North from Ribeira Brava the N104 snakes through a sheer-sided canyon. In every direction you can see high waterfalls tumbling down canyon walls and into a pine forest. Avoid the new road tunnel and keep to the old road that heads up via the village of Serra de Água, an ideal starting point for a trek into Madeira's interior. Even if you don't plan to hike, you might consider spending the night here at the stone pousada, surrounded by moss-green rocks, ferns, and more waterfalls.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More