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Porto Moniz south along the coast to Ribeira Brava ~ should we add?

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Feb 17th, 2015, 01:04 PM
  #1
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Porto Moniz south along the coast to Ribeira Brava ~ should we add?

I've realized that I don't have us doing anything along that section of Madeira. Anyone been in that area to recommend?
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Feb 18th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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Yes, I've driven along that road many times. It's very slow and twisty from Porto Moniz down to Ponta do Pargo, though very beautiful with forests, steep sided valleys and waterfalls. Eventually you'll pick up the newer main road that has long straight tunnels along the south coast. The villages of Jardim do Mar and Calheta are attractive with sunny micro-climates. Perched on the cliffs high above Calheta is the very unusual Casa das Mudas art gallery. Closer to Ribeira Brava is the small town of Ponto do Sol, wedged between huge sea cliffs, which is always worth a visit.

My favourite drive on Madeira though is the ER110 from Porto Moniz over the Paul do Serra plateau. The scenery up there is like nothing else on the island and the views are amazing. The last time I was there a year ago, the part of the road down to the Encumeada Pass was blocked by landslides - not sure if they fixed this yet.
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Feb 19th, 2015, 05:12 AM
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Thanks Gordon, the ER110 over the Paul do Serra plateau sounds like a great drive. How would we find out if the landslide has been cleared?
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Feb 19th, 2015, 07:24 AM
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To be honest, you'll get far more info over at the TA forums. Few people on Fodors seem to go to Madeira (sigh). Even if the road is still blocked (and by the way, it was SOME landslide), you can still get on/off the plateau through other roads. There's a terrific (but really steep) drive down to Calheta from the cross-roads on Paul do Serra. Are you a confident/experienced driver?
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Feb 19th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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Yes, pretty much so. Have driven several vacations on mountain roads in the Swiss, Italian and Austrian Alps and the narrow roads of the UK. I have also driven the Coastal Road on the Amalfi Coast, and I must say, I think that was the scariest!

We will however have an automatic transmission, if you think that would be a problem?
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Feb 19th, 2015, 08:42 AM
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>>We will however have an automatic transmission, if you think that would be a problem?<<

I've never driven an automatic car in Madeira (or anywhere that had steep hills, well actually I did in San Francisco). You have to put it in low gear (1 or 2) though can't you?
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Feb 20th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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From TA

I´m afraid, the road ER110 from Paul da Serra to Encumeada is still closed and according to information on

sunflowerbooks.co.uk/product/… , it will be closed for a while...
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 12:06 PM
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So, if the road from Paul da Serra to Encumeada is still closed, what would be the best way to get back to Sao Vicente? ER209 north to Ribeira Da Janela?
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Feb 24th, 2015, 05:24 AM
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Provided it's not foggy (it often is), the E209 down through the Fanal to Ribeira Da Janela is just stunning (and not as steep/scary as the roads off the plateau to the south coast). Definitely plently of places to stop and get the camea out, especially at Ribeira Da Janela. Watch out for cows on the road!
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Feb 24th, 2015, 02:40 PM
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Thanks Gordon that helps a lot, one always needs PLAN B!

When we arrive we will be driving up through Encumeada Pass on the VE4 to our apartment on the north coast. Is there some place in particular in that area to stop to ask about the road still being blocked by the landslide?
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Feb 26th, 2015, 04:27 AM
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The VE4 is a relatively fast main road that takes you through a long tunnel rather than going over the pass. You'll pass through a few small settlements but no really anywhere you're likely to find people used to tourists with good English. Better to enquire when you get to Porto Moniz, where it's much easier to park and there is a tourist officebr />
Porto Moniz Tourist Office
9270 Porto Moniz
Phone: 291 853075
Open Monday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m
Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Saturday from noon til 3 p.m.

Instead of taking the tunnel, you can also take the old road (ER228) up over the pass. The road block up to Paul do Serra is clearly visible from the car park at the restaurant / gift shop place reached by turning left onto the ER110 at the highest point on the route. The ER228 is itself a spectacular winding mountain road with wonderful viewpoints (also ideal for picnics) but probably not one I'd want to take immediately after arriving off a flight into Madeira.
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Mar 1st, 2015, 10:55 AM
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Got it! All being entered on Itinerary! Can't thank you enough!
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