Forêt Laurissilva

Fanal Forest

The Fanal area is one of Madeira's large laurel forests, located in the northwest of the island. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and as a Natural Heritage of Humanity, this dense forest is also protected by the Madeira Natural Park since 1982. Fanal is a particularly humid laurel forest, due to the subtropical climate of the island and the forest is very often in mist and fog.

Access to the Fanal forest

Parking is available at the Fanal forest shelter, along the ER209 road from the Paul da Serra plateau. A picnic area is available here. You can then take a stroll through part of the Fanal forest (less than a 1 km walk). The experience that awaits you will depend on the weather: mystical atmosphere if it's foggy, or a moment of relaxation and in the sun.

An enchanting forest

The unstructured trees of Fanal
« The strange trees of the Fanal forest »

You doubt the beauty of the place? I refer you to this article presenting the work of the artist Michael Schlegel, who photographed the trees in the middle of a fog. Madeira's laurel forest is magical under the fog, but also at night or in full sun. In short, it's a must-see. By the south or by the north? We'll see, but going to Madeira without seeing the laurissilva is a nonsense! If you like photography and hiking, do the Vereda do Fanal, from the Paul Da Serra plateau!

The Fanal forest in fog
« The Fanal forest in fog © Maderedocevida »

The hundred-year-old trees of the Fanal forestTrees forest Fanal mist
« The hundred-year-old trees of the Fanal forest © Maderedocevida »

Autumn atmosphere at FanalAutumn atmosphere in the Fanal forest
« Autumn atmosphere at Fanal - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Deed ©Jeep_Tour_West_09 »

A picnic area

The Fanal forest is the perfect place to stop when you decide to explore the north-west of the island. Stop by the forest shelter in one of the small car parks, and take the opportunity to picnic and rest for a while. The atmosphere is very special: you're in the middle of a nature park with lots of cows in the meadow. Follow the PR13 vereda do Fanal hiking trail for a while to discover Fanal's most beautiful viewpoints. The "Miradouro Sobre a Ribeira Funda" viewpoint awaits you just a few steps from the shelter. Continue your walk past the small stretch of water on your right. You can then climb the Picos Pedreira and its 1242 m to enjoy the view of the surrounding area.

The Fanal forest, on a clear day
« The Fanal forest, on a clear day © Thomas Jundt CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 »

Small stretch of water FanalHiker and Madeira valley panorama from Fanal
« The Fanal forest, on a clear day © Thomas Jundt CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 »

Hiking and discover the Fanal forest

You can discover this dense and strange forest on foot, hiking along the levadas and veredas. There are several access points: firstly, to the south from the vast Paul Da Serra plateau, at an altitude of 1,400m. The view of the landscape from the plateau is breathtaking. This is where the vereda do fanal (PR13) begins: the 10 km trail takes you through panoramic landscapes in the heart of the laurissilva forest and this dense vegetation, at the very heart of nature on Madeira Island.

The route can then be accessed from the north of the island and the village of Ribeira da Janela. Take the PR15 hiking path: Vereda de Ribeira da Janela, to enter the verdant mountains. The walk continues through the heart of the forest on the levada dos Cedros (PR14). There are other access points from the north of the island, such as the chão da ribeira valley, from the village of Seixal. The possibilities are truly numerous: the mountain is imposing and there are, of course, other possibilities via the hiking trails to discover the Fanal forest.

Carte interactive de Fanal Forest

Légende de la carte :

Piscine naturelle
Point de Vue
Forêt primaire
Point non identifié


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