Hiking on Madeira: the Boca do Risco hike

The Boca do Risco hike is a fantastic short hike along the high cliffs of Madeira’s coastline. It’s a very easy walk on a mostly flat path with occasional steep drops by your side. The cliffs, several hundred feet high, are covered with various plant species. These green cliffs create an amazing color combination with the deep blue sea, and the views will make you understand why Madeira is sometimes called the “Hawaii of Europe.” The trail is often pleasantly quiet, making it a perfect alternative to the busy hiking routes! Read all of our tips below.

Boca do Risco hike by the numbers

Distance: 10 km (6 miles)
Duration: 3 hours
Elevation difference: 240 meters (787 feet)

What does the Boca do Risco hike look like?

Just outside Porto da Cruz, you’ll find the starting point of the Boca do Risco hike. There isn’t much parking space, but it’s not often crowded, so you can probably park your car somewhere along the roadside. From here, you’ll immediately overlook the deep blue ocean and green cliffs of Madeira. The hike to Boca do Risco is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) and offers a beautiful mix of shaded forest sections and open stretches along the cliffs with fantastic views. Apart from a couple of stairs, the path is mostly flat and accessible to almost everyone. Like many places in Madeira, you’ll encounter plenty of unique flowers, trees, and plants along the way, so take your time to appreciate the small details of this trail.

Boca do Risco viewpoint

This hike is not about the endpoint but mainly about the journey itself. The view from the Boca do Risco viewpoint is not much different from the path leading to it. From Boca do Risco, you can continue walking to the town of Machico or turn around and head back to the car. If you walk to Machico, you’ll need to arrange transportation back, which is why we didn’t do it. The route is not well signposted, but you can download the app “maps.me” and get the map of Madeira. This map shows the hiking trails, so you’ll always know if you’re on the right track. Follow the path along the coast, and you can hardly go wrong.