We made this trip just before the Covid-19 pandemic
Madeira wasn’t on the top of my list for a bike tour, but when I looked into it, I discovered that the roads were perfect and the terrain was superb.
We arrived in Funchal and were delivered to our hotel that was perfectly situated in the hills overlooking the harbour. I’d done a lot of research into the mapping and areas of interest and found what I thought were the best roads, (they didn’t disappoint). The VR1 runs in the south from east to west and turned out to be the perfect link to all the areas that I wanted to access.
I’d rented a bike from Magos Bike Hire near the Airport. They picked me up and within an hour I was attacking the expressway back to pick Carole up. We first rode up through the centre of the Island and over to St Vincent then round the north coast to Santana.
Santana is a good stop with its traditional houses, take a ride around the town they are everywhere, there’s also a cable car that drops down to the beach that is not for the faint hearted. This was a brilliant ride through the villages and coast roads then back to our hotel, a four and a half hour ride of about 100 miles.
Nuns valley is a great ride if you turn off the VE6 just before the tunnel on the old road it takes you up on a dead-end road to the valley trail. There’s a short walk to the viewing point with a 3000 foot drop with amazing views.
The next ride took us up over the Paul Da Serra Plateau a stunning ride with almost no traffic at all, the views were fantastic. We carried on to Porto Moniz to the volcanic lagoons and then round the west coast along the VE3 following some of the old road through some of the many tunnels on the island. There are over 120 tunnels and suspended viaducts which makes it all the more interesting, some of them very high and with amazing views.
Another great ride is the Pico Ruivo Mountains that stand around 6,000 feet. There are fantastic views and crystal clear skies. There’s also a great café at the top that is frequented by bikers all the time.
We managed to clock up over 700 miles on this small island. It made a great relaxing trip with the ability to have day ride outs and then chill out round the pool in the afternoon.
Many thanks to Ekkehard and his team at Magoscar Maderia.