Ponta de São Lourenço is one of the nearly untouched places in Madeira. Located in the eastern part of the island, this is the place where a combination of rocks, sea and nature created one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces.
Since 1982, the headland is a nature reserve, where it has the conservation of its endemic plants and its fauna. From Ponta de São Lourenço you have perfect views over both the northern and southern sides of the island. When the weather condition allows it, you can even see the Island of Porto Santo.
The PR8 trail – Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço
This walk explores the long thin peninsula at the eastern end of the island. The PR8 is a trail follows S. Lourenço Point, the eastern-most peninsula of Madeira island, named after the caravel sailed by João Gonçalves de Zarco.
This peninsula is volcanic in origin, mainly made of basalt, although there are also some limestone formations. All the land and sea is part of the European network of important community sites – Natura 2000.
The semi-arid climate have formed the low vegetation and explain the lack of trees. This distinguish this area from the rest of the Island and is a real natural heritage. Here you can see the Island’s basal plate and several rare and endemic plants. Of the 138 species of plant identified on the peninsula, 31 are endemic (exclusive) to Madeira island.
Along the path you can see several birds such as the Berthelot’s Pipit (Anthus bertheloti madeirensis), the Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis parva), the Common Canary (Serinus canaria canaria) and the Kestrel (Falco tinunculus). Protected marine birds such as Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro), Bulwer’s Petrel, (Bulweria bulwerii), and the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) also nest here. The Madeiran lizard (Lacerta dugesii), which is the island’s only reptile, can be seen everywhere. In the sea, you even may be lucky enough to spot the world’s rarest seal, known as a Sea-wolf (Monachus monachus).
Details of the trail:
Distance: 3 Km (+ 3 Km return)
Degree of dificulty: Moderate
Duration: about 2,5hours
Start/End: Baía d’Abra / Casa do Sardinha
Max. Altitude/Min. Altitude: 124 m / 23 m
Here you can download the trail map.