The trail to the St. Lawrence (PR 8 Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco) - map, description, directions, parking

Sao Lourenco peninsula, Madeira

Pending beauty contest

Opinions about who is the most beautiful are divided, and there are two favorites. The first is under a pseudonym PR 1 and has a huge group of fans, and the other one is honored PR 8 and there is no smaller group of devoted followers behind him. Of course, we are talking about two of the most famous hiking routes in Madeira.
I have already written about the first of them extensively in the entry: Trail from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo - [click].
Today is the time to tell a little more about the second candidate for the crown of the beauty king: the PR 8 trail, whose full name is: Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco. The Polish equivalent of this name may be a bit surprising because it reads: trail through the St. Lawrence.

Drone view of the Sao Lourenco peninsula from the sea, Madeira

Honestly, my heart is torn and if I had to decide, it would I consider it impossible to choose between them. On the other hand, why choose? After all, you can see and admire both routes! And I strongly recommend this solution. The sentiments and the choice which was better will come later, when it is time for memories of the trip. Meanwhile, I invite you to take a walk into the Sao Lourenco peninsula!

Basic information about the PR 8 route

Beginning of the trail: Baía d'Abra tourist parking
Access to the starting point: car
End of the trail: Casa do Sardinha food point
Trail Length: 3 km (one way)
Walking time: 1h 30 min (one way)
Level of difficulty: average

Location of the PR8 route on the Madeira map

A short movie from the peninsula

To spice up the taste, it is worth watching a short film from the St. Lawrence, shot by a drone ...

A few considerations before you go

The entire length of the trail runs in an open area, devoid of natural covers such as trees, etc. It is completely empty. This means that you will be exposed to direct sunlight and, in most cases, to strong winds.
Be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen! The wind blows to soften the direct sun well, and the weather may seem really nice, but the solar radiation is very strong here. You can easily get sunburned without even knowing it.
The wind on the peninsula is often cool enough that outerwear, preferably with a hood, can also be useful. The constantly blowing strong wind can be a bit tiring over time and the hood gives a little respite.
A final note also applies to the wind. Don't get too close to the edge of cliffs and bluffs. Gusts are unpredictable and are often strong enough to cause you to lose balance. The ground near cliffs can be unstable and an accident is not difficult.

PR 8 route through the Sao Lourenco peninsula, Madeira

Description and map of the trail

First, the map. On the map below I have marked the location of parking lots, the course of the main route (red dots), the location of characteristic points (circles with numbers) and the most interesting viewpoints.
In addition, I marked the location of the second parking lot P2 and the location of the viewpoint next to it (5).
The green dots between points (3) and (4) show the course of the main trail to the top of the hill Pico to Furadowhich is currently closed for security reasons. Many people follow this trail after all. If you also go to the top Pico to Furado closed part of the trail, be especially careful. The disabled fragment is not maintained, so the track may be in a poor state of repair.

Map of the route PR 8 Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco

The main trail (red dots) starts directly at car park P1 and is well marked. You will come across the first viewpoint after the first kilometer of the route. Then it will be dense from the viewpoints.

You can see the view from one of the viewpoints along the trail in the panoramic photo below. The photo can be rotated and zoomed.

Near the first viewpoint there is a descent to a tiny beach (1). After another two kilometers and passing a few viewpoints, you will reach the descent to the second, small beach (2). Just over 200 meters away, there is a food court with toilets and a rest area Casa di Sardinha (3). The main trail ends here. The rest of the trail to the top of the hill Pico to Furado it's officially closed, but a lot of people decide to keep walking all the way to the top (5).

Casa di Sardinha food point and rest area at the end of the trail

For people who, for some reason, cannot afford to walk the entire trail, and would like to include some more nice views, I am giving the location of the P2 car park. You can drive up here by car. Viewpoint Miradouro da Ponta do Rosto (5) is a few steps from the parking lot.

Useful GPS coordinates

The starting point of the PR 8 trail, GPS coordinates:
32°44’35.8″N 16°42’03.5″W
32.743263, -16.700973 - click and route

Tourist car park P1, GPS coordinates:
32°44’35.6″N 16°42’03.4″W
32.743220, -16.700938 - click and route

Tourist car park P2, GPS coordinates:
32°44’57.4″N 16°42’23.9″W
32.749286, -16.706639 - click and route

View from the top of Pico do Furado

Accommodation and hotels near the PR 8 route

A few kilometers from the Sao Lourenco peninsula, you will find a lot of interesting accommodation. The town is closest to the peninsula Canical. I have prepared a special link below. After pressing it, you will immediately get the result with the accommodations closest to the peninsula. Then, there will be more accommodations at a greater distance.
link: accommodation near the Sao Lourenco peninsula - [click]

Below, I have added a few more nights that look really interesting and have good prices.

Casas do Baleeiro - Whaler's Houses - [click]

Dom Pedro Madeira - [click]

Hotel Solar Bom Jesus - [click]

Madeira sightseeing itinerary

This 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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14 comments on "The trail to the St. Lawrence (PR 8 Vereda da Ponta de Sao Lourenco) - map, description, directions, parking"

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    Is it possible to get on this trail by bus from Machico? Regards

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    Thanks a lot! We are in Madeira right now and enjoy all the descriptions

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    I am preparing to go to Madeira and this site is very useful for me. congratulations!!

  • o
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    Perfectly edited and written.
    Very helpful and specific

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    Great site! Lots of valuable info! I can't wait for my trip to Madeira!!!

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    Diese Wanderung war eine schlechtesten, die ich je gemacht und gesehen habe. Madeira hat viel besseres zu bieten.
    Es sei denn, ihr mögt karge Felsenlandschaft und für Kinder viel zu gefährliche Wege! Definitely no Wanderung wert!
    Achtung: 1€ Eintritt/Person mit einem umständlichen Onlineportal. Credit card not wendig!

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    Hello, how and on what website should I purchase an entrance ticket to the St. Lawrence Peninsula?

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      This is an open trail, no entry tickets are needed.

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    We were there on February 24.02.2023, 1,5 (Friday). It's definitely worth arriving early. We had trouble finding a parking space - we had to walk about XNUMX km from the car to the beginning of the trail. We were prepared for the wind, but it was windless and very hot. I'm writing this to remember, first of all, to take plenty of water (we ran out of it, so we were hot, carrying a ton of clothes to protect us from the wind, and we didn't manage to complete the entire route).
    The views are, of course, wonderful and unforgettable, although I prefer less crowded places.


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