With being to Madeira already two times, we know the popular touristic hikes. Which are stunning but also crowded. With having the pandemic still around, we wanted this time to explore the more unknown region of the north. Mainly around São Vicente and Boaventura, the places where we found nice AirB&B accommodations. In order to have the real local experience. Instead of staying in an impersonal hotel room.
One thing to keep in mind when going on unknown hikes, Madeira is wild and natural. Not all trails lead to an end or can be gone at all. Many hikes lead to a dead end, or we could not find the path at all. But it is all about the adventure and not to hike a planned path that thousands of others hiked before. It is a nice feeling not to know what is coming or if the route on the map even exists.
Still be careful, the weather can turn really fast in Madeira. From sun to rain to fog, everything can happen in minutes. Especially exposed hikes at the edge of a levada or a peak. Never go alone, or at least be really specific where are you going. Due to the unstable weather in December/January there are times hiker go missing and can not be found again. The host from one accommodation was included in a rescue mission on the island. Sadly there were not able to find the hiker.
So if you are looking for an adventure Madeira is the island for you. Mainly the touristic untouched north is really beautiful, as it is not so crowded and busy like the Funchal region. Or the south region in general. Still be aware that the south region is mainly around 20 degrees. The north is cooler and can be around 8 degrees and this all on the same day.