The highest cliffs in Europe
Contrary to the information you come across on the cliff web Cabo Girao it is not the highest cliff in Europe. It is also not the second. It takes the honorable seventh place.
I took some trouble and made a compilation of the highest cliffs in Europe:
1. Hornelen (Norway) - 860 m
2. Cape Enniberg (Faroe Islands) - 750 m
3. Crouaghaun (Ireland) - 668 m
4. Vixia Herbeira (Spain) - 621 m
5. Pulpit Rock (Norway) - 604 m
6. Slieve league (Ireland) - 601 m
7. Cabo Girao (Portugal) - 589 m
As you can see, most of the tallest European cliffs are of similar height (close to 600 meters). Only two of them stand out and are definitely higher: Hornelen in Norway and Cape Enniberg in the Faroe Islands. However, none of them have what Cabo Girao has.
Glass observation deck
Cabo Girao has the highest observation deck. In Europe, you will not find a higher vantage point on a cliff.
To increase the attractiveness and enhance the impression of the height at which you are, the floor of the terrace is made of glass. The glass is not completely smooth because there are small dots on its surface. It is probably a deliberate procedure to make it easier for our labyrinth (and thus for people with fear of heights and tendency to upset the balance) to safely navigate on a transparent surface. Nevertheless, I saw single people who were crouching or even kneeling on the surface of the terrace, constantly touching the floor with one hand. Over time, most people got used to the unusual situation and finally approached the glass railing at the edge of the terrace to additionally glance down and embrace the views that stretched around.
The structure of the steel and glass deck is solid and mono clings to the edge of the rock. The glass on the floor has several layers that provide additional protection should the main bearing layer be damaged for any reason. So there is nothing to be afraid of.
Cabo Girao - access, parking and sightseeing
The observation deck on the Cabo Girao cliff is located in close proximity to the island's capital, Funchal. It is only 15 km to drive, but the road is steep and winding.
You can see the location of the cliff on the island map in the picture below.
The very entrance to Cabo Girao is a big attraction, because you will be accompanied by interesting views and rapidly changing scenery all the time. The driver is the worst - as always -. He must have eyes around his head.
Unfortunately, the driver won't have a second to look sideways, but the views from the cliff-top terrace will make up for it all.
There is a free car park right next to the terrace. You can find the geographic coordinates of the parking lot for navigation below. Just click on the link next to them and the navigation on your phone will open automatically.
Parking at the observation deck on the Cabo Girao cliff, GPS coordinates:
32.657103, -17.005462 - click and route
There are ticket gates at the entrance to the viewpoint, but… they have never been turned on and the entrance is free all the time.
From the observation deck you can see Funchal on the left, the slope to the right towards Quinta Grande, and small farmland under your feet.
The fields are squeezed tightly between the cliff face and the seashore, and until recently, access to them was only possible from the water side. Currently, a cable car runs here, which was built mainly to make life easier for the people living downstairs.
Currently, the cable car also carries tourists, and if you want, you can take a trip down the cliff.
Cabo Girao cable car
Cable car station (Teleferico das Fajas do Cabo Girao) is located less than 4 km from the glass observation deck and there is also a special observation deck next to the station itself.
Coordinates of the upper station of Teleferico das Fajas do Cabo Girao, GPS coordinates:
32.652517, -16.992436 - click and route
Accommodation and hotels nearby Cabo Girao
You will find plenty of accommodation in the immediate vicinity of Cabo Girao. I present some interesting offers below. Of course, the proximity of the largest city on the island, Funchal, also gives you a lot of freedom of choice.
I think that the accommodation I offer will be a good starting point for further searches.
Madeira sightseeing itineraryThis entry is part of a complete one Madeira sightseeing plan - [click]. The guide contains plans, maps and descriptions of specific sightseeing routes.
To see all currently available descriptions of attractions in Madeira, click on the link: Madeira - [click].
Safe car rental guide: Madeira - car rental without deposit?
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