadas

More waterfall

Queimadas

Our youngest exploring the levadas and park

Exploring the woods

The woods run directly behind the houses and have a number of small paths connecting them all. They are dark and mossy but not slippy. An excellent area for hide and seek or tag.
Queimadas

Exploring the pathways

Queimadas

Back of the house in the woods

Queimadas

Playing tag

Queimadas

Picnic areas at the back of the house

Queimadas

Looking into the levadas

following a path to nowhere

We decided to follow a sign that said ‘miradouro’ or ‘lookout point. It literally translates to ‘gazebo’ but given we’ve never found a gazebo when following these signs around Madeira, I’d hazard a guess at it meaning lookout point!

Many of the levadas on this route ran dry and the paths are frequently mossy but dry and not slippy.

On our route we discovered some sort of dry, water chamber overlooked by a shed. There were NO signs anywhere to explain this so I am going to guess it once formed a pond of some sort and a bird hide.  Maybe only open in the summer?

Queimadas

Mossy green floor

Queimadas

A dry levada

Queimadas

Pathways

Queimadas

Some sort of pond?

Queimadas

Queimadas pathways

The view from the miradouro

The miradouro is about 1km from the houses and gives great views over the valley towards Faial and the Atlantic.

Queimadas

Miradouro of faial

Queimadas

Queimadas miradouro

Queimadas

Looking out over Faial.

Let’s walk further

As the path carried on further we decided to follow it, wondering where it led out.

Queimadas

The path that led to nowhere.

Queimadas

Potential mud slide at Queimadas.

Queimadas

Almost the end of the path.

Queimadas

The end of the path.

The path became more overgrown with the bank verges above us looking more and more unsteady and finally the path ran out. Overgrown with brambles, rocks and moss, we could go no further.

So we headed back down, a little disappointed that our walk was cut short.

Queimadas

Walking back down past the miradouro.

Queimadas

Smaller pathway leading back down to the house

FOLLOW US ON OUR JOURNEY

Follow our adventures on either Facebook or Instagram.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think 🙂